This blog contains my thoughts and feelings only. It IS titled, "The Daily Life of Carol: My Thoughts, Rants & Raves." They do not represent those of anyone else. While I still can't imagine how my little blog is making the rounds locally, it is mine and mine only. If you are going to be offended or feel it necessary to whine or complain to those completely unassociated to me and my blog, stop reading and find something else to do with your time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross) by James Patterson

Don't judge me....but, The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross) is the first James Patterson book I've read. I know, I know!! And, it was fabulous.

I once read a book - other than Dean Koontz - that scared the heebee jeebees out of me. I thought it was by James Patterson, so I've stayed away from his books. I finally tried The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross) only to discover that it wasn't James Peterson, but Jonathan Kellerman. (It was the scariest book about a surgeon turned serial killer. He kept women in cages..... *shudders* Anyway, at Nana's (a/k/a my Mom) insistence, I tried James Patterson and I'm hooked!!

My Kindle spending has been a bit out of control, so I've started borrowing ebooks from the local library. The only problem is that all the books I have on my Wish List are not available. I'll take what I can get. Not all of the Alex Cross mysteries were listed, so I decided to start with The Big Bad Wolf (Alex Cross), Book 9. In this installment, Alex Cross has left the Washington P.D.'s office and is starting at the FBI. I thought this transition was a good place to start.

It was an excellent book. Interesting, quick-paced, good plot. Unlike some authors, Patterson doesn't spend a lot of time describing a single nook and cranny in a room or building. Thank goodness. It's better reading because it flows easier. Once again, I'm always afraid to give too much detail because I don't want to spoil anything for the next reader.

The only "disappointment," and it was a real surprise,* is that the story does not end with The Big Bad Wolf. That wouldn't be a problem if London Bridges, Book 10 was available from the library. Unfortunately, I'm on the waiting list. Ugh. [*It's only a surprise because unlike a hard copy with the Kindle I can't always tell when the book is ending. The last page is not always at 100%.] Is this a Patterson's trait?? Not ending the story until the next book??

I give it two wow's - Wow. Wow. - so I obviously recommend reading it. I'm on my next Alex Cross book (Roses Are Red, Book 6), again because it was available from my local library. I'll get through them all eventually. But, I've also started reading James Patterson's series with NYPD officer Michael Bennett. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Catholic Novena for the Elections

Priests for Life calls upon Catholics to participate in an “Election Novena” by saying a special prayer each day. I think it's a lovely prayer and would be appropriate for all Christians and for every day of the year.

It is important for all eligible Americans to vote. To say "I don't like either candidate so I'm not going to vote" is to disavow the sacrifices of all men and women who have served - and died - for their country. We have rights in this country that no other country has.... 

We have dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens. We are members of a community of faith with a long tradition of teaching and action on human life, and dignity, marriage and family, justice and peace, care for creation, and the common good. As Americans, we are also blessed with religious liberty which safeguards our right to bring our principles and moral convictions into the public arena. These Constitutional freedoms need to be both exercised and protected, as some seek to mute the voices or limit the freedoms of religious believers and religious institutions. Catholics have the same rights and duties as others to participate fully in public life. The Church through its institutions must be free to carry out its mission and contribute to the common good without being pressured to sacrifice fundamental teachings and moral principles.

In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation. As Catholics, we should be guided more by our moral convictions than by our attachment to a political party or interest group. .... Catholic lay women and men need to act on the Church’s moral principles and become more involved: running for office, working within political parties, and communicating concerns to elected officials.

Your vote is your voice. And, we do not cease to be Christians when we enter the voting booth.

Prayer for Life

O God, we acknowledge you today as Lord,
Not only of individuals, but of nations and governments.
We thank you for the privilege
Of being able to organize ourselves politically
And of knowing that political loyalty
Does not have to mean disloyalty to you.
We thank you for your law,
Which our Founding Fathers acknowledged
And recognized as higher than any human law.
We thank you for the opportunity that this election
year puts before us,
To exercise our solemn duty not only to vote,
But to influence countless others to vote,
And to vote correctly.
Lord, we pray that your people may be awakened.
Let them realize that while politics is not their salvation,
Their response to you requires that they be politically active.
Awaken your people to know that they are
not called to be a sect fleeing the world
But rather a community of faith renewing the world.
Awaken them that the same hands lifted up to you in prayer
Are the hands that pull the lever in the voting booth;
That the same eyes that read your Word
Are the eyes that read the names on the ballot,
And that they do not cease to be Christians
When they enter the voting booth.
Awaken your people to a commitment to justice
To the sanctity of marriage and the family,
To the dignity of each individual human life,
And to the truth that human rights begin when human lives begin,
And not one moment later.
Lord, we rejoice today
That we are citizens of your kingdom.
May that make us all the more committed
To being faithful citizens on earth.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Una traducción al español también está disponible en este sitio web.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Book Review: Where All the Dead Lie (Taylor Jackson) by J.T. Ellison

