Top O’ the Morning: 7 More Irish Heroes

The Chinese New Year goes from February 16-March 17 this year which also happens to be Saint Patrick’s Day. Because the two holidays share the same day I decided that I would post 8 of my favorite fictional dogs and 7 Irish heroes, posting both on the same day.

7) Lonnie from Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke

The Hannah Swensen Mysteries is about a cookie shop owner, Hannah Swensen, who moved back to her hometown and opened her bakery. She is involved in a love triangle with the dentist and the newest police deputy. In between baking and creating new recipes, she solves murders, doing better than the local cops.

Why Lonnie is Awesome: 

Lonnie is the newest deputy on the force and is dating Hannah’s younger sister, Michelle. Michelle is a nice girl but she has no idea what she wants. She’s a serial dater, bouncing from one guy to the other, but always keeping Lonnie on the string.Lonnie, sweet guy, never asks for more than she gives him. He always there to help out the Swensen family and aways there for Michelle of she needs a hand, ride, someone to talk to, or a boyfriend. I believe he deserves better.

6) Detective Amy Devlin from “Blood Ties”, Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder is the story of father and son teaming up to solve crimes in the L.A. area. Steve Sloan is a police detective who often gets help (from asking him and him just interfering) from his father, Dr. Mark Sloan, on his mysteries. They also enlist the help of the medical examiner, Dr. Amanda Bentley, and Dr. Jesse Travis.

Why Detective Devlin is Awesome: 

Detective Devlin is not a regular on the show but appears in this episode as a colleague of Steve’s. She is a straight by the book cop who is paired by a serious wild card, and investigates a murderer who is killing people and harvesting their organs. The thing that makes her awesome, is that when she is approached by these killers with an offer to let them go in exchange a new liver for her ailing father; she turns it down cold. Her morals being stronger as she hunts for the truth and justice to take these people down.

For more Diagnosis Murder, go to Whole Lot of Fanfare

5) Peggy Hobbs from Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation

Every year Mrs. Hobbs wants to take a vacation, and Mr. Hobbs takes the whole family even though he hates it. This year he goes to the beach house and things are not as sweet as Mrs. Hobbes imagined. Their son only wants to watch TV; their daughter has braces and mopes about close-mouthed; their daughter and son-in-law are close to separating, etc. Will this end a dream vacation or continue as a nightmare?

Why Mrs. Hobbs is Awesome: 

Even when her husband is crotchety and upset, Mrs. Hobbs always remains positive and cheerful. She is the glue in the family bring all together and helping heal any hurts or ruffled feathers. She’s caring, compassionate, fun, and always a fiery Maureen O’Hara.

 

4) Rosalee Calvart from Grimm

So Grimm is a modern day telling of the Grimm Fairy Tales but with a twist. Creatures from the fairy tales live among us, appearing as human to all but a select few. Instead of being the “brothers Grimm”, the Grimm are certain people who have the ability to see those monsters, or Wesen as they are called, from the tales. The series centers on Nick Burkhardt, Portland Police Officer, who discovers he is a Grimm and actually does what no Grimm has before-befriends Wesen and jails those that are attacking (some he does kill). He has his police partner: a a vegetarian Blutbad (Werewolf) named MonroeFuschbau (Fox) named Rosalee; other Grimm, and more.

Why Rosalee is Awesome: 

Rosalee was a wild child but gave that up as she grew up. She moves to Portland when her brother dies and she takes over his spice shop. There she becomes a friend to Nick and Monroe; helping them with healing, creating antidotes, and more. She and Monroe are just the sweetest couple, and against all odds marry. Rosalee is Irish on her mother’s side and knows how to read and write Irish from spending her summers with her grandmother. She is a powerhouse of a character-strong, courageous, and able/willing to face anything that comes her way.

For more Grimm, go to Fandom Love

3) Galen O’Sullivan from Bittersweet (California Historical Series #2) by Cathy Marie Hake

Laney Harris is the daughter of a wealthy landowner. She has been in love with Galen O’Sullivan as soon as she returned from finishing school. The problem is that he sees her as nothing more than a child. She continues to do all she can, but Galen has enough on his mind with running the farm; taking care of his mother and three brothers, being in charge of the pony express horses; and family of squatters (father and twin brother and sister) residing on one of his acres. But one day Galen realizes that Laney is a woman and strives to win her, but before he can pop the question he is accused of impregnating the squatter’s daughter and forced to marry her. Now Laney has to live out being a Christian even when everything she wanted has ben taken away. And Galen has to release the love of his life. Will the story end in happiness or only sorrow?

