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review 2018-03-01 23:19
Deceptively charming illustrations belie the foul mouthed characters
Rock Candy Mountain #1 - Kyle Starks,Kyle Starks

It looks all sweet, and it's based on a children's story.   So imagine my delighted surprised when it turned out to be more violent and swear-filled than the illustrations promised; the way the illustrations keep that charming quality while the story gets more messed up just added to my delight. 


Love, love, love.   It's a story about a possibly crazy hobo looking for Rock Candy Mountain and his new down-on-his luck friend who gets roped into the search.   

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text 2018-02-12 18:47
No safe spaces
The Mountain Artisans Quilting Book - Alfred Allan Lewis

Commentary, but not a review.  Maybe later.


I purchased my copy of this book at a Friends of the Library sale years and years ago. The price was $1.00.


Yesterday my artists' group held a show at a local restaurant.  Outdoors, in a lovely but very dusty setting where the set-up and take-down is incredibly awkward and difficult and frustrating. 




The weather was perfect, and we had a lively, steady crowd.  Overall, the event was financially rewarding enough for me not to complain too much, other than to say I was completely exhausted by the time it was over and very glad I have no more similar shows until next fall.  Yippee! 


I'll spend most of today unloading the car, washing table covers, and getting ready for our Spring Fling Studio Tour in April.  At least will take place here at my own house.  I can set up over a period of several days and do the same when it's over, rather than having to do everything in a single day.


Most of the customers at these events are wonderful.  They come into our little booths genuinely appreciative of what we do, whether we are "artists" or mere "crafters."  (That distinction is a subject for another post!)  Sometimes they try to bargain on prices, but it's up to the individual vendor whether to go along with it or not.  I personally don't, and most of the time the customers understand.


The few annoying customers come in a variety of techniques.  Some want you to tell them exactly how you do your creative thing, as though they will be able to absorb years of study and practice and failure in a few minutes, then go home and replicate your work.  They can completely monopolize your time, while other customers go unaddressed.  Others want to tell you all about their own art, or their grandmother's.  We even have a few who try to sell their work to us, or who want to know how to get into our shows, or . . . a dozen different ways.


Fortunately, these nuisances are few and far between.  Most of them are easily dispatched, too, with a few pointed words or even a laughing brush off.


Yesterday, however, I had one who was less easily brushed off.  And he was actually more frightening than almost any I've ever encountered before in over 40 years of doing art and craft shows.


He started by complimenting me on my work, saying it was really beautiful.  I thanked him, and said, as I always do, "I have fun with it."


He asked if I did everything myself.  I explained that most of my pieces are made from stones I have gone out into the desert and collected myself, but that I do occasionally buy rough material or slabs at rock shows and estate sales.


He asked if I did all the wire wrapping.  I answered that I did every single bit of it.  I have no helpers.


He was eating a large, crumbly cookie and holding a plastic glass with what looked like iced coffee.  Cookie crumbs were landing on my table covers, and the iced coffee was sloshing enough that I feared he was going to spill it on my jewelry.


At some point in the conversation, some ladies came into the booth.  I greeted them, not just because it's what I do with all potential customers but because I was also trying to subtly hint to the guy with the cookie that this was my place of business and that if he wasn't going to buy something, I had to attend to other people who might.


The ladies didn't buy and soon left.  Did they leave because the guy kept hanging around and blocking their access to part of my merchandise?  I don't know, but since he did keep hanging around and he did block their access, I had to think that might have been at least part of the reason.


After they left, he said again that my jewelry was very beautiful.  Again I thanked him.


And then he said, "And so are you."


I laughed and thanked him again, even though I knew that was the wrong thing to do.  I knew it meant he would stay longer, that he would be encouraged to continue the conversation, that he would think . . . whatever.


But what else was I supposed to do?


Ten or fifteen more minutes passed.  He maintained this kind of conversation no matter how I tried to steer it away.  More customers came in, more customers left.  I began to think they saw me as having a personal conversation with this guy and they were deliberately leaving me alone with him.  More cookie crumbs landed on my table.


He hadn't done anything physical, there were plenty of other artists and customers around that I think they would have come to my aid if he did.  He didn't, and eventually some ladies came in who showed serious interest in a couple of pieces so that I excused myself and turned all my attention to them.  I just literally turned my back on the guy with the cookie. 


Finally, he left.  How long he had been in my booth I'm not sure.  How many potential sales he cost me, maybe none, maybe a lot.  I brushed all the crumbs from my tables and tried to brush off the whole experience.


I thought about saying something to the other artists around me -- all women, by the way -- to see if they had had similar experiences.  I ended up not saying anything, however, because I feared they would laugh and tell me he was just an old guy trying to be nice to me, paying me compliments.  That they would tell me I should be flattered.  That he was harmless.


But this is my place of business, I kept thinking.  I didn't bust my ass to set up this morning because I'm looking for a date.  I'm here to sell stuff, to make a living, to pay my bills and buy my groceries.  I don't have time to humor some old guy with a messy cookie.  And what gives him the right to harass me but I have no right to complain?


