Fiesta Burger Murder – REVIEW

3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Fiesta Burger Murder is the first installment in the Burger Bar Mystery series by Rosie A. Point. This book is actually novella length and was a fun read, though I wish it had been longer.

Book Cover: The Fiesta Burger Murder: A Burger Bar Mystery by Rosie A. Point - photo of a burger with barbecue sauce, bacon, onion, lettuce, and tomato on a bun with a jalapeno pepper next to it

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Synopsis

Boston Homicide Detective, Christie Watson, wants nothing less than to bury her head in the sand in her hometown, Sleepy Creek, Ohio. Placed on sabbatical for a little ‘over-enthusiasm,’ Chris has to stay out of trouble or risk losing her job for good, and Sleepy Creek, with its clapboard homes and peaceful milieu, seems just the place to do that. But returning to Sleepy Creek means facing the one cold case she’s never solved: her mother’s murder.

The past becomes the least of her worries, however, when a man is murdered in her best friend’s back yard. Griselda, awesome human being all-round and owner of the local Burger Bar – serving scrumptious delights like the Mexican Fiesta Burger – is the prime suspect. To make matters worse, the handsome detective in charge of the case won’t quit asking questions or drop the icy professionalism whenever Chris counters with her own.

Det. Watson can’t let this one slide – sabbatical or not, she won’t let her friend wind up behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit. Equipped with her cop skills, and that thirst for truth, she sets off to solve the murder before it’s too late.

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Review

This was a fun read, but I felt it was way too short. At the end, we’re left with more questions than answers, which isn’t generally how I like to end a cozy mystery.

The characters are well-written and complex. I love Griselda. She’s awesome! I’m not sure how I feel about Christie. She’s a little too impulsive for my taste, but I want to see what she’s like in additional books before really making a decision.

The setting descriptions that were included were well done, I just wish there had been more. I can easily visualize Griselda’s house and the Burger Bar, but the rest of the small town, not so much. It would’ve been great to see other things happening in town besides just the murder, giving us more locales to imagine and to put the town together in our minds.

The story line moved along very quickly given the shortness of the book. I was able to follow the story line, so it wasn’t too quick in that regard, I just wish we had gotten more background information on Christie and Griselda, more information about the killer, just more information in general. That’s why I only gave it a 3.5 out of 5 rating. It just needed more.

I’m still looking forward to the second book and hoping that we get more of that missing information then.

Fast food meal - burger, fries, and drink
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The next few weeks

Since I’ve started training for my new job, I haven’t had as much time to write blog posts as I’d like. I’m still trying to work on my room on the weekends, so that only leaves the little bit of time on the desk in the evening (depending on how busy it is) and the small amount of time between when I get home and when I go to bed.

I’m still reading up a storm, I’m just not getting as much time to post. I have two review posts started that will hopefully go up in the next day or so. I have a couple of blog tour posts coming up, so I’ll be making sure to get those up on time.

Bare with me during these next 2-3 weeks, as I’ll be quieter with less posts than usual. Once I’m all trained, I should be back to my normal posting schedule. 🙂

Thanks!

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New beginnings

As we start a new year as Americans, I’m also starting a few new things in my life. Some of it I started last month, but I’m counting those as still new enough to include in this post.

I’m actually starting to feel like I’m finally getting used to and flourishing as an adult. I’m a little slow on the uptake being that I’m already 41, but it’s still a good feeling!

In the last month, I’ve started cleaning out clutter and reorganizing my room, creating an art/photography workspace in the basement, working with a financial counselor to get my finances in better shape, and finally getting a combination of medications to really help with my mental illnesses (it’s difficult to find the right combination because you have to try each med and they can take a minimum of 4-6 weeks to really work and then you have to hope you can tolerate the side effects).  My room is coming along slowly but surely. I didn’t get much done this past weekend, but I plan on tackling it this coming weekend and trying to work through another section.

The biggest news is that I’m getting a NEW JOB!!! 😀 😀  I’m super, super excited about it. I’m still working at Ann Arbor District Library, but I’ll be taking a position in the Acquisitions/Cataloging department instead of on the public desks. Right now (through the end of July), I’m training during the first half of my day and then after lunch/dinner, I’m working on one of the public desks. August 1st, I will take over in the position. It is a lateral move in the company as far as pay is concerned so I won’t be getting a raise, but it will hopefully mean a lot less stress.

I’m really excited because my concentration in library school was cataloging. While I may not be doing a lot of original cataloging (creating records from scratch), there’s lots of copy cataloging to do (downloading catalog records from reputable sources) and cleaning up records. I’ll also be putting in the orders for items and processing them when we receive them. I’m not the person choosing what gets purchased, I’m just the one making the purchase orders and actually ordering/receiving the materials. 🙂

While I will miss some aspects of working at the public desk, I’m looking forward to having less stress in my life. Working with the public makes me so exhausted that I can’t really do much of anything else. By working in an area that doesn’t have to deal with the public, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to “have a life” outside of work, or at the very least have the energy to enjoy painting ceramics and taking nature walks again!

Do Fairies Bring the Spring? – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars.

Do Fairies Bring the Spring? by Liza Gardner Walsh, illustrated by Hazel Mitchell is an absolutely delightful and charming picture book about fairies and spring.

