Comic Book Men with Kevin Smith

My fiance has me completely and utterly hooked on Kevin Smith's show featured on Netflix called Comic Book Men. It is based on Kevin Smith's comic book store and the four men who work there. Kevin Smith basically runs a (what we believe to be fake) radio show where he interviews these guys about their time in the store. They discuss things people come in to sell, crazy stars that drop by, funny comments and odd questions only true nerds can ask each other.

It is so funny. I really don't remember the last time I laughed so hard so continuously. They make fun of each other, but in a very good humored way. I enjoy that.

They are also incredibly smart. Each one has their own way of talking about comics, super heroes and scifi. One of the guys doesn't even work there. He just showed up and never left. He is just a fixture. He doesn't get paid. He just comes in, hangs out behind the counter and talks all day.

The one that amazes me though, is Walter, the store manager. His knowledge just astounds me. He can pull dates, names, writers, heroes out of no where. He seems to know everything. He also is an amazing salesman. He can negotiate a price from $200 to $475. But he also has a kindness about him where he sees people enough to give on a price to make them happy.



My favorite though is still Kevin Smith. He is only in bits of the show, but when he talks he always says something profound and thought provoking. He seems like a truly wonderful and down to earth guy. They occasionally show Jay (Kevin Smith's side kick in his movies) although I can't remember his name. He looks like he is struggling a bit. I know from reading Kevin Smith's book that he struggles with drugs, but he seems distant and grasping to engage, but I suppose that could be his personality too.

If you are looking for a good, whole-some, informative show to watch I highly suggest checking this out on Netflix.

Review: Sink or Swim by Jamie Canosa




Title: Sink or Swim
Author: Jamie Canosa
Publisher: Kindle edition
Publish Date: July 21, 2013
209 pages

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Life has been a bit crazy lately and knowing I had to read this book and offer up a review has been weighing heavily on me. I wasn't looking forward to having "to do" anything extra. But finally I gave in. I do like to complete my agreements with people.

From the moment I picked up this book, I was hooked. Jamie Canosa literally had me from page 1. Which is simply amazing. I didn't want to go to work. I didn't want to sleep. I wanted to read this book from cover to cover without stopping. It was such an amazing book.

It was the perfect escape from reality when I needed it the most.

Allie has so much horrible stuff going on in her life. Her father is a raging alcoholic and completely abusive monster, her mother is not there for her after having the life beat out of her and she cannot tell anyone. Not even the man who has been there for her her entire life, Dean because he has so many other things to take care of in life. After a tumultuous evening, she gives in and leaves. Just packs a bag and gets on a bus. Sadly six months later, she is pulled back into the chaos because her mother is sick and she just cannot forget about her. And Dean, refuses to forget about her. He is an instant stresser because she loves him deeply, but cannot let him in to her secret world.

I cannot say enough about how well Jamie Canosa wrote this book. I am envious of her magical, yet simple wording that makes me never want to put this book down.

Check out my previous review of Jamie's other book, Fight or Flight.

Summary -
There are some things you just can't walk away from.

When sleeping in vacant warehouses and dark alleys becomes preferable to living at home, something is seriously wrong. But when word reaches Allie that her mother is facing a life threatening illness, she has no choice but to return to the place of nightmares. Leaving wasn't a choice, it was a necessity, and if returning hadn't been equally necessary, Allie never would have set foot back inside that hell-hole.

Dean is no stranger to hardship, but the day Allie walked out of his life, taking his heart right along with her, was hands-down the most frustrating. Six months later, she's back and Dean refuses to rest until he figures out exactly what the hell happened.

Now, Allie's drowning. Drowning in lies. Drowning in the truth. Drowning in pain, and anger, and fear. But there comes a time when every drowning person must decide whether they will . . . Sink or Swim?

Review: Grounded by GP Ching


Title: Grounded
Author: GP Ching
Publisher: Carpe Luna Publishing
Publish Date: Nov 15, 2012
306 pages

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From the first paragraph, I was sucked into this book and didn't put it down til the very last page! SO GOOD! I absolutely loved it.

Lydia is this a wonderfully developed character. I liked her more every page. She was brought up in an Amish community learning to love the smaller, quaint life. She has everything she wants right at home. A community, a loving father, a home, a farm that needs her and a boy who will court her someday. Yet, when worlds collide she is pulled into the Englisher world and out come her true nature - a girl with powers to control electricity. With it come the danger as well. She meets another boy just like her and she is attracted to him in ways she never felt before. With her family, her way of life and herself in danger, she has to decide if she is able to handle who she really is.

I really hope there is another follow up book to this. Can't wait to see what happens with Lydia!!

Summary -
In the year 2050, a secret government study nicknamed Operation Source Code injects eight volunteers with a retrovirus. The goal? To abate the energy crisis by reprogramming human DNA to power personal electronic devices. The experiment works but with disastrous consequences.

Seventeen years later, Lydia Troyer is far from concerned with the energy crisis. Growing up in the isolated community of Hemlock Hollow, life hasn't changed much since 1698 when her Amish ancestors came to America. She milks her cow by hand, bakes fresh bread every morning, and hopes to be courted by Jeremiah, the boy who's been her best friend since she could walk.

But when Lydia's father has a stroke and is taken to the outside world for medical treatment, Lydia and Jeremiah leave home to visit him. An ordinary light switch thrusts Lydia into a new world where energy is a coveted commodity and her own personal history makes her the most sought-after weapon on the planet.