Where All The Dead Lie is the 7th book for the character Taylor Jackson. It's the first one I've read.

The story is of Nashville, Tenn. homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson. Apparently, in the previous book she killed a psychopath named The Pretender, but not before he seriously injured her best friend and nearly killed Taylor.

The first 25% of the book (per my Kindle) was so boring. The author wanted a first-time reader to know the characters' history. But, the characters just repeated their thoughts over and over and over again. I almost gave up on the book, but I hung in there. Thank goodness I did.

This is a romance thriller, not just a mystery. It does have explicit sex scenes. They're not necessary, but authors just can't stay away from them which is too bad. The book would have been better without the "romance" aspect. 

However, it is a good thriller. Taylor recovers from the headshot from The Pretender, but it has left psychological scars - Taylor is unable to speak. Again, not necessary. Taylor's needing to write down everything was distracting and annoying. The book picks up once Taylor finds her voice again. 

Taylor goes to the Scottish Highlands to continue her recuperation. But, her guilt and PTSD overwhelmes her. As the story unfolds from there, Taylor must determine if she is losing her mind or if someone is out to get her by driving her mad. The suspense kept building and building until I was reading as fast as possible to get to the end. Wow! While some of the plot is predictable, ending is not. Good job, Ms. Ellison.

The book ended in a good place for the characters, so I just might read an 8th installment. Recommend, with caution regarding explicit sex.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Reviews: First to Kill and Forced to Kill (The Nathan McBride Series) by Andrew Peterson

First to Kill and Forced to Kill (The Nathan McBride Series) by Andrew Peterson are awesome. Wow. If you like action adventure do not miss this series.

The main character is Nathan McBride, 43, a former Marine sniper and CIA operations officer. Harvey "Harv" Fontana, also 43, is his life-long friend from the Marines to the CIA to their current venture, owners of a security systems company in California. Nathan is single; Harv is a family man. The series begins 10 years after Nathan was captured and tortured in Nicaragua. Harv was his only rescuer. Because of his torture, Nathan has severe scars on his face and body.

The nemeses in the first book are Leonard Bridgestone, a retired Army Ranger, and his brother Ernie Bridgestone, a former Marine drill instructor. Nathan and Harv are asked to locate FBI Special Agent James Ortega, the grandson of the former FBI Director Frank Ortega. The Bridgestone brothers are dealing Semtex, a Czech-made odorless plastic explosive, used in many terrorist bombings. Interestingly, it is a real substance. Semtex, along with a detonating cap, can be inserted inside a 5" x 6" musical greeting card, undetected. Three pounds of Semtex packs enough punch to raze a two-story building. Libyan terrorists used Semtex in 1988 to down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people.

In the second book, it's his interrogation torturer from Nicaragua - Oh, yeah - Colonel Juan Montez de Oca. A body is found in the U.S. with the same torture scars as Nathan. Holly Simpson, FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Sacramento field office brings Nathan and Harv into the case. {She was also in the first book.} They have to find de Oca before he tortures and kills again.

I r-e-a-l-l-y can't say anything else because I do not want to give anything away. The books are action-packed! Usually, I can put books down without finishing in one sweep. Some books take me days to get thru, but these two are different. Fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, hang-on-it's-going-to-be-a-bumpy-ride. I loved these books. I'm going to read thru them again now that I know what happens. You know, read a little slower, take in more detail now that I'm not rushing thru trying to find out what happens next.

A fourth book is currently being written. The third book is a Kindle Serial - Option to Kill. I hate reading books in parts, so I'll wait for the entire book to be available before reading any of it.

I don't know what else to say other than Read. Them. Now!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why I Changed My Vote

I just came across this great website. - People can post a video or story of why they are not voting for Obama again. They're people who voted for Obama in 2008, but they are now voting for Mitt Romney in 2012.

