Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Still Waters by Sara Driscoll


The plot:  Meg Jennings is a search-and-rescue dog handler for the FBI's Human Scent Evidence Team. Her K-9 partner is a black labrador named Hawk. They're camping in Minnesota with several other search teams for a weekend of water search training. There's also a trials competition for all the handlers and their dogs...a competition Meg hopes she and Hawk will win. But then, on the second day, Hawk alerts to the dead body of one of their competitors. And Meg finds herself one of the suspects. She and her friends must move quickly to find the real killer.

My thoughts:  There are so many reasons I love this K-9 mystery series! The setting is always different and interesting. The search-and-rescue work with the dogs is fascinating. And there's not just Meg and Hawk, but also fellow FBI handler Brian with his German Shepherd, Lacey. They make a good team; and their dogs are so endearing! I also love Meg's relationship with firefighter, Todd Webb, and her friendship with newspaper reporter, McCord. It's really the characters and their interactions that make these books so good. (The camping scenes in this one with Meg, Todd and their friends were especially fun.) And, of course, the murder investigation in this one was as compelling as ever. This series just gets better and better, which is another reason why it's one of my favorites. 

Happy Reading!

Other books in this series I've reviewed:         


Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa

"Natsuki Books was a tiny secondhand bookshop on the edge of town. The shop didn't lose enough money to be considered a liability, nor did it make enough to be considered a fortune. It wasn't much of an inheritance." 
But the bookshop is all Rintaro Natsuki has left after his beloved grandfather dies. Rintaro is an awkward and reclusive high school student who spends most of his days skipping school and hiding out among the books he loves. Not even Rintaro's pretty classmate, Sayo Yuzuki, can lure him outside. Then one day a talking tabby cat shows up in the bookshop and talks Rintaro into going on several strange and fantastical quests to rescue books. Though, in the end, maybe it was Rintaro himself that needed rescuing.  

My thoughts:  It was the title and cover of this Japanese novel that first made me want to read it. Then finding out it had a talking cat, too? I couldn't resist checking it out right then and there. And I'm glad I did. This is a quirky and enchanting little book. Rintaro's struggle to articulate his love for books and reading made him such an endearing character. The tabby cat was blunt and often rude, but he made Rintaro step outside his shell and that was good. And Rintaro's interactions with outspoken and spunky Sayo made me smile. I liked their friendship a lot. But what's at the heart of this bookish novel is the idea that books truly are more than mere words on paper and are therefore very much worth saving. And I completely agree. 

Happy Reading!

This book counts as one of my reads for Susan's Bookish Books Reading Challenge.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Bookish Randomness...

 Quick book recommendation:

Winterkill by C.J. Box

This is the first Joe Pickett novel I've read, and I quite enjoyed it. He's a Wyoming Game Warden and in this book he has to deal with a murder, a winter storm, the return of his foster daughter's birth mother, a band of extremists, and a crazy Forest Service bureaucrat. It's a tense and compelling thriller. C.J. Box is an author I would definitely read again.

February's Reading Plan:

Between the unread books on my shelves, the stack of library books near my bed, and all the books on my ever-growing TBR list, I sometimes have a hard time deciding what I want to read next. It can be a real juggling act between new and old, borrowed and owned. Especially when I want to read all of them all at once. So how do you decide? I still don't have a good answer. But for February, I think I'm going to focus on those sequels and series I need to catch up on, or finish. Like these books I just checked out of the library:

A Single Light by Tosca Lee
Flamebringer by Elle Katherine White
The Bride of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep
When She Was Good by Michael Robotham
Dark Night by Paige Shelton
Winter's End by Paige Shelton
Still Waters by Sara Driscoll
Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson
On Spine of Death by Tamara Berry

Melody and I are also planning a buddy read this month:  A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy Lin.