An art show obviously isn't the venue to make a scene over some guy trying to hit on me.  But the experience brought home once again how pervasive the harassment is, and how easy it is to brush it off as harmless and inoffensive.


No, sorry, I was highly offended.  Not by the compliments, but by the guy's assumption that he could invade my place of business and take up my time with his compliments and flattery as though he had a right to.  As though I should be so flattered that I would give up the opportunity to make a living in my chosen field in order to make him feel . . . flattered.


No, sorry, guy with the crumbly cookie and sloshing coffee, I was not flattered.


Our art group meets on Wednesday afternoon.  I'm going to bring this up and see what the reaction is.  Anybody wanna bet a nickel I get the "Oh, he was just an old guy trying to be nice!" response.

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review 2018-02-08 22:23
Western Romance
Rocky Mountain Romance (Six Pack Ranch Book 7) - Vivian Arend Rocky Mountain Romance by Vivian Arend is an entertaining read. Ms. Arend has given us a well-written book filled with fantastic, lovable characters. Melody is returning to her position in Rocky Mountain House after getting advanced veterinarian schooling. Steve turned his life around after Melody left for schooling and now wants a second chance. Their story is full of drama, humor, action and sexy bits. I enjoyed reading Rocky Mountain Romance and look forward to reading more from Vivian Arend soon. Rocky Mountain Romance is book 7 of the Six Pack Ranch Series and book 9 of the Rocky Mountain House Series but can easily be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
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review 2018-02-08 06:21
Inspiring and Encouraging Book
The Mountain - Charles G Thompson The Mountain - Charles G Thompson

  " If you are looking for a book on mountaineering, this is not your read. In, The Mountain, I will be sharing experiences about the mountains or challenges we all face daily. I chose the cover photo because it is a favorite of mine and Jeanne’s. It was taken by an old inexpensive digital pocket camera balanced on a rock, using the camera’s timer. We had just come from a shelter above Zermatt, Switzerland and crested a hill when this scene came into view. The date was September 10, 2001. We had no communication with the outside world. There were no phones, no computers, no mail service, until we were in Vernaza, Italy the next afternoon. Where were you on 9/11? "


Such an inspirational read! Written by a man, suffering from an inoperable stage 4 terminal brain tumor, Mr. Thompson kept trying to help and encourage others until he died this past July. The Mountain is a book of encouragement, profound thoughts and gentle nudges to urge others to reach out, to make a difference and do what they can no matter where they are at in life. He consistently visited the elderly in nursing homes, just to hug them and give them a bit of companionship and the feeling they weren't alone. He regularly visited men in prison to give them hope and show some kindness. What a different world we would inhabit if everyone had his attitude to make their part of the world the best it can be! Truly Mr. Thompson was an amazing role model!
Read for twogalsandabook.com
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review 2018-02-07 10:00
New Release Review! Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3) Katie Ruggle
Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit) - Katie Ruggle


He's always been a haven:
For the lost. The sick. The injured.
But when a hunted woman takes shelter in his arms, this gentle giant swears he'll do more than heal her battered spirit
he'll defend her with his life.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen always had a soft spot for anyone in need. As Monroe's very own Dr. Doolittle, he dedicates himself to rehabilitating the injured souls that cross his path
but for all his big heart, he's never been in love.

Until he meets Sarah Clifton's haunted eyes. Until he realizes he'll do anything to save her.

All Sarah wants is to escape a life caught between ambitious crime families, but there's no outrunning her past. Her power-mad brother would hunt her to the ends of the earth...but he'd never expect Sarah to fight back. With Otto and the whole of Monroe, Colorado by her side, Sarah's finally ready to face whatever comes her way.

It's time to take a stand.




The third book in the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series is an emotionally gripping story full of suspense that had me biting my nails.  Sarah and Otto are strong characters that have steamy chemistry that draws readers to them. Their romance is sweet and has readers believing that ‘happily ever after’ is possible after all as they emphasize with Sarah who has some turbulent emotional issues to deal with as they fight for her life and readers can’t help but become completely caught up in their story. Sarah’s past tugs at the heartstrings but so does Otto, with his quiet but caring demeanor that screams safety and love.


Anticipation and suspense build throughout the story as danger stalks the nights keeping readers on the edge of their seat. The twists and turns keep readers guessing and along with some hair raising action there is never a dull moment during this fast paced plot.


I have to confess that I have read every book in the Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue series but I missed the first two in the K9 Unit series, of course I will be remedying that soon. Like the Search and Rescue series, Katie Ruggle has brought her K9 Unit series to brilliant life with strong, compelling characters that are so lifelike that the readers feel as if they are part of the story. I was caught up in Survive the Night from the very beginning and couldn’t put it down until I knew how the book would end and the author provided enough clues from the first two books that I had no problem getting caught up in the series and of course it was just enough to wet my appetite and ensure that I go back and read them and has me anticipating the next one.




Survive the Night is the 3rd book in the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series.


The 4th book Through the Fire is set to be released August 7, 2018.


Survive the Night is available in print or ebook at:


Amazon   B&N   iBooks   GPlay   Kobo   BaM   eBooks


Katie Ruggle can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   BookBub   Facebook   Twitter   Pintrest

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