Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Killer Retreat by Tracy Weber - Review

A Killer Retreat
A Downward Dog Mystery #2
Author: Tracy Weber
Publisher: Midnight Ink
ISBN: 9780738742090
Paperback, 336 pages
Genre: cozy mystery

About the Book:
Yogi Kate must clear her name of murder in this charming yoga mystery

When Kate Davidson gets an offer to teach yoga classes to wedding guests at the Elysian Springs resort, she jumps at the opportunity, even though it means being forced to endure the wedding ceremony of the center’s two caretakers. Avoiding the M-word turns out to be the least of Kate’s problems when a wedding guest is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, shortly after a loud, public (and somewhat embarrassing) fight with Kate.

The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she’s forced to team up with boyfriend Michael, best friend Rene, and German shepherd sidekick Bella to find the real killer. But they’ll have to solve the murder before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime—behind bars.
My Thoughts:

Tracy Weber has done it again in this second installment of the Downward Dog Mystery series! I have been anxious to read this one after such a great start to the series in "Murder Strikes a Pose".

Kate Davidson is back along with Michael, Rene and Bella, and this time she's teaching yoga classes at a resort. A nice calming place and a nice calming job - except for one small problem. There's a murder and guess who not only found the body but is now more involved than she ever wanted to be!

I love Kate - she's a quirky, far from perfect person who seems to be at the wrong places at the wrong time. She's headstrong and doesn't listen which seems to get her in a heap of trouble at times. Michael is also a great character, but how could I even forget Bella - a German Shepherd with a digestive problem.

Another great humorous and quirky mystery that is sure to not only to draw you in but entertain you from the first page. I love Tracy's writing style and truly enjoy everything about this series. I can't wait for the next installment to come out!

If you haven't read any of Tracy's mysteries, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today. I would recommend starting at the beginning so you can really get to know Kate's character - she's just too great to miss anything about her.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
ISBN: 9780778316558
Hardcover: 352 pages

Book Description
"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

My Thoughts:

Did you ever finish the last line of a book, take a minute for it to sink in, and then feel the impact of that last line? That's what happen to me with "The Good Girl". I sat and put the book down and then it hit me. "WOW! JUST WOW!" was my next reaction.

The story line, characters and setting was one well wrapped package for me. I found myself so drawn in and involved in the story and was drawn in with all the different points of view and time shifts from past to present. I never saw the ending coming and was stunned to say the least. Looking back, I should have picked up on the hints, but I didn't. This one blindsided me! Truly refreshing and what I would consider a masterpiece. It amazes me that this is Mary Kubica's first novel because she writes like a seasoned author.

I loved this book and found it one of the best (possibly THE best) novels I've read in 2014. Make sure to add this one to your reading list for this year. It's one that you will be glad you took the time to read!!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley courtesy of the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

Happy New Year

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We can again begin with a brand new slate and a fresh outlook with new goals. There are no failures, just setbacks that can be learned from or changed. I love sitting down at the beginning of each year and plan. Those plans will be many and I may or may not attempt or succeed at doing them all, but this list of plans always signifies hope and dreams for me.

Yesterday, we went to town to get a pork shoulder for the traditional New Year's Pork and Sauerkraut and of course I have to browse the after Christmas markdowns. We always replenish our wrapping paper and boxes for the next year and look for things that can be used throughout the year as well.

I came across a marked down amaryllis that was abused and begged to be rescued.  It absolutely STANK with the smell of a putrid aquarium - almost a sewer smell to it. The poor bulb was swimming in water and it was hacked off - no flower, no leaves, nothing but a spent mass of smell.

I had to take it home and disassemble it. What I found was a bulb that had the basal plate chopped off, roots trying to grow but most were rotted off.  I washed it off and cleaned it as best as I could.

I really wish I had taken photos of the condition it was in when I took it out of the container, but my main concern was getting this poor thing planted in a new pot in soil and hope that it would recover from all its abuse.

It is now in a sunny window and possibly in soil for the first time in its life. I wonder what it's "thinking" now...

The plant was in a very tall vase type container that was filled with rocks and the spiked stand that kept it off the bottom of the container and kept it level. These things had to be washed and washed to get rid of the putrid smell. They still need to be bleached and then they will all be repurposed. That poor amaryllis will never have to worry about seeing that torture chamber again.

Now we just have to convince it to survive...