Review: The Truth about Letting Go by Leigh Talbert Moore



Title: The Truth about Letting Go
The Truth #2
Author: Leigh T Moore
Publisher:
Publish Date: Feb 21, 2013
276 pages

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Bit amused that as I was writing this review, I realized this is actually Book 2 in the series. Hello?! This is great though because that means the books are written well enough not to give away all the good stuff from previous books.

I really didn't want to like this book because of the main premise (which is my own fault, as I never re-read the summary after deciding I want to read the book) as it tells very clearly that Ashley, the main character is going to have problems with liking a good for her boy and a not good for her boy. I hate that! Because mean spirited boys always leave you feeling worse than the problems you fled to them with. But Ashley continually stole my heart and I read this book with a voraciousness that made me love the ending even more.

Ashley is struggling through a very bad time in her life after he father passed away. She feels the void inside her wanting to be filled, but she doesn't know how. Her mother is non-existent and her friends don't seem to care enough. She goes out of her way to fill this void. She meets new friends, falls for a good boy she truly cares about, but can't seem to pull herself away from the badness spreading inside of her that pushes her back into the arms of the really bad boy.

Very well written.

Summary -
SEMIFINALIST, 2013 "Best Indie Book" awards, The Kindle Book Review

Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing and played it safe until her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.

Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. Then she meets Jordan. He has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, and he's a great kisser. But he's also safe.

Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.


Review: Untraceable by SR Johannes



Title: Untraceable
The Nature of Grace #1
Author: SR Johannes
Publisher:
Publish Date:
315 pages

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Can I just start out this review with simply saying, "LOVED IT!" in that annoying sing-songy voice that people use when they just don't know what else to say.

In real life, Grace and I would be friends. She is curious and smart and a fighter. She is sweet and vulnerable, but doesn't want to show it. She wants to connect with people, but is good by herself. She has the need to get out and be in nature. She loves animals and even has had a pet bear as a child. And because of all of this, she also attracts danger.

Then she meets a stranger in her woods who is attractive and mysterious and she hates to admit, she takes a liking to him. The more she hangs out with him, the more she likes him too. Darn, as she has learned to like her solitary life. Mostly she is alone because she refuses to believe her dad is dead and died in a accident. She feels he is still out there somewhere and will do anything to find out the truth. But the truth can hurt, deeply.

I got this book from Netgalley and am excited to realize Book 2, Uncontrollable, is already out ready to be read!!

Summary -
Book 2 Uncontrollable is also now available!
Book 3 is scheduled for Summer 2013.

16-year-old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him.

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father.

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.

Romantic Ideas and Date Plans

My fiance and I will be keeping the date night thing going as we get married and celebrate our anniversaries. I love date night. Things get busy, but we have been really good at doing this. Course we do like to eat out, so dinner can become a good quality face time.

My all time classic date night is simply dinner and a movie - dinner requires talking. We do what we can to not answer texts. We try to talk. Some nights it more difficult than others, but I try to remember being quiet with each other is a good thing too. (no texting during quiet times)

  • Make dessert together
  • Sit next to each other, touching, while watching an old tv series you both enjoy
  • Make each other (him to you, you to him) a favorite drink and sit on the patio to enjoy outside
  • Play a board game (more than one round)
  • Facing each other on the couch, give your spouse a foot rub
  • Lay in bed and watch a movie on your computer, which requires being very close
  • Plan a meal, grocery shop together and then make it together
  • Go for a walk
  • Fill the car with a few drinks, set off on a car ride
  • Do an exercise DVD together (we did this on one of our first dates)
  • Take a class together (local grocery store or restaurants have them)
  •  Pack your spouse's bag and go to a hotel for the night - enjoy the pool, spa, beautiful vistas, restaurant, free bikes or hikes
  • Make fondue and feed each other
  • Take a dip in the pool (or in your neighbor's)
  • Teach your special someone to do something
  • Pick up a book and read to each other (he's getting used to me doing this lol)
  • Stroll the local farmer's market
  • Go bowling (we do this all the time)
  • See if he'll braid your hair
  • paint each other's toenails (then remove his paint)
  • Go window shopping and laugh at the crazy things you will never need
  • Visit a coffee/tea shop and share a pastry
  • Go for a long bike ride, enjoy a snack at the halfway mark
  • Take a vacation!! No really, do this. Even if it's just for a weekend.
  • Make breakfast and then take it back to bed for at least a few more hours
  • Read side by side (this has to be one of the most romantic things, for me)
  • Apply a removable tattoo to each other
  • Take a shower together (make sure to use the soapy sponge)
  • Make a night where you share a joke you heard that week
  • Have a cocktail hour (one of my girlfriend's used to do this) every day for 30 minutes they would side on the couch side by side and enjoy a drink while sharing their day
  • Go to the park and toss a football, baseball around (make it fun and doable) (we do this and he laugh at me bc I am not that great, but it's fun)
  • Go to a wine tasting
  • Go to a beer tasting (they have these now!)
  • Try kissing for 10 seconds each day (this one is hilarious, but totally works)
  • Take a bath together (suds optional)

What is your favorite idea or thing to do on date night?


Families are Messy

Driving home from my first official sewing class, I was contemplating that morning, struggling to get through yoga class while trying to keep my cookies down and not pass out. For some odd reason, I couldn’t seem to focus or stay on my feet during this particular class. As I was working my way through the sun salutations, I flashed back to the previous evening where almost instantaneously after eating dinner and working on a half full glass of wine, I felt sick. And disoriented. Twice in a couple of days. Add to that the appearance of acid reflux, which I rarely ever have, feeling off, overly tired and the fact that food has been tasting weird.