The best so far is Artur Davis, former Congressman (D-AL). Rep. Artur Davis served in Congress from 2003-2011 and was co-chair for President Obama's 2008 campaign. He voted against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and after years of disappointment with the president's policies, Rep. Davis endorsed Gov. Romney. Listen to his story:

Will you change your vote and vote for Mitt Romney?

In the last four years...
[1] The debt of the United States has grown to a startling $16 trillion dollars — the largest total in our nation's history. 
[2] As the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reported, the Obama Administration has racked up 4 straight trillion-dollar plus annual budget deficits. 
Unemployment remained over 8% for 43 straight months — a first since the Great Depression.
[3] The real unemployment rate — taking into account those who have stopped looking or who are working part-time and want more work — is almost 15%.
[4] More than 23 million Americans are out of work or underemployed.
[5] Because of this troubled economy, the number of Americans receiving food stamp assistance — more than 46 million in all — is at a record high, according to the government. 
[6] The United States has slid from 3rd in ease of starting a new business to 13th in the world, trailing unlikely competitors like Rwanda and Macedonia.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Friday Night Lights

I remember my high school years fondly, um, for the most part. The best part was football on Friday nights! And, nothing was better than the marching band! (Drums being the favorite, of course. Boom. Boom. Boom-boom-boom-boom!) I couldn't wait for halftime to see the marching band on the field. Their music was loud and heart-thumping. But, what's happened to the high school marching bands of today?

It seems like the band directors have forgotten the marching band's important role - firing up the football team and spectators' spirits. Give us a good song that we can clap our hands, stomp our feet, and cheer our team! Not any more....seems a lot of band directors think their program has to be artistic. Hum, no. I'm not at the ballet, or a symphonic orchestra.

For instance, in September 2012, a Pennsylvania high school marching band's halftime performance commemorated the Russian Revolution (St. Petersburg: 1917) - brandishing red flags, military uniforms, hammers and sickles. Historians and parents of students have lambasted the choice of entertainment which remembers an event that gave way to Communism and the deaths of hundreds of millions. Poor history. Poor "artistic" vision. Gee, just want their parents wanted to see at halftime. Forget the school song - Let's praise Stalin. Weird.

Well, on Saturday evening, the boys and I went to a local Marching Band Festival. I went with trepidation. I just want good marching band enthusiastic songs. I was pleasantly surprised, for the most part.

Band #1 - This band director went for artistic. Their program was for King Arthur. Hum. They know we're Americans and he was a British king, right? We have lots of patriotic songs. How about a performance for George Washington? 

Band #2 - This band director also went for the artistic. The program was entitled, "What If?" Hum.....well..... I have absolutely no idea what this was about. Truly. It was really cool that the tuba players actually held their tubas on their shoulders while they marched and played. Cool.

Band #3 - This program was Jake & Elwood, you know, The Blues Brothers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It was loud, it was peppy, it was foot-stomping. The crowd went wild! We danced, clapped and sang our way through this performance. Whew! Finally...a real high school marching band.

Band #4 - Another fantastic high school marching band performance. Their program was The Incredibles. The audience really cheered when their mascot saved the damsel in distress from the evil-masked-guy-in-black. This band was loud, and fun! Great entertainment. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Band #5 - This band director chose artistic with Fantasia Hispaniola. The music would have been better for an orchestra. It was too classical for a marching band, though some seemed familiar. I did enjoy their performance, though. Their dancers were fantastic! I paid attention to them the entire time. Lovely.

Band #6 - Another favorite of the evening. Their performance was Seminole Supermen. They played amazing renditions of Spiderman and Batman themes, with "I need a hero" thrown in between. When their dancers created the Batman symbol at the end, the crowd went wild. This performance was fun, fun, fun. Thank you!

Band #7 - Thank you to another great band. Their theme was Rock And Roll All Night. Yes, great rocks songs that their parents knew and enjoyed. It started with a trombone soloist playing the beginning stance to "Renegade," a 1979 hit song by Styx. ... "Hangman is coming down from the gallows and I don't have very long." Unbelievable performance. I could hear this young man's solo, yet couldn't hear other full bands as well. This was another fun performance of the night. It has to be more fun for the marching band when the audience is so into their performance. It makes everybody happy! And, this marching band is huge....three times the size of the other marching bands. Naturally, they were good and loud. Add their dancers into the mix and they covered the football field from end zone to end zone. Wicked cool. Oh, and, they have the most awesome red, white & blue minutemen costumes.

