Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What's Samma Reading?


Hey There Peeps!!

When I said I was easing myself back into blogging slowly, you didn't think it would be this slow did you?   haha   Me Either!!!

In any case there is lots going on around our house and I'm gearing up for prime reading season, AKA pool/beach weather and I figured that I should probably at least catch you guys up on what I've managed to read since we last chatted.

Once again I'm obligated under "blogger laws" to tell you these book links will take you to Amazon through my affiliate link.  Allegedly I can receive compensation from those links, in many years of use I've never received any compensation from Amazon so don't think I'm rolling in the dough over here by linking the books this way, and no, you won't pay more for buying anything through my link. I believe most of my links are for the Kindle versions of the books too.  Man, I'd be killing forests if I was buying regular books!

My rating scale: I will rate the books on a scale of 1 to 5   (just a hint- a 4 is a really good review, if I rate something a 5 you should know that I LOVED it and will talk your ear off about the book).

Let's get started:

#1 A Whole Latte Murder
     Author:  Caroline Fardig
 This is the 3rd book in the Java Jive Mystery Series and here's what Amazon has to say:
"Coffeehouse manager and reluctant sleuth Juliet Langley returns in a gripping novel from the bestselling author of Death Before Decaf and Mug Shot. Just as things are perking up in Nashville, a serial killer sends tensions foaming over
Juliet’s personal and professional lives have recently received an extra jolt of energy. Her romance with the hunky detective Ryder Hamilton continues to simmer, and business at Java Jive has never been better. But her good mood quickly turns as stale as day-old espresso when she finds out that Ryder has been promoted to his precinct’s homicide division. With him risking his life to catch the worst kind of criminals, Juliet’s growing sense of unease ignites when a local college student goes missing.
 Suddenly every Nashville resident is on high alert, especially Juliet’s neighbor Chelsea. Juliet does her best to calm the girl’s nerves, but her worst fears are confirmed when she finds Chelsea dead. Even though she tries her best to stay out of it, Juliet’s involvement puts a strain on Ryder’s first homicide case.  The situation soon becomes even more personal for Juliet and her best friend Pete Bennett when one of their employees disappears during her shift. As a killer lurks in the shadows, Juliet, Pete, and Ryder seek out a double shot of justice"

These are fun, easy reads that I always enjoy after reading a really intense book.  The 4th installment comes out April 25th and it will get added to my ever growing books to read list.    
I give it a 3.9, ok fine it's a 4 but it's barely a 4.  🤓


#2  Memories for Tomorrow (Bellingwood #16)
      Author:  Diane Greenwood Muir
Yes, this is book #16 in this series!!    This is what Amazon has to say:

"When school starts, life should settle back into a normal routine, right?
Not in Bellingwood and not for Polly Giller. Rather than normal or routine, chaos erupts all around her. The school year has just begun and her kids face upheaval in their personal lives, Henry's parents lives turn upside down in mere minutes, and then, of course, Polly finds the body of someone whose life caused stress for her family and whose death could bring even more trouble. 
Work on the Bell House will not move quickly enough for any of them. Hayden and Heath worked diligently all summer and it still doesn't feel as if they'll ever be finished. At this point, running water would be enough. The old building continues to reveal mysteries and surprises; things that don't appear until the walls and ceilings have been ripped away. No one in town knows what it's all about. This one might take some time to unravel.
To top it all off, Polly's birthday is coming up. She doesn't have time to think about that - not that she really wants to anyway. But even with everything that happens, family and friends are there to offer love and support.

Welcome back to Bellingwood."

Yes, I've actually read all 16 of these books and I have #17 waiting for me now.  I LOVE these books and my wish is that 1) she never stops writing this series and 2) Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel turns this into a television series.   I give it a 4.9 rating, Diane has amazing character development skills!


#3   The Night Bird
       Author:  Brian Freeman

 This is the first book by this author for me and I can tell you that in January of 2018 I will be reading the next in this series of books too!   Here's what Amazon has to say about it:

"Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco—as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks—Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories…and all the victims were her patients.
As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal—and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears.As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim."