As I am pondering all this I realize, I may be pregnant. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, I COULD BE PREGNANT. After that, I couldn’t get home fast enough to take a pregnancy test that I had left over from the last scare.

At home, my niece (who’s sixteen) is fast asleep on the couch and my fiancé is freshly showered and lounging on the bed. He looks up as I race in to the master bathroom and rip open the cupboards, furiously intent on finding that stupid box. Unfortunately, after much rumbling around, I still cannot locate it. I sit back on my heels and notice my fiancé eyeballing me. He raises a questioning  eyebrow and I spill the beans. His immediate response, “I know you are not pregnant, but I will go get you a test if you want.”

“Really? You would do that?” I am relieved and shocked. I forget so often how stinking sweet and kind he is ... he is very tall and often wears this somewhat menacing look that screams, “Don’t mess with me!” I am also very used to just taking care of myself. Relying on men, other than my father, is not something I'm used to.

The entire time we are driving to the store, I keep thinking about how we are getting married in about ten months. How having a baby right now is so not what I want. I want to have a beautiful wedding with my family and friends, dancing and profusely professing our love for each other. I am also in between jobs which equates to no health insurance.

I look at my fiancé and say all of this out loud. He responds, “Well, then we will go get married and, voila, you’ll have insurance.”

He is always so calm, so reassuring. It can be annoying!

I will be starting a new job soon and being pregnant can’t look good to a future employer. I am hiking Alaska in a few months, too, so that would definitely put a kink in the wilderness plans.

Again, I voice my concerns. His reply, is “Well then we will have a baby and then get married.” And all I can think is I don’t want to have a wedding with a kid. I want, for once, to do it right. But then it dawns on me - WHO THE HELL DECIDED WHAT IS RIGHT?!

I mean, why is it considered normal for a couple to date, get engaged, marry, buy a house and then have kids? Very few people I know have actually gone the "normal" route. Families are divorced, single, have adopted kids, rented studios, are living on a boat, farming the land, babies sleeping in drawers. Why is this standard of normal even in my head?

There are few days that go by that I don't wonder why I am so lucky to have this man in my life. Today it was Nigella Lawson and the incident with her husband grabbing her neck. Never would my guy ever raise a hand to me in any situation. Never.

It has taken me ages to meet the man who I will spend the rest of my life with and I couldn’t have found a better guy. Really. He is the man who I can, for the first time ever, favorably compare to my father. They are good to each other too. They go golfing, talk about  business, grill steaks while drinking a beer and smoking cigars. My guy brings my mother flowers and texts her with questions about what I would like for gifts. He takes my niece to scary movies, plays X-box with her and spoils the crap out of her. This is the first time in my life I have met someone (other than my parents) where I can lean back, trust and be truly free. I am able to experience life, explore who I am, and have someone special to share it with.

So why am I worried about being pregnant?

There is no good time to have a kid. Really, at what age is the best? If you are younger, you can grow up with your kids. If you are older, you are wiser (maybe), more adaptable and have lived a little. I am so grateful to have the love of a man who I can comfortably raise a child with at any time.

Families are Messy

Driving home from my first official sewing class, I was contemplating my morning where I was struggling to get through yoga class while trying to keep my cookies down and not pass out. For some odd reason, this particular class I couldn’t seem to focus or stay on my feet. As I was working my way through the sun salutations, I then flashed back to the previous evening where almost instantaneously after eating dinner and working on a half full glass of wine, I felt sick. And disoriented. Twice in a couple days. Add to that, the miscellaneous times I have felt acid reflux, which I rarely ever have. I have also been feeling off, overly tired and food has been tasting weird. As I am drinking water and contemplating all this I realize, I may be pregnant. HOLY MOTHER OF ALL, I COULD BE PREGNANT. After that realization, it really was a long yoga class. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough to go home and drag the test from last time’s false notice to try again.

I got home, my niece who’s sixteen is fast asleep on the couch and my fiance is freshly showered and lounging on the bed. He looks up as I race in to the master bathroom and rip open the cupboards, furiously intent on finding that stupid box. Unfortunately after much rumbling around, I still cannot seem to locate the damn box. I sit back on my heels and see my fiance eyeballing me. He raises an eyebrow. I spill the beans. His immediate response, “I know you are not pregnant, but I will go get you a test if you want.”

“Really? You would do that?” I am relieved and shocked. I forget so often how stinking sweet and kind he is, as he is very large and has this look that screams “don’t mess with me!” I am also very used to just taking care of myself. Relying on men, other than my father, has not ever been the case.

The entire time we are driving to the store, I keep thinking about how we are getting married in about ten months. How having a baby right now is so not what I want. I want to have a beautiful wedding with my family and friends, dancing and profusely professing our love for each other. I am also in-between jobs and therefore, have no insurance to speak of. I look to Owen and speak this out loud. He says, “Well, then we will go get married, have the paper and viola, you’ll have insurance.” He is always so calm. He is always so reassuring. It can be annoying. But it’s rare. I will be starting my new job in a few months, so being pregnant can’t look good for a future employment. I am hiking Alaska in a few months too, so that is definitely going to put a small kink in the hike.

Again, I voice my concerns. His reply, is “Well then we will have a baby and then get married.” And all I can think is I don’t want to be having a wedding with a kid. I want, for once, to do it right. But then it dawns on me - WHO THE HELL DECIDED WHAT IS RIGHT?!

I mean, why is it become normal for a couple to date, get engaged, marry, buy a house and then have kids? Very few people I know have had this. Families are divorced, single, adopted kids, rented studios, living on a boat, farming the land, babies sleeping in drawers. Why is this standard of normal even in my head? I, myself, am divorced. And happily.