Band #8 - This band director chose artistic "Revolution...In the future." Hum. The band and dancers are "the rebels fighting a revolution in the future." Seriously. Don't think Star Wars (which would have been great), but Buck Rogers. I have no idea what the music was. The dancers were dressed and, space-aged outfits. They jumped around like they were fighting. It was silly. I felt so sorry for the students. It was a difficult performance and they obviously had worked very hard.

The band directors who went for "artistic" seem more concerned with marching band competitions than actual halftime performances. This is sad. As a parent of a trombone player and future high school marching band student, I wouldn't want that for my child. I want him to have fun, and if the spectators are cheering, singing and dancing with the songs they're playing, then that makes it all least, as my point of view as a parent.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's that simple.

Religious liberty is our first, most cherished freedom. It is why the Pilgrims left England - They wanted independence from the established Church of England. In 1620, they sailed the Atlantic for 63 days on the Mayflower...seeking freedom of religion. It is why this country was founded..... Religious freedom is an absolute right, and includes the right to practice any religion of one’s choice, or no religion at all, and to do this without government control.

Did you know that we have two freedoms granted by the First Amendment regarding religion? The First Amendment contains two clauses about the Freedom of Religion -- The first part is known as the Establishment Clause and the second as the Free Exercise Clause: (1) The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from passing laws that will establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. (2) The Free Exercise Clause prohibits the government from interfering with a person’s practice of his or her religion. 

Our rights to Freedom of Religion and the free exercise thereof means: (1) The Freedom of Religion is an inalienable right. (2) The First Amendment provides for the Freedom of Religion for all Americans. (3) The Free Exercise Clause provides that government will neither control nor prohibit the free exercise of one’s religion. (4) The government will remain neutral.

Yet, on March 21, 2010, Obama signed "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" a/k/a ObamaCare into federal law. The Obama administration’s unprecedented mandate attacks the freedom to practice religion without government interference. Under the HHS mandate, employers (private citizens who own businesses and with premiums paid by their employees) must provide insurance coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs as well as contraceptives and sterilization procedures. The requirement to fund and facilitate such activities violates the core religious and moral convictions of Catholics and others.

This video explains the problem with the HHS mandate in sixteen seconds. I hope you'll watch it. It's that simple. ttp:// Thank you to the Archdiocese of St. Louis for producing this video.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"My girl likes to party all the time."

There's a great YouTube video making the rounds. It starts with Michelle Obama's video played at the Democratic National Convention 2012. Michelle says, “If any family in this country struggles, then we cannot be fully content with our own family’s good fortune. Because that is not what we do in this country – That is not who we are. That is not who we are.” really? 

The video then chronicles Michelle's vacations with her girls (plus her mother and cousins, etc., etc.) - Yes, 16 vacations in three years. This does not include family vacations, or Obama's vacations, or Obama's 100+ rounds of golf, or her "official visits" like hanging out at the Olympics. Nope. However, it does include the $500,000 trip to Spain with 40 of her "closest friends." But, why should we care? Conservative numbers estimate she spent over $12,000,000 of taxpayer's money on her vacations. Actual figures are not available because the White House redacts information, so the true total is unknown.

Of course, the $12,000,000+ total does not include the 2012 Spring Break trip of 13-year-old Malia Obama to Oaxaca, Mexico...with 12 of her closest friends...and 25 Secret Service Agents. Neither parent accompanied their 13-year-old daughter. This trip was also paid with taxpayer's money. I wonder if we're also paying for all the concerts that Malia attends?  Hummmmmmm..... Particularly unnerving is their ignoring the State Department’s travel advisory for Americans not to travel to Mexico. Perhaps that because regular American citizens cannot travel with 25 Secret Service Agents..... Or, regular American citizens cannot afford travel - or gas, or peanut butter, or electricity, or housing..... - at all.

Andrea Tantaros of the New York Daily News says it best - "Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette." Oh, I like that.

Fallen Heroes: Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods lost their lives in Benghazi

The heroism of former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods MUST surface. They deserve it. We must not let their courage be hidden or diminished. These men died while defending U.S. interests because they were brave patriots who put country ahead of self. 

