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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Review – Scent of the Missing – Susannah Charleston

Scent of the Missing
Author: Susannah Charleston
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Description:
In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson clipped a photo from the newspaper of an exhausted canine handler, face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Susannah was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine team and soon discovered firsthand the long hours, nonexistent pay, and often heart-wrenching results they face. Once she qualified to train a dog of her own, she adopted Puzzle, a strong, bright Golden Retriever puppy who exhibited unique aptitudes as a working dog but who was less interested in the role of compliant house pet. Scent of the Missing is the story of Susannah and Puzzle’s adventures as they search for the missing lost teen, an Alzheimer’s patient wandering in the cold, signs of the crew amid the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster and unravel the mystery of the bond between humans and dogs.

Review:
I’m a TV crime show buff – most of the time if you check out my recent shows on Hulu, you will see things like Law and Order, Blue Bloods or Chicago PD in my recently viewed shows. Ocassionally, i’ll be watching one of these shows and i’ll see a peak of people working a crime scene and cadaver dogs searching for bodies at the potential dump site for a serial killer. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of search dogs and when Scent of the Missing popped up as a potential book for a reading challenge, I opted to read it and find out just a bit more.

Scent of the Missing intertwines chapters of training scenarios where the author worked as a volunteer with chapters dedicated to the training of a Search and Rescue dog – specific for this book, a Golden Retriever called Puzzle (or Puzz as she is referred to throughout). I have to admit that I was surprised by the amount of training that it took to ensure that a dog was fully qualified. I mean I knew that you didn’t just get a dog one day and they were qualified as a search dog the next – but the evolution of a search dog from a puppy (Susannah got Puzzle from a breeder when she was 8 weeks old and had been involved with selecting the right puppy before they were even available to take home) to a fully qualified dog around 2 years of age (when Puzzle finished her official certification).

I thought that the author did a good job balancing real life searches where she provided support to other handler’s and their dogs with the training that she was going through with Puzzle (oftentimes at the same time). I found her volunteering to be a victim as part of training scenarios to be intriguing and something that I would love to potentially do in the future (or the same could be said for volunteering in mass casualty training scenarios). ultimately, I gave Scent of the Missing 3.5 stars because it was a solid enjoyable read, but didn’t completely blow me away. I also didn’t find myself too emotionally invested in any of the searches (as I have found myself in other non-fiction books).

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2018 in Book Review, Review

 

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Seriously Saturday Series Catch-Up – January 2018

seriously saturday

Its been a couple of years since I used this feature, but since I recently found myself diving back into the Mercy Thompson series (after a 2 year hiatus), I thought it was a good chance to highlight another series that I have in progress.

Mercy Thompson
Living in the Pacific Northwest, Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a Native American “walker” who can shift at will into coyote form. In a feminist twist, she owns her own garage where she repairs mostly German cars. In this world, paranormal beings are gradually making themselves known to the public, beginning with the lesser creatures (e.g., brownies, gremlins, elves, garden sprites) and gradually moving to the greater beings (e.g., werewolves). Vampires are still hidden from public knowledge. There are currently 10 full novels in the series, with book 11 due out sometime in 2018/19 (no date known yet). There are also a variety of short stories that flesh out secondary characters and a couple of graphic novels. So lots of reading to do for anyone if they are interested. There is also another series (Alpha and Omega) that is set in the same world as Mercy Thompson, once you finish her books (I’ll admit that I haven’t started it yet…)

I’m not exactly sure why i put the series aside – I think it might be that I got caught up with the series and then got distracted with other stuff while waiting for a new release to come out. But I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up book 6 (River Marked) that I felt like I was joining old friends again. I enjoyed it so much that I rolled right into the next book in thhae series (Frost Burned) and I have the next 3 books tee’d up to listen to. Its been a while since i’ve had a full-on binge read (or listen) of a series – but I have a feeling that is going to happen as I get caught up on the Mercy Thompson series.

Have you read the Mercy Thompson series? If so, what is your favorite book?

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2018 in Seriously Saturday Series

 

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First Line Fridays – 5 January 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

“Man, I’m hot.” Dakota Savage tossed the paint roller back into the plan, then wrenched off her respirator and goggles with a sign of relief.

From:
Silver-Tongued Devil – Rosalind James

I’ve been a Rosalind James fan since I read her first romance, Just This Once in 2012 (wow, looking back I can’t believe its been that long now). Anyways, I used to devour her books as soon as I got my hot little mitts on them – yet, somehow, I either missed this book when I was released (although I found it in my kindle archives) or I decided to save it for the rainy day that never came. So I not only have the first book in her new series to look forward to, but also the second one that came out mid-2017. (insert happy dance gif here!)

now its time to go and curl up and get to reading (especially since it is ridiculously cold outside in Ohio right now)

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2018 in First Line Fridays

 

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2018 – First Book of the Year

Wow, I just realized that 6 weeks has gone by since I last posted…it seems like just yesterday! I’ve been thinking over the course of the last couple of weeks, how fast 2017 flew by…it seems like just yesterday I was doing my post for First Book of 2017 and now we are into 2018.

I honestly wasn’t sure what my first book of the year was going to be up until about 11pm on New Years Eve. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been earning some extra money driving for Lyft (similar to Uber, but seems slightly less popular). Anyways, in true enterprising fashion, I headed out on New Years Eve, the plan was to drive a couple of hours, head home take a nap and then head out around midnight for some more fun. How wrong I was – one of my early rides (around 8pm) took me into DC and I basically stayed there all night. With the exception of maybe 30min down time right before and after the ball dropped – I was on the go all night.

Anyways, while I was waiting for one of my passengers to show up, I was flipping through my various reading challenge lists and trying to figure out how I wanted to start off the new year! Did I go with a favorite author (like Kimberly Kincaide) or a favorite genre (well, romance duh!) or did I go with something different…ultimately I decided to go with something different but fit at least 3 reading challenges that I am doing in various groups on Goodreads…so without further ado…my first book of the year is…

Also, In lieu of my oh-so-fantastic photography skills…on the ipod is my first full audiobook of the year (I have one in progress with about an hour left). The first audiobooks is the second book in Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2018 in General

 

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