There are few days that go by that a reason doesn’t come to me why I am so lucky to have the man I am going to marry in my life. Today, it was Nigella Lawson and her incident with her husband grabbing her neck. Never, would my guy ever raise a hand to me in any emotion or situation. Never.

It has taken me ages to meet the man who I will spend the rest of my life with and I couldn’t have gotten a better guy. Really. He is the man who I could, for the first time ever, compare to my father. But I have no need. They are so good to each other too. They go golfing, talk about  business, grill steaks while drinking a beer and smoking cigars. He brings my mother flowers and texts her with questions about what I would like. He takes my niece to scary movies, plays X-box with her and spoils the crap out of her. This is the first time in my life I have met someone (other than my parents) where I can lean back and be truly free. I am able to experience life and at the same time find out who I am - with someone else to share it with.

So why am I worried about being pregnant?

There is no good time to have a kid. Really, at what age is the best? If you are younger, you can grow up with your kids. If you are older, you are wiser, (maybe) more adaptable and have lived a little. At least I have a man who I can comfortably raise a child at any time we happen to have a kid.

It is SO sad; Nigella Lawson

I am so sad for Nigella Lawson.

No one will really know what happened in that restaurant or what is really going on in their relationship, except them, but the fact that her husband cannot come forward and admit he made a drastic mistake and hurt her (emotionally and/or physically) is so sad to me. I think this, in and of itself, is the worst part.

A true, loving partner would be able to admit he made a wrong judgement in grabbing her throat, regardless of the fact that "there was no grip." Even if it was not done in public for all the press to see and the restaurant staff - who did nothing. A husband still made a gesture that could inflict harm FROM HIM to his wife.

I think it is despicable that he tells police that "it was a playful tiff." Who gives a crap?! If it was a tiff, call it what it was - an argument, a disagreement where HE GOT OUT OF HAND. Stand up and be a man. Be a good man and admit you were wrong. There is never a reason to grab ANYONE (man or woman) by the throat unless you are physically protecting yourself from harm. And is is very obvious from the photos that in no way shape or form was Nigella capable of harming him, sitting across the table and being half the size physically.



For that reason, I feel so sad for Nigella and her relationship because without honesty and without accountability, nothing will ever truly be healthy in that relationship.

Article quote taken from USA Today
Photo top, left courtesy of USA Today

Review: The Bane by Keary Taylor


Title: The Bane
Eden Trilogy #1
Author: Keary Taylor
Publisher: Keary Taylor Books
Publish Date: June 1, 2011
republished Mar 1, 2013
Ebook, 408pages

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I requested this book through NetGalley knowing this is exactly the kind of book that keeps me awake at night. I love adventure, fantasy, end of the world, girl facing the world, vulnerability and strength. This book has it all!!! I feel like the review who's answer is only two words - LOVED IT!

Eve is such a wonderful well-rounded character who is content with her life even though she cannot remember anything before she was found and brought to camp. She has a routine and friends, but she doesn't have to need or want anything. Life is simple. Til West comes along and ruins it all. West is found beaten and battered and containing a pull from Eve that makes her feel things she has never felt before. She likes what she feels with West, but the closer she gets to him the farther she gets from herself.

Will she be able to maintain the solidity that she has felt for years or will she give in to temptation?

 Eve is also fighting The Bane, the machine driven virus that stole the bodies from the humans by just one touch. She is strong and able to keep up with the men. She holds her own, but she doesn't let anyone see her vulnerability. Til West.

Oh my I would love to tell you more, but you really have to read this book. Anyone who continuously is pulled in the fantasy and adventure books will love this.

Second book in the Eden Trilogy will be out June of this year!!

The Human 

Now I must go find the other books by Keary Taylor!!

Summary -
Before the Evolution there was TorBane: technology that infused human DNA with cybernetic matter. It had the ability to grow new organs and limbs, to heal the world. Until it evolved out of control and spread like the common cold. The machine took over, the soul vanished, and the Bane were born. The Bane won't stop until every last person has been infected. With less than two percent of the human population left, mankind is on the brink of extinction.

Eve knows the stories of the Evolution, the time before she wandered into the colony of Eden, unable to recall anything but her name. But she doesn't need memories to know this world is her reality. This is a world that is quickly losing its humanity, one Bane at a time.

Fighting to keep one of the last remaining human colonies alive, Eve finds herself torn between her dedication to the colony, and the discovery of love. There is Avian and West – one a soldier, one a keeper of secrets. And in the end, Eve will make a choice that will change the future of mankind.

The Bane is The Terminator meets The Walking Dead with a heart-twisting romance.

Previously published as Eden, due to reader demand it has been revamped and rereleased as The Bane: book one in The Eden Trilogy.

Review: Unseen by Karin Slaughter

Title: Unseen
Will Trent #7
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: July 2, 2013

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I was pretty excited when I was approved to read this NetGalley book by Karin Slaughter. I have wanted to read her books for a long time, but for some reason I would forget her when picking out a book. Yes, this book is the 7th in the series, but I have read books mid series and found not too much is lost. I feel this way about this book. There was little from previous books that made me feel I missed some serious information.

The characters of Will Trent and Sara were so well developed I just immediately wanted to root for them to win. Again, not having read any of Karin Slaughter's books I don't know if there is a formula to her books of people being killed and resurfacing later. I didn't know how far she has developed Will Trent (the main character) to know if this would be his last book or not.

