Elizabeth George Speare

morebooks 002In “The Witch of Blackbird Pond,” Kit, a sixteen year old girl, was raised by her grandfather on the island of Barbados. When her grandfather dies, she sails for Connecticut where she must live with her aunt and uncle. Quite a change, to say the least! Kit becomes friends with Hannah Tupper, an interesting older woman who lives alone. The colonists believe Hannah is a witch. Not good! This is a Newbery Medal winner! I liked “The Witch of Blackbird Pond.” As kids read the story, there might be many questions in regard to this book, so, I recommend that an adult read the story also.

“The Sign of the Beaver,” is a Newbery Honor book! It’s another great story by Elizabeth George Speare! Matt, a twelve year old boy and his father, travel to the wilderness of Maine, to build a cabin for their family. Once the cabin is built, Matt’s father travels to retrieve the remainder of their family and Matt stays at the cabin alone. This is a great adventure story. Matt is so courageous, but he does face some challenges. He becomes friends with an Indian chief and his grandson. As the months go by and his family does not return, he must decide if he should give up on seeing his family again and move north with the Indians. I think this would be a great story for a family to read together!

“The Bronze Bow,” is another Newbery Medal winner! I think any youngster who reads this story will have many questions. This is a rich and satisfying story of Daniel, a young man consumed in hatred and anger and his journey to understand and accept love.



“The Queen of Mystery!”

morebooks 001Without a doubt, Agatha Christie, is “The Queen of Mystery!”

“Sparkling Cyanide,” or “Remembered Death,” is a Colonel Race mystery! That’s right, no Poirot, no Miss Marple and no Tommy and Tuppence. I didn’t solve this mystery, well, I solved a portion of the mystery. Money, poison, nice twists, surprises . . . “Sparkling Cyanide” is a good mystery!

I haven’t read all of her mysteries, but I have read many. My personal favorites: “N or M,” The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” “Murder On the Orient Express,” and “The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side.” If you like a good mystery, read any of her stories, read them all! Just pick one! Enjoy!


“The Traitor’s Wife.”

tea 001I stayed up a little past my bed time to finish reading this historical fiction, and I’m glad I did. The Revolutionary War is my favorite time in history. I think most of us have heard of Benedict Arnold, however, I don’t think many of us know anything about his second wife Peggy Shippen. She was a piece of work! Allison Pataki in “The Traitor’s Wife,” has successfully brought Peggy Shippen Arnold to life for us in this excellent historic novel! I understand this is Allison Pataki’s first novel. I am looking forward to her next book! Whether you are an ardent fan of historic fiction or if you like a good historic novel now and then, I recommend, “The Traitor’s Wife!”

Tales From the Wilderness

Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota was one of our early hiking experiences. We drove to Medora in early autumn. When we arrived at the National Park, we were exhausted from our long drive, so we parked our van and slept for a couple of hours. When we woke, I sat up, looked out the window and there was a buffalo standing next to our vehicle, looking IN the window.

Once we entered the park, we found a campsite, that’s right, we camped in a tent! We camped in the south unit of Roosevelt National Park. Approximately an hour drive from the south unit, there is a north unit. We hiked the entire north unit, which was a little unnerving because there is so much wildlife. I hear so much about wildlife in their natural habitat and – WOW – Roosevelt National Park is loaded with wildlife in their natural habitat. We saw buffalo, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and my personal favorite – the wild horses. When we were there, they were led by a chestnut stallion. Anyway, Rick and I both thought the north unit was more picturesque.

The first morning we woke up to 29 degrees! Rick got the campfire started, to warm up and to cook breakfast. I jumped in our van and started it so I could get warm! While I was in my sleeping bag, I was toasty, but once I exited my sleeping bag, it was CHILLY!

The second morning we woke up to 38 degrees. Believe me there is a big difference! 38 degrees feels like a walk on a sandy beach compared to 29 degrees!

One night I woke up and I heard an owl hooting. I thought he was going to keep me awake all night, however, he actually had a lulling effect and I was soon sleeping soundly.

One night I heard a family of coyotes near our tent. The pups were a playful bunch. I could hear their puppy barks, yips and growls.

The entire time I was at Roosevelt Park I wanted to see a buck in the wild. I told Rick, we need to watch for a buck. We stumbled upon a area in the park that was a small meadow. There were three deer munching on the plant life and one of those deer was a buck! I was so excited. I was bouncing up and down, pointing out the window. Rick turned his gaze to the buck and said, “That’s not a buck, that’s a mule deer buck!” Well, I like that. ha! I said to him, “A buck is a buck and that is a buck!” So, I saw my buck.

We had so much fun at Roosevelt National Park. It’s a great place to hike and I don’t think it’s a difficult hike. If you enjoy hiking, I’d recommend it!


I love to hike in the mountains! I would gladly live high on a mountain with the bears, if the opportunity ever presented itself! So naturally I hike in the mountains whenever I can.

