Book Giveaway

Everyone who reads likes Free books, right?

Well today is your lucky day!

happy dance gif

I am giving away a signed, hardcover copy of my new mystery adventure book:

Intrigue in Istanbul: An Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure!

If you like Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce, you’ll like Agnes Kelly. She’s the 1960s American version of Flavia with a love for looking things up.

This is the first in the Agnes Kelly Mystery Series.

And for you teachers out there, it comes with a big list of teacher support materials! Just contact me if you’d like a look-see :)

Sign up for my readers group and I’ll also give you your choice of any of my books in an electronic format absolutely FREE!

To connect with my Readers Group, just go to my book site

Don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Intrigue in Istanbul - An Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure by Christine Keleny

Intrigue in Istanbul – An Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure

by Christine Keleny

Giveaway ends February 28, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Old Tune Tuesday – One of These Nights

I wanted to do something in memory of Glen Fry. Of course, being the oldy that I am, I picked an Eagles tune. Glen’s on the piano.

(Look at those patches on the jeans, Rachel!)


Published in: on February 2, 2016 at 11:26pm02  Comments (2)  
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Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie

31299I don’t need an excuse to read or listen to Agatha; she’s one of my favs!

Stats: Audio book is 5 discs, 6′ 4″, print book is 196 pages. First published in 1955, audio book done in 2006

Blurb: (Goodreads)
Normally, a mere outbreak of petty thefts in a youth hostel wouldn’t be enough to interest the great detective Hercule Poirot. However, the warden of the hostel is sister to Poirot’s secretary Miss Lemon, and concern for her sister is interfering with Miss Lemon’s typing abilities. Poirot finds himself with an intriguing puzzle on his hands, and before long, murder increases the mystery. The fastidious Belgian sleuth is brought to life by the voice of veteran British actor Hugh Fraser.

What I liked: I like the ending. It wasn’t typical. Leave it to Agatha to turn the “normal” mystery ending on it’s head. I won’t tell you how she did it and spoil it. Besides not being able to figure out who-done-it, it had some interesting characters – particularly the owner of the hostel. The narrator, Hugh Fraser, does a bang up job with all the characters and makes them seem very real and very distinct as people. It also plays into my dream of owning such an establishment.

What I didn’t like: The only thing I can say is, listening to it, it was hard to keep all the students – thus all the potential murders – straight, but it was a minor annoyance.

Rating: 4+/5

Published in: on January 21, 2016 at 11:26pm01  Comments (2)  
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Alan Rickman (AKA Professor Snape to many)

I didn’t post about the passing of David Bowie, though I enjoy his music and his creative style, but I couldn’t be silent about Alan Rickman. I so enjoyed him in the Harry Potter films, but he was in many many more (Die Hard, Love Actually, Sense and Sensibility, Sweeny Todd, Galaxy Quest – one of my most favorites…)  and I enjoyed him in any that I saw.


So hold up your wands, all you Snape fans out there. And if you want to hear a bit more about Mr. Rickman, listen to this piece about him from NPR.

(Thanks to Michele from for the wand photo)

Published in: on January 15, 2016 at 11:26pm01  Comments (8)  
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Photo Phriday – Rowing a shikara in Dal Lake

Nice perspective and color, don’t you think?

Joshi Daniel Photography | Images Of People

Portrait of an old man rowing a shikara in Dal Lake, Srinagar An old man rowing a shikara | Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Mohammed, who has been rowing shikaras since his childhood, showing me the beauty of Dal Lake.

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Published in: on January 9, 2016 at 11:26am01  Comments (2)  
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Newt Scamander – Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them

Sounds like it’s worth picking up.

Newt Scamander – the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has expressed interest in magical creatures since childhood and was encouraged by his mother who was working with Hipogriff breeding. After finishing Hogwarts he joined Ministry of Magic, where the start in House Elf Relocation division wasn’t very successful, but after some time he was transferred to Beast division, there he did many great works and because of researching dragons and travels, he found many magnificent beasts, not only dragons, and adventures as well as stories about the creatures. These trips and information gathered was a base for this book about magical creatures, their level of cooperativeness and danger as well as practical information and repelling charms.

