Monthly Archives: September 2013

Catwalk: Messiah by Nick Kelly




What a surprise I loved Catwalk: Messiah by Nick Kelly.  Looking at the cover I thought it was going to be a android robotic tale that I might not like. Surprise, I loved it!  Actually this is a very futuristic book set in the year 2033. It is the exploits of a former cop named Leon “Catwalk” Caliber. Catwalk was anything but your typical cop – he was the cop that chased down rogue machines that needed to be “retired”. Cat left the beat of being a cop but continued to be a “cleaner”.  Now instead of retiring rogue machines he kills and destroys for those that can afford to pay him. Problems arise when Cat becomes the target.  As gun for hire in the City of Angels Cat’s training as a cop is useful in this new life as a hit man that is up for any challenge if the money is right.

The year 2033 is a very violent time and Kelly describes these battles between Catwalk and his foe in great detail that leave me hoping this book will become a movie. Kelly’s ability to draw the reader into the scenes makes this a wonderful read. I do not want to spoil the story but I will tell you it is a page turner till the end. Some will say this is a book for the Young Adult reader. I, however, believe this is a great read for those like myself that are young at heart. This book at times reminded me of Dick Tracey and other heroes of my youth only faced with an apocalyptic challenges. The detail Kelly describes the way that Catwalk is able to function is intriguing and wonderfully detailed. Cat is a human that is technologically enhanced while fully human in his emotions.

Enjoy! I look forward to the next installment in this series and hope for a movie for this one!

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Kilarney, Ireland – Jaunting Carts




Kilarney, Ireland offered a wonderful way to see the town and countryside.  If you get the opportunity take a Jaunting Cart Ride!  It is a horse drawn cart that goes through town into the countryside.  It is a marvelous way to take in some fresh air and enjoy the Ireland countryside.  We were fortunate to see a herd of deer.








The thatched roof is a dying art and we saw this beautiful example on our Jaunt.








The  Jaunting Cart ride took us out to see Ross Castle circa 1410.  You can just see the ears of our horse at the bottom of this photo. We were able to take a break and explore the castle.

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Summer Rental – by Mary Kay Andrews


Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews is a wonderful summer read. Well, for me I love a good beach read in the summer, but I suppose you could read it anytime. This is a wonderful story of Ellis, Julia and Dorie who are childhood friends. Each one had a reason to get away and go to the beach. It is a story of three BFF’s who decide to rent a beach house in Nags Head on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for the month of August. Having been to the Outer Banks for many summers this book will take you right there walking on the beach and enjoying the sun at this summer rental! Enjoy the confessions of BFF’s!

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The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman


The Dovekeepers is a wonderful novel by Alice Hoffman. Having been to Masada in Israel and seeing the dovecotes first hand reading this tale of fact and fiction was wonderful.  Hoffman’s book tells the story of four women that came to Masada and work in the dovecotes. This books tells of life in about 70 A.D. when nine hundred Jews held out for months on Masada against the Roman army. There are many interesting historical facts interspersed in an easy to read story that engages the reader in the time period. I loved how she describes the area and the culture of the day. This is a must read if you are interested in what I call historical fiction, real facts and history of an era told through fictional characters. It is a wonderful telling of some of the history of Israel.  Hoffman also helps the reader understand the interrelationship between the doves and the people of Masada, this bodes to the interconnected relationship of humans and animals. I really enjoyed this book.

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Waterford, Ireland


Waterford, Crystal

Waterford is the fifth largest city in Ireland and has been famous for Waterford Crystal for many years.  I recently learned while in Ireland that Waterford Crystal is no longer made in Waterford Ireland.    Waterford Crystal is now made in many countries in the world.  There are also workers that worked for Waterford in Ireland that have opened their own companies using the old Waterford techniques to make quality crystal. There are those that say the “new” Waterford is not the same as the “old” Waterford Crystal, I tend to think it is personal preference in how the piece makes you feel.   The town, of Waterford, was quaint with lots to offer in the way of shopping.
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Take a Seat by Dominic Gill

Take-a-seat2                               Take a Seat

Take a Seat by Dominic Gill is a fascinating autobiographical story about biking from Alaska to Argentina on a tandem bike. I am an avid bike rider but more to the 10 to 25 miles at a time (not the 20,000 mile journey. Gill decided to use a tandem bike as a way to meet people along the journey. Dominic is an excellent writer and you can live this adventure vicariously by reading his book – I did! At times I felt like I was a stoker riding on the back of his tandem. He tells of the interesting people he meets along the way as well as the hardships he endured. I found this a fascinating read as well as an inspiring adventure book! Enjoy!

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Dunbrody Famine Ship


Dunbrody Famine Ship
If you are a history buff the Dunbrody tour is a must!  The reconstructed Dunbrody Famine Ship is open to tours and is quite fascinating.  The ship is in the water and gives you the feel of how the passengers lived with the cramped conditions.  The highlight of the tour is when Mrs. Annie White, a steerage passenger, and Mrs. Mary O’Brien, first class passenger, join your group to share their stories of passage to America.  These actresses did a wonderful historical interpretation performance of life aboard the Dunbrody.  Even on a rainy day, this is Ireland afterall, it was a wonderful tour!

Dunbrody Famine Ship is a three masted ship originally built in Quebec in 1845 for the Graves family by Thomas Hamilton Oliver, an Irish emigrant from the County Derry.
The Graves family, of New Ross, were merchants and they commissioned eight
such ships to carry cargo from America and Canada to Ireland.  The ship was fitted out with bunks and facilities for passengers desperate to escape Ireland during the Potato Famine.  Usually the Dunbrody carried 176 people but in the height of the Famine in 1847 the passengers climbed to 318 in number.  The tour guide gives an explanation of the times, the ship and the Potato Famine.   For more information about the Dunbrody tours

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Hope Amid Hardship – by Linda S. Johnston

Hope Amid Hardship

Hope Amid Hardship, Pioneer Voices From Kansas Territory by Linda S. Johnston is written and illustrated by Linda. Remember when you were a child and you looked for a book and one of the considerations was the pictures. This book is a lovely reminder of those times for adults. The wonderful watercolor drawings are absolutely beautiful and well worth buying the book to enjoy the paintings and drawings alone. This book will be treasured by those who have lived in Kansas and enjoyed by those who like living history. This book is a collection of diary entries interspersed with letters that describe the hardship and celebrations of the pioneers of Kansas. Many of these stories would ring true for early settlers of any state. It gives the reader a look into the private thoughts of those that lived and loved in Kansas in the 1800’s. It is a joy to recommend this book! Enjoy and leave a comment on your thoughts on the book!

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Unbroken – by Laura Hillenbrand


Loved it! Laura Hillenbrand is a masterful story teller and has an amazing ability to make you feel like you are right in the middle of the story. She tells the mesmerizing story of Louis Zamperini who wanted to run in the Olympics and instead was in WWII. This is a masterpiece that will captivate you from the beginning and hold you attention through the end of the book and beyond. I find myself thinking of the soldiers that protect us everyday in new ways since reading this wonderful book. I confess I am not one who generally reads “war stories” but I truly loved this one! It is so much more than a war story it is a story of life lessons.

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