Category : Discussion Post

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I just got a very pleasant surprise, in the absolute last place I would have looked for it.

I was flipping through the final Kindle pages of the story I just finished and something caught my eye.

-KEEPER BOOKSHELF … right after a few lines from a review I’d done for a story by this particular author.  That’s me!  Stunned, is probably what I felt at that moment.

Oh, sure, it’s not that big of a deal  (yeah, right)  to see your comments were picked out by the author as worth while to put among the blurbs about their books.  Oh, who am I kidding – it’s a huge deal to me.

And there are probably more out there that I”m not aware of – since I don’t go back and scout out the books I’ve read and reviewed.  That would be… silly.  *grin*

So right here and now, I’d like to say publicly to any and all authors that have put a line or two of my reviews next to their books:

Thank you!  It matters more than you know to my own heart.

Can’t help myself – she’s just so cute.  🙂



Couldn’t help myself… she’s so cute!  Harley Quinn and her special bunny friend.  Harley is now about 8 months old and is a Sheltie.  Awww… my Harley girl.  🙂

I, like most every other Star Wars fan in the world am mourning the passing of  Carrie Fisher.  In many ways, I don’t even have the words right now to do justice to my swirling thoughts.

Even when the “stable conditions” reports were coming out, I just couldn’t shake a very bad feeling.  I so wish that feeling had been wrong.

I was lucky enough to see Ms Fisher as Princess Leia the very first week that the original Star Wars movie was in theaters.  Her kick ass and take names attitude, the sarcasm, the thought of a Princess heading up a Rebellion was exciting to my young eyes.  Young girls didn’t really have such heroines back then.  And to see her return to Star Wars as a general, still kicking butt and with Han was pure poetry.

Of course, Ms Fisher did other things aside from Star Wars.  She lead a very public life, fighting her own battles along the way.  I admired her, watching her overcome and move on made me simply root for her to be even more successful  in whatever she did.  I can’t imagine it was easy living up to “Princess Leia” – but I found her to be an amazingly strong woman with a lot of wisdom to pass along.

As with any public figure – I did not know Carrie Fisher, but I did enjoy her work.  She shall be missed.

I do not normally put a lot of my personal life on this blog – it’s all about the books.  But right now I need to make an exception to that rule.

You see my son, who is 36, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy – if you’ve ever watched the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in the past, SMA is one of those diseases..

On December 23, 2016 (hours ago) the FDA approved Spinraza as a treatment drug for patients of all ages who suffer with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  What that means to us out here in the world is a drug that will be taken every day for the rest of the patient’s life… that has the ability to reverse the affects of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  It’s a treatment.  Is it a cure?  Depends on your interpretation of that word… to me the answer is YES.

For millions of people around the world – today is a very, very good day.

I’ve never sobbed such happy tears in my life as I am right now, even as I’m writing this.

Here is a link to the breaking news announcement that explains just why we’re so excited about this… FDA Approves Spinraza for SMA

I do not have adequate words to express my emotions right now.  Unbelievable joy and thankfulness is as close as I can get.

…and… that’s a wrap.

The last of the reviews I’d committed to for 2016 from NetGalley has been published, and now I can sit back for the first time in months knowing that I’m done and on time.  I still have a few review requests to put the finishing touches on but I think I can safely say that I accomplished what I intended to.

I love NetGalley.  I enjoy having the chance to read authors that I don’t know yet.  But I’ve also learned that it’s so very easy to bite off more than I should.  I’m going to be rethinking how I utilize NetGalley in 2017.  I know I do not want the forced massive readings I felt I had to do in order to accomplish this wrap up of commitments ever again.  I run Keeper Bookshelf – and my other genre specific book review blogs – because I love to read, to discover new authors and make some new friends along the way.  I don’t want to lose that, and I was in serious danger of closing down the blogs.  This is a hobby, an enjoyment and when that changes I need to rethink what I’m doing.

I’m going to take some time to enjoy “this most wonderful time of year”, do some reading (for pure enjoyment), post a few reviews, work on my holiday blog and wrap up on the other bogs for 2016.  Keeper Bookshelf and Shifter Haven will always be my babies, my review blog babies, but I may do some streamlining and revising on the others.  And to be honest, not feeling that I simply have to get reviews up because I made a commitment will give me the breathing room I need to make those other decisions.  In any event I’m going to keep a much tighter rein on my NetGalley requests in 2017 – I can always add more if time permits, it’s not possible to give them back when I’ve got too much on the plate.  And this year has proven to me that indeed “Life Happens” and it doesn’t care one little bit about what other plans you’ve made, ya know?