I LOVED this book!  It did kinda creep me out a bit but then again I'm home alone a lot and I've noticed reading at midnight seems to intensify that feeling.  Great book and having been to San Francisco a couple of times it was cool to picture the places he was referencing.     I'm going on a limb and giving this one a solid 4.9!!   (People you need to understand, there are very few books that will get a 5 from me and a 4.9 is really good!!)

#4  Eleanor & Park
      Author:  Rainbow Rowell

OK peeps......This is a classified as a Young Adult book but don't let that stop you from reading it.
Here's the Amazon description:
"Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I'm not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we're 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I'm not kidding, he says.
You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under."

Here are a few little awards this book has picked up:
New York Times Best Seller!
A 2014 Michael L. Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature
Eleanor & Park is the winner of the 2013 Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book. 
Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013 
New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2013
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013
Amazon best of the month in March 2013

AAAANNNNDDDD here you go .......5 STARS ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
All the feels people, all the feels in this book.  You will find yourself in heaping pile of every emotion imaginable while reading this book!    Now if you will excuse me, I'm heading back to 1986 to slip into my Esprit sweater and Gitano jeans so I can get those slouchy socks on with my LA Gear street dancer shoes and head to the mailbox to see if my 12 for 1 cassette tapes from BMG music have arrived.  Later I'm sipping on wine coolers and reflecting on first-loves.      Seriously, read this book.


 #5   The Girl Before
        Author:  J. P. Delaney


From Amazon: "Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

EMMA
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

JANE
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before."

This is also going to be a major motion picture directed by none other than Ron Howard.

I'm going with a solid 4.5 stars on this.  It was good, very good and honestly I cannot wait for the movie.  I want to see how Ron Howard casts these characters and since there is no release date as of yet the whole "that's not how it was in the book" scenario will be diminished.    I'm really not a lot of fun to watch movies from a book with.   In the meantime if you like psychological thrillers this is a good one.  


#6  The Fifth Petal
      Author:  Brunonia Barry 


From Amazon:  "When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem's chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem’s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed "The Goddess Murders," in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft. 
But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?"

First off, I didn't realize this was book #2 in a series until I started writing this post. Fair to say you don't have to read the first one to understand this one.

Secondly, this scared the ever loving peediddly winks out of me.  I'm serious, I mean I slept with the lights on kind of scared.   Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed the book because Salem witches and the Mob will always fascinate me to no end but this one should not be read late at night when you're home alone.    Now that I know there was a previous book I'll probably go back and read it...in the daytime of course.  

Oh, my rating ..... a solid 4 stars!  

#7  A Criminal Defense
      Author:  William L. Meyers, Jr. 




Amazons take:  "When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick’s close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hours before her death.
Mick’s played both sides of Philadelphia’s courtrooms. As a top-shelf defense attorney and former prosecutor, he knows all the tricks of the trade. And he’ll need every one of them to win.
But as the trial progresses, he’s disturbed by developments that confirm his deepest fears. This trial, one that already hits too close to home, may jeopardize his firm, his family—everything. Now Mick’s only way out is to mastermind the most brilliant defense he’s ever spun, one that will cross every legal and moral boundary."


I picked this as my selection in March in the Kindle First program and once again, I was not disappointed.  I didn't see the end of this book coming at all!! It was full of twists and turns and legal mumbo jumbo and I was all happy happy.  It's my understanding this was the first novel for the Philadelphia lawyer and his second book is slated to hit the shelves in January of 2018.  Sign me up, looks like next January there's going to be lots of good reading! This book is an excellent legal thriller with all the twists and turns you want from that genre.   What does it get??  4.5 stars 



Whew....I shouldn't wait so long to post a reading update! I've got a 2 week vacation at the beach coming the end of May/first of June and if the past tells us anything, that's going to be a LONG  list of books!  Hopefully my streak of no duds will continue!


