Random (but not really)

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Hiking WV: Beartown

Beartown State Park

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Written by Michelle at 3:36 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Books of February

Artificial ConditionIt’s March. Again. Or perhaps still, I’m not sure. Whatever it is, I read a lot of books last month.

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells are amazing. I read the second, Artificial Condition and it was just as good as the first.

If you’re interested in reading some LGBT fantasy, but don’t want to read the boinking, then I’ve got some recommendations for you. The Last Sun by K. D. Edwards (The Tarot Sequence) is a book I’d had for awhile but hadn’t read because the cover put me off. I’m sorry I waited. Another first book in a series is White Trash Warlock by David R. Slayton (Adam Binder) which didn’t end as cleanly as I would have liked but is still recommended. And if you wondered how cupid operated in the modern age—and were in need of a fluffy romance, may I point you to Making Love by Aidan Wayne

It looks like Wonderstruck by Allie Therin is the final book in her Magic in Manhattan series, and it was satisfying.

And two straight-up romances that I really enjoyed were The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt which is a fake husband story, that I found extremely satisfying, and Grumpy Bear by Slade James (Bear Camp) which was the second book in a series. Both books are explicit.

Fantasy, LGBT

The Last SunOpen for Business (2016) Angel Martinez (Brandywine Investigations) 8.5/10
The Last Sun (2018) K. D. Edwards (The Tarot Sequence) 8.5/10
Grilled Cheese and Goblins: Adventures of a Supernatural Food Inspector (2018) Nicole Kimberling 8.5/10
Wonderstruck (2021) Allie Therin (Magic in Manhattan) 8/10
Making Love (2017) Aidan Wayne 8/10
White Trash Warlock (2020) David R. Slayton (Adam Binder) 8/10
Heir to a Curse (2020) Lissa Kasey (Romancing a Curse) 7/10
Marked by Death (2020) Kaje Harper (Necromancer) 7/10
Powered by Ghosts (2010) Kaje Harper (Necromancer) 6/10
Bound by Memories (2020) Kaje Harper (Necromancer) 6.5/10
How to Marry a Werewolf (2018) Gail Carriger (Claw & Courtship) 7/10
Marine Biology (2010) G. L. Carriger (San Andreas Shifters) 6.5/10
Fire Water (2015) Jaye Wells (Prospero’s War)

Fantasy, Steampunk

Soulless (2009) Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate) 7.5/10
Changeless (2010) Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate) 6/10
Blameless (2010) Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate) 7/10
Heartless (2011) Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate) 4.5/10

WonderstruckRomance, LGBT

Jericho Candelario’s Gay Debut (2018) R. Cooper 9/10
The Husband Gambit (2018) L.A. Witt 8.5/10
Dine with Me (2019) Layla Reyne 8.5/10
Grumpy Bear (2021) Slade James (Bear Camp) 8/10
It Takes Two to Tumble (2017) Cat Sebastian (Seducing the Sedgwicks) 8.5/10
A Gentleman Never Keeps Score (2018) Cat Sebastian (Seducing the Sedgwicks) 8/10
Candy Hearts (2000) Erin McLellan (So Over the Holidays) 7.5/10
Fake Date Flip-Flop (2021) Hank Edwards 6.5/10
The Hideaway Inn (2020) Philip William Stover (Seasons of New Hope) 6/10
The Hockey Player’s Snow Day (2021) Jeff Adams (Hockey Hearts) 6/10
Changing Colors & Heat Wave DNF (2018) Elyse Springer (Seasons of Love Book)

Romance, Historical

These Old Shades (1926) Georgette Heyer 9/10

Mystery

Mystery at the Masquerade (2021) Josh Lanyon (Secrets and Scrabble) 7.5/10
The Killings at Badger’s Drift (1987) Caroline Graham (Chief Inspector Barnaby) 7/10

Dine with MeMystery, Historical

At Bertram’s Hotel (1965) Agatha Christie (Miss Marple)

Science Fiction

Artificial Condition (2018) Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries) 8.5/10

Fiction

The Weddings (2019) Alexander Chee (Inheritance collection) 7/10

Non-Fiction

An Edible History of Humanity (2009) Tom Standage 7.5/10


Written by Michelle at 6:15 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  

Monday, March 1, 2021

Broken Bottles

We’re getting our deck replaced.

Finally.

But that’s not really what this post is about.

When they tore off the old deck, they exposed the (pretty damaged) original house steps. And I noticed something bizarre: what looked like broken bottles embedded in the bottom step of each set of stairs.

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Front door

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Kitchen door

Upon closer inspection, they really do look like broken bottles.