In his Weekly Address, President Obama implied, quite intentionally, that Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were part of Ambassador Christopher Steven’s security detail:
“Glen and Tyrone had each served America as Navy SEALs for many years, before continuing their service providing security for our diplomats in Libya. They died as they lived their lives — defending their fellow Americans, and advancing the values that all of us hold dear."
However, that's false. Yes, they were both former Navy SEALs, but Doherty and Woods were not part of the Ambassador's security detail. 

Glen Doherty, 42
During the Gadaffi overthrow, massive stockpiles of Libyan weapons including MANPADS and other surface-to-air missiles were looted from the military storage facilities.  Estimates put the number of missing missiles around 20,000. Doherty and Woods were in Libya to track down those weapons.  As a consequence of their visit, they were at an annex to the US consulate grounds using it as a safe place to meet, coordinate, and evaluate their ongoing intel.  Their location was approximately a half mile from the main consulate compound area.

They were inside that annex building when the main consulate complex came under attack from the Libyan al-Qaeda terrorists.  They heard the distant shots and responded to a call for help from the compound itself.  Both Woods and Doherty evaluated the assassination attempt, and immediately took up arms to defend Ambassador Stevens.

Ty Woods, 41
Their heroism is incredible when you consider what they were facing.  Doherty and Woods reached the main compound of the Consulate and evacuated approximately 20 employees.  (Unfortunately, Ambassador Steven’s aide Sean Smith was already dead when they arrived.)  Woods and Doherty fought through the firefight, and took the consulate employees back to the annex building where again they came under another wave of attacks. 

The second wave of attacks at the annex brought even more firepower upon them.  Yet they held their position providing time for the 20 consulate employees to be rescued.  In total for over two hours they held off upwards of 200 al-Qaeda terrorists -- who pre-planned and coordinated the attack to occur in two stages -- under heavy fire from RPGs, mortars, and at least one 23mm Anti Aircraft gun firing on their positions around the consulate grounds and the annex building. 

Doherty and Woods heard the attack; they heard the gunfire. Despite the danger to themselves, they rushed into the breach, taking weapons from the frightened Libyan security officials to help protect the American Consulate, Ambassador Stevens and his embassy aide Sean Smith. Both Woods and Doherty were under no obligation to assist, protect or defend Stevens.  They could have bugged out; they did not. They could not.....They're U.S. Navy SEALS. Hoo-rah!

Mr. Doherty’s best friend and former SEAL Team 3 comrade, Brandon Webb, has written a goodbye letter that was published in full by The New York Times. I hope you'll read its entirety. A wonderful tribute from a comrade-in-arms and friend.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Planned Parenthood does NOT provide mammograms.

Update: 10/26/12: Now, this is just downright vile. Last night on The Tonight Show, Obama again claimed that the organization best known for providing abortions and birth control offers the breast cancer screening procedure. Citing Planned Parenthood as a critical issue in the current election, Obama said: “That organization provides millions of women with cervical cancers screenings, mammograms, all kinds of basic healthcare.” The FDA says Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms. says Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms. And, last week Planned Parenthood itself issued a statement admitting it does not perform mammograms. All the lies, lies, lies!

Planned Parenthood, Tinsel Town and Obama continue to promote the lie that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms. It doesn't.

During Tuesday night's second Presidential debate Obama said, “There are millions of women all across the country, who rely on Planned Parenthood for, not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings.” False.

Previously, on the Joy Behar Show, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards also claimed they provide mammograms for women. False.

In June 2012, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) - headed by Obama-appointee Kathleen Sebelius - issued a letter that Planned Parenthood is not even licensed to perform mammograms. The Mammogram Quality Standards Act (MQSA) was passed by Congress in 1992. Oversight of the law is the responsibility of HHS or - as Obama confirmed Tuesday night to a national television audience - him. The law is intended to ensure the best care possible for women. Violations of the law could subject Planned Parenthood clinics to steep fines. On October 17, 2012 (the day following the second Presidential debate), Planned Parenthood's Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola issued a statement admitting that they do not offer the cancer screening procedure at any of their facilities. Dr. Nucatola also stated that they do provide referrals to women for mammograms. False.

