Tag Archive: series



Mary Poppins: 80th Anniversary CollectionMary Poppins: 80th Anniversary Collection by P.L. Travers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was in fifth grade, I was a library regular. I would check out the limit of ten books at a time. Mary Poppins was a series I got into and read all of them. I never had seen Julie Andrews version. We weren’t allowed to go to movies in my family. Maybe that’s the reason I am so into movies now?

Anyway, I wasn’t a fan of the illustrations, still don’t care for them. I got irritated with Michael getting so much attention. I felt that this read through, too.

Something that I noticed that I don’t remember my childhood thoughts on. How prideful Mary Poppins was, and how grumpy/bossy she was. But now that it’s been a couple days since I finished this quartet of books I think I’m glad she was that way. She didn’t feel she needed to tell the family when she’d be leaving. She rarely admitted to the kids about her friends or her habits with them. It was like she had her own life apart from the wards of her job. I think she shows women and girls that they don’t have to tell everything and they can be independent.

Since I read these four books in a row using text-to-speech, I didn’t notice where one book ended and another began–except when she left and said she wasn’t coming back–but then she came back.

I don’t remember finding the adventures tedious as a child. But as an adult, I see they are far too similar and I lost interest sometimes.

Particular to this version, the Audible available as whispersynch to this book was just for the first book. Most folks would probably read on without a problem. I need the text-to-speech to take over and it was hard to make my Fire understand that. The good news was that I called Amazon and they made it all good. I had loved the Audible narration. I just didn’t have the money to get the rest of the books at that time. They let me remove it and then my text-to-speech with the British voice that always sounds like Julie Andrews got me through the rest of the books.

Now I feel ready to watch the new Mary Poppins movie.

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A Crown in Time (Thief in Time Book 4)A Crown in Time by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cidney Swanson has done it again! This was a fun time-travel to Elizabethan England from 21st century here in America. It is the perfect ‘what if?’ with a mixture of thrilling moments fighting evil and or impossible situations and sweet moments of love. Imagine you could actually meet THE Queen Elizabeth!

Ms. Swanson presents some of the questions of time-travel and puts her own spin on things. Those crazy questions brought up in the past of seeing one’s self in the past, etc.

Meanwhile, there are three young women, newlyweds with spouses from other times. So well written that I found myself fighting a sore throat when the main character complains of same. Yes, it was coincidence but I worried about hypochondria. But after being out in public I realized it was allergies to certain perfumes had irritated my throat. Hot tea took care of it. But that is scary to think you can be so drawn into the book that you ‘catch’ their disease. Good thing I’m too old to feel the pregnancy symptoms! LOL!

If you get the chance, read this series. Even better start with my favorite series Saving Mars. Cidney Swanson can pull you into her books within a sentence or two and keep you up way past sleep time as you try to find a good stopping place.

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Outsider: The Flawed Series Book TwoOutsider: The Flawed Series Book Two by Becca J. Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was given the ARC by the author for an honest review. Because of it being an ARC, I will not count into this review any of the editing errors that I did pick up. In fact, the story caught me up so firmly that I hardly noticed these oopsies.

About that story! Wow! Told from the viewpoints of the main character, Josh, and his female interest, Alex, and their nemesis, Nic who is out to kill Alex. I like that you can get into the heads of each of these people. Sure, one could guess at the insecurities young people have about starting a new relationship, but Ms. Becca Campbell (author) gives us deeper insights than those surface issues. Put into that mix suddenly awakening abilities and one can understand the deep confusion. And seeing what was motivating the bad guy was ingenious!

This series is so much fun! It keeps one on the edge of one’s seat wondering what is going to happen? How will they get out of this one? Try to read this one so that the last half is long before bedtime. I was lucky that I was able to finish long before sleep. There are nightmare elements that I didn’t want to have entering my subconscious. (Course the next book I picked up then was by Neil Gaiman, gulp!)

It had been a long time since I read the first of the Flawed series, Flawed. Even so I found a reread wasn’t necessary. Enough review is set up in this book two that one wouldn’t feel lost. In fact, one could read this without having read the first book. But the depth you would have from reading the series in order is unbeatable. I highly recommend reading this series if you are inclined to read fantasy books about new or young adults. This one was more contemporary than other fantasies. In that way, it is fun to visit Colorado and California as they are.

I can’t wait to read the next in the series!

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Reviews: Shows I’ve Liked


Fibromyalgia seems to dictate my life lately. Whereas I used to stay home with a flare occasionally, now I rarely go out. I can count on my fingers how often I have been out in the last couple years. Now the fluctuations are in what I can get done within a day. Worst days are just sleep and moan. I do everything in my power to keep from having those days.

Even with this cold I seem to have acquired in the last couple days, I have managed to not sleep all day. I have had to nap today. But hopefully that won’t affect tonight’s rest. Instead, I can sit and read in any of my books. But there are days when the eyes just can’t handle reading. Those are the days I use to watch Netflix.

