Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Review: Prime Suspect by Lynda La Plante

 Detective Inspector Jane Tennison is battling against the old boys club inside Scotland Yard. When the lead investigator on a murder case dies suddenly, Tennison offers to step in. She reminds her superior what she has the knowledge and experience. With no one else qualified to step in and lead, she is reluctantly handed the case. She immediately faces hostility from the former inspector's team, who look at her as a heartless vulture stepping over their former leader's corpse.

Tennison's problems aren't limited to the department. At home, the relationship with boyfriend Peter is strained. He feels as if Jane is so obsessed with the case she has no time for anything else. No matter which way she turns, Tennison has a fight on her hands.

Prime Suspect was made into a BBC television series starring Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison. Sadly I haven't seen the series myself, but I certainly will after reading the book. There are two other books in the Prime Suspect series - A Face in the Crowd and Silent Victims. Lynda La Plante is also the writer/producer behind the BBC series Above Suspicion, another series with an incredibly strong female lead.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Walking Dead & Other Monday Minutiae

The Walking Dead - 3/1/15

Last night our weary ragtag group of survivors arrived at Alexandria. Dream homes, electricity, running water, people that don't want to eat you - it's a bit like a dream. Understandably, not everyone is trusting of this new community and its people. After all, the last group they encountered tried to eat them. Even though they were given their own spaces to live in, everyone slept together in the living room of Rick's place. When community leader Deanna dropped by to speak to Rick, she didn't seem too surprised to see the "family" together.

Highlights - Daryl holding a possum he just shot when the gates open to let them in. "I brought dinner." Critter du jour. Yum! Rick finally got to shave off that beard. Good Lord, I forgot what he looked like without it. He seriously looked like a totally different person. I was pretty amused by Carol's Stepford Wives/Mom impersonation. I laughed when she told Daryl to shower or she'd have to hose him down. I laughed harder when he told her she looked ridiculous, because she really did.

Today I spent an hour at the DMV getting the registrations for our vehicles renewed. I swear to God, being extremely slow must be a prerequisite for getting hired at the DMV. Two people in line or ten, you'll still have a long wait. One positive was the weather. For the first time in a couple of weeks it got above freezing. The sun was shining too, which made it even better. I took the dog for a short walk to help him burn off some energy. It'll be so nice when we can go back to our nightly walks. Hurry, spring. Hurry!

What I'm watching: Jurassic Park, The Voice

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Delays & Remembrances

So I got busy and put off paying my web hosting invoice. And guess what happened? Yep, I got suspended. Oops! I did get it paid today and I'm back up and running.

Note to self: Stop putting off paying bills.

On Friday, Leonard Nimoy passed away. This was really devastating news. I grew up watching the original Star Trek series. I would watch the reruns every evening all through my elementary and junior high days. I absolutely fell in love with the films that followed. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan being my all-time favorite. Star Trek spawned my love of all things science fiction.

He left a poignant final Tweet. "Life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory." And that is where you will forever be, Captain Spock, beautifully preserved in our hearts and memories.

RIP Leonard Nimoy.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Celebrate The Small Things - Friday, Feb. 20

What better way to revive this blog than a celebration of the small things. I confess, a lot of times I spend my day stewing and obsessing over things that are going wrong in my life and world. Its easy to get sucked in by all the negativity swirling around. Just look at the comments section on any news article on the net. Geesh, people can be so hateful. Or take, for example, my writing this post. The page kept freezing up on me to the point I was ready to chuck the laptop against the nearest wall. Oy, frustration city!

I do know there is only one way to stay positive and that is by thinking positive. That is why I think this celebration of small things is so wonderful. Every second we spend focusing on good thoughts is one step out of the gloom, and up to a better frame of mind. So this week I am celebrating my aunt's continued recovery from heart problems. Thanks to her wonderful doctors we get to spend more time with a wonderful lady we love very much. I can't think of a better way to end the week.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Free books are the best


I make frequent trips to the library. Even though I have two bookcases loaded with books waiting to be read, I'm constantly bringing home new ones. What better way to read the latest releases and not have to pay for them? Not that I don't buy tons of books. I had to get Amazon Prime to help cut down on the shipping costs from all the books I was buying. 

Lately though, our library has been getting tons of book donations. They are set aside near the main entrance and are free for the taking. Its a temptation I can't ignore. Just this morning I went to pick up a book I had on hold, and ended up coming home with the bounty above. I got so excited you'd think I had won the lottery. 

My other free surprise came on Tuesday. I came home and found a free book from Goodreads. I have signed up for dozens of those new releases. Can't believe I actually won one. Anybody else ever won a new book from Goodreads to review? And did you enjoy it?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Reading Retro

A few weeks ago I was looking around in my mother's attic and found a box of old paperbacks. They didn't look much like the type of books I like to read, but I was curious and took them home anyway. The books are all gothic romances from the late 60's - early 70's, written by various authors - Dorothy Daniels, Marilyn Ross, Katheryn Kimbrough, Elisabeth Macdonald, and Vivian Stuart. (Vivian Stuart, I found out, wrote one of my favorite series, The Australians, under the pen name William Stuart Long.)

One afternoon I grabbed one of the books at random and decided to read it. Most are very short, so I can finish it in a day, if I'm not busy with other things. I read The Deep Pool by Jane Blackmore. I liked it so much I read Shadow Glen by Dorothy Daniels the next day. I'm working my way through the rest slowly. Now I don't read a lot of romance, per se, unless it is mixed with some intrigue. And that is exactly what these gothic novels do (and do well). Romance, and mystery, set in a creepy mansion or remote location - who could resist that?

There are 72 books (yes, it was a big box) and I've only read 5 so far. Since I get bored reading the same types of novels back to back I am mixing them in with other books from my "to be read" shelf. Right now I am reading Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton. It is the only one of his that I haven't read. I imagine by fall I will have those gothic novels read. Who knows, maybe then I'll try my hand at writing one.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Help Outlining Your Novel

I came across this today from and thought I'd pass it on. I've never had much luck coming up with a sufficient outline myself. Generally I jot down ideas for scenes as they come to me and use that as a guideline. Most days I end up going off in a totally different direction, and often, lose track of my original idea altogether. Cathy Yardley gives some great advice in this post. I believe I'll give it a shot and see how it goes.

6 Ways to Outline Your Novel Faster