So – I’m proud of getting the NetGalley books read and reviewed.  It was an adventure, that’s for sure.  I’ll be around, maybe just a little less in these last days of 2016.  It’s been one helluva year.  *smile*

Yes, the 2017 Challenges are firing up and we all know that I suck at Challenges… or rather, at reporting and recording Challenges.  I have no idea if I’ll do better this year but I’ll certainty give it my best shot.

There is a fun looking Challenge over at Book Date that is something many of us truly need – especially if you review books.  A vow to actually read the books we purchase for ourselves in the coming year.  I buy books with great intentions of reading them right away… but review requests or review commitments on NetGalley often will have me putting aside my own pure reading pleasure in favor of doing what I’m supposed to do.  And, honestly, it sucks at times.  Not because the books I was committed to read were bad, they mostly were wonderful… but the books I bought with  my hard earned cash are sitting in a TBR pile – and that was not my intent.

In the brand new year of 2017 I would like to change that track record of mine to something more reasonable than 10% of purchased books actually read.  That’s not good by any stretch of the imagination.  And I’ve got an amazing imagination.

So to keep it truly short and simple, the Read the Books You Buy Reading Challenge 2017 simply asks that you make the decision to do just that, then list the books you have purchased (you can start as early as July 2016 and add them to the list as you purchase them) to your joining post – then figure a way to mark them as read, cross-through or list the review you did… on that joining post.  Nothing new to do throughout the year just add to your existing list.  How easy is that.  A check-in for July and again in December and you’re done.

I think this one is easy enough for me to accomplish.  (read above – I suck at Challenges).  Interested?  Then follow the graphic link or the written one to the Book Date blog and check it out for yourself to see just how easy it truly can be.

Definitely looking forward to this… and I believe I’m going to go back to July, 2016 as my starting place.  I need to take a little time to go over my Amazon purchase records for all the books — yes, I’ve forgotten some I’m sure.  *hangs head*

Get all the detains in this blog post – Read The Books You Buy Reading Challenge 2017 hosted by Book Date

Happy reading everyone – and good luck.

ID-100172901 dan freedigitalI should apologize.  But I’m not sure that I honestly need to – more like, I hope you won’t leave my feed when you see too many notices coming in from @keeperbookshelf over the next few days.

As the end of the year approaches I, like many people, am trying to get caught up on 2016.

There have been times this year when I’ve been away from the computer when I finished a book.  Usually I head straight to write up the review and either post or schedule it for later.  But there are times when I cannot do that, it’s then that I’ll take notes or write up a review on paper to post when I can get to the computer again.

It’s those reviews that I need to get published, so you’ll see an increase of postings across my blogs for the next few days.  It won’t last long, but it does need to get done.

So (sad puppy eyes)… please don’t leave.  But I do need to keep to my commitments.

Thanks… ((HUGS))

There are moments that stay in one’s memories.  A kitten fetching a pom-pom tiny “ball” and bringing it back to me over and over again for me to toss one more time.  The indignant glare when a water dish was dry.  The contented purr when I found just the right spot under his chin.  The constant head butting to insure that I was paying attention.  The heavy weight of a sleeping cat on my lap.

Sunday, my sweet boy left this earth for, hopefully, fields of catnip and constant sunshine.  He was over two decades old, he had lost the spring in his pounce, he was deaf, it obviously hurt to walk around and he couldn’t see us very well anymore.  But he was still our Charlie.  Defender of a young boy, comforter to that boy’s mom.

It’s too quiet here now.  We’re missing a heartbeat.  I don’t think I’m going to get much done today.  I keep staring off into space, and wiping away tears.

If you’ve ever loved a pet then you know how I’m feeling today.  My heart is broken.


book n rose in redVacations are a wonderful invention, but like all good things they eventually come to a close.

Now it’s back to the books – the reviewing of novels – for me.

I had my fun, an amazing trip, a visit to the Las Vegas edition of the Titanic Exhibit – which was simply stunning and moving beyond words… but I did spend some time on the Kindle, so it’s back to the non-vacation fun stuff for me.

…and I have to admit, it’s going to be a really good feeling to sleep in my own bed tonight *grin*