MLK Day

A day late but still valid.

Thanks Sarah – of First Night Design.

via “We live in a world of guided missiles and misguided men.” – Art of Quotation

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Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 11:26pm01  Comments (1)  
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Old Tune Tuesday – Mermaid by Train

Not a big fan of the video and I know this isn’t that old, but I do like the song and on this cold, cold day in Wisconsin, a little dancing on the beach (or in my chair) is needed 🙂

Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 11:26pm01  Leave a Comment  
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Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie

Death on the NileI am writing a mystery (the third book in the Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure) so I want to listen to good mystery novels and who is better than Agatha? – Not many 🙂

Stats: First published Nov. 1, 1937. Audio book is 8 hours (7 discs). This audio books was narrated by the actor David Suchet.

Blurb: (Goodreads) Linnet Doyle is young, beautiful, and rich. She’s the girl who has everything–including the man her best friend loves. When Linnet and her new husband take a cruise on the Nile, they meet brilliant detective Hercule Poirot. It should be an idyllic trip, yet Poirot feels that something is amiss.

What I liked: I really didn’t have a clue to “who done it” until the very end even though the murder took place on a moving boat. And I think the only reason I figured it out before Poirot announced it was I think maybe I have read the story a long time ago but don’t remember that I read it. But I didn’t remember the surprise at the very end. I wonder why Christie decided to add that last bit. It is interesting as a writer how there is quite a bit of setup before the murder even takes place. That would never fly in a story written today. And not only does the murder kill once, but three times before Poirot figures out who did it. I always enjoy Christie’s portrayal of Poirot – he does think highly of himself.

What I didn’t like: There was a bit too much background information to my liking and it got a little confusing about who was who, because there has to be many different characters since the murder happens on a moving boat and there has to be various people to suspect of the crime. David Suchet does a wonderful job creating the different characters.

Rating: 4/5

 

Published in: on January 14, 2018 at 11:26pm01  Leave a Comment  
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Photo Phriday

Photo by Zaphir Shamma. Amazing!

Published in: on December 29, 2017 at 11:26pm12  Leave a Comment  
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Celebrating Winter Soltice

We have to celebrate Winter Soltice, right?! It’s the begging of the upper hemisphere leaning back toward the sun! Which means after today, our days are going to start getting longer! Hurray!

Many people might think if Stonehenge on this day, but did you know about Newgrange – also in Ireland?

Published in: on December 21, 2017 at 11:26pm12  Comments (1)  
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New Childrens’ Book List for 2017

I’m a big lover of childrens’ books. It’s the combination of art and story that can be throughly enchanting. Maria Papova of Brain Pickings has put together a list of seven very lovely books.

   

  

I like the artwork of “Big Wolf & Little Wolf” and “On a Magical Do Nothing Day.” I like the colors in “Here We Are” and the Story in “Big Wolf…” and “Bertolt.”

Some day, if I’m brave enough, I’ll try combining my own artwork with my own story. Some day…

Which do you like?

 

 

 

Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton

Death of a Chimney Sweep (Hamish Macbeth #26)I was up for a mystery. I wanted to listen to Agatha Christie but the library I was in didn’t have her in audio (unheard of!) so I picked this up. I’d never read Beaton (aka Marion Chesney) before. It’s not the first dead body I’ve read about in a chimney, however. I wonder if this is mostly a writer’s fantasy or do murderers really stuff bodies in chimneys? Sounds difficult to me!

Stats: published in 2011, print is 247 pages, audio book is 5 discs or 5′ 37″, narrator is Graeme Malcolm.

Blurb: In the south of Scotland, residents get their chimneys vacuum-cleaned. But in the isolated villages in the very north of Scotland, the villagers rely on the services of the itinerant sweep, Pete Ray, and his old-fashioned brushes. Pete is always able to find work in the Scottish highlands, until one day when Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices blood dripping onto the floor of a villager’s fireplace, and a dead body stuffed inside the chimney. The entire town of Lochdubh is certain Pete is the culprit, but Hamish doesn’t believe that the affable chimney sweep is capable of committing murder. Then Pete’s body is found on the Scottish moors, and the mystery deepens. Once again, it’s up to Hamish to discover who’s responsible for the dirty deed–and this time, the murderer may be closer than he realizes.

What I liked: I especially liked the narration. Malcolm does a wonderful job with the various characters so that you can almost picture them. I don’t know the man, but he’s got to be from England or maybe even Scotland, where the story takes place. I liked the town folk of Lochdubh (what a wonderful town name – I wonder if it’s real?). Beaton/Chesney does well in playing up the local flare. The lady spinster giving the bad guy bleach with his tea was a particularly nice touch! And the Hamish character is very lovable – a practical man (gets rid of a dead body rather than have his cat implicated), smart and quirky. I’m not surprised she has more books around him.

What I didn’t like: The author has an odd writing style – bouncing around from one character to another to tie up loose writing end no matter what was going on. It threw me at first but by the end, I was used to it and could just take it in stride. I wonder if all her Hamish mysteries are written this way?