An undercover investigation of 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states, conducted by pro-life group Live Action, confirmed that the abortion provider does not perform breast cancer screenings. "We don't provide those services whatsoever," a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona admitted. Planned Parenthood's Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kansas, acknowledged: "We actually don't have a, um, mammogram machine, at our clinics." None of the clinics referred the caller to another clinic for a mammogram even those she asked for a referral. Planned Parenthood of Georgetown states they're just a surgical center.

Then, there's the latest TV ad by Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington (written and directed by Rob Reiner). They claim that Gov. Romney would "end" funding for "cancer screenings." This Hollywood group wants women to vote for Obama with their "lady parts." That's insulting to America's women -- We can vote with our intelligence...especially armed with the knowledge that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. So, stop lying.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Review: The Surgeon: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen

The Surgeon: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen is a good murder mystery, with plenty of plot twists and turns to keep you off-track of the real killer. 

Pros: The majority of the book is about two characters: Thomas Moore, a homicide detective, and Dr. Catherine Cordell, a trauma surgeon. The setting is Boston, Massachusetts. They are very likeable characters, especially Detective Moore. Interestingly, both were wounded and had to overcome their circumstances to move on with their lives -- I like second chances. -- Moore was mourning the death of his wife and Cordell was a rape survivor. I really cheered for them throughout the book. 

Cons: I'm not sure why this is a Rizzoli & Isles novel. The character of Maura Isles is not in this book at all, and Jane Rizzoli is a secondary character. Also, Rizzoli is a very dislikeable, disagreeable character. I didn't even want her in the book, and I skimmed over her portions. Yes, yes, I understand she works in a male-dominated and "chauvinistic" police department. But, Thomas Moore is a pleasant character and treats women with kindness and respect. Rizzoli's anger toward him was unwarranted. In fact, there was too much man-hating in this book, and it seemed that poor Det. Moore was always getting the brunt of it. That grew tiresome.dddddddd

Result: Thankfully, it has a great and satisfying ending. (Whew!) I did enjoy most of the book and I recommend.

From my perusals, the second book introduces the character of Maura Isles. I'll eventually read the next book to see if the Rizzoli character improves and how Isles will be introduced. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review: Angel with a Bullet (A Dixie Flynn Mystery) by M.C. Grant

Angel with a Bullet (A Dixie Flynn Mystery) is written by M.C. Grant, who is a pseudonym for Grant McKenzie. According to his bio, he's "an award-winning screenwriter, editor, and novelist. He is the author of Switch and No Cry for Help (both published by Bantam TransWorld UK)." I am unfamiliar with his work. 

I understand why he used a pseudonym for this book; it wasn't very good. It was just okay. Certainly not good enough to put his own "award-winning" name to it. I had to make it through 75% of the book [per my Kindle] before I started to like any of it. Then, I enjoyed the rest. Although, the ending was a bit over the top.  

The main character is Dixie Flynn, a investigative journalist in San Francisco. I could tell it was definitely written by a man. In the books I've read recently, a man writing a female lead character have no idea how women think, feel or act. I could provide vulgar examples from the book, but I won't. It's rather crass.

I preferred reading about Frank, a homicide detective and a secondary character. Actually, when I finished reading the book yesterday, I thought I would read the next book [not yet published] to see if it's worth the time to continuing reading. Today, after giving it some thought, I'm not going to read any more of this series. I would like to follow the stories of others in the book but not enough to read through Dixie's adventures too.

It wasn't bad, but I can't recommend it either. Read at your own risk.

"Ew, what is that?"

Early this morning Luna, the wiener dog, and I were crossing the kitchen when we spotted a big pile of poo. Actually, Luna saw it first and I saw Luna's reaction. Luna was almost upon it when she stopped, took a brief sniff, jumped back a little, and then took the long way around the poo. Yeah, Luna, I agree.

So, I let Luna outside for a pee break while I went back to pick up the doggie poo. Thankfully, t-h-a-n-k-f-u-l-l-y, I turned the light on first. When I went back over to the poo I saw that it was actually a huge toad. Ew!!!!! {*shudders*} Malibu!!!!!!!

Luckily, there was a rather large bowl sitting on the kitchen counter. I quickly emptied it and with shaking hands managed to get the bowl over the huge toad without screaming.....My screaming that is, not the toad. I'm still freaked out imaging reaching down - with toilet paper and not bare-handed - to pick up the big, squishy, living toad! Ew!!!!! {*shudders*} In the dark!! Can you just imagine!?!

