I have been busy reading and it's just wonderful. A good book is as refreshing as a vacation and a whole lot cheaper - AND you don't have to pack.
Okay - Nancy Atherton's Latest Aunt Dimity book, "Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea" stars the same feisty heiress and mom of 5-year-old twins, Lori Shepard. In this book, Lori is sent under deep cover because her hunky lawyer husband has been receiving dastardly threats on his life and the safety of his loved ones. Off she goes in a private heliocopter to a castle in Scotland!!!!! with her twins. She is given her very own unsmiling mysterious bodyguard. Adventure ensues including a mystery about the possible criminal activities of the villagers. Fun, fluffy and forever optimistic, here's a book that is an antidote to everyday stress.
And THEN there's "I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You" by Ally Carter. May I introduce The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women and its headmistress' daughter, Cammie Morgan? Graduates of the Gallagher Academy are free to pursue whatever career their unusual education has prepared them for but what careers require cryptography, martial arts, Cultures of the World, seven languages and Covert Operations? Yep! Spy girls in plaid skirts. On her very first Covert Operation exercise, Cammie meets a boy from town and falls in love. She creates a "legend" for herself and leads a double life for a semester, sneaking down the secret passages of the Virginia mansion that houses the school. Add to this, she and her best friends are forced to room with the punk - brat daughter of a powerful senator. Here's an excellent romp - in which not everything or everyONE is what they seem. Fun, fun, fun! Another escape from reality.
I was reading the above book one morning while my husband talked to me. I TRIED not to read. It's not polite but, hey! He's been married to me for a decade or two (or ...) He ought to know by now that he can't talk to me while I have a book in front of me. His voice is in the background as my eyes steal back to the page and I feel my lips curl up in an unconscious smile. Oh no! I hope he isn't talking about something serious. I force my attention back to him for a full minute and then my eyes slip down again. It's hopeless. If there is a Readers' Anonymous out there, I will NEVER join. This is an addiction I don't want to lose.
And last, "The Beasts of Clawstone Castle" by Eva Ibbotsen. Here's another ghost story from a mistress of British fantasy. When Madlyn and Rollo's parents are offered a temporary job in America, the children are sent off to Clawstone Castle, a crumbling ruin. They get to stay with Great-Uncle George, his sister, Aunt Ellen and cousin Howard, who can be seen through quite literally. Clawstone Castle is the home of the mystical white cows of Britain and the local rich industrialist wants the land for housing developments. Madlyn and Rollo come up with a plan and with the help of shy Cousin Howard, they recruit a group of benevolent ghosts to haunt the castle and bring in paying visitors. There are some very tense moments when the cows are sent off to be slaughtered. Read it. It's fun.