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review 2017-06-16 21:22
Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors / Molly Harper
Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors - Molly Harper

Just as Jane Jameson's unlife seems to be stabilizing, fate sinks its fangs firmly into her butt. Despite her near-phobia of wedding planning, her no-frills nighttime nuptials to her sexy boyfriend, Gabriel, are coming along smoothly. That is, until she turns a fatally wounded teenage acquaintance, and the Council pronounces her responsible for the newborn vamp until he can control his thirst.

Jane's kitchen barely holds enough Faux Type O to satiate the cute teen's appetite and maintain Gabriel's jealous streak at a slow simmer. As if keeping her hyperactive childe from sucking the blood out of the entire neighbourhood isn't enough to deal with, the persnickety ghost of Jane's newly deceased grandma Ruthie has declared war on the fanged residents of River Oaks. Suddenly choosing monogrammed cocktail napkins and a cake she can't even eat seems downright relaxing in comparison.

Tensions inside the house are growing...and outside, a sinister force is aiming a stake straight for the center of Gabriel's heart. Most brides just have to worry about choosing the right dress, but Jane fears that, at this rate, she'll never make it down the aisle for the wedding all nice girls dream of...

 

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***

”Sometimes I marveled at how grown-up we’d all come, and then Dick would recite a sixteen-stanza penis-based epic poem, and I’d take it back."

So long, Jane Jameson, it was good knowing you. Jane finally makes it to the altar, just as her mama has always wanted, but of course she does it her own way & like everything in Jane’s life, it’s complicated.

By this fourth book, the cute is wearing off a bit and I think it was a wise decision by the author to move on and write about other characters in Half Moon Hollow. It did seem a little pat that Jane would be burdened suddenly with a teenage “childe” just before her wedding. The complete and happy family picture makes for a stereotypical happily ever after. I must confess that I was happier when Jane was building her own inner circle of people that she was actually fond of, rather than relying on her cranky family members. I liked the non-traditional assemble-your-own-family approach of the earlier books.

I still like Dick Cheney (the vampire, not the vice president) better than Jane’s finally-not-reluctant husband, Gabriel, but that’s just me. Her gal-pal Andrea got the better choice in the marriage sweepstakes, in my opinion.

I’m taking a little break, but will move on to the Half Moon Hollow series this summer.

 

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review 2017-05-04 00:00
Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time
Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors ... Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time - Michael Perry https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/160295487663/population-485-meeting-your-neighbors-one-siren

My first introduction to Michael Perry’s work was his latest publication, [b:Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy|34217513|Montaigne in Barn Boots An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy|Michael Perry|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1491691011s/34217513.jpg|55268410]. After reading that fine book I decided to go back to the beginning and chronologically read all the full-length memoirs Perry has written. Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time afforded him some well-deserved attention. But honestly, as popular as the book appears to now be, I was expecting much more. From the very beginning I found myself a little disappointed. For some reason I was not expecting so much about him being an emergency medical technician and volunteer fireman. But by Chapter 7 Perry had gotten me again with his simple take on community in the chapter My People. He speaks about humility and the assumptions writers sometimes have that they are better than what they are. How that same vanity can cause problems in relationships. But the fire department provided a point of access for him in meeting his neighbors more authentically. He admits, at this point of his writing career, to having written nothing of “considerable reputation.” And when asked at a reading, “What’s the secret to making a living as a writer?” he answers that he discovered the secret years ago while cleaning his father’s calf pens. A childhood spent slinging manure taught him that you just keep shoveling until you’ve got a pile so big, someone has to notice. I really admired his answer, and maybe it applies to all of us if we just keep working hard at piling up our body of work.

By the two-thirds mark I have matured in my thinking and wholeheartedly accept this memoir on its own terms. That of a brother and son, an emergency worker, a fireman, and serviceman to his county and community. Not exactly what I had in mind for the book that got Perry “in” and on the literary map. Thought it would be more about the quirky small town and its people, and it is, just not exactly. This entertaining and educational book is more about service and what that entails. It is the intimacy involved in getting to know death, disease, and destruction on a personal level sooner than most of us who generally carry on until the end comes instead to meet us. Perry confronts death straight on, and almost every day. Or what potentially could result in his own end, but certainly not without the instruction and details that accumulate in order for Perry’s benevolence to grow. It feels endearing to be in his company, and his character being one that will certainly last and predictably thrive through all the fated adversity to come. And this very good book was more than just a touching memoir. It has heart. And life. And hope emanating from a gifted and fascinating personality.