I wish there were a “GoodReads” of Netflix so I could review what I watch. Netflix actually used to have that so I could share with friends and family what I’ve been watching. But now they only have a star system that helps them decide what I want to see next.

SOoooo, I think I will start that here. I don’t watch these shows very often. They are merely to help me not think of pain on the days when my eyes are worse. I try to keep my goal of an intake that would pass the Bechdel test. Written, directed, starring women mostly.

After reading such books as Woman in the Wing that inspired me to look at women in the World Wars, I found myself drawn to Bletchley Circle which was all mysterious drama, still worth three or four stars. Then Bomb Girls definitely a four-star show.  It made me nervous to think of those people who had to make those bombs.

On the same theme, Land Girls, the ones who stayed home taking care of the farms, which had an actress that looked so much like David Tennant’s Doctor Who’s assistant Rose Tyler that I believe they could be sisters. Not as intense a show but full of talented actresses and singers.

Well, now I was craving more British shows. So I went on to watch Call the Midwife. I can’t wait to watch more of this show. I here there are more seasons. For me, this is a five-star wonder. After all, I had my last two babies at home so I feel a certain camaraderie with these ladies.

It seemed I lost track of the war issue and graduated to more modern times but stayed with the British, I went on to watch Happy Valley which was gruesome at times, but all in all a good show to watch with a strong female main character. Four stars.

Lastly, there was Last Tango in Halifax. Neither of these last two shows starred strictly women. In fact, Last Tango is a sweet love story about this older hetero-couple.  Four stars. I think there may be more seasons on this one. I wouldn’t mind.

Granted all these shows are series that last a while so this may be a cinema diet of a couple years. But this is the kind of thing I love to watch when I can’t read. Any suggestions? Comments?


Taxi - Tactics (Book 7)Taxi – Tactics by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ulrike, you did WHAT!! Well, what did you have in mind, Carmen? Yeah, that’s what I thought!

There. I’ve summed it up. Would I have done what Ulrike did? Nope. Wouldn’t have had the nerve or the idea. I’m stuck with whatever Carmen would have come up with. Stuttering my way through to absolutely nothing.

What’s this all about? Gosh, I can’t tell you. You have to read it for yourself. I am curious as to how others would handle this situation. What tactics would you use? Remember jobs and reputations are on the line. But it is a situation that comes up on a daily basis. Like I’ve said before, Sophia DeLuna uses realistic problems and handles them through the characters of Ulrike and Carmen. I have to say I was quite surprised with what was done and I have to admit to what I wouldn’t have known what to do. Real life like this scares me. As advanced as we think we all are on LGBTQ issues, this situation still exists.

As I have said before, I love these episodes by Ms. DeLuna. They challenge my mind. They warm my heart. It is a little like watching a soap opera. And at this point I can’t wait until Sophia finishes the next Taxi event! By the way, thank you, Ms. DeLuna for letting me read these last few for free. When I can, I will buy these stories for friends, thereby passing on the kindness.

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Review: Champion by Marie Lu


ChampionChampion by Marie Lu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Five stars! And that’s with me starting to read it on book three! I never do that. I like to start at the beginning and read a long series to the end. Starting in the middle or later can be chancy at best. But there was no choice. I saw such high ratings and I think a GoodReads friend recommended it. So I jumped over to Amazon. WAY too expensive for me right now. So I went over to my library website to see if they had it. The had the regular version of book two and this third book. BUT with this large print book I was able to land the audio-CDs. How lucky was that?

Let me take a moment out for a font complaint. Why is it that large print versions don’t give spaces between lines? Even with the larger font I still couldn’t read it straight through. I needed to use my trusty dusty bookmark to keep track, like a first grader! Old eyes, what can I say?

What kept me going, though, was the audio version. The voices of June and Day were read by Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan respectively. They were wonderful narrators! I must make sure when I finally get this series for myself that I get the Audible Whispersync with the Kindle version.

I must marvel at the writing of Marie Lu. That I can come into the story this late in the game and not feel lost is to her credit. Sure, I felt like I was missing a little background on how it all started and how relationships grew, or didn’t, but I felt I already knew, somehow. There wasn’t a lot of background descriptors dragging the story out, so I assume Ms. Lu snuck it all in there somehow. Magic!

And I am surprised that coming out of the book I have a hunger to read the entire series, real soon! I put all the books on all my wishlists. Just reading a book three should have had me feel I was finished, ya know?

Oh, and if you read this one, have some Kleenex on hand near the end. It’s not horrid, but I haven’t cried like that near the end of a book for a long time. But that shows the amount of truth that this story held for me. No, I am far from being a teen–65, but I could still relate to all that was going on with these characters.

Oh, and this is the first book in a long time that felt that either guys or girls could read it with equal fervor. Each chapter is either June or Day (Daniel) and both are tough but caring human beings.