If I am not wrong, this is the 47th edition (Harry Potter’s copy with his notes and remarks) and without a doubt it has been widely used in witchcraft schools ever since…

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Published in: on January 5, 2016 at 11:26pm01  Leave a Comment  

The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

21897317I just picked this up at my local library.

Stats: 320 pages, the audio was 9 discs but I don’t know how many hours. Published in January 2015. The audio book is narrated by Julia Whelam and Nick Podehl.

Blurb: (Goodreads) The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden’s husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear.

But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a very different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless—and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding. Over the course of one eerie night, Virgil must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free…and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.

What I liked: It was generally entertaining. I liked that the protagonist is a woman magician. I could tell that Macallister did her homework related to the time and place that such acts would perform at. I wonder if she modeled The Amazing Arden off of a real magician of the time. It has a happy ending, which I always like. And a very bad, bad-guy, though having him show up after a certain thing that happens between the two is a wee-bit far fetched, but not enough to ruin the story for me. Julia Whelan and Mick Podehl are very believable with their character narrations.

What I didn’t like: Some descriptions of the various magic shows got a little old – too much of it, I mean, and the explanation of some of the tricks weren’t always easy to understand. The chapters went back and forth between real time and Arden’s past and it was sometimes slow to read the real time chapters which on one or two occasions didn’t seem to need to be there, Arden’s past being the more interesting story.

Rating:  a low 4/5, overall entertaining but slow at times.

Published in: on January 5, 2016 at 11:26am01  Comments (3)  
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Piping in the Haggis on Hogmanay, Scottish New Years

Glad I’m not a Scott, though the Germans has their share of disgusting old world dishes too like head cheese!

Chatting with Kathleen Rowland

Friends, I grew up in a predominately Scottish family.  My dad and brother played the bagpipes.  Another brother played the drum in our Sioux City Scottish band, the Heather Highlanders.  My mom, sisters, and I danced the fling and the reel.  Of course Mom made haggis, and we enjoyed this delicious meat loaf twice a year on Hogmanay and Burns night (January 25). It might be an acquired taste.  Serve with mashed potatoes and turnips if you like them.


  • 1 sheep stomach
  • 1 sheep liver
  • 1 sheep heart
  • 1 sheep tongue
  • 1/2 pound suet, minced
  • 3 medium onions, minced
  • 1/2 pound dry oats, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground herbs–basil, bay leaf, chervil, coriander, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon and thyme.


Rinse the stomach thoroughly and soak overnight in cold salted water.

Rinse the liver, heart, and…

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Published in: on January 4, 2016 at 11:26pm01  Comments (2)  

Russian Reading Finale: ‘Doctor Zhivago’, oh dear.

See, I’m not the only person who is critical of novels that seemingly many other love. I haven’t read “Doctor Zhivago” and from this post, it won’t be on my list anytime soon.

Shoshi's Book Blog

bookshelf_bannerI’ve come to the end of an incredible year of Russian reading and, I’ve got to say, I’m very proud of myself.  I didn’t feel this congratulatory earlier, because there’s nothing really impressive about reading lots of great books.  I’ve just finished ‘Doctor Zhivago’ though, and I do deserve some kudos because I’m afraid a slight feeling of smugness is the most I’ve got out of the experience.


‘Doctor Zhivago’ was a humbling and frustrating read. Frustrating for reasons that I’ll get into below, humbling because it moved me closer to the ranks of those who claim they ‘don’t get’ or ‘don’t like’ the most famous Russian literature.  I can no longer look on with aloof pity as such claims are made; frankly, I can honestly say that I’ve been there too.

It was all so promising, set against the backdrop of the revolution, ‘Doctor Zhivago’ brings love and romance…

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Published in: on December 28, 2015 at 11:26pm12  Leave a Comment  

Photo Phriday – Cedar Waxwing

This one is by Nido Pekonen. Gorgeous bird and wonderful photograph!

by nido pekonen - waxwing

Published in: on December 18, 2015 at 11:26pm12  Comments (3)  
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