Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) by Janet Evanovich

Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) by Janet Evanovich

Don’t be afraid everyone, everything is under control … I hope. Zombies are in Trenton, New Jersey. I always knew the zombies were coming and they’re now on the East Coast. Battle down the hatches, folks, but have no fear, bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum is on the job.

Stephanie and her trusty sidekick, Lula, have their hands full. They’re trying to find two men who skipped on their bail and the duo also have to feed Ethel, a boa constrictor, owned by Simon Diggery, a professional grave robber. Simon also jumped on his bail and would only let Stephanie take him in if she promised to care for his snake. Simon felt safer in jail because zombies were roaming the woods where his trailer was parked and he wanted nothing to do with them.

Then headless bodies started appearing. And then with bodies were found with holes in their heads where the brains were sucked out. See, I told you there are zombies out there.

Now Stephanie has to find her two bail jumpers, feed and care for Ethel the snake, and avoid the zombies who are after her. Things are never easy for Stephanie.

“Hardcore Twenty-Four” by Janet Evanovich,  is the 24th installment of the popular Stephanie Plum series. I used to really like this series but each book is turning into the same ol’ same ol’ to me.

Stephanie is still fooling around with her long-time heartthrob detective Joe Morelli, trying avoid the bed of the hot Ranger, and now the mysterious Diesel is back in town trying to bed Stephanie as well. This is getting a little old to me. It was bad enough with Morelli and Ranger chasing after our hero but when Diesel was added to the list of men a few books back the whole thing became tiresome and boring.

I do like Grandma Mazur, Stephanie’s mom and dad, and Lula. They add a lot of fun to the books but I am getting weary of the love/sex portions of it. It’s very soft porn and not offensive just over done.

There are still lots of laughs and it’s easy enough to get through this novel but I just wish Ms. Evanovich would do something different with all the men in Stephanie’s life. I really don’t think they’re all needed in the series.

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Spiced Maple & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 11 by Susan Gillard

Spiced Maple & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 11  by Susan Gillard

Amy Givens is kind of tired of just helping Heather Shepherd in the donut shop and helping to solve murders. She’s a little restless and wants to do something for herself. Being a great best friend, Heather agree to help Amy find her true calling with the help of some yummy donuts.

Amy always liked art and drawing so she found an art studio where she could draw and do some sculpturing. The owner, Kendall Dakwa, seems like a nice woman and Amy hopes that Kendall can be her mentor.

A fight between two artists breaks out at the studio each accusing the other of stealing material they needed to make a sculpture. One of the artists, Tricia Mollins has to look for another item to use as s her sculpture so Kendall agrees to keep the studio open for her to continue working once she finds something she can use. But the next day Tricia is found murdered in the art studio. She was impaled on the top of a Christmas tree sculptor. Some was strong enough to throw her on to it and kill her but who? Could it be Ray, the man she was arguing with earlier in the day or possibly Kendall. Kendall was supposed to meet Amy the night of the murder and never showed up.

Now Heather and Amy are helping to investigate and readers of this series know that these two P.I.’s always find the bad guy.

“Spiced Maple & Murder” is the eleventh in author Susan Gillard’s Oceanside Cozy series. Like all the others it’s a fun, easy read filled with lots of action and love between all the characters. Another book not to be missed.

See other reviews of Susan’s book on her page.

My Thanksgiving Memory From 2011

My Thanksgiving Memory From 2011

I posted this six years ago on Facebook. I still feel the same way about the holidays.

I was going through the worst time of my life when I wrote this and was trying to dig myself out of a deep hole. I had help – my Uncle Mickey, my cousin Alynn, and a new friend, Lawrence. I will never forget what any of these three people did to help me back then. What they and others did to help is what Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and every other holiday is really about. I’m not sure if the majority of people realize it.