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That almost looks like a Pepsi logo to me.

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And this one has writing.

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This is the same picture in mirror image.

The lower part of the text there looks to be “BOTTLE OF MORGANTOWN” but I could be wrong.

So, why on earth were there bottles embedded into the cement stairs? Since there is no cement in the bottle, I am guessing the bottle was broken after the cement was poured. It’s a 1930s house, so is this some weird Great Depression thing?

This house just has so many surprises.

Written by Michelle at 5:20 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: House & Garden,Photos  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Snowshoeing: Blackwater Falls

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Written by Michelle at 5:21 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Snowshoeing: Coopers Rock

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Written by Michelle at 5:15 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Hiking WV: Blackwater Falls

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And one picture from Canaan Valley

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Written by Michelle at 7:58 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Books of January

Well, January was a month, wasn’t it?

All Systems Red
I read some good books this month, including several new releases and series that were new to me.

In the new releases, I was unsusrprised to discover that I loved the newest entry and Charlie Adhara’s Big Bad Wold Series, Cry Wolf. I love everything about this series, from the relationship between the two, to the mystery, to family interactions.

The other book I had pre-ordered ended up being a HUGE let down, because SHE ENDED IT IN A CLIFFHANGER. (RAGE) (HULK SMASH)

I discovered a new series, Dianne Freeman’s Countess of Harleigh mystery series, which is delightful AND goes out of its way to avoid Hollywood Endings. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

Speaking of mysteries, An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten is a whole lot, and you should definitely read it. I mean, how many books about octogenarian serial killers do you know about?

I got a lot of free romances in a holiday give away and have been slowly going through them, and there were some really good ones. Those all got individual reviews, even if they were short stories, so you can peruse them below. But I want to make note of Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne, which was incredibly good, and I highly recommend it.

A Lady's Guide to Ettiquette and Murder

And I’m once again caught up on Lady Mechanika now I’ve read Sangre and I impatiently wait news of the next volume.

OH! HUGE surprise this month: I read and LOVED a SF story. That’d be Martha Wells first Murderbot story,
All Systems Red. It is AMAZING.

Historical Mystery

A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder (2018) Dianne Freeman (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery) 7.5/10
A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder (2019) Dianne Freeman (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery) 8.5/10
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder (2020) Dianne Freeman (Countess of Harleigh Mystery) 8/10
The Shattered Tree (2016) Charles Todd (Bess Crawford) 7/10
Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders (2019) Tessa Arlen (A Woman of WWII Mystery) 7/10
Why Shoot a Butler? (1933) Georgette Heyer
The Unfinished Clue (1934) Georgette Heyer

Mystery

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good (2018) Helene Tursten translated by Marlaine Delargy 8.5/10

Lady Mechanika

LGBT Mystery

Come Unto These Yellow Sands (2017) Josh Lanyon 8.5/10

Historical Romance

A Christmas Dance (2014) Alissa Johnson 8.5/10

Romance

Grumpy Jake (2019) Melissa Blue 7/10

LGBT Romance

Loud and Clear (2016) Aidan Wayne 9/10
Getting It Right (2015) A.M. Arthur (Restoration) 8.5/10
Let Your Heart Be Light (2019) J.R. Lawrie 8.5/10
Recipe for a Curse (2021) Lissa Kasey (Romancing a Curse 8/10
Mr. Right Now (2019) Annabeth Albert 8/10
“The Uncut Wood: A Bear Camp Short” (2020) Slade James 8/10
A Midnight Clear (2020) Kaje Harper 7.5/10
Not So Cookie Cutter (2019) Aidan Wayne 7/10
So We Meet-Cute Again (2019) Geneva Vand

Cry Wolf

LGBT Fantasy

Cry Wolf (2021) Charlie Adhara (Big Bad Wolf) 8.5/10
A Beginner’s Guide to Wooing Your Mate (2015) R. Cooper (Beings in Love) 8.5/10
Little Wolf (2015) R. Cooper (Beings in Love) 7/10
The Gangster (2021) C.S. Poe (Magic & Steam)
“Incidental Magic” (2021) Jordan Castillo Price 6/10
“Daydream” (2020) A.M. Rose 6/10

Graphic Novel

Lady Mechanika Volume 6: Sangre (2020) by Joe Benitez, M.M. Chen, Brian Ching, Martin Montiel 8/10
Digger, Vol. 1 (2005) Ursula Vernon 8/10
The Tea Dragon Society (2020) K. O’Neill

Science Fiction

All Systems Red (2017) Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries) 9/10


Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  
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