Today, I met a friend, at a local bistro. I will call her Daisy. Somehow the topic of discussion turned to hiking. I mentioned we might go to Wyoming this summer for vacation. Daisy mentioned the Black Hills of South Dakota. She was sharing with me, members of her family had hiked up Harney Peak.

I replied, “I hiked up Harney Peak a few years ago. It was a nice hike. We met several people on horseback and there was an old ranger lookout station at the top.” It has an amazing view, one could see for miles, across the Black Hills and beyond. I suggested she ride a horse up to Harney Peak, but she expressed concerns.

Daisy said, “I hiked around Sylvan Lake!” I laughed so hard. Sylvan Lake is a lovely area in Custer State Park, in the Black Hills. It’s probably one mile or just a little over a mile hike around the lake. Flat surface. It’s an easy hike which can be enjoyed by any age.

I couldn’t stop laughing. I asked, “Daisy, do you know where Rick and I have hiked? You would die if you saw the places Rick and I have hiked. We’ve hiked with the grizzly bears! We’ve hiked across the continental divide!”

She was laughing so hard and I was laughing. I’m sure people were staring at us.

Seriously, Rick and I have seen grizzly bears in the wild! lol! One day I will take Daisy on vacation with us!

“Murder Simply Brewed,” by Vannetta Chapman.

chapman 001As some of you know, I don’t read much Amish fiction. Occasionally, I will select an Amish story and read it. “Murder Simply Brewed,” was one of those Amish books I decided to read. I thought this story had a nice balance of the Amish faith, the “Englisch,” family, romance and of course a mystery. I want to say, Tate was my favorite character. Good man. Happy reading!



118-1900_IMG 119-1947_IMG 119-1964_IMG Rowdster2014 004 Drum roll please! I would like to introduce to you Rowdy, our 11 year old border collie. She’s a sweetheart, and, OH, just so you know, she’s the smartest dog in the world! Just an FYI there! Seriously! What? Who wasn’t being serious? Anyway, our Rowdy came to live with us 10 1/2 years ago! That’s right. We adopted her from the humane society. She was a timid six month old puppy with a long tail! I remember when I picked her up, she wrapped herself around my neck and refused to come down. When I took her to the Vet, for the first time, the Vet examined her – wrapped around my neck! You might ask, what is the funniest thing she ever did? I laugh just thinking about it! One night, my husband rolled out a sleeping bag on the floor to watch TV. He had a pillow and was settled into a comfy position. Well, naturally, he fell asleep. After a short time, Rowdy nudged him awake. She needed to go outside and do her business, or so we thought. So, Rick got up and walked to our back door and opened it. Rowdy disappeared. He didn’t think much about it. It was dark outside. He thought she was doing her business. When he returned to his cozy bed on the floor, there was Rowdy, curled up into a comfy position, sleeping peacefully. She herded him to the back door so she could steal his cozy bed and pillow! I laughed so hard! I think that is my favorite story about Rowdy. You might ask, what is the naughtiest thing she has ever done? Oh my! My. My. My. Rowdy hates cats! She chases them! My. My. My. We love our Rowdy. I call her the Rowdster and Boobalee! Now that she is an older dog, she has a thyroid problem and she’s on medication for that. She has a couple of lumps on her body, but our Vet assures us it is fatty tissue. I don’t know how many more years we will have her, but while she is with us, we love her and love her and love her. She takes good care of us. She is one awesome dog.

“Dancing with Fireflies.”

morebooks 003“Dancing with Fireflies,” by Denise Hunter is what I call gentle literature. Nothing wrong with that, nothing at all, however, it’s not my favorite type of fiction. This is also a predictable story. Since I really don’t know for sure what I want to say about this story, I will say Daniel was my favorite character. He loved Jade! He was committed to her, he waited for her and supported her even though the situation was not easy. Madison was my least favorite character. I thought she was interfering and needed to back off. Simply written, easy to read, happy ending.

The Land of Darkness by C.S Lakin

“The Land of Darkness,” is the third book in “The Gates of Heaven,” series. What do I say? This series and this book in the series is so good. Two young seekers, one searching for a bridge and one searches for a tree, meet and travel together in this challenging journey. The seekers visit interesting lands, meet unusual characters, try to understand riddles, as well as ancient words on parchments, all the while never forgetting the purpose of the journey. I think this book would be fun for any age and I look forward to the next story in the series!




Yesterday I read another good book by Linda Hall. “Shadows on the River,” is the third book in a series of three, however, this book does stand alone. As a young teenager, Alicia witnesses the murder of her best friend. The killer is Larry, the son of a wealthy, powerful family and so, gets away with the crime. Alicia and her family must relocate. Years later, a man has been murdered, Larry’s financial advisor. Did Larry kill again? Alicia decides to uncover the truth. This book is well written and at a good pace. I’ve never been disappointed in stories written by Linda Hall.


1.) “Shadows in the Mirror”

2.) “Shadows at the Window”

3.) “Shadows on the River”