Will Trent is a government investigator undercover as a bad boy excon. He is infiltrating a serious gang of killers and drug dealers trying to locate the man at the top. Unfortunately no one has met or see the boss, so knowing who it is and trying to figure it out was so much fun. I find it a good thing I am not good at picking up on who is the real killer, as I am too busy enjoying the read to actually stop and figure it out. But Karin Slaughter makes it really difficult to not imagine everyone is the killer. She writes so well that I had like four people picked out til the end. I was so gung-ho on this book I couldn't put it down. I will also be getting this book for my mom who loves these types of books, though she will prefer to read from the beginning of the series.

My favorite part of the book has to be when Will Trent is using his alter persona bad boy ex-con Bill Black (or Bud). It was hilarious when he would, in his head, refer to what Bill Black would do or say or act. It really made it fun.


Summary -
Karin Slaughter’s New York Times bestselling novels are utterly riveting and masterfully drawn. Her latest thriller, Unseen, pits detectives, lovers, and enemies against one another in an unforgettable standoff between righteous courage and deepest evil.

Bill Black is a scary guy: a tall ex-con who rides to work on a Harley and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. In Macon, Georgia, Bill has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer and his cunning girlfriend. They think Bill might be a useful ally. They don’t know that Bill is actually a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent named Will Trent. Or that he is fighting his own demons, undercover and cut off from the support of Sara Linton—the woman he loves, who cannot be told of the risk Will is taking.

Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s attack is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.

In a novel of fierce intensity, shifting allegiances, and shocking twists, two investigations collide with a conspiracy straddling both sides of the law. Karin Slaughter’s latest is both an electrifying thriller and a piercing study of human nature: what happens when good people face the unseen evils in their lives


Review: The Girl with the Iron Touch by Katy Cross

Title: The Girl with the Iron Touch
Steampunk Chronicles #3
Author: Katy Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: May 28, 2013
Ebook, 384 pages

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I really enjoy Katy Cross' steampunk series. It was the first dose I had experience when it came to the steampunk era. It opened my eyes to more strong female characters who could kick butt and take names. But it also incorporates history and machinery, all of which adds to the wonderful world of fantasy.

The first two books in this series, I couldn't put down. They were worth of calling in sick for work, if that actually happened. Then the third book had a few moments of awe and surprise, but ended up being a bit of a letdown and as I guessed a lot of the plot.

This book was a good read, like spending the day with an old friend. Finley, the main female character in the book was just as wonderfully spriteful as always. She has a good romance going with Griffin. Emily and Sam are also in a good point of their newly found romance. The new character introduced, the girl with the iron touch Mila was a solid and sweet character. The machinery from the bad guys was intricate and a valid adversary, but honestly the book though left me a bit sad as I never got truly pulled in.

I will continue to read Katy Cross' books because they are good reads, but this book left me wanting more to imagine, more to reach for and more to uncover. As they say in the movie business (do they say this?), this is one I would recommend renting rather than seeing in the theaters.


Summary -
In 1897 London, something not quite human is about to awaken

When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What's left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends' lives.

With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, the young duke's sanity is close to the breaking point. Seeking help, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. When Jack kisses her, Finley must finally confront her true feelings for him...and for Griffin.

Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily, from Whitechapel's desolate alleyways to Mayfair's elegant mansions. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine.

To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist's ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she's to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn't know she has....



My first ever drunken running event

A friend of mine and I have been running together on and off for a few months now. A few weeks ago she invited me to her group running Halfway to Halloween hash run. It cost $5, we would be running about the same length as we have been, I'd be out with new people, hopefully making friends and having a good time. Who knew? It wasn't like I'd be held down and tortured. At least I didn't think that would be in the cards. I mean it's possible as we would be running through the forest. But I did want to get out and meet new people. Even scary people who torture.

They did promise beer.

More than a few times I almost bailed on her. I had so many wonderful excuses to use.
  • I have a huge knot in my shoulder blade which is killing me (this was true)
  • I didn't sleep well the night before
  • I had to go to yoga
  • Oops I forgot
I don't know. I just seemed to want to go and check it out.

That morning, I went ahead and met her at her house. We were carpooling as we had to meet downtown. We go there early. Apparently runners who drink say, "We'll meet at Noon" which means anytime between 12 and 1pm.

We all had a beer before we started. Then they went over the rules. Ugh, rules and drinking. Seriously who thought of this?! Then we sang some weird intro song where I faked the lyrics. And off we went.

We followed these really impressive white chalky (read: flour) symbols around town, stopping to decipher the cool symbols like drink a beer, switch up a piece of clothing, smack and ass (really?). My favorite was the symbol for you went the wrong way. MEAN! Turn around and run back the other way looking for the correct or "true trail" symbol. We finally all got tired after we jogged through the school playground (against the law, anyone?) and popped a squat on the downed tree in the forest and drank a few beers each. This was actually fun as we got the time to rest, talk bs and then start another smaller game where whenever someone burped we had to say a color and the last one to say it had to make a vulgar comment, tell a sex joke or something else (really, who remembers?). PS: I lost this game so many times I just started cussing when it occurred to me I lost.

All in all, it was a blast. I had to eat a full pizza, drank glass after glass of water and then later, a couple pieces of toast to soak up the last of the beer resting in my system, but it was worth it. It is definitely harder to recover from a Saturday mid day drinking run in your 30's than 20's.

P.P.S.: Please let me know if you know why they call it a "hash" as there was none of that there. I am still hoping to hear the history to this group the next time I run with them. 