I'm currently reading a book that will be the finale of the series and most likely an elusive 5 star read as well.   It's kind of intense so I'm sure it will be followed by the #17 Bellingwood book because a girl can only solve so many intense murders before she needs a chill book.   I'm participating in the GoodReads reading challenge this year and set my goal for 25 books for this year.  As you can see I'm a wee bit ahead of pace and am feeling a surge coming on!!  If you'd like to be friends on GoodReads I'm listed as  Samma Sims and I'd love to see what you're reading too!

Until next time my friends!
Peace, Love, & Books
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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Time Change Chores

Hey There Peeps!

I'm here today to talk about some chores that tend to be forgotten but doing these little things when you change your clocks forward/back are easy to manage.   Several of these are things we all know and remember to do without fail and some I've just recently added to my list of chores to do when resetting all the clocks.

1) Change your smoke alarm batteries.  I think this is a no brainer but an important task that bears the reminder.  Twice a year change the batteries in your smoke detectors and/or carbon monoxide detector.   It's an easy chore that could save the life of you and your family or quite frankly just stop those irritating little tweeps going off sometime during the year when the battery is dying and you are running from room to room trying to figure our which smoke detector is chirping...sanity is important my friends.

2) Change the batteries in your thermostats.   Yep, most thermostats have batteries in them and a good rule of thumb is change the battery because you've probably got to change the time on those too.

3) Change the direction of your ceiling fans.  Hey, you've got the ladder out anyways so change the way the fan blades are moving when the time changes too.  No more wind gushes in the middle of winter because you forget to switch the blade direction.  

4) Clean your oven.   In the fall your oven is clean and ready to go for the holidays and in the spring you can get off all that winter cooking grime.   I read an article recently that said many people wait to clean the oven the day or so before Thanksgiving and end up with no oven because the heating element burns out.  Save yourself that headache and clean the oven out with the time change then if the unfortunate occurs you've got time to get a repair person in and the oven fixed before the holiday season hits full swing.

5) Clean your dryer vents.   This one is SUPER important.  I mean this could mean the difference in burning your house down or sleeping safely.   Want a super helpful hint for doing this?  Use your leaf blower!  Just pull off the piece of duck work from the wall and stuff the end of the leaf blower in the hole and then just put that baby on full blast and blow out all that yucky stuff.   We were a little late getting this done but we did it this morning and man, you can't believe the stuff we blew out of that vent.  Twice a year to keep your home and family safe is important.

6) While you are in that laundry room cleaning out the dryer vent let's just give the area behind the washer and dryer a good vacuuming.  I also pull the lint filter from the dryer and rinse it off under water, set outside in the sun to dry really good and stick the long skinny attachment on your vacuum and put it down inside where the lint filter goes.  Also grab some cleaner and get to work on that washing machine.  I clean the little compartments where the bleach/detergent/fabric softener go and on my front loader, I wipe out the rubber seals really good too.   Be prepared to be grossed out, it's amazing the gunk that gets under those rubber seals.  I also have a little filter thingy down at the bottom of the front of the washer that twists out.  Make sure you put a big towel down before pulling that filter because a ton of water will spill out and you can rinse and clean that plastic filter off too.  
If you have a sink in your laundry area go ahead and give it a good scrub.   Wipe down any cabinets, shelves, etc. that you may have in your laundry area and finally give it a good vacuum and mop and there you have a it.  A clean, tidy and safe laundry room!   I sweep and mop my laundry room every week but often times it's the last area I'm cleaning on house cleaning day and I'm tired by the time I get to that room so it gets the bare minimum.  At least this way you know that twice a year it's gotten a good cleaning.

There you go!  Such quick, easy but yet important chores to do twice a year to keep your appliances running smooth, keep your family safe and give you a little bit of piece of mind.  Not to mention you feel like you've accomplished great things when you get this much done in one day so put your feet up watch some football and eat some nachos. After all, you deserve it!

Peace, Love & Safety !!

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