“The Camel Club”, by David Baldacci

Camel Club It was actually the premier of the TV show “King and Maxwell” that inspired me to pick up a Baldacci book. While The Camel Club is not part of the King and Maxwell series it was still a wonderful political thriller featuring the Secret Service, Security Agencies and an unlikely group of conspiracy theorists.

When Oliver Stone and the Camel Club witness a murder during one of their club meetings they begin to unravel one of the biggest political plots of the century. Plans are underway to kidnap the President, start a terrorism panic and launch a nuclear war.

Can a group of conspiracy misfits and one Secret Service agent stop the plan in time before millions of people are killed? The Camel Club will entertain you and leave you ready to pick up the next book in the series.

 

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“The Heist”, by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Hiest  It’s undeniable that the plot line of this book is very similar to a popular USA Network show. International Con Man and the FBI Agent who spender her career tracking and arresting him.

After being hit by a bus, (that’s one way to stop a thief) Nick Fox cuts a deal with the Director of the FBI to use his skills and talents to find and trap other Con Men, embezzlers, and worse criminals than himself.

FBI Agent Kate O’Hare’s FBI career lost its excitement after capturing Nick Fox but is she willing to work outside the FBI rule book to partner with him on bigger and more exciting cases? Will she be able to accept letting one criminal go free in exchange for catching other criminals?

Fox and O’Hare team up with a new crew of ‘non-criminals’ to pull of the biggest heist yet and bring to justice a corrupt money marketer who stole half a billion dollars. But when the case is over, Fox better watch his back because O’Hare is still looking for a chance to catch him breaking the law and arrest him again.

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“Blossom Sisters”, by Fern Michaels

Blossom Sisters

When Gus Hollister’s wife locked him out and filed for divorce, he tried to go back to the Grandma who raised him.

There was no welcome party though when Granny Rose, Aunt Iris and Aunt Violet told him he wasn’t welcome back to the old farmhouse. Gus hadn’t listened to their warnings about marrying a gold digger and since he turned his back on them, they are more than willing to turn their back on him.

Gus undertakes a journey to get his life back in order with the help of his best friend Barney. He knows something is up with his Aunts and Grandma. He decides that mending bridges with his family is just what he needs to get past the mess his life has become.

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“The Mystery Woman”, by Amanda Quick

In this 2nd book of the Ladies of Lantern Street, Quick tells the story of Beatrice Lockwood.Image Beatrice became a paranormal consultant at the Academy of the Occult only to have her boss murdered during a kidnapping attempt.

Now several months later, Beatrice is an investigative agent for the Finch & Marsh Agency. She is hired by Joshua Gage to catch a blackmailer. Gage’s history as an spy for the Crown has given him a special skill for investigation but injuries has forced him to retire.

A simple case of blackmail turns into a plan to once again kidnap Beatrice. Can a paranormal investigator and a retired spy, who does not believe in the paranormal, stop the evil plans of a killer?

Quick once again presents a well written British historical with touches of the paranormal and unique characters.

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“Crystal Gardens”, by Amanda Quick

ImageThere aren’t a lot of respectable positions for a spinster in regency England and it is even more difficult when you possess a psychical talent. That is why the Flint and Marsh Agency specializes in placing women into positions as governesses, companions and tutors. Only their employers know the real job is to privately investigate suitors.

When Evangeline Ames’s last job results in 2 murder attempts she is given refuge at the Crystal Gardens, under the watchful eye of Lucas Sebastian.

Lucas has moved into the Crystal Gardens estate to uncover the mystery behind his uncle’s death and the paranormal energy that is causing a deadly danger in the estates gardens.

Together Evangeline and Lucas will uncover century old secrets, foil robbery attempts, unveil murderers and rescue themselves from death. All with Quick’s trademark paranormal abilities. This is the first in the Ladies of Lantern Street series.

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“The Wanderer”, by Robyn Carr

wanderer

Departing from Virgin River, Robyn Carr is exploring the new town of Thunder Point in this first book of the series. Hank Cooper arrives in Thunder Point following

the death of his Army friend Ben. Little does he know that Ben left him valuable beach front property and a hazard of a Bait Shop. Cooper never stays in one place very long so he plans to fix and sell quickly and wander on to a new place and new job.

Cooper never expected to make friends, fight against high school bullying, solve a murder or meet someone as adverse to permanent relationships as he is. But life proves to be full of surprises when Cooper starts to discover that settling down and taking on responsibilities leads to more happiness than traveling around the country.