Crossing my fingers for my grandmother's caste iron skillet when she dies

I am not proud of that title, but in all honesty my grandparents called us to ask what we would want should they die. I really only want them to live forever, but alas, that is not real life, as they continue to tell me. Little do they know that most of the teen fantasy and adventure books I read tell about people living forever!

The one thing that came to mind was as I was growing up one of my favorite times with my grandparents was being in their kitchen learning and relearning the process of making homemade tortillas. We would mix the ingredients together and then let it rise. Later I would lean over the wooden cutting board, rolling out tortillas with the small wooden rolling pin. I would make sure to poke a hole in the middle for air to escape. My grandmother would be beside me laying my beautiful creations in the hot oil in the caste iron skillet. After they came out of the skillet, they would be laid on a towel resting on a round plate which would be covered with another towel.

As my grandmother's health came and went, my grandfather would take her place in the kitchen to mind the hot oil. They were always so patient with me and so kind. Hard as I try, there is not one memory of anything but love in that kitchen.

Review: The Immortal Rules & The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa



Title: The Immortal Rules
Blood of Eden series #1
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: April 24, 2012

Title: The Eternity Cure
Blood of Eden #2
Publish Date:

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I absolutely loved this book! I couldn't put it down from the very first pages I read. Many people think vampires are over done, even simply done, but this series has placed a whole new spin on the world of vampires.

The main character was fascinating and I wanted her to win, to survive and to become her best self. Then you add in Kanin who is sexy and mysterious, but oddly kind and you have a sure fire winner! I just finished reading the second installment in the series, Eternity Cure and though, it was as much of a page turner, I still really felt involved with the Allison. It was awesome that Zeke made an appearance too! His character in the first book was so heart racing. I really cannot wait to see what happens in the next book and I am so excited my guessing was correct when it comes to a surprise in the following book!! But I won't tell what it is!


Summary -
To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa's dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.



Backpacking Alaska

Every so often, my heart stops and then beats irradically. It is almost a month to the day that I will be backpacking for TWO WEEKS through the Alaskan wilderness. I am so excited I feel like I will be sick when I think about it. Two weeks of completely stripping away all of my comforts and leaving me bare to learn who I am and how I will survive in land unknown.


From what I know, I will spend the first week learning how to live off the land, how to read a map and topography, how to cook on the little stove (gluten-free, of course), how to sleep without a tent (but my sleeping bag seriously rocks) and so many other wonderful new things. I love to learn!! Seriously am really excited to learn how to survive with a backpack. I just love nature and being outside, so this will be a crucial step in my life.

The second week they split us up into small groups of 3 or 4 people, tell us where we will meet them and then off we go for seven days on our own with a different leader each day. So I get to be in charge, nothing new for me - as I am definitely a leader and then I get to follow - pretty darn excited to see how I do helping and pushing at the same time. Though I honestly don't see this will be a challenge.

I have never been to Alaska before and I will be going all by myself. Weird how I am 34 and I still cannot really see myself as an adult. I still wonder who will be accompanying me. I am such a child at heart that it is hard to really picture that I am now in the form of the responsible adult in the group. It isn't just that I shine through as the leader bc I have been doing that since I was little, but I am actually the oldest person (usually) and am turned to regardless of my position.

I will fly to Alaska, stay in a bed and breakfast overnight (doubt I will sleep tho), then go to the packing and meeting station where we will learn how to pack our food, go through our packs to check for extra weight, repack our things, learn basics in classroom setting and then hike away. After seven days, our food gets dropped to us by helicopter and then we start hiking again.

I am so excited to see animals. I am hoping we don't get too close to the bears as has happened once in the past, but I am really not too worried about that. I am the one checking out the bird while driving bc they are so incredibly beautiful. I have a lifetime membership the zoos and yes, I did go to San Diego Zoo all by myself as I was going to be in the area. I love animals and I cannot get over how amazing they are.

A friend and I went hiking and running this morning. I felt really good. My asthma was barely felt at all, but we really took our time getting warmed up. We hiked up the first half of the trail and then ran down the second half. As the shade is better in the afternoon, it was a bit hot with the sun right one us, but it is beautifully 80 degrees here, so hot is really relative. I also brought a small container of water to share. It definitely helped. I wish I was in better shape, but quite frankly I am working out, but still enjoying myself so realistically, it is good.

I keep wondering if I am ready to spend two weeks backpacking out in the middle of nowhere, but I am not sure if I could ever prepare myself for that. It is almost like I will have to go and experience it, just to really know. It is also the first time I have ever taken a trip like this. Two whole weeks with no access to anyone I know; no electronics; no cell service; just me and the wilderness. I am also really excited to meet the group I will be traveling with. New people are incredibly awesome, especially on trips bc these are friends I end up having for life. I wish I could share this experience with my fiance or my dad bc they are people I want to be able to share everything with, but they will just have to find out through my pictures and (hopefully) a book I'll write about the time.

Life is so good.

Review: Revived by Cat Patrick (audio version)


Title: Revived
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Publish Date: May 8, 2012
Audio Book,

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It took me so long to finish listening to this audio book, not because I didn't like it. I definitely thought this book was the bomb! And this is the second book of Cat Patrick's that I have truly couldn't put down! I would be listening to this book and get distracted because the audio version was so awesome I kept thinking about further inquiries into the story.

To begin with the audio teller's voice was awesome! She had so many characters to do and yet, she was very distinctive in each of them. How is this possible? How does she remember them all?

