farm

Book Review: Honey Homicide by Vikki Walton

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Honey Homicide: A Backyard Farming MysteryHoney Homicide: A Backyard Farming Mystery by Vikki Walton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Honey Homicide is the third book in Vikki Walton’s ‘A Backyard Farming Mystery’ series. I’ve read the previous two and wanted to read this one, so I stayed current on the series. I enjoy learning all about beekeeping and other farming activities, so it’s a nice change of pace from other books I’ve been reading.

In this caper, Kandi and Anne are trying to help their friends survive a string of burglaries, fires, and corruption occurring somewhere in the town. It takes place in Colorado, and there are some pot growers who may or may not be behaving properly. When the cops get involved, and a few bodies start showing up, something is definitely out of sorts. Anne tries to manage her friendship with the sheriff only to find he’s accused of the crimes this time! Who do you trust? For Anne, she’s slowly falling in love with him, so she’ll do what’s necessary to protect the man.

Walton’s characters are cute. She has a nice balance of dialog and narrative to tell the story. I like getting to see the improvements on the inn. And it’s great how everyone works together to solve the crime and help each other survive in the town. Of the three so far, the second is my favorite, but this has fun elements with the bees and the police corruption. I’m looking forward to the next one.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Charlotte’s Web by EB White

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Charlotte’s Web was selected as one of the young adult book’s to read on the Children’s Book Readathon I’m hosting on my blog this month. This classic by E.B. White has been seen countless times on television, but how many of us have actually read the book? This is my second read and review, but I’m glad to dive back in as you discover so much more the second time around. It also reminded me White wrote Stuart Little, too! I’d either never known or forgotten.

Death is not easy. Dealing with it as a child is painful. On a farm, there is death all the time. It’s a natural process, but Fern is not ready to let her father slaughter a runt of a pig. Although she successfully convinces him to let her raise the pig, once Wilbur–her name for her new pet–is old enough to become food for others, she tries even harder to convince her father not to slaughter him. Wilbur gets a new home at Fern’s uncle’s place where they promise to keep him for a few months until they need to do something like potentially eat him! That’s when Charlotte the spider comes along and weaves her magic to save Wilbur’s life. From talking animals to life lessons, this classic is a treasure. I cry every time I see it on the television, and now I can say I’ve cried when I read it. Poor Charlotte… she’s truly the epitome of a selfless creature.

White built perfection in this story. It’s harsh but not cruel. It’s sweet but not sappy. It’s realistic yet fantastical. I adore it. Everyone should experience this first hand. I’m so glad it won the poll for our readathon

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Chicken Culprit by Vikki Walton

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I am a frequent cozy mystery reader and often search out new series. When Vikki Walton‘s new ‘Backyard Farming’ mystery series fell into my lap, I jumped on the chance to read the first book, Chicken Culprit: (Backyard Farming Mystery Series) (Cozy Mystery). Walton is a new author for me, but one I enjoyed getting to know. In this caper, a ~40ish woman moves to a small Colorado town known for homesteading. As the story evolves, we learn she has a lot more connections to it than we originally thought — always makes for a good mystery. I’ll leave it at that so the suspense grabs you enough to check it out. I give this debut caper 3.5 out of 5 stars and will gladly continue reading the series.

 

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Walton notes a sort of tongue-in-cheek approach to the story, which I definitely see in the style and humor. At first, it threw me off a little but I settled into the tone eventually welcoming the approach as an easy and enjoyable read. The main character has a strong personality and doesn’t hide her concern over some of the interesting / wacky neighbors she meets, including a potential chicken killer, then a real killer, and a girl who says ‘like’ as often as any Valley Girl I’ve met before. (And that’s quite a few!) I like to learn when I read a cozy mystery, hence why it needs a catchy theme. This is my first farming book where I can gain some useful information if I ever move to the country (a distinct possibility!).

I can’t speak too much about the characters without giving away critical information, but there are several fun twists which I didn’t expect. There’s a bit of culture and life-experience more than I’ve seen before in a cozy, but I liked it a lot. I found the banter between the sheriff and the main character, Anne, amusing. Sometimes I think he’s a meanie, other times, he has potential. All-in-all, there’s a good level of diversity and range in the characters. Walton has a few things to work out with the setting and relationships in the book, but it’s off to a promising start.