…Captive of my heart and feet, I’m a wandering fool, but I’ve got the sense to keep returning.
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review 2017-04-24 20:34
Just Okay Read From Beginning to End
Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors: Ann Rule's Crime Files Volume 16 - Ann Rule

This was just an okay read from beginning to end.

I think the issue is that the first two cases were pretty much unsolved mysteries. So you can guess at what happened, but you don't really know. After that, I didn't get the reason why some of these cases were included in this volume. The last two were just sad and by the end of the book I ended up feeling worse when you read about how little time some of the guilty actually do get.

I think the main problem is that after a while Rule writes in such a predictable way that I don't feel surprised. But I will say that the first case had so much similar language to how she starts off some of her volumes or other stand alone books that I got confused for a while wondering if I had bought this book before. I had to go back to my Kindle account to make sure.

Rule includes some pictures of some of the victims and murderers and police involved in this volume and honestly besides the pictures of the victims and accused, I never get why she always involves the police officers in the book so much. At least she skipped over their backgrounds for this, and I think she had to cause of the length of the volume.

The first case deals with the Susan Powell case that I think many readers may know about. That ended up being in the media for a while due to the missing woman and what happened afterwards. I won't spoil for those who don't know. But the fact that there is still a question of what happened to Powell and you find out how limited justice is with regards to one of the men involved in her case, it just makes you a bit frustrated.

The second case deals with a man who deals with two quick tragedies. One involving his young son and his girlfriend. This case left way too many questions than answers. I am still confused about what went on and why the police ignored some leads. There seemed to be something else going on there. But once again, you don't get a happy resolution to this case.

The third case was a quickie. We quickly find out the who and why behind the murder of an elderly couple who were good philanthropists.

The fourth case was a head scratcher. I felt like Rule was just dragging this out. You find out that someone is setting fires and the same person is always on the scene. She made it seem like the police did this tireless work, but honestly it seemed like the guy finally got caught after the fourth fire he set. She includes pictures of the police involved and I maybe went who cares at that point.

The fifth case was disturbing. I tell myself that something like that can't happen again, but you never know in this world. A serial rapist is involved.

The sixth case I honestly don't know what to make of it. Once again just like cases one and two there seemed to not be a definitive answer about the person's guilt. And I didn't feel swayed by Rule's arguments.

The seventh case was open and shut due to all of the links to the person who did it. And then they confessed. I felt unsettled though since this and many of the cases highlighted in the 70s show that most of these people seemed to get out within 10 years or so and are out among us now. Rule doesn't say if the person who was the murderer in this one is out, but it's heavily implied due to his sentence and when he was convicted.

The eighth case was definitely one where everyone was covering for the guilty party and then you can see what additional mistakes are made when the guy gets out of prison eventually. I didn't even know what to say about this one.

The ninth case was devastating. This one was truly a case of a deadly neighbor and all I could think about was the poor family.

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review 2017-04-20 00:46
Spicy (Adult)
Watching The Neighbors: Book One - Phill... Watching The Neighbors: Book One - Phillipa Saint

Watching The Neighbors by Phillipa Saint is a fairly short read.  This would be a good choice for people with limited time for reading.  Ms Saint has delivered a well-written book.  Mark is the only character so it's a bit on the sad side.  He manages to liven up his life a bit by watching the naughty neighbors.  This is an adult book.  This could stand as a complete book but there is more to the story in 3 more books.  This is not a cliff-hanger though.  

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review 2017-04-18 02:40
Sprout Street Neighbors: Five Stories - Anna Alter

A very cute collection of stories.

The stories were simple, but interesting. The stories focused on friendship and helping others.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read, but very fun.

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