Second, I fell in love with so many characters. Again, not too normal for me. I usually side with only the main character. But there were so many - her father, Mason who was a genius and seemed to have a wonderful soft side for Daisy; her best friend, Audrey, who was simply full of life; her best friend's brother, Matt who is a pain, but totally crush worthy; her first "mother" who I can't really talk about without giving anything away; Megan, her bus friend who was funny and smart and so good to count on; even Cassie, her "now mom" who has robotic at home, but loving in public.

The plot was really different and totally cool. The idea that there is a drug that can revive people and then "god" who controls the entire secret government operation that no one has ever met or seen. Each scientist spread across the country with their own jobs to contribute to the continued education of the drug. Each family who has a revived child and keeps performing the yearly health evaluations and has to keep secret the entire operation. The fact that the drug doesn't work on unhealthy, diseased or otherwise crucially debilitating bodies.

Daisy, the main character, has so many avenues of personality from her initial death on the bus to an adopted child of scientists, her facade as a student, but her need to feel normal even while her world is pure secret. She has so many life issues she carries with her constantly that drown her in secrets as she has no one who is consistent in her life to allow her to share. She has the impossibilities of a teenager and the complications of a secret government liabilities. So cool and so heart-breaking at the same time. Just when she finally feels at home, with friends, family and releases some of her secrets the bottom drops out and she has to figure out if she will backtrack and keep her secrets or go forward and put in danger the only people she cares about.

 
GET THIS:
Cat Patrick will be coming out with TWO NEW BOOKS
this year 2013:
and






Summary -
It started with a bus crash.
Daisy Appleby was a little girl when it happened, and she barely remembers the accident or being brought back to life. At that moment, though, she became one of the first subjects in a covert government program that tests a drug called Revive.


Now fifteen, Daisy has died and been Revived five times. Each death means a new name, a new city, a new identity. The only constant in Daisy's life is constant change.


Then Daisy meets Matt and Audrey McKean, charismatic siblings who quickly become her first real friends. But if she's ever to have a normal life, Daisy must escape from an experiment that's much larger--and more sinister--than she ever imagined.


From its striking first chapter to its emotionally charged ending, Cat Patrick's Revived is a riveting story about what happens when life and death collide.




Well hello there old friend

Crazy how long it has been since I posted, but life has gotten in the way. And if I was completely honest, I was rolling into a depression because work was excruciatingly stressful. Sad, too because I really loved working there. Alas, I have parted ways with that stressful situation and am waiting patiently for my new job to start in a few months. Currently I am blessed to be writing at home. Yes, I know. I really am not working. I am not bringing in a paycheck. I am so lucky to have this limited time opportunity to just do what I have always wanted, write. It was a little hard at first. I felt so lost not having a real focus, but in reality, I have never really allowed myself to see writing as a focus. Now I have no distractions. It is me and all my ideas. And I am truly blessed that my mom will be editing my work as I go.

I am using the days to retrain my breathing during running and enjoying yoga while watching my cats in their ever present regard for the relaxing life. I am back to juicing an bunch of vegetables mixed with fruits. I am brewing my own iced tea at home. My lunch sandwich gets a new addition every day - ham and cheese to start, then I added avocado, today I added tomatoes. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Stress be gone. My cats never remember being stressed out seconds earlier. Why do I carry it?

Seriously, have you ever seen a cat stressed out? Oh wait, my Izabel does kind of lose it sometimes, but whatever. They really have perfected the way to sleep all day, watch the birds (and there are, currently, a lot of baby birds in my front yard), choose to be scared of or amazed by the strong wind, get excited for a can of cat food in the morning. You name it. Life is good - for my cats.

There are lessons to be learned by them though. Keep life simple. I can only control my own actions, thoughts and feelings. When in doubt, hide under the bed. (I kinda like this one) A treat is still a treat when found days later on the kitchen floor. Ignore the constant nagging, "No" of the one holding the ice cream because they are sure to share! Naps are so much better when loved ones are home.

I could go on, but I am still in the process of watching and learning.

There is this absolutely incredible little coffee shop I love to visit. It is small and quaint. The people who work there are like a small youtube video with personality that cannot be contained. I love the relaxed atmosphere. I like that I can go and write with a ginormous mug of their special and not be disturbed by random strangers. I can enjoy the heaviness of the wooden tables and chairs, the hatter that is endless, the whirling of the coffee grinder and the finesse of the hand crafted whip cream art. I feel inspired just being there.

Then again, I have been inspired for years, I just haven't used the opportunity to put ideas to paper, until now. It is sad how long I have wanted this passion to become real and it is wonderful that I am finally taking advantage and doing so.

My acknowledgement page will be so full of people and the love I feel for them allowing me to do this that I hope to be able to condense it enough for my (hopeful) readers to actually read - or pass up - whichever type of reader you are. My fiance, is so amazingly supportive that he would agree for me to take two months off of work (in between jobs) to write. ACK! He even said I need to write for a certain period of time each day, so I can do it. (probably so I'll stop talking about writing and actually do it) My mom for not only supporting me during my stress ridden time, but for being so open about editing. My dad for always asking, "what is your plan?!" and keeping me on track for the real future. My cats for not giving me grief when I end up napping in the middle of the day.

Simply, thanks.


Review & Interview: Fated Series by Sarah Alderson

I was so beyond excited when I happened upon seeing Sarah Alderson on facebook posting about looking for reviewers for her next book in the Fated series. I absolutely LOVE her books. Hunting Lila (and the followup, Losing Lila), is one of my favorites! The plot is so original, but has that pull to get me excited for each of the characters. And I simply cannot resist a really strong female lead. I was shocked to realize I hadn't even read any of the books in this series! And equally shocked to find that Fated was even on my Nook for download! Sarah Alderson mainly has her books on Amazon, so it is through them or Book Depository to order them. And being a big fan of my local bookstores, it is painful to order from Amazon. Though sometimes (like in her case) necessary.


