Thin Blood by Vicki Tyley

Thin Blood
by Vicki Tyley
(Kindle Edition)

Craig Edmonds, a successful stockbroker, reports the disappearance of his wife, Kirsty. What starts as a typical missing person's case soon evolves into a full-blown homicide investigation when forensics uncover blood traces and dark-blonde hairs in the boot of the missing woman's car. Added to this, is Craig's adulterous affair with the victim's younger sister, Narelle Croswell, compounded further by a recently acquired $1,000,000 insurance policy on his wife's life. He is charged with murder but, with no body and only circumstantial evidence, he walks free when two trials resulting in hung juries fail to convict him.

Ten years later, Jacinta Deller, a newspaper journalist is retrenched. Working on a freelance story about missing persons, she comes across the all but forgotten Edmonds case. When she discovers her boyfriend, Brett Rhodes, works with Narelle Croswell, who is not only the victim's sister but is now married to the prime suspect, her sister's husband, she thinks she has found the perfect angle for her article. Instead, her life is turned upside down, as befriending the woman, she becomes embroiled in a warped game of delusion and murder.

This book captured me from the beginning and never let go. The story is full of interesting and believable characters that were well developed. The main character, Jacinta Deller, is endearing and believable as she's drawn into the secretive life of her new friend, Narelle. I never suspected the ending and was completely surprised by it. A very good read and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys mysteries.

Flowers for Elvis by Julia Schuster

Flowers for Elvis by Julia Schuster
(Kindle Edition)

Flowers for Elvis is quirky Southern fiction with a literary edge, surprising humor and an uplifting spirit. In 1956, Olivia and her twin sister are born to a nun in an old auto parts store turned convent in rural Mississippi. Little Olivia doesn't survive the day, but her spunky spirit hangs around and takes on the role of ethereal watchdog over her twin. When the Reverend Mother-and holy guilt-convince the nun's sister (a young pregnant newlywed) to secretly raise the baby as the twin of her own soon-to-be-born child, Olivia realizes the urgency of her presence and support. Not only is her aunt a fanatical Elvis fan, she's a renegade Southern belle, bent on self-indulgence and desperate to safeguard her multitude of sins. Without revealing which girl is her twin until the end, Olivia takes the reader on a flower strewn tour of misguided love and maternal betrayal which culminates at Elvis' funeral, where they finally discover the truth of their parentage and unravel the generations of secrets that shadowed their lives.

Flowers for Elvis is a heartwarming story about a very dysfunctional family, set in Mississippi during the 1950s up to the year of Elvis Presley's death in 1977.  I was captivated by this story and I couldn’t stop reading.  Flowers for Elvis is filled with quirky twists and characters you’ll never forget.  Every chapter is headed with an Elvis reference, and while the King never makes an appearance, Genevieve does regard him as her patron saint and her ultimate love interest.  I loved the ending; it was perfect in a strange and charming kind of way.  I would like to read more from this author and would recommend this book.

Lookout Mountain

Even though I love to ride my own, it’s nice once in awhile to ride on the back of Bryan’s bike. Riding on the back I can sit back and relax, take in the scenery and snap a few photos along the way. On Saturday, Bryan and I rode to Lookout Mountain (West of Denver). Lookout Mountain is one of the larger foothills which overlook Golden to the North, high peaks of the Continental Divide to the West and the Denver metropolitan area can be clearly seen to the East. Its earliest know inhabitants were the Ute American Indian tribe, who used the mountain as a lookout point upon the surrounding region. It is known for its natural scenery and is famous for the grave site of Buffalo Bill.

"Buffalo Bill" Cody, who spent his final years living in Denver, was buried at Lookout Mountain Park on June 3, 1917. Louisa, who had married Buffalo Bill back before he became famous, was buried next to her husband four years later. It is disputed whether Cody was buried here by his own request or by coercion. In 1921 the grave site was joined by a Pahaska Tepee (large and rustic wooden lodge) which houses the Buffalo Bill Museum.

After leaving Lookout Mountain we made our way down into Golden on the very twisty Lookout Mountain Road. We enjoyed lunch a few blocks away from Coors Brewery and then home. It was an enjoyable 200 miles… although I think Bryan needs to invest in a Mustang seat, the Sundowner wasn’t all that comfortable!

More pictures can be seen here, Lookout Mountain August 2010.

High peaks of the Continental Divide

”Buffalo Bill” Cody Grave Site

Denver Metropolitan Area

Golden, CO – School of Mines and Coors Brewery

Twist-ies, Lookout Mountain Rd (darn guardrail, ruined the photo)

Riding with Bryan

Thanks for visiting ~ Jovi

Senorina M. Martinez

My grandma passed away a few weeks ago, she was 96 years old… this Sunday (the 22nd) would have been her birthday. I visited my grandma at the end of June and it was heartbreaking to leave her. A week after I left she had a stroke and was unable to speak, a few days after her stroke her speech was limited but she was able to pray the rosary with family. My grandma always had a rosary with her and as a child when I stayed the night with her we would pray the rosary in Spanish. I miss my grandma terribly but I know that she is now out of pain and in a better place.

God’s Garden
God looked around his garden and found an empty place, he then looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face. He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest. God’s garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best. He knew that you were suffering, he knew you were in pain, he knew that you would never get well on earth again. He saw the road was getting rough and the hills were hard to climb. So he chose your weary eyelids and whisperd “peace bethine”. It broke our hearts to lose you but you didn’t go alone for part of us went with you the day God called you home.

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Sh*t My Dad Says
by Justin Halpern
(Kindle Edition)

After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, 28-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his 73-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is "like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair," has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:

"That woman was sexy...Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won't screw you. Don't do it for them."

"Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started f**king."

"The worst thing you can be is a liar...Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two.
More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern's philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes.  An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny's, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns' kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice.

This book is hilarious and is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.  I laughed so much (at times hysterically) I couldn’t keep the tears from flowing… my family probably thought I was crazy!  Be forewarned… there is quite a bit of profanity in the book.