Why Galen is Awesome: 

Galen is a good man. He works hard to keep the farm going and take care of his family, even when he is grieving for his father and feels the responsibility is too heavy. He is a good Christian and works hard to live the life even when others judge him and treat him cruel. At first he resents Ivy, but he grows to care and protect her-even though she stole his chance a love-he treats her and their “daughter” well.

2) Father Tim from At Home in Mitford (The Mitford Years Series) by Jan Karon

This book is set in the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina. The books center around the Vicar, Father Tim. Father Tim is turning sixty and feels like he should give up on being a minister. He feels as if his life is stagnant, his preaching dry, and that the community would be better off with a new rector. He promises one more year, but if things don’t change, then he will retire. But then things start happening: a giant black dog shows up at his home and won’t leave; a beautiful woman moves in next door; his best friends are going to have a baby; a jewelry ring operating in the area with them smuggling them through customs in old antiques; and more. Will Father Tim stay or retire?

Why Father Tim is Awesome: 

Father Tim is a great minister and friend. He cares for his sheep and tries to help all in the community. He is a great listener, always lending a helping hand, and ends up giving his all to everyone.

For more on Father Tim, go to Book Club Picks: A Common Life, The Wedding Story

1) Inspector Harold Francis “Dirty Harry” Callahan from Dirty Harry

Dirty Harry series follows Clint Eastwood as inspector Dirty Harry; a tough, caring cop who always tries to get the job done and protect the people-not always following the line of the law.

Why Dirty Harry is Awesome: 

Clint Eastwood- enough said. No but seriously, these movies created an unconventional character you all love as he is tough, fair, and always willing to do all he can to help people.

For more on Dirty Harry, go to A Fantabulous Post

So that ends my list for this year. You all know what I’ll be doing with the rest of my day. Eating some soda bread made by my sister blog, MysteriousEats.wordpress.com. And my yearly tradition, watching the Disney Channel Original Movie: The Luck of the Irish.

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For the 2013 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes 

For the 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to The Wearing of the Green: 17 More Irish Heroes

For the 2017 Saint Patrick’s Day post, go to With a Little Luck of the Irish: 17 More Irish Heroes

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Book Club Picks: A Common Life, The Wedding Story

So I have fallen behind with my posts, but as you know I started a book club last year:

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

 

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. One has chosen to read a few books from The Mitford Years series. So far we had read the first and second books in series. They decided to skip the other books to go to book six, which was written later but is supposed to go between book two, A Light in the Window and three, These High Green Hills.

A Common Life: The Wedding Story (The Mitford Years #6) by Jan Karon

This book is set in the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina. The last book centered around the Vicar, Father Tim as he is contemplating at age 60 if he should continue or retire. In that year he faces all kinds of changes from a dog adopting him, taking in a child, jewel thieves, a fake antiquities ring, health changes, a new neighbor/love interest, all kinds of secrets being revealed, and more. This town and Father Tim will never be the same.

The second book, Father Tim and Cynthia have become boyfriend and girlfriend. But when their relationship becomes a long distance one, he begins to pull away from her because of his fear of getting hurt. Also, a local widow is trying to catch him, using every ploy and plot to ensnare him. And to top it all off, a relative from Ireland has followed him home and is staying with him, but something about her is not right as she spends all her time in her room.

When Karon was writing the series, she continued the next book, book three they were already married and continued to write about their lives. However, people love a good wedding.

And they wanted to know what Father Tim’s was like. Will Father Tim fall apart when he takes his vows? Will Cynthia make it to the church on time? Who’ll arrange the flowers and bake the wedding cake? And will Uncle Billy’s prayers for a great joke be answered in time for the reception?

This book was so adorable and a total fan service. We got everything we wanted.

Yay!

I loved seeing Father Tim have to go through all the marriage things-planning, counseling, etc. And the little things about money, the wedding night, etc. Here is a 60 year old man who never was married and is going through all this for the first time. But hey, he was careful in finding just the right person.

I loved the part when one of the ladies in the community is hoping to bake the cake for the wedding, but hasn’t heard from the couple asking her to do it. She works herself up into a lather, becoming so angry-but then is asked and is completely speechless-a hilarious scene.

It is such a fun adorable book, that of you loved any of these books in the series you need to check it out.

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

For more books by Jan Karon, go to Book Club Picks: A Light in the Window

For more in The Mitford Years, go to Book Club Picks: At Home in Mitford

For more weddings, go to Those Aren’t Men They Are the Living Dead: White Zombie (1932)

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to Most Romantic Moment In Real Life

So I was writing this review I decided it was the perfect time to share my own bit of news. I just got engaged.

