Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Edge of Dreams (a book review)

Book Review
The Edge of Dreams,by Rhys Bowen

Rhys Bowen’s latest book in her Molly Murphy mystery series, The Edge of Dreams, has a serial murderer on the loose in New York City. The murderer is taunting the police with letters directed to Molly’s police captain husband, Daniel Sullivan. Much to Daniel’s chagrin Molly is brimming with ideas and champing at the bit to get involved.

She can’t help herself. Although some years ago she arrived a fresh-off-the boat immigrant, Molly soon found herself apprentice to a private investigator. When he was murdered, Molly successfully ran the business herself. It’s now 1905 and Daniel had hoped marriage and motherhood would keep her safely home as a good wife. He balks at what he considers her meddling, forbids her to get involved and refuses to discuss any part of the case with her, at least at first.

But Molly is too bright and persistent and has more ideas than he or any of his peers to be still for long. She slowly involves herself in the investigation exposing herself to dangers she's only seen on the edge of dreams.

I discovered this series in 2008 when there were seven books in the series. I started with Murphy’s Law when Molly, wanted for questioning for murder, flees the authorities in Ireland. She lands at Ellis Island where a fellow-traveller is murdered. Everyone is detained on the island as suspects, and intrepid Molly, determined to get on with her life in America, is determined to solve it herself. I read the whole series in a month and have eagerly awaited every new adventure.

The characters are well developed and alternate lifestyles are explored with a light touch. Each story is well plotted and includes historical events that give an authenticity to New York City and the country of that era. I like that Bowen gives her own possible solutions to some of history’s unanswered questions of the time.

Although each book can stand alone as complete, it’s always nice to know a person’s history. In case you want to read the entire series as well, below is a list in order of publication.

  • Murphy's Law (2001)
  • Death of Riley (2002)
  • For the Love of Mike (2003)
  • In Like Flynn (2005)
  • Oh Danny Boy (2006)
  • In Dublin's Fair City (2007)
  • Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (2008)
  • In a Gilded Cage (2009)
  • The Last Illusion (2010)
  • Bless the Bride (2011)
  • Hush Now, Don't You Cry (2012)
  • The Family Way (2013)
  • City of Darkness and Light (2014)
  • The Edge of Dreams (March 2015)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Salute to all the Charlies

pen and sword 2The recent horrible events in France highlight how fear of free thought can drive some to violence.  We have 
been fortunate in these United States to have the First Amendment on the books protecting the right to free speech.  Granted, writers have had to take to the courts from time to time to preserve that right, redefine it to meet a modern world, but it still shines its light across America and the world. 
This is not the case in other parts of the world.  The Guardian article reads, “Nine hundred writers around the world were harassed, imprisoned, murdered or “disappeared” last year, according to PEN International…(1)  For a list of Freedom of Speech by Country see the Wikipedia link below. (2)
I believe that fear leads to violence. (3)  Writers often raise what are to some, uncomfortable questions, uncomfortable truths, provoking the uncomfortable truth that a closely held belief is laughable to some, untrue to others.  The unstable and insecure cannot take the hit to their esteem, so they lash out often violently. 
I’ve always believe that old saw, “the pen is mightier than the sword”.  It does not mean there won’t be casualties, but I have to believe that writers the world over will pick up their pens on a daily basis and continue the volley of words, even when faced with guns.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Do You Make Resolutions or Intentions?

Although I celebrate New Year’s Eve and toast the New Year, I actually begin my celebration on IMG_7284Solstice – Darkest Night.  
That’s when I light candles in each room and on my small altar.  It is also when I choose my One Word – that one word that will inform my intentions for the year.  My 2015 One Word is: TransForm. Below is my mini poster for fridge, desk and wallet
one word TransForm 1Solstice is also when I consider and pen my intentions (not resolutions) for the lengthening of days that lead to Spring and earth’s rebirth.  I’m not going to begin them all on day one, but slowing work my way month by month through the 25 items on my 2015 Intention’s ToDo List.
  1. I intend to stock my Etsy Store this year.  So when an artist friend in Sacramento challenged me to join in the 30 paintings in 30 days January Challenge,  I’ll finally stock my Etsy on-line store this year.
  2. I intend to stick to my morning pages (read Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way). I’ve been diligently doing since Solstice. 
  3. I intend to keep up my Blog more consistently than I have this past year.  With this post being my first of 2015, I plan on posting at least 2 if not 3 days a week.

More to come – Happy 2015 y’all.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Leftover Makeover

The leftover cornbread dressing from Christmas dinner got even soggier sitting in the fridge since Thursday night. So, I gave it a makeover.  

The dressing was a tad under spiced for my taste, so more sage, poultry seasoning, cracked black pepper, and salt. 

Next I diced up 1/2 onion, small stalk of celery, 1/2 green bell pepper, 
 then i stirred in  1/2 C of leftover shredded yellow squash casserole, 6 leftover braised asparagus chopped into small pieces and mixed it all lightly with a fork. 

I put the makeover into a hot oiled cast iron pan then into the oven at 360. After 30 min I dotted the top with butter and continued baking checking at 15 min then 10 and so on till bubbly and browned on top and around the edges.  Yum taste and slightly scorched tongue. 

Once it's cooled, I'll freeze half and reheat half for dinner tonight w/a piece chicken as I didn't get any leftover turkey.