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Too many people, and the media, look at Thanksgiving as the start of the shopping season and getting what you want for less money than you normally would. Thesepeople should be thankful that shopping and getting up at 3:00 AM on Black Friday is the worst problem they have. There’s so much more to Thanksgiving and you only hear about these reasons in cursory measures.

Two of my close frinds have benn fighting major problems this past week or two. I’m sure the last thing they’re thinking about is buying a television set or getting concert tickets.

I’m very happy for everyone who has everything they need, have a way to get everything they want, and are healthy enough to get around everyday without even thinking twice about it.

But I’m thankful for my friends, my uncle, and my cousin who were doing what they could to help me during the past two years. I’m thankful that I know that life can be much harder than a lot of people suspect and there aren’t always happy endings. I’m thankful that I can see both sides of Thanksgiving and smart enough to know that not everyone eats turkey and all the trimmings on this day. And I’m thankful that everyday I wake up and know that life isn’t a bowl of cherries and appreciate the little things, like being able to walk three blocks to a store and celebrate it every time I’m able to do it.

Appreciating what you have and what you can do to help others is not just reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What are you thankful for every single day of your life?

I Will Smack The Next Person Who Asks Me About My Thanksgiving

I Will Smack The Next Person Who Asks Me About My Thanksgiving

WARNING: Read at your own risk. Not a warm, fuzzy post.

 

Thanksgiving Day November 23, 2017 5:37 PM

For all of you who will ask me what I did for Thanksgiving – not that you really care. It’s just a way for you to tell me about your day. Let’s see, what did I do today?  Okay, here goes.

I went to bed at 2:00 am. I stay up as long as possible so the night won’t be too long. If I go to bed at two in the morning there’s only five hours or so until daylight. Laid down in my bed in the dark room, pulled out my Kindle and played a little Burger Shop 2. Then I pulled up my newest dystopian novel I’m reading, “The End of the World Running Club” by Adrian J. Walker.

Ha, Adrian J. Walker. The author’s name got me thinking. My sister’s name was Adrienne. This must be a sign or something. I thought about it for a while. My sister died eight years ago, my father died 33 years ago, and my mother died 31 years ago, thus leaving me totally alone. They were all very sick. I was with all of them as they were dying. I took them all to doctors, hospitals, ambulances, emergency rooms, worried about them, cried for them, and they all left me. There I was at 2:45 this morning crying because of the anger I felt. “You all left me. You left me alone. I never left any of you alone. I was there all the time and this is how I’m paid back? You all left me and that’s not very nice!” I was crying for 15 minutes with nothing but the light from my Kindle keeping me company.

I’m going to die alone in this apartment, the apartment I’ve been living in for 65 years, never left, always here to do what I could because I was needed. Could I have left 30 or 40 years ago? Sure, but my parents were both ill and I was not going to abandon them. When my sister got sick I sure as hell was not going to leave her. It was my choice, my option, my decision. I have no regrets. I don’t know what my life would have been like if I did leave but it was a choice I made willingly but now there’s no one left except for me and my Kindles, and an apartment filled with junk.

When I get sick I’m sick alone in this apartment. When I ended up in the hospital two years ago I took myself there and was there for five days by myself, no visitors. A few phone calls but basically alone. Even the doctors and nurses were worried about that. “Next of kin?” they asked. “No one I answered.” “Well, there has got to be someone” they insisted. Children, husband, siblings? “No one” I said. Is that really so strange? I guess so.

When I got home I couldn’t move for almost two weeks. I crawled into the kitchen to fill a jar with water so I’d have something to drink during the day and then I crawled back into the bedroom. If I had a bowl of oatmeal per day I was lucky. Alone, a few phone calls from a friend or two, my uncle, but that was about it.

Here’s the really strange thing – I didn’t want to see anyone. To this day I don’t want anyone to come over. In a way, I’m kind of okay with my loneliness. People annoy the crap out of me most times. That’s what happens when you’re use to your own company.

