A Merciful Death by Kendra Elliot
This book is a mystery/romance by Kendra Elliot.
Mercy Kilpatrick was born into a “prepper” or survivalist family. They prepare for TEOTWAWKI or “the end of the world as we know it”. A secret drives her and her family apart and she’s moved away from her home of Eagle’s Nest Oregon and become an FBI Agent. Her job has brought her back to Eagle’s Nest to investigate murders of preppers. Local law enforcement Chief Truman Daly is helping Mercy investigate.
On some level I knew survivalists/preppers existed but it was interesting to read about how much they actually prep. From food to shelter to having communities of people with certain skill sets to ensure their survival was fascinating. I wish it had sparked some sense of prepping in me, but I’m afraid all it sparked up was anxiety. Though not enough anxiety for me to stop reading, of course.
Mercy is a great strong character. I loved that she was strong enough to move away and take care of herself after being shunned. Having her come back to her home despite that only made her more strong. Even though I didn’t enjoy Truman’s name (last name as first name is kind of a pet peeve of mine) I enjoyed his character, he was a great compliment to Mercy as he challenged her without being an ass about it and was lovable. His backstory made me like him even more.
You could see a tiny spark between Mercy and Truman from the start but it was not the main theme of the book. Finding the killer and Mercy’s relationships came first and I liked that a lot.
I have loved every book I’ve read by this author. Her writing draws me and and her characters are down to Earth and realistic. This book was no exception.
4 Stars. ∗∗∗∗
At times it seems the littlest Pie is a grumpy old man in an almost 3 year old body. Its awesome because it always makes me laugh and not so awesome sometimes because well, he’s a grumpy puss a lot. But he can also be the sweetest little thing.
Tonight I’m not feeling so great. I’m achy, cold, and my nose is a leaky faucet and let’s add in cramps for added fun. I decided to get the two smaller kids in jammies and in my bed to snuggle and watch a movie. Big sister fell asleep quickly but my not my grumpy old man. He snuggled next to me for a bit and stroked my cheek then he yawned and before he rolled over he put his tiny, warm hand under my chin until and whispered “psst, love you mama”.
I mean I just don’t even know where he came from. He’s amazing. My Sweet Little Pie. Moments like these make me think I’m not completely failing as a parent. He had to learn that from someone!
Seems I blinked and it was Christmas and now? 2017, whoa.
I need to resolve to make time for me. I need to resolve to not put off things I want to do because I’m “tired” “out of time” or “too busy”. People always say to make time and maybe it’s time I did.
My mental health hasn’t been great the last year. Ok, if I’m being honest the last 3-4. When I say mental health I mean anxiety with a side of depression. Being in denial about depression wasn’t he best thing I’ve ever done but I have finally gotten my head out of my ass long enough to know I needed a med change and a therapist.
Granted I’ve only seen the therapist once but I am going to be making another appointment. She asked me to start journaling and honestly I have only done it twice. And once I only did because I couldn’t stop crying and that was the only thing that helped. Ive been too terrified to read that entry but I’m going to try and get my thoughts down here. It seems I always have my phone or a computer so it shouldn’t be too difficult to type up a short post a few times a week.
Plus there’s the book “reviews” I like to dole out.
This year I want to be a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, a better employee, and just an all around better person. To do that I need to work on me. So here goes nothing.
Happy and healthy 2017 to all!
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison
I am not even sure where to begin on this one. Having just read a psychological thriller I enjoyed so much I wanted to kind of stay within the same genre. This one kept popping up in my recommendations on Amazon. The cover is so simple and creepy that I finally gave it a go. Boy was I not disappointed.
Kidnapped girls, marked with butterfly tattoos and hidden away in a secret garden. This book is so completely disturbing because it could actually happen. Or could be happening right now and nobody would be the wiser.
The girls are taken and the kidnapper who is known by the girls as the Gardener tattoos them and makes them live in his Butterfly Garden. They are literally living inside a greenhouse within another greenhouse on his estate. The story is told by one of the survivors after the Garden is discovered. It alternates briefly between her and the FBI agent. Even though the content was disturbing, I was captivated. I couldn’t put it down. Reading about these girls and the bonds they had together when they had no choice but to live their lives out in this garden was fascinating. I couldn’t help putting myself in their shoes (or wings). The Gardener was obviously sick and twisted but it was hard to hate him, he cherished them and wanted to preserve their beauty. It was depraved and intriguing. Definitely a must read. 4 stars!