Kudos to a new series. I look forward to checking out more.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

365 Challenge: Day 255 – Harvest

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Harvest: the process or period of gathering in crops

harvest

In keeping with the Thanksgiving theme this week, today’s word is ‘harvest,’ which isn’t too far off from Nel’s guess of ‘cornucopia’ yesterday — very close!

Fall is my favorite season. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s mostly due to the wonderful smells in the air, whether it’s food, drink, flowers or leaves. The thought of pulling together the fall harvest has always fascinated me, whether it was crops on farms, apples in orchards or grapes to make wine. It is one of those parts of life that we often forget the importance of, or the amount of work it takes to put all the final products into our hands or on our tables. To think of the strides we’ve made in the last few hundred years is amazing. From the pilgrims to the colonial times, the Industrial Revolution and the modernization of techniques, the harvest is one of the most important elements around us.

I didn’t grow up on a farm, nor would I even know how or where to begin managing one, yet I feel like it would have been a good life for me. One day, I will end up on Roda’s Indigo Acres to try my hand at farming. Ryder would love it. All the fresh foods, making things with my own two hands, delivering and donating to others who need sustenance… it sounds amazing, and that’s just the initial thoughts of things like ‘Farm to Table’ or ‘Artisanal’. It’s truly a craft. I give thanks today to anyone and everyone working in this industry. If you do, tell me all about it; I’d love to hear your favorite parts and experiences. One more day until Thanksgiving… that’ll be an easy 365 Daily Challenge word.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: The Grapes of Wrath

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The Grapes of WrathBook Review
3 out of 5 stars to The Grapes of Wrath, written in 1939 by John Steinbeck. I might have an unpopular opinion when it comes to this book, as it was fine but nothing fantastic for me. I admit, I read this in middle school, nearly 25 years ago, and never went back to read it again. I tend not to like books about awful things as the main plot. I don’t mind when bad things happen, or circumstances change, but when the entire book is about the pain and suffering of a family, it doesn’t usually rise to the top of my TBR. I might consider giving this one another chance, but you have some major convincing to do. I like Steinbeck, too, so it’s not so much an issue with the author as it is with the topic. The writing is strong. The imagery is good. The characters are well drawn. The setting is very detailed. But when it comes to the plight of a family against the hardships all around them, it’s a difficult read. Part of my issue may have been a connection with the story. While I certainly don’t have a real-life connection with my favorite books (mysteries, thrillers…), you need to have an understanding and recognition between what’s happening and how you live. Coming from the northeast, in a major metropolitan city, 50+ years after these times, it doesn’t start off as something I’m familiar with. I usually don’t read things about this time period or space for those reasons. If the characters called to me, I might have liked it more. Don’t get me wrong… it’s a good book. And it’s got a place in the world of classics. And it helped highlight a lot of wrongs that people weren’t aware of. And maybe because I learned those lessons from other books and other places, this one just didn’t seem all that top notch to me. That said, it’s Steinbeck, so there is something of value here. No one can tell reality like he can.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: Charlotte’s Web

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Charlotte's WebMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you’ve never read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, you are utterly missing out on a classic Newbery Honor award winner. Go to the library now and borrow this book first published in 1952. You shouldn’t buy it (unless you have children or are giving it as a present), but choose to embrace the entire experience of being a small child walking through your public library’s doors, searching for an amazing book and finding yourself bringing home a tale that will make you cry and fall in love all at the same time. And don’t spoil it by watching the cartoon or regular movies made based on the book until you’ve read it yourself! It’s important….

At a quick glance, a little pig arrives on a new farm and is basically going to be entered into a contest to win a prize for the farm owner. But the pig is scared and confused, turning to all sorts of other farm animals for love and guidance at his new home: chickens, mice, birds and of course, Charlotte, the friendly spider. To help save the pig, Charlotte spins webs overnight about the pig’s talents in the hopes that he’ll be saved from the… sniff sniff… chopping block even if he wins the contest for best pig. But there’s so much more going on in this book…

Charlotte is everyone’s mother. She’s everyone’s teacher. She’s everyone’s friend. As Pollyanna as it will sound, we should all have a Charlotte in our life to help us grow up and mature into terrific, radiant and humble human beings. (I’ll avoid calling us “some pig” as the other message she crafts). All the lessons children can learn from this book are important, even the ones about death. I won’t spoil it, but despite all the efforts across all the animals and the people in this treasure, someone doesn’t make it. It’s on the same level as “Bambi” in my opinion when it comes to a must-read for children, even if the harsh realities of life are exposed.

Please go read it. 🙂

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