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Synopsis

Everyone knows fairies love spring flowers and summer sun, but is it the fairies who wake up the earth as the snow melts? Do they entice the trees to turn green and the flowers to grow? In this charming follow-up to Where Do Fairies Go When It Snows, Liza Gardner Walsh, acclaimed author of the Fairy House Handbook and Fairy Garden Handbook, explores the matter in a children’s picture book of rhyming questions. Combined with delightful illustrations by Hazel Mitchell this whimsical book will help children discover the world of fairies and learn to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors.

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Review

This book has wormed its way right into my heart! Now, I will admit that I love fairies anyway, but this book is absolutely charming!

The text rhymes and is nice and lyrical. The pictures are just beautiful, engaging, and full of little surprises. If you really take the time to look through all the pictures, you’ll see little ladybugs, snails, bees, other little bugs, and woodland creatures. There’s a decent amount of diversity within the fairy ranks, including a boy fairy, and our main fairy is black.

I cannot say enough about the illustrations! I’m absolutely charmed by them. They’re delightful! One page talks about using tiny brushes and oil pastels to paint the flowers and some of the fairies are holding little oil pastels that they’re clearly using to color the flowers. It’s just lovely.

The text is very lyrical. A few times the rhyming words were stretching it a bit, but they never broke the lyrical pace and flow. It’s also obvious that the illustrator really paid attention to the text when she made the illustrations.

I highly recommend this book for any fairy lover in your life! It’s just delightful!


*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***

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Happy Birthday, America!

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Happy Independence Day!!

If you’re in the USA and celebrating, I wish you a very Happy Independence Day! I hope you have a fun time in your celebrations while taking safety around fireworks seriously.

*** Spoiler Alert: I get on a bit of a soapbox about the state of my nation in the following paragraphs. Feel free to skip if you want to just have light-hearted fun today (which I totally respect). ***

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Today, the United States of America turns 241. We’re not as old as some nations, but older than others.  Many, many people have fought and given their lives for the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. We’ve been through many trials and tribulations throughout the years, but I honestly believe we’re in the midst of some of the most important battles we’ve faced.

The Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal”. Did our founding fathers mean that? Not really. They meant that all white men were created equal. They didn’t include women or people of color in that statement. The sad thing today is that many people in this country still believe the original context, that all white men are created equal. We see it in the systematic discrimination against women, people of color, immigrants, etc. We see it in how our brothers and sisters of color, immigrants, and those who are LGBTQ are treated in our society. We see it how rape victims are blamed and rapists are protected time and time again. We see it in police brutality and how mental illness in whites is treated as acceptable, while mental illness in a person of color is usually seen as grounds for them to be shot.

I firmly believe that if this country is going to survive another 241 years, this has to change. I’m a white, cis-gendered female. I will not claim to have any understanding on what it feels like to be a person of color or an immigrant or part of the LGBTQ community. I will likely never understand that. BUT, that does not mean that as a white, cis-gendered individual that I can sit idly by while my friends and loved ones suffer.  Nor do I believe that ANYone should sit by while others suffer. If you can’t get out in march in protest marches (like I can’t), join a letter-writing campaign, call your senators and representatives. Tell them that if they don’t start making policies that are inclusive and protect equal rights, they’ll find themselves out of a job.

Some people believe that this nation was formed based on Christian principles. I personally don’t believe that’s true, but even if it was, we are certainly not living as a Christian nation. Would Christ really be happy with the fact that 1 in 5 children in this country are in danger of being hungry every single day of their lives? Would Christ really be happy that people cannot get adequate health care when they’re sick without going into bankruptcy? Would Christ really be happy that you only seem to count if you’re rich? Would He be impressed with our recent immigration policies and deportations? Would He be happy with the recent passing of laws that advocate discrimination? I don’t think so. Granted, I’m not on the best terms with God/Christ at the moment, so maybe I’m wrong. But I think if we were truly acting as a Christian nation, we would be expanding our programs to help the poor. We would be enforcing equal rights for EVERYONE, regardless of their country of origin, their race, their immigration status, their sexual orientation, their gender, or their religion.

Part of being a responsible citizen in this country is speaking up when things are wrong. Right now, there’s a whole mess of wrong in this country. Unfortunately, the only people really banding together and talking about what’s “wrong” are those who want to make us more divided and less unified. It’s time to get our friends and loved ones who want to talk about unifying us and fighting against discrimination to come forward and organize. No politician is perfect; they should all wear patches on their suits with which lobbyists support them like race cars. BUT, that doesn’t mean we can’t make educated, informed decisions based on the whole of a person’s voting record, not just their stance on one issue.

I really don’t know if America can weather the storm we’re in right now. I truly don’t know. I hope we can. There are good things here when they’re enforced. Our 1st amendment rights are important, tho’ they’re being besieged right now.  The Declaration of Independence also talks about how when the current government perpetuates abuses and becomes destructive, it is the duty of the people to rise up and say “NO” and take whatever steps necessary to break ties with that government.

My challenge to you today is that if you truly believe in equal rights for all regardless of race, religion, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation, etc. that you find a progressive group in your area and participate in some fashion. If you live in an area where you have politicians who already fight for these things, make sure you send them letters to thank them for their continued fight. If you live in areas where your politicians do not believe in these things, make them aware that you are a constituent and you will work to see them voted out of office in the mid-term elections next year unless they actually start voting the way their constituents want them to. Finally, when it comes to those elections, get out there and VOTE VOTE VOTE!! None of the letter writing and calling really matters if you don’t get out and VOTE to put politicians you want into office.

Nothing’s going to be fixed overnight, but we have to start somewhere! Let’s go out and fight for the freedoms that our forefathers wanted us to have!

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Happy Independence Day!

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