Rating: 4/5 – A fun read/listen

NPR’s 2017 Best Books List

I don’t know if you’re an NPR fan, but I am. When I have work that doesn’t take much thought, I can even listen on my computer ! (gotta love that internet!)

So when I heard the short piece highlighting their Best Books of 2017 picks, I had to share it.

https://apps.npr.org/best-books-2017/

My books aren’t on the list – again 😦 but I’m not dead yet, so there still is time!

And for those that don’t know, I am running a sale through the holidays to celebrate the recent publication of the second book in the Agnes Kelly Series – Narrow Escape in Norway

Intrigue in Istanbul  will be on sale for just .99!Just .99

And if you want to give one of my ebooks as a holiday gift to family or friends, just contact me at christinekeleny(at)yahoo(dot)com and I’ll send you a special gift certificate that will give the recipient a special code to use to pick up the book(s) online. It’s that simple!

Happy Holidays!

Published in: on December 5, 2017 at 11:26pm12  Comments (1)  
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That Old Black Magic by Mary Jane Clark

I like mysteries, so I thought I’d try this one and I have never read any Mary Jane Clark novels.

That Old Black Magic (Wedding Cake Mystery, #4)Stats: Audio is narrated by Therese Plummer, 6 discs for 7.5′, pubished in 2014, print is 368 pages.

Blurb: New York Times bestselling author Mary Jane Clark whips up a savory and suspenseful confection in her newest mystery featuring Piper DonovanAspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry skills at the renowned French Quarter bakery, Boulangerie Bertrand when a ghastly murder rocks the magical city.Intrigued by the case, Piper can’t help but look for the “Hoodoo Killer” among the faces around her. Could it be the handsome guide eager to give her special private tours? Or the inscrutable jazz musician who plays on historic Royal Street? What about the ratings-starved radio talk-show host? Or even the amiable owner of the local Gris-Gris Bar?Though Piper has a full plate decorating cakes for upcoming wedding celebrations, she’s also landed an exciting but unnerving role in a movie being shot in the Big Easy. When the murderer strikes again, leaving macabre clues, she thinks she can unmask the killer. But Piper will have to conjure up some old black magic of her own if she hopes to live long enough to reveal the truth.

What I liked: I’m not sure. It was an “okay” read and I didn’t figure out “who done it” before the author told me, but it was just kind of blah. I’m not even sure why I say that. I guess Piper was not a particularly interesting character and I guess the author really didn’t make me care too much about her. Maybe if I’d have read other books in the Piper Donovan series – this is #4 I think – I might have enjoyed it more. Oh, and Theresa Plummer does a fine job.

What I didn’t like: It wasn’t so much I didn’t like this thing I’m about to mention, it was more that it seemed odd – Piper is a cake decorator and an actress?!  What? The oddity of this in the story is she is visiting New Orleans to work with a renowned baker, then she hears about a 2 day acting job. Weird. Two day acting job in a movie? I don’t know the movie business much but that seems very unrealistic. I could see an actress moonlighting as a baker between gigs but to take on intership, so to speak, for baking must mean you’re serious about baking. But how can you be serious about baking and be serious about acting. I know it’s picky and this is supposed to be a cozy mystery, but…it just bothered me. And the writing was “okay.” It wasn’t very inspiring, if you know what I mean.

Rating: 3/5

Published in: on November 27, 2017 at 11:26pm11  Leave a Comment  
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The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

The Rooster BarThe newest book by John Grisham – why not?!

Stats: Published in October of this year. Print is 352 pages. I’m not sure how many discs in the audio book, which is what I listened to. I couldn’t get past #3.

Blurb: Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.

But maybe there’s a way out. Maybe there’s a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they would first have to quit school. And leaving law school a few short months before graduation would be completely crazy, right? Well, yes and no.

What I liked: Nothing but the narration (and sorry, I took the audio book back to the library before I wrote down who did the narration, but he did a fine job). I couldn’t get past the third disc. There was no reason for me to continue. Oh, and the cover is nice.

What I didn’t like: Most everything. The characters were so ignorant and they had no goal by disc 3 expect to stop school before their final (yes, final) semester (I told you they were ignorant) to make money illegally in order to try and get out the large college dept they all held. This lack of a story goal this far into the story despite the death of their close friend. But you have to take John’s word on the fact that they’re close, because until you meet him in disc 2, you don’t even know he’s around. (Obviously, this was going to be the goal – avenge their friend’s death. A guy who, like themselves, was swamped in school dept, among other things, so he kills himself. No big mystery there either.) What was Grisham thinking with this book? What was his editor thinking?! And how does this book have an average of 4/5 on Goodreads?!

It’s nice that he is talking about sad story of student dept in this country – and the people who pray on those students, including our very own Sally Mae! But if he doesn’t write a story that makes a person care about the characters, how are they going to care about the dept they are carrying?

Is this a case of the Emperor’s new clothes?!

Rating: 1/5  I wouldn’t bother.

Published in: on November 21, 2017 at 11:26am11  Comments (7)  
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