Sunday Bookends: Love for Miss Julia, more reading and less watching, and a New Zealand theme this week

Welcome to Sunday Bookends where I ramble about what I’ve been reading, doing, watching, writing and listening to.

What’s Been Occurring

Last Sunday we visited my parents, and my dad actually watched a movie with us, after he took the kids to their frozen pond to do some ice skating. Dad doesn’t usually sit in one place for a movie but he really enjoyed The Finest Hours with Chris Pine and Casey Affleck, which I mentioned I had watched last week. He barely moved from the spot on the couch. I had a feeling he might like this one based on his service in the Air Force, and while this movie didn’t deal with men in the Air Force, it did focus on men working together in a sort of branch of the military (the Coast Guard).

We will not be visiting my parents today because Little Miss and I caught a cold late last week. Friday and Saturday was spent blowing noses, drinking tea and her crying because her throat hurt so bad. I cried because I had a horrendous burning in my nose that results in my eye and nose pouring liquid. Lots of fun.

Before anyone asks, no, I don’t believe we have been re-infected with the dreaded virus. This definitely feels more cold-like and less bioweapon-like.

I figure we picked it up when I took Little Miss to her first gymnastics class on Monday. We had not left the house much before that, other than her weekly Awana class. Part of the reason we didn’t leave was the continuing weird Pennsylvania weather. It’s been cold and snowy and then rainy and warm. I’m waiting for it all to settle a little bit before we plan any major outings.

During the week we did schoolwork and I finished editing on Beauty From Ashes, then realized that I had not finished the final chapter. Sigh. So, while battling a burning nose that felt like it might explode, I worked on that on Saturday, so I can send the book out to my critique group and to a couple of editors this week to get it ready for the April 26 release date.

If you are interested in serving on the launch team for the Beauty From Ashes team, you can apply HERE. There isn’t a lot of commitment to this, other than agreeing to share about the book on your social media sites. Anyone on the launch team will receive an advanced copy of the book in digital form (via Bookfunnel).

In addition to writing and blowing my nose, I also watched what was unfolding in Ukraine with deep sadness. Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs, wrote a beautiful post that sums up what I am sure many of us are feeling about this conflict.

What I/we’ve been Reading

I finished Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross yesterday. I will be reading more of the Miss Julia series. I really enjoyed the book. It was a type of cozy mystery.

Here is a description:

Everyone loves the irrepressible Miss Julia. Her latest triumph is getting Hazel Marie and J. D. Pickens to the altar before it becomes too obvious that they’re expecting twins! But why has Sam agreed that he and Julia will attend the odious Dr. Fowler’s marital enrichment sessions? Could Sam feel their flames need fanning? Meanwhile, this lady of a certain age must spring Etta Mae from jail when she’s wrongly accused of attacking Francie Pitts. With a fragrant felon to be caught- plus a wedding, babies, and a heaping dose of mischief-it’s fortunate for all that Miss Julia’s on the case.

This is the eleventh book in the series, so I plan to go find the first book in the series so I can start reading them in order.

My husband picked this and three others in the series up for me at a local library book sale.

I am in the middle of Every Star in the Sky by Sara Davison, which releases this week. Here is a description for that book:

She is willing to testify against her trafficker.
If she can stay alive that long.

“You’re safe here, Starr.”
How many times has Detective Cole Blacksky said that to her since helping her escape the life she’d been forced into eight years earlier?
Starr desperately wants to believe him, but she knows Brady Erickson, her former captor, too well. Although Cole has promised her protective custody on his family’s remote ranch, no place on earth is safe enough. Brady will stop at nothing to permanently silence her before she ever reaches the witness stand.
And he is powerful enough to do it.
If Starr wants to help the other women, she has no choice but to put herself in God’s hands. And Cole’s. But the longer she and Cole stay hidden, the more her life is at risk.
And her heart.

I finished His Road to Redemption by Lisa Jordan last night and hope to finish Sara’s book this week.

Once I finish her book, I will be delving further into Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz, which I opened to see if I would like it. I definitely like it and am anxious to get into it more.

Here is the description, but I am sure any Sherlock Holmes fans have an idea what it might be about:

Internationally bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s nail-biting new novel plunges us back into the dark and complex world of detective Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty—dubbed the Napoleon of crime” by Holmes—in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls.

Days after the encounter at the Swiss waterfall, Pinkerton detective agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. Moriarty’s death has left an immediate, poisonous vacuum in the criminal underworld, and there is no shortage of candidates to take his place—including one particularly fiendish criminal mastermind.

Chase and Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction originally introduced by Conan Doyle in “The Sign of Four”, must forge a path through the darkest corners of England’s capital—from the elegant squares of Mayfair to the shadowy wharfs and alleyways of the London Docks—in pursuit of this sinister figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty’s successor.

A riveting, deeply atmospheric tale of murder and menace from one of the only writers to earn the seal of approval from Conan Doyle’s estate, Moriarty breathes life into Holmes’s dark and fascinating world.

The Boy started Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson this week and Little Miss and I are reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (again).

What We watched/are Watching

I watched another episode of Brokenwood and really enjoyed it. It is a crime/mystery show set in New Zealand. The episodes are all about 90 minutes long, so it takes an investment each time we watch one.

I don’t really remember watching much else this past week. I tried to focus on reading and finishing the book instead. However, this next week I hope to lose myself in some stories, including The Sister Boniface Mysteries, which is a spin-off The Father Brown Mysteries on Britbox.

We did watch one episode of the latest season of Death in Paradise and it was okay, but that show has lost some of its appeal for me since they are on their fourth DI (detective inspector) and this is a tiny island but has one of the highest crime records I have ever seen.

What I’m Writing

As I mentioned above, I am finishing up all the edits for Beauty From Ashes.

After I send the book out to the critique group and editors, I will be taking a break and then I will start plotting book four and another novella I have an idea for.

I did not write any other posts on the blog this week because of working on the book and because of the cold.

I do have some ideas for blog posts this week and I hope to tackle them and actually getting them written. I should have more time for blog posts with the book finally finished.

What I’m Listening To

This week the husband turned me on to a new-to-me worship artist, Brooke, Ligertwood, who released her new album this past week. I have been listening to her and also to Mel Parsons from New Zealand who I found while watching Brokenwood. Watching the show and listening to her helpe me continue the New Zealand theme.

Now it’s your turn

So that is my week in review. How about you? What are you reading, writing, doing, listening to, yadda, yadda? Let me know in the comments and leave a link if you already do a post similar to this one.

4 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Love for Miss Julia, more reading and less watching, and a New Zealand theme this week

  1. Sorry you and Little Miss are under the weather. 😦 Hope you feel better soon! I truly did laugh out loud when I read “tiny island but has one of the highest crime records I have ever seen.” Hubby and I have watched all the seasons of Death in Paradise and we always say after watching it, “That’s one island people better not visit because you’ll end up dead there.” Ha!

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    • We are already feeling better. Just some lingering symptoms – stuffy noses and dry, burning sinuses. My husband says Death in Paradise is like Murder She Wrote and how everyone in that little town kept dying . We decided that when Jessica Fletcher died they finally realized she’d been a serial killer, drumming up business for her novels.

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