Caryn has drawn the winning names for her book give-away, and they are:
Brothers Boswell - Vicki Lane
Probable Claws - Auntie Knickers
Life Sentences - Carol H
Killer Keepsakes - Writer's Porch Carol
Flip Out - Helen
Please get in touch with Caryn by either leaving a comment here, or sending her a note:
She'll need your mailing address.
Thanks to Caryn for a fun post. And generous!!!!
and thanks to all of you for popping in!
If you're new to Meanderings and Muses, I hope you've found us to your liking and will visit often. And to those of you who do drop in often - see you again soon!
Some of you are probably wondering who is this person that Kaye has asked to blog this week? Let me briefly introduce myself.
I'm Caryn St.Clair, a 50 something year old from St. Louis Missouri. I met Kaye on DorothyL and then in person at Bouchercon last fall. Kaye and I have a shared interest in good books and interesting people.
When I am not reading, I can often be found at the St. Louis Zoo where I am a volunteer and docent. My husband and I are often at the zoo 3 or 4 days a week in one capacity or another. My involvement with animals extends beyond the zoo though. We are active friends of the Wild Canid Center (commonly called the Wolf Sanctuary). My husband and I share our home with two dogs and two cats and our backyard with many wild birds. I try to change the feeders with the season to catch the migratory birds as well as keeping feeders for our year around residents.
Besides books and animals, I follow Big Ten football and basketball (Go Boilers-class of '74), the St. Louis sports teams- the Blues hockey team (I have to have something to do in the winter), the Rams (and the Arizona Cardinals as long as they have Kurt Warner) and most especially the St. Louis Cardinals.
I also love to travel. I've been overseas a few times, but most of my traveling has been around the US. My favorite places to visit are Edisto Island, South Carolina and the National Parks in the western United States, especially the parks in the southwest. I think Bryce Canyon is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Our best family vacation ever was 2 weeks spent in and around Yellowstone. The best vacation that was just my husband and I was a 10 day trip to Hawaii.
My music tastes run from classic rock (more Stones than Beatles) jazz (especially the Cuban/Latin influenced) to classical to Broadway musicals.
Enough about me, on to the blog. What season do you look forward to each year?
I am a summer person. Give me 90 degrees and sunny any time. One of my goals in life is to finally live in a place where flip flops (I have several pairs) can be worn at anytime of the year. This desire for heat is in direct conflict with my half Norwegian blood, and not really in line with the German side of the family either. It is definitely NOT shared by any of my close relatives.
My strong preference for summer is also not in line with the places I have lived. I grew up in a smattering of small towns around Indiana where we did have nice hot summers for sure, and beautiful autumns with warm if not sizzling days.
But those two seasons were followed by cold, snowy winters and springs fraught with tornadoes. When I finally got my chance to break out of Indiana, where did I land? Central Ohio where the weather was just like Indiana.
A two year stint in Ohio was followed by seven years in Western Michigan where summer is that lovely season that happens, if you are lucky, between the Fourth of July and Labor Day. IF you are lucky. Two of our seven years there we wore winter coats to the fireworks. And because we lived not too far inland from Lake Michigan, we didn't really have the gorgeous clear blue skies as there was always a sort of cloudy haze from the lake. And oh my gosh, the snow! I knew I was in trouble when the city came around and put tall flags on the fire hydrants in late September. See the thing about the snow in Western Michigan is because of the lake, it also snows-like every day. The weather people call it “lake effect flurries.” Believe me it all mounts up over time. Then when they have a real snowstorm, well, I'm here to tell you we have pictures of snow along our driveway over the kids heads. Once it starts snowing, the snow is there until spring-otherwise known as June.
But to be fair, Western Michigan does have lakes. Not just the big one, Lake Michigan, but a number of smaller ones with the clearest water imaginable. And the fruit! The blueberry crop alone almost balanced out the snow-almost. Yes, in spite of the snow, we enjoyed our years in Michigan. However, when we were looking to move on, I begged my husband to move south-way, way south.
We did-all the way to St. Louis. So finally I have hot, hot summers and lovely warm autumns with the most beautiful blue skies. But there is still the winter problem. We have snow and ice-lots of ice. At least in Michigan the city even plowed our sidewalks, and driving was not a problem as the streets were quickly cleared and people knew how to drive in snow. Here? Give us 4 inches of snow and the city is paralyzed, especially if that snow has an inch or two of ice under it. And our springs? That's a mixed bag. We can have wonderfully warm weather with bright blue skies, or terrifying thunderstorms that bring down huge trees (and the power lines). We may have 80 degree days followed by a quick hitting ice storm.
But what makes late winter and early spring tolerable here? BASEBALL! Come February, no matter how frightful the weather is here, the pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training, and I know summer is just around the corner.
Yes, St. Louis is not as warm of a climate as I'd like, but with baseball, it'll do.
How about you all? Are there any other summer folks out there? Or do you prefer the autumn leaves and crisp cool nights? I'm assuming there are a few winter sport nuts among us, or people who can't wait for the fresh start of spring?
As an incentive to hear from you all, I'm offering a few books to jump start your summer reading. These are all “read gently one time” ARCs of books that I have received from publishers to review. Leave a message telling us what your “season” is and what book (or books) you are interested in. I'll draw names on Wednesday and ask Kaye to post the winners then along with my email address so that you can send me your mailing address.
You can only win once, but your name can be in more than one pot! (US ADDRESSES ONLY PLEASE).
I have a little something for just about any reader so let me know which one(s) you'd like. I have five great reads to share.
1.Flipping Out by Marshall Karp-the crew from The Rabbit Factory returns.
2. Killer Keepsakes by Jane Cleland-the 4th Josie Prescott antique mystery.
3.. Life Sentences by Laura Lippman-a stand a lone that explores how we remember things versus what really happened. A thought provoking book.
4. The Brothers Boswell by Philip Baruth-this is an interesting historical fiction that has a bit of a mysterious twist to it. James Boswell (the biographer of Samuel Johnson) apparently had a brother John who suffered from mental problems. The book tells the story of John stalking James and Samuel through London with murder in his heart. Quite an interesting read from SOHO Press.
5. Probable Claws by Clea Simon-the fourth book in Simon's Theda Krakow series. While Theda tries to help her neighbor with her cat shelter, she becomes embroiled in a murder which in turn jeopardizes her job as a freelance music critic. The book stands on it's own, so even if you've not read the previous books, if you are interested in mysteries with cats who do not talk or solve crimes, this might be the book for you.