Meet Moose!  This Bavarian Mountain Scent Hound was the inspiration for Moose, my favorite character in Ghosts of Grayhaven, the Kindle Vella story me and my sister wrote last year. We posted the final episode of this story in December, but it's still there for all to read. We hope to write more about Moose in the future because he's not your ordinary hound...he has supernatural skills. If you're curious, you can check out the first 3 episodes of our story for free at the link above. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's theme is a FREEBIE.

Sometimes I find it hard to do decide what to do on Freebie weeks. This time I'm going with Random Happy Things That'll Make You least, they all made me smile. 


Snoopy's 'Happy Dance':

Favorite TV series that always makes me laugh:

Napili Bay, Maui, Hawaii
(my most favorite place in the world):

Chocolate-y goodness:


Polar bear love:


Wishing you all a little extra happiness today! 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley

"In life, there were two kinds of friends: friends who would wish you well on  your journey to battle, and friends who would jump in the trenches with you."

I won a copy of this book on Goodreads and I absolutely loved it! Total opposites, Tanner and Louise are such unique and memorable characters. At 84, Louise has definite views on just about everything. She hates the indignities that come with growing old. And she has a secret past. Tanner, on the other hand, is just 21. She lost her soccer scholarship because of a leg injury, and now she spends her days playing video games so she doesn't have to deal with her rage or grief. She's also Louise's new live-in caretaker. 

Together these two are hilarious. They so don't like each other at the beginning. I loved the wit in Oakley's writing and the banter, the humorous interactions between Tanner and Louise, their different POVs, their snark and sarcasm, and their unexpected friendship. And when they end up on the run together because of Louise's past? Talk about a madcap cross-country adventure. This book is entertaining, amusing, surprising, and heartwarming. A definite 5-star read!

Happy Reading!

Similar read: 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

From the A Shelf...

 Author:  Anderson, Rachael Renee
Title:  Minor Adjustments

There are a lot of authors whose last names begin with A:  Austen, Auel, Atwood, Archer, Adler-Olsen, Adichie, Abbott. It was hard choosing just one book. In the end, I went with this novel by a local Utah author, Rachael Renee Anderson, because I was in the mood for a more light-hearted read....and it's set in Australia.

From the blurb:  "Bachelor Devon Pierce isn't sure what to think when he's appointed guardian of four-year-old Australian Ryan Caldwell--except that he's completely unprepared to be anyone's guardian. Leaving his Chicago business, he heads to Sydney to prove he isn't up for the responsibility. But Ryan's solicitor, Stella Walker, convinces him to give it a try--at least for a few weeks. Little does Devon know this 'minor' adjustment will turn his life upside down and grant him a future he never expected to have."

My thoughts:  This is a sweet and heartwarming story. At just 214 pages, it's not very long, and it reads fast. I really liked Devon, and enjoyed watching his transformation from single guy to loving Dad. The sparks between him and Stella were fun, too. And there's a lot of humor and a happy ending. All in all, this was a good pick from the A shelf, and it wraps up my Reading the Alphabet project....although I now have a list of other A authors I want to read. Like Mona Awad, Tahmina Anan, and Jeff Abbott. But that was kind of the whole point of this alphabet reading project:  to discover new books and new authors from the library shelves. And it definitely worked. Maybe someday I'll start back at Z and do it all over again. 

Happy Reading!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Haiku Reviews...


Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik

Once enemies, Torran's 
hired Tavi to help him track down
a stolen object.

Science Fiction .... 419 pages .... 4.5/5 stars.
(Space opera at its best: humor, action, suspense, great characters & romance!)

All That Fills Us by Autumn Lytle

Mel's lost herself in
her eating disorder. Can
hiking bring healing?

Fiction .... 346 pages .... 3.5/5 stars.
(There's a lot of hope and heart in Mel's cross-country journey.)

Kiss the Girl by Melanie Jacobson

Grace is leaving town soon--
that's why she's only fake-dating Noah.
But his kisses feel real!

Contemporary romance .... 218 pages .... 4/5 stars.
(A fun take on a favorite trope.)

Happy Reading!