Title: Fated
Fated #1
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: Jan 5, 2012

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Evie has already had many loses in her life as both her parents were killed when she was a young child. She now lives with her foster, adopted mom in a house that boards people. She works endless amounts of jobs in order to get the heck out of her little town. She knows there has to be something better than what she has so far.

In walks in Victor, a mysterious man who is opening a very expensive boutique across the way and is looking for help. Will she be interested in an insane amount of money to come work for him? Hmmm, odd request, but yes she will.

It is then she finds out she is a Hunter. A woman with special powers and the need to kill the unhumans that want to rule this world and kill them.

Also thrown in is, Lucas, the ever handsome and sexy male that is half human, half unhuman. He is sent to kill her. He is sent to rid her of this world, as she may be the White Light as seen in the prophecy. It will be easy as she is untrained and unaware he is even there. Will she be able to kill Lucas before he kills her?


BOM BOM BOMMMMMMMM!

Seriously insanely good plot, no? And Evie is hilarious and I love that she shows her vulnerability, but not to the winy point of blah.

**************************************************************************
Title: Severed
Fated #2
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Amazon
Publish Date: Nov 28, 2012

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Two things here, one, I prefer the cover from the first book. I am not sure why because the cover really does speak of the things happening within this second book, but I like the girl on the front. Wondering what she is thinking and why. Two, AHHH why only Amazon! Actually ended up downloading the Kindle app on my phone and reading it that way. Not a fun method for someone with migraines. But oh it was so worth it.

To the reader, you definitely want to read these in order as they give away many secrets that were in the previous book. And sigh, who doesn't want to re-experience the heart wrenching times of Evie and Lucas??

They are a team now. He betrayed the Brotherhood and killed them all. GASP! And now, they fight along side each other trying to end the unhumans killing and find the answer to the prophecy. We meet many new characters in this book, one being Flic, Lucas' sister and Cirus, another hunter who has the hots for Evie. A love triangle?? Where Lucas is quiet and respectful, Cirus is talking up his best assets! It makes for very entertaining conversations. There is a lot of fighting in this book too!

***********************************************************************
Title: Severed
Fated #3
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Amazon
Publish Date: (expected) March 31, 2013

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What do I say without giving anything away???

HOW ABOUT AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW??

Describe your work area? Where is it? What does it entail? Do you have helpers (animals, special props) to aid in writing?

I work either in my studio at home in Bali - which overlooks our garden and the rice paddies. One wall is painted with blackboard paint so we use that (my husband is a designer) to plot out our ideas. It's always a jumble of designs, book and screenplay plots and my daughter's math homework. We bought an old piece of tamarind wood - about eight foot long and had it turned into a desk that we both work at. 

If I'm not working at my desk I'm to be found at Hubud - which is a co-work space in Ubud, the town I live in. It's filled with very cool designers, writers and other creative and entrepreneurial types. I love it. At the moment I am writing a screenplay with someone and that's our workspace for that. 

But the truth is I can work anywhere. I write on planes, trains, in cars...so long as I have my computer and my music and headphones I'm good to go.


What do you do when writing; eat, drink, tap, stare out a window?

All of the above. I start the morning with coffee then I sit down to work. If I get distracted it's by social media or music. I'm very fortunate that I have a housekeeper and so I don't have the excuse of cleaning up to distract me. I also live next door to a juice/ coconut store and so I get daily deliveries of fresh juice and coconuts. Nice! Sometimes when I want a break I'll go for a swim and a float on my lilo!


Do you have a writing goal or when the feeling strikes?

No. I write almost every day. It's a job. If you don't treat it seriously, like a job, and put in the hours then you're never going to make a success of writing as a career. It's not a hobby. You have to show up every day and work your ass off.


What do you see when picturing the Severed cover?

When I see the Severed cover I see the way through opening (or is it closing?).


Is there a bit of Evie in you? Lucas in someone you know? How about Cyrus?

I think Evie's probably the character least like me. I think there are pieces of me in all my characters but I think I'm probably more like Lila and Ren (from The Sound). I admire Evie's integrity though.


I am a big fan of Evie, but I truly adored Flic! Who is your favorite character? Or is that like asking for your favorite child?

Eeeek. I think my favourite character is Cyrus but don't tell the others. I just love him. He's so noble and so funny and man he's a good kisser.


If you could be CEO of any company in the world, which one would it be and why?
I wouldn't. I worked in a non profit for 9 years in senior management and oh god, I'm SO glad to be out of it. Not that I didn't enjoy it at the time but I realise now that I'm so much happier setting my own times, working for myself and not having to commute. I am really, really glad to have shed the 'manager' title and identity that goes with it.

If you could visit any country for one year, where would it be and why?
I'd like to live in Bhutan as it's supposed to be the happiest country in the world. I'd like to figure out the secret.


Did you know you were going to be an author from the get-go?

No. I had no idea until I was 30 and I started writing one day.

Do you own any digital devices to read on?
I had a Kindle but my daughter accidentally kicked it into the swimming pool. Now I have an iPad mini and use the Kindle App. It's hard to get books in Bali so I love my Kindle!


What kind of advice would you give a wanna-be author/writer?
Read everything you can get your hands on, learn about structure and plotting, find your own voice don't copy someone else's, write every single day, don't be hard on yourself, just keep moving on. I don't think it's so much about