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I usually read something light before bed but I’ve been having a hard time putting down Taken by Dee Henderson. It’s listed as a Christian suspense novel but the faith conversations are not too overt or cheesy. The story is captivating, yet also hard to read because of the subject. It surrounds the story of a 27-year old woman who was held captive for 11 years after being kidnapped at the age of 16 near her home in Chicago. She enlists the help of a retired Boston police officer, now private investigator, Matthew Danes, whose own daughter was kidnapped at one point and returned to him eight years later.

Together the two try to bring down the people who kidnapped her and also ran a child abduction and burglary ring. The story definitely isn’t light as Shannon, the woman, deals with her abduction but also some surprises in her family since she’s been missing. I found myself both disturbed and intrigued by the story but learned I needed to put it down before bed or I would have unpleasant dreams. Or more unpleasant than other nights. However, one night this week I didn’t read it before bed and I dreamt I was hanging out with Paris Hilton, so maybe I shouldn’t read lighter things at night.

As a writer myself, I don’t like to be critical of books, knowing a lot of hard work put into them but honestly there were entire chapters I would have completely dropped from Taken. There were definitely unnecessary parts written that did not move the story forward. One of those was a huge, unrealistic section about how much money a person could make from photographs of landscapes. Take it from this photographer, very few photographers are raking in millions for landscape images. The author probably should have done a little more research there. Or she did do some research and there is an untapped market out there that I’m completely missing out on because I don’t have an art agent. That’s always a possibility.

All in all it was a good book, but I’ll be cleaning my pallet with some different types of books this week – mainly The Hobbit, which my son and I are reading for his homeschool. I’m very behind on that but he’s cheating by listening to a reading of it I found on YouTube while reading along.

68251I’m also still in book two of the James Herriott books and watching the BBC show All Creatures Great and Small, which Amazon just included with our Britbox subscription. I haven’t watched the show since I was a teen so it’s fun for me to watch now that I’m older, though the makers of the show definitely made the show very realistic and graphic when it came to caring for the animals. I’m going to have to Google and see if those actors actually had to stick their hands up the rear ends of cows and pigs and horses for some of those scenes. While looking for a photo to go with this post, I saw that they are rebooting the series for PBS. I don’t plan to watch it as I think the original was so true to the books, especially the actor who played Siegfried.

I finished Book 6 of the Mitford Series, In This Mountain, and still have two books in the series that I haven’t read – Light From Heaven and Home to Holly Springs. Like I’ve said before I enjoy the Mitford books because they really are a meandering walk through the lives of the people of Mitford. Jan Karon really takes her time building up her characters through little snippets of their lives. There are a lot of characters too; so many that sometimes it is a little hard to keep up with them. I like having so many characters to get to know, though. My mom once said you can pick up a Mitford book and feel almost like you are coming home because of how endearing the characters are. You can also pick up any of the books and read them again and again and see something new every time because they are so dense.

In between reading books and watching shows based off books, I’m in the midst of rewriting and tightening my novel ‘A Story to Tell‘ which I have been featuring on the blog on Fridays and plan to publish for fun on Kindle next week. I’m also working on the follow-up to the story which I’ve tentatively entitled “Waking Up.” Soon someone will come across my writing and do to it what I just did to Dee Henderson’s. Ouch. I probably won’t enjoy that but I also recognize we have different tastes and just because we don’t like one aspect of a person’s writing style, doesn’t mean we don’t like their work overall. I should remind myself that I didn’t say I didn’t like Dee’s writing – I do like it. I just felt part of the descriptions and long pieces of dialogue were unnecessary but others may have found it was needed.

In between writing and reading (and watching) I’ve also been homeschooling my children (as mentioned above) and editing photos for my stock photography accounts (of which I make a little money with so I keep plugging away at it).

On my reading list for the next couple of weeks (a bit eclectic):

  • Fear is A Liar by Dr. Daniel B. Lancaster
  • Of Windmills and War by Diane Moody
  • Lead Me, Holy Spirit: Longing to Hear the Voice of God by Stormie Omartian
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling).

Some of the posts I’ve featured since I last posted an update for Sunday Salon include:

So how about all of you? What are you reading, watching, or up to these days? Let me know in the comments and if you are participating in the Sunday Salon on Readerbuzz’s blog (which this post is part of) leave me your link.

 

 

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Written by Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism. She recently released her first novel 'A Story to Tell' on Amazon.

15 comments

  1. I didn’t end up reading Cuckoo’s Calling, I watched it instead. I think the series is good, but I have no idea how closely it resembles the book.
    I hadn’t heard about the remake of All Creatures, I did read Herriots books when I was quite young, but I have only vague impressions of the original tv series, I’m not sure how much of it I ever watched.

    Have a great reading week

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so so excited for the remake of All Creatures Great and Small! My husband and I watched it over the winter, I had never watched it before but read the books when I was a little girl. Lol. My mom gave them to me and I was so confused, I had no idea at that time in my life what a uterus was, much less a prolapsed one. It was an education, that is for sure!

    I love the Mitford series too – and hmm, now I want to reread them. 🙂 Have a great week~

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent most of August reading Moby Dick and Moby Dick-related books, so it’s refreshing to read anything I want. But, of course, it never is that simple for me. I decided to read The Goldfinch, and got several chapters in when The Testaments arrived. I am not a fan of big books (though I find that I always seem to love them when I finish them) and two big books gives me the feeling I’m trying to carry two ten-year-olds and I’d really like to set at least one of them down.

    I’ve suddenly become crazy about all-things-PBS, so the thought of a new run of All Things Bright and Beautiful sounds wonderful to me. We’ve disconnected from Comcast this week, and we are venturing out into unknown tvland, so I don’t know what is going to happen yet. Right now, we are trying Sling. I guess we will see what happens.

    I hope you get some solid reading time this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We got rid of cable six years ago or so and do all streaming – Amazon, Hulu, Britbox. Some of the PBS shows are on Amazon. We have gone off Netflix a little – there are some good shows but to me it’s not worth having three different streaming services or we are spending as much as we did for cable. In November we have to get the Disney app for all my son and husband’s superhero shows and movies. Sigh.

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  4. I’ll have to check out that book. I haven’t read anything by Dee Henderson before. It sounds really good, though. I haven’t had time to read anything lately, unless you count The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe that I’m ready along with my daughter for homeschool. I have one library book left before I have to return them and it’s just been sitting on my table staring longingly at me.

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