I know, right. Its amazing that I AM going to be married. After all, I thought like Marianne Dashwood:

But what can I say, sometimes life takes turns we don’t expect, we meet people who change our way of seeing the world, we fall in love.

We meet in May of last year and started dating five months later. I know he is the right guy for me.

And I’m right for him.

Aw!

We are to be married in two months! Its not a lot of time, but I’ll get it done. The most important thing is we will be together.

I could go on, but:

So I will end on this:

 

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Book Club Picks: A Light in the Window

So I have fallen waaaay behind with my posts, but as you know I started a book club this year:

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. Back in May, one member choose the first book in The Mitford Years series, so when it was their turn to pick they decided on us reading the second book in the series.

A Light in the Window (The Mitford Years #2) by Jan Karon

This book is set in the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina. The last book centered around the Vicar, Father Tim as he is contemplating at age 60 if he should continue or retire. In that year he faces all kinds of changes from a dog adopting him, taking in a child, jewel thieves, a fake antiquities ring, health changes, a new neighbor/love interest, all kinds of secrets being revealed, and more. This town and Father Tim will never be the same.

At the end of the first book he and Cynthia (his neighbor) have become boyfriend and girlfriend. This is a huge step for Father Tim as this is his first relationship in forty years.

While he loves Cynthia, he finds himself unsure about the relationship, and draws into himself pulling away from her.

Cynthia, understandingly gets upset:

And now Father Tim has a choice to fight for her or let her go.

Meanwhile, a recently widowed parishioner has set her sights on Father Tim, not caring he’s in a relationship. She starts cooking him up his favorite dishes in the hope of capturing him.

Father Tim had just returned from a trip to Ireland and discovers that one of his cousins has followed him home and wants to stay with him while she works on her book. However, something about her is not right as she spends all her time in her room, her dishes disappear, she eats everything, she never leaves her room, etc and more.

Something is not right.

So I loved the first book

But this one, not as much. I mean it has some real good parts, funny moments, and things that I really enjoyed, but it was missing all the fun characters and their interactions from the first one.

The other thing I didn’t like was how a big part was done in letters between Cynthia and Father Tim as she has to go to New York for months to work on her book. While I like epistolary novels, this made me feel like a voyeur reading such personal mail. I was the only one who didn’t like it, as the other book club members loved it. What can I say:

So on a whole, the book was good-but I just felt it paled in comparison to the first one. It was just missing a little spark.

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: A Voice in the Wind

For more on The Mitford Years, go to Book Club Picks: At Home in Mitford

Book Club Picks: At Home in Mitford

So as you know I started a book club this year:

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. I went first, the next month was someone choose Sandcastle Kings, and this month another member choose:

At Home in Mitford (The Mitford Years #1) by Jan Karon

This book is set in the fictional town of Mitford, North Carolina. The books center around the Vicar, Father Tim. Father Tim is turning sixty and feels like he should give up on being a minister. He feels as if his life is stagnant, his preaching dry, and that the community would be better off with a new rector. He promises one more year, but if things don’t change, then he will retire.

Hmm…

But soon things start changing in his life. A giant black dog shows up at his home and won’t leave. Barnabas, what he names the dog, is strangely only calmed down if one speaks a bible verse at him.

Then a beautiful woman moves in next door. She is scatterbrained, always in need of assistance, and stirs up feelings in the reverend’s dormant heart.

A painting found in an attic is donated to the church which may be a genuine Vermeer.

His best friends are going to have a baby, even though they are in their fifties; his secretary has started a romance with the mailman, he gets a holds-nothing-back housekeeper, and finds himself suddenly fostering a preteen boy.

Someone breaks into the church repeatedly, stealing nothing but food.

Hmm…

Then Father Tim gets word of a jewelry ring operating in the area with them smuggling them through customs in old antiques. Some of the jewels Father Tim finds hidden in an urn in the church. Could someone in the community be involved?

Miss Sadie is the last remaining member of the oldest and richest family in Mitford. She tells Father Tim the story of the love that got away and reveals a secret that has been hidden for over forty years.

So I really loved this book. I thought the characters were fun and realistic. The town felt like it could be your small town, and the characters, the people you know or interact with.

It was so cute how everyone cared about their town and each other-getting in everyone’s business to help out. It made me want to live there.

The back of the book hints at it being more of a mystery, but while there are elements that are puzzling I wouldn’t classify it as a mystery. Well, whatever it is it was a fun book and easy to love.

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: Sandcastle Kings