Now, if Malibu had brought it inside last night, she would have brought it to the bed. But, if Malibu had brought it in this morning, then she would have been spastic, running around the house in circles and barking at me. {She actually had a "come and see my toad" bark.} Neither happened, so I have no idea when Malibu brought the big, nasty toad into the kitchen.

Anyway, I did what any SANE woman would do..... I woke my husband at 5:00 a.m. to remove the toad from the kitchen. Hey, if I'm on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, then hubby can join along too. {Our neighbors must be wondering why their toad population has risen exponentially.}

I'd like to give a big "thank you" to Luna for notifying me of the foreign object on the floor.

P.S. I posted this entry on this morning. It was a hit so I decided to post here too. If you are not familiar with my three Mini-Dachshunds, then click on Freddy's picture and hop over to Enjoy!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review: Deja Dead (Temperance Brennan) by Kathy Reichs

I'm embarrassed to say that Kathy Reichs has written 17 books so far, and I've just discovered her. But, I'm so happy I did! I am completely hooked. I've read two so far and have just started a third. I'm so obsessed that I've tried reading books by other authors, but I just keep going back to Dr. Reich's Temperance Brennan books. I must know what happens next.......

Kathy Reichs is the inspiration for the television drama Bones. Like her fictional creation, Temperance Brennan, Dr. Reichs is forensic anthropologist for the province of Quebec. She is Vice President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, serves on the Canadian National Police Services Advisory Council, and is one of only fifty-six forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. A professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Dr. Reichs now divides her time between Charlotte and Montreal. Deja Dead is her debut novel (1997).

This Temperance Brennan is not the Dr. Brennan of the TV series. The books are entirely different. Dr. Brennan is an American forensic anthropologist from North Carolina, who is working in French-speaking Montreal as the Director of Forensic Anthropology. A recovering alcoholic, she is divorced and the mother of a college-age daughter. 

Dr. Brennan must perform an autopsy on a young, unidentified female corpse discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in plastic trash bags. Dr. Brennan is convinced this is the work of a vicious serial killer, but she cannot convince the police. She must investigate on her own, which puts her life and some of her loved ones in danger. There are many surprising twists and turn throughout the book, and the ending is the real shocker but satisfying. 

This is one of the most gripping thrillers that I have ever read. Perhaps Deja Dead is so brilliant because - although fiction - it reflects real life because Dr. Reichs is a forensic anthropologist who has lived and worked in the South and in Montreal. It is obvious though that she is a born writer. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Review: Border Crossings: A Catherine James Thriller by Michael Weems

Border Crossings: A Catherine James Thriller by Michael Weems. I could not locate any other "Catherine James Thriller(s)," so I assume this is the only one so far. It was published in 2011.

It is the story of a female lawyer/private investigator. She travels to Cancun, Mexico, to help friends Jim and Amy Woodall search for their missing daughter Taylor Woodall. If you've ever considered a vacation in Mexico, this book makes you seriously re-consider. It does not cast a favorable light on Mexico...even at the end. Other main characters are Yesenia, Mexican citizen crossing the border into Texas, and Juan, a homeless, orphan boy in Cancun.

The prologue was excellent. It captured my attention and created a need to read the rest of the book. The storylines of Yesenia and Juan were good. The storylines of Taylor and Catherine were slow to start. I really got tired of the profanity. I almost stopped reading, and I'm glad I didn't. 

Matt [no last name given] arrives 40% thru the book (per my Kindle) in Chapter 25 (of 59). Matt is an ex-marine turned mercenary, and he adds the kick in the pants that this book needed. Matt was the most interesting character of the book. The author should make a series based on his character. This book doesn't compel me to read more Catherine James stories. But, it does make me want to read much, much more about Matt.

The plot and subplots don't necessary cross in the book. But, it has a satisfying ending for all of them. It's a good read, and had my heart pounding once Matt showed up to help Catherine. I recommend reading it.

About Me

My photo
Winter Springs, Florida, United States
I am a stay-at-home mom to three boys (18, 16, 14), three Mini-Dachsunds, and a wife to an incredible husband {think MacGyver}. I am Catholic. I am passionate about making a difference in my world while still making a great life for my children and family. Besides being a mom, I am also a blogger for and I hope to make my voice heard and make a difference in my own way.