As I have said before, where were authors like Marie Lu when I was a teen? This book kept my interest from beginning to end. And I think that if you are unlucky enough to not get the first two books you can start here and still have an active adventure!

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Ashes and Arsenic (Preternatural Affairs, #6)Ashes and Arsenic by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Agent Cèsar Hawke is not my favorite character. I prefer Ms. Reine’s female main characters. But Cèsar is humorous to read about. After all, I don’t know of any witch who has a major allergy to magic. Then, again, I don’t know many witches. So they may well exist out there somewhere.

Cèsar is self-effacing, definitely not a macho man. He does cause me to giggle every now and then. In this book, we get to know more about his brother and father. We’ve already met his sister and she’s off doing her own thing.

This was a one-day read and as usual Ms. Reine kept my interest. The thing about S.M. Reine is how prolific she is. My goodness, I keep thinking I’ve read everything by her and she comes out with more. I love it all! Even though she often writes about demons or other scary subjects, she is able to keep the story light enough to enjoy and yet suspenseful enough that I didn’t want to stop reading. She throws in her great sense of humor causing the aforementioned occasional giggle.

I want to thank Sara for letting me read her books free for review. Sorry it takes me so long sometimes, but I keep it honest.

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Taxi - Timing (Book 4)Taxi – Timing by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The trauma that started in book/section three continues. It is so bad that it could be the end of the relationship between Carmen and her lover and even plays a part in her relationships with family and friends. But is time on her side? Is there a point where your trauma can isolate you to a point of starvation. Can she find her inner strength before everyone gives up on her?

This may be the most personal of all. If you haven’t lived with trauma that is that debilitating you might not understand what Carmen is going through. But I felt the author, Sophia Deluna, did a marvelous job getting inside the heads of characters of this section. And something I haven’t written about in my reviews of the previous Taxi installments is her writing. I love it! Her descriptions and ability to tell a story, reeling in this reader, hook, line and sinker. All the relationships seem real. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this story.

As with the other few bits of this story, I am most upset by the price per bit. I am now at the end of my budget for the month so I won’t be able to read part five for a month. It is this that is causing the less than five stars for me. At least with Kindle Unlimited I can still read a book when the money runs out. Oh well. I still have a few of Ms. DeLuna’s other stories downloaded to peruse over the next few weeks.

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Taxi - Trauma (Book 3)Taxi – Trauma by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Except for the $.99 a section, I am loving the story between Ulrike and Carmen. They are two very different women, each with their own set of insecurities and powers. There are even distinct language and culture differences. But that makes for a better story, I think.

This is for section three. It’s call book three, but I don’t think any of these sections can be called a book. Long chapters, maybe.

Trauma is the title and trauma is what it is about. I found this section to be quite truthful in that poor Carmen does have some problems with PTSD/anxiety and depression going on. I think the author did a great job pulling the reader into how that feels from the inside of the person experiencing the mental anguish and what it looks like to those who love her. I don’t think I have seen it all so well done!

So far, what I really like in this series of episodes is how well defined each of the main individuals relationships with others is and how the whole group of people grow through their experiences. Great job, Sophia DeLuna!

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Armed and Outrageous
Armed and Outrageous by Madison Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Though I am reading the three-book boxed set, I think it is fair to give a review of each individual book. Since I did buy both, and as I want to encourage writing for seniors, the reals ones not the ones in twelfth grade in high school. Besides, it doesn’t hurt my reading goals to review individually. 😉

It is so exciting to actually read something that includes people, womyn, who are not teens. Was it as well-written as I would like? Not so much. I would give this three and a half stars. This needed more editing. And did we have to fall into the trap of the romance? I like when womyn can think for themselves and stand without a man coming to their rescue. Agnes did that for the most part, but she got all weak kneed and girlie when the man of her dreams comes into view. I loved Eleanor, the ninety-something sex crazed side-kick better than the main character. She pulled no punches and got what she needed from the world.

That world is Tawas, Michigan. I’ve never been there so it seemed like another country, to me. The author did make it sound like the kind of place I’d like to visit sometime.

I love how Madison Johns, the author, captures all kinds of senior citizens within this book. She laughs at some who seem like they would enjoy the joke while holding respect and sympathy for those not so blessed or able. And I love how Ms. Johns addresses fem issues. You wouldn’t think that the issues would be so strong once womyn were no longer in the work force, but it seems to affects us all a lot more. Ms. Johns doesn’t draw attention to these issues, but rather, states them as is and moves on, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions.

The tags ‘mystery, thriller, suspense’ are the most accurate. Chic-lit or cozy mystery seem too light for the contents. Rape, murder, and sex-trafficking are some topics involved which are dealt with in a serious manner. I found that fact a little too much to deal with. I don’t like reading stories that are too realistic. I get that on the news. Give me a good sci-fi or fantasy to get lost in, any day. But all in all this was a good read and I will continue the series with delight. Go, Seniors!

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