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“Because I Said So”, by Ken Jennings

Because I Said So, by Ken Jennings

If you follow this blog and actually read these posts you know that I do not read a lot of Non Fiction. Well hold on to your keyboards because here is a non fiction review.

Party Mythbusters, part Snopes.com this book by Jennings looks at the truth behind sayings that have been passed down through the generations and whether they are valid or myths.

Some of my favorite saying that he researches are: “Never sneeze with your eyes open- your eyeballs will pop out!” this was rated as MOSTLY FALSE and “It’s too dark to read in here, you’ll hurt your eyes!” I heard this one a lot and was happy to know it was rated FALSE.

If you like to increase random knowledge or just have a compulsion to never utter anything that isn’t 100% true then this book should definitely find its way into your hands.

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“The Best Man”, by Kristan Higgins

The Best Man, Kristan Higgins

Once again Higgins blends humor, heartache and hope into a fun romance.

Faith Holland left her hometown and family after being jilted at the alter. Instead of saying “I do” her groom says, “I’m gay”. Not wanting to feel the towns pity every day Faith heads out on her honeymoon and decides to stay.

When a family crisis brings her back home she finds that she still has to face the rumors, pity and heartbreak that she fled on her wedding day. And the biggest pain of all…Levi Cooper, the best man at her failed wedding and the one individual she blames for everything.

Through a series of family drama, community busy bodies, hijinks and kisses Higgins weaves a love story that not only mends a broken family but brings together soul mates who almost missed their chance.

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Amnesty @ your library

 

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Are overdue fines an incentive to bring books back on time or a deterrent to returning overdue books? As I’m sure most libraries do, my library has a maximum overdue fine.  This means that even if a book is 3 years overdue, the most a patron will pay in fines is $4.95 per item. Maybe patrons don’t know this and are afraid they will have to pay $164.25 per item. (15 cents a day rate) All I know is that for many of our patrons, having a fine over $3.00 means they do not use the library.

Our library serves a rural population with a high poverty rate and when it comes to utility bills or library fines the bills will always win. This is why I’m a supporter of library amnesty programs. This year we offered 2 different options for patrons to pay off their overdue fines without cash. Anyone can “Dry Up” their fines with paper good donations to our local food pantry and children and teens could “Read Down” their fines.

In years past we have done Food for Fines amnesty programs. The problem arose with expired food items and items already coming from food programs being brought to the library. That is one reason we went with the dry goods theme this year. We do not require any set dollar exchange rate but encourage patrons to consider their fine amount when making donations. The amnesty program is only good for overdue fines. Replacement fees, damage fees or collection agency charges must still be paid in cash.

It takes a little advertising work, and storage/transportation of donations but getting people back into the library is worth it in my opinion.

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Book Speed Dating @ your library

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Dater scored book looking for the perfect 10

I love hearing about programs libraries are doing. I often wish it was happening at my library so I could attend.

The problem with that is, I work at my library. When a cool program idea comes my way (usually through Pinterest or library blogs) I have to plan it, present it and usually not participate in it. 😦

That is how I felt when I first came across the idea of Book Speed Dating. The whole concept is to introduce readers to as many different books and authors as possible in a very short amount of time. In my research I found several ways that libraries were doing this and I scavenged ideas from them all and put together what I hoped would be a popular event at my library.

First I asked my staff members to select 5 or so titles that they really liked but were not the popular Patterson or Evanovich books that circulate all the time. Following that, I reviewed the books and pulled additional ones to fill in genres and themes that were missing. (As a 99% female staff we tend more towards female authors and characters.)

Once I had my selection of books, I designed my Score Card for rating these books and had the cards tucked into the books. I set our room up with nicely decorated tables for 4 and since we held the event on Valentines Day I also sprinkled the tables with Kisses. Each table had 2 stacks of 4 books on it. Readers were given 2 minutes to Score their book date on appearance (cover, title & size), flirting (blurbs, summaries and on book reviews) and lastly they got to know their book date by reading the first few pages until time ran out. When time was up they finished up tallying their Score Card and answered whether they would like to take this book out. They then passed the books to the next reader and did the process all over again.

No book date scored a perfect 10 at my speed dating event but there were some 9’s that either got taken out or reserved for a future date. Readers kept their Score Cards so even if their date turned into a dud they could dump it in our drop box and check out another one to take home.

The best part of the program is that I planned and promoted this to all ages but it is leading to another dating event for an 8th grade class. I will be able to narrow my selections to a specific target and have guaranteed attendance.

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