It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Happy Halloween! Fall is my favorite season. There are so many good books to read this time of year.  It’s still warm during the day in my part of the world, but at least the nights are chilly. For readers in cooler climates, I hope you are keeping warm with a good book and a cup of your favorite beverage.

I am currently reading:

The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday Light from a Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris

The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday – I believe this is targeted to a younger audience than other young adult books I have read. It’s cute and probably would appeal to the tween set.

Light from a Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris – I started reading this over the last few days. I am trying to move beyond the fact that a pit bull attacks a child and is killed violently in the second chapter of the book… but I cannot guarantee that I will forget (or forgive). I understand the tone of the book and the intent of this portion of the plot, but did it have to be a pit bull?

During the past week I finished reading:



What is Halloween without some photos of the pack in their Halloween costumes?

Happy Halloween 2011
Sherman, Neko and Callie
Happy Halloween 2011

We don’t dress up the cats because that would just be mean.

View all of our pack Halloween photos here. I might be biased, but I think there are some pretty cute ones in there!

Many thanks to everyone who has so generously donated to Clifford’s heartworm treatment. We truly appreciate your support.


It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

I skipped this last week because I had nothing new to report. I don’t have much to report this week, but I like to use this to keep myself on track so I will post my small update. Sadly, due to life, reading and blogging have been pushed to the back burner these past couple of months. I hope things will ease up a bit soon.

I am currently reading:

The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday

The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday – This is a cute and seemingly quick read. I’m curious to see where the plot is headed.

During the past two weeks I finished reading:

The Best American Mystery Stories 2011

The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 – I finally finished reading this collection! I have no idea why it took so long, since I enjoyed the stories so much. My review. (4 out of 5 stars)


I won Light From A Distant Star by Mary McGarry Morris through a Read It Forward giveaway. Yay! I love giveaways!

Have a great week, everyone!

Review: The Best American Mystery Stories 2011

The Best American Mystery Stories 2011I am a fan of both short stories and mysteries, so The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 was bound to pique my curiosity. This year’s collection was edited by Harlan Coben, so I knew this would be a good set of stories.

Surprisingly, I think my favorite story was The End of the String by Charles McCarry. This story involves an American in Ndala who becomes involved with a military man wishing to overthrow the president. This is not a topic I would normally seek out, but what a storyteller! I was completely drawn into the plot.

I also enjoyed Destiny City by James Grady, which centers around a terrorist plot. I am not one to seek out terroristic or political crime stories, but I found that I enjoyed all of them in this collection.

My second favorite story in this collection was The Hitter by Chris F. Holm. The Hitter is about a hit man who kills other hit men. This hit man contracts with potential victims to profit off the fact that he can save their lives by killing their would be assassins. Eventually, his chosen profession catches up to him.

Flying Solo by Ed Gorman is about two elderly men who befriend one another while receiving chemo treatment, and together they become vigilantes, fighting injustices.

Honorable mentions include Who Stole My Monkey? by David Corbett and Luis Alberto Urrea, A Crime of Opportunity by Ernest J. Finney and The Stars Are Falling by Joe R. Lansdale. I discovered many new authors through this collection, as well as an interest in subject matter that I would not normally seek out in my reading.

Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a copy to review, via NetGalley.

Book: The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 | Various Authors | Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; October 4, 2011 | Format: e-Galley | Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4 out of 5

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

We dropped Clifford off for his first injection of heartworm treatment this morning. Be well, Cliffie!

I am getting over a hideous cold/cough. Yesterday I took some cold medication that knocked me out for most of the day. I feel like I lost an entire day.

I am currently reading:

The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday

The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 – I finally picked it back up again! I have been carrying this one over each week for a ridiculous length of time. I need to finish it already.

The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday – I picked up this NetGalley read yesterday while in a cold medication fog. It seems cute and promising.

During the past two weeks I finished reading:

Room by Emma Donoghue Wicked Witch Murder by Leslie Meier

Room by Emma Donoghue – It is rare that a book makes me feel uncomfortable, but this one managed to do just that. It was an uncomfortable read, but one that I could not put down! I read it for a book club, but then I was too sick to go to the book club yesterday. Sad face! (5 out of 5 stars)

Wicked Witch Murder by Leslie Meier – This was the first book I have read in the Lucy Stone series, but it was perfect for my mood which called for a light, Halloween-ish read! (4 out of 5 stars)

Happy reading!

Clifford’s Heartworm Treatment


About a month ago, around the same time that the wildfires started and things went a little nutty in Central Texas, a stray dog was seen roaming our neighborhood. He kept running back and forth across a fairly busy road. I knew I would feel terrible if I later saw him squished on the side of the road. I spent about three days working to get the dog to trust me because he was very skittish and ran when a person got near him. I would slowly walk away from him while dropping food behind me. Over the course of three days or so, I began to earn his trust. He got closer and closer, then tentatively took food from my hand, and finally tolerated me touching his head. I lured him into the backyard of the (empty) house next door, and an hour or so later had a leash on him and got him into my backyard. It wasn’t easy, but we got the stray guy off the street.

The amazing thing was that the once skittish dog became a mostly normal dog within 24 hours of us corralling him into the backyard. I say mostly normal because he likes to JUMP! A LOT! and he also pees on his front legs sometimes.

I should take a moment to say that of our seven resident pets, only two were adopted. The remaining five were strays that we took in. We are suckers. So this stray guy made number eight in our house. We immediately went into panic mode, wondering what we were going to do with this dog? Our dogs already had some behavior kinks we were working on, so a fourth dog would cause all kinds of problems. A few days later, we took him to the vet. It turns out the guy we had been calling Clifford was heartworm positive. Crap.

Two of our resident animals were ill when we found them. Callie, our pit bull, had sarcoptic mange and a bacterial infection. She spent six weeks getting nasty lime dips and we had to handle her with gloves. Today she is a spoiled, healthy dog. Meep, our youngest cat, was severely anemic when we found her. We had to force feed her every few hours. It was touch and go for a few days, but she pulled through and is a cute, healthy cat today.

But heartworms? Dang, this was a new one for us. A very scary new one after I consulted the internet. To add to the scariness, I learned that there was a shortage of heartworm medication. The only option was to give the dog antibiotics and heartworm preventative until the medication was back on the market. Fortunately, in the past few days, our awesome vet has secured some medication and Cliff will begin treatment on Monday. I am kind of terrified. He’s a hyper dog, and we need to keep him as calm as possible while he undergoes treatment.

This all brings me to something I am somewhat uncomfortable with. I have been encouraged to begin a donation page to help raise funds for Cliff’s treatment. If you are so inclined – $1 – $5 – anything will help get us through this treatment. It all adds up and I will be forever grateful for your assistance!


P.S. We are still hoping to find Clifford a home after all this. If you are in the Austin area and looking for a dog, maybe Cliff is your doggie soul mate. Give him a couple of months and he will be ready to go! 🙂

P.P.S. This dog business is why I have not written a book review in ages, but I hope to get back on the review wagon within the next week.