Exhume by Danielle Girard (Dr. Schwartzman , #1)
Psychological Thrillers are hit or miss with me usually. I either hate them or love them. This one, I loved. I’ve never read this author before. This was my choice for the August 2016 Kindle First read.
The one thing I can say that bothered me was the fact that Dr. Schwartzman was mostly referred to as “Schwartzman” through most of the novel. I am not even sure why it bothered me but it did. I found myself calling her Anna a lot of the time.
Anna is the ME in San Francisco where she ended up after leaving a psycho husband. Sort of Sleeping With the Enemyish but without the fake death. She is called to investigate a murder of a woman that’s her spitting image. This is the start of a series of events and I had no idea how the story was going to end up. I kept guessing and kept getting it wrong.
Anna or ok, fine, Schwartzman, was a very likable woman and you couldn’t help but root for her. She was strong and cautious and at times didn’t always make the right choices, however, I think that made her more real. The ex-husband. Wow a total and complete narcissistic psychopath.
Overall this book was enjoyable and fast paced, I had to know what happened and read every chance I could get. 4 stars on this one.
Do not read this if you do not wish to read spoilers. I don’t intend to spoil the story but I am going to mention something specifically and it will confuse you.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling
I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this. I am not fond of plays. I find them lacking in setting up a scene. I want to know the curtain colors, the smells in the room, the color of hair, and all the other things plays scripts seem (in my humble opinion) to lack. I want it all, not just a brief description of the scene. I was in denial about reading it and it took all of two days of it being out for me to hop on Amazon and order it. I had to know.
About 15 pages in and I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t care about the play form at all after that. I found for this book it helped me read it faster because the dialogue was quick. To be back in the world of HP was wonderful. I missed them so much, it was like not seeing family members for years. I loved that Ron, Hermoine, Harry, and Ginny were older and that it included some aspects about getting older within it at one point Ron jokes about sitting and it was easy to connect with the older versions of them. Though I have to admit I still pictured them in my head as the younger versions of themselves.
I was nicely surprised that it wasn’t all just a spoof or fluff. The relationship strain between Harry and Albus is something that I believe any parent can relate with. As a parent, I don’t always know what the right thing to say is and often times say the complete opposite of what I intended. Harry does this quite a lot and it felt very real. It was also great to see Ginny and Harry’s relationship as sort of the same just more grown up. Ginny always was a no BS kind of character.
The use of the time turner and Albus wanting to go back and change history and bring Cedric back was not something I would have dreamed up. Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter being best friends in Slytherin was kind of predictable but it was nice to see a Potter and a Malfoy sort of switch roles. Scorpius being the bookworm, think first kid and Albus being sort of spontaneous and not thinking about consequences until later. I also enjoyed that Draco and Harry had to join forces to help their sons.
Reading about Snape again was fantastic. He was still the most wretched, brave, and noble character as before. The alternate reality aspect was different and helped make the story more unique.
I am glad I took the plunge and read it even though it didn’t feel quite the same as the original Harry Potter series, I don’t think anything would ever be the same.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is not a book I would have chosen on my own. It’s not that I’m opposed to reading children’s books, but I hadn’t even heard of it until my 3rd grader brought it home for his book report book. Something about the cover art drew me in. I hate to admit it but I judge books by their covers. I don’t know what it was about this cover, the spotlight on Ivan and Ruby just made me want to read it.
The cover pulled me in and then the story was icing on the cake. The chapters ranged from two sentences to a few pages and this is something I happen to love. It makes me want to keep reading. Ivan is a gorilla living in an enclosure at a roadside big top in a mall. His life is all about his simple art and TV. He has animal friends, one of which is a mangy dog that sleeps on his big belly. A human named Julia sits and does her homework and draws with Ivan, while her dad cleans. Ivan is content in his world until a baby elephant named Ruby is brought to the Big Top Mall. Once Ruby enters the picture, Ivan starts remembering where he came from and uses his art with the hope that the future will be better for them all.
The story is interesting, sad, happy, and hopeful. I am so happy I picked it up and you won’t regret this wonderful story. Patricia Castelao is the illustrator and there is something so real about her illustrations. Every time I turned the page and saw one of them, it was exactly what I pictured in my mind. Real, right down to Julia’s socks.
My 9 year old loved this book as much as I did. He was completely engaged in the story and even as we were working on his book report, he referred back to the book so I could read passages with him. This is a great middle grade book but adults will love it too. I think what my son loved the most was that this was based on a real gorilla. I think I will be adding some more Katherine Applegate to my to-be-read list.