My upstairs neighbors, all six tenants in my line of my apartment building, bother me. The idiot upstairs smokes all day and then runs the toilet for four hours straight. How do they do that? Tie the flushing thing down so it keeps running? The jerk above them turns their faucets on and off constantly. Squeak, squeak, squeak. Nine in the morning, three in the afternoon, four in the morning, squeak, squeak, squeak. The people next door to me have a kid that runs up and down the apartment banging off the wall that separates their apartment from mine. I swore the kid weighed at least 200 pounds until I saw he was little, maybe 45-50 pounds. His running steps are those of a grown man.

I rail out at these maniacs. I scream at the smoke, at the noise, at the constant running toilet, the squeaking of the faucets. “Am I the only sane person in this building?” I scream out loud. And then I laugh because I am far from sane. Well, that’s pretty obvious. The building is filled with lunatics, especially me.

Back to Thanksgiving. I am not the only person who is alone during this “festive” time of year but it’s hard finding others like me when all I see are Facebook posts about eating turkey with friends and family. Posts with pictures of happy smiling faces although I suspect that some of these smiling faces are just masks for what’s really going on in their lives.

I didn’t have turkey today. I don’t eat meat. My cousin Marty came by last night and brought me a ton of fish. I made a package of tilapia. I read that tilapia isn’t really good for you. I don’t care. I ate half of it this afternoon and will eat the rest tonight with some calorie-free mayonnaise. 

When I was growing up I could almost hear my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother saying that I wouldn’t amount t anything. That I would be a “spinster” and live my life with a bunch of cats. Ha, I fooled you all. I have no cats except for my last name. But the rest is essentially true. I’m nothing. When I do die no one will know except for my landlord who will have to figure out what to do with the accumulated crap I have. I’d like to see her try to figure that one out.

I still have cousins around from both my mother and father’s side of the family. Most I’ve lost touch with. Marty, my cousin on my father’s side, calls a few times a week and stops by every so often. To be fair he does ask me to go out with him and his girlfriend. He offers to hire a car because I have trouble walking but like I said before, I kind of prefer to be alone at this point. I’ve been by myself too long to really accept anyone else in my life. But Marty is a good guy.

I wasn’t invited to Thanksgiving at any of my cousins homes, not that I would have gone. That would mean someone would have to drive me there and drive me back and believe me none of my cousins would want to do that. But that’s fine with me. I don’t expect anything from anyone. And I really would not have gone to anyone’s home for Thanksgiving or anything else for that matter. But, you know, thanks for asking just the same. Oh, so no one gets insulted, I have cousins, in New York, New Jersey, Long Island, Texas, Georgia, California, all over the place so I am not talking about any specific cousin. 

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Heck yeah! But I’m allowed to indulge myself. I see too many posts from people bragging about their kids, their homes, their lives, their everything. That makes them happy. I can post about feeling sorry for myself. After all, I don’t have 4,087 pictures of my kids to show off on Facebook. Actually, I think that people who post so much about their perfect families are trying to prove to themselves, more than to me, that their lives are perfect.

Holidays make me evil. Holidays depress me. Holidays make me want to stay off social networks. Holidays make me want to slap a certain friend of mine who always asks, “What did you do for ______? (Fill in the blank: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Eve, July 4th…) Well, I did what I do every single day of my life – I sit and read, maybe turn on the television and do my best to quickly change channels if I see a football or a picture of our idiot president ready to give his next stupid opinion. I do the same thing everyday of my life. Why ask me about what I did on a holiday when you know damn well that I did absolutely nothing. Whatever I did on August 27 I do on December 25. I will not ask you about your holiday just because you segued into it. Just tell me without asking the stupid first question. I don’t mind hearing about what others did during their holiday, just don’t ask me what I did because I DID NOTHING!

See, holidays, do make me evil, I just proved it with this monologue. Maybe I should start a Facebook page for all of us “Lonely Outcasts” who celebrate holidays in front of the television or with a book eating a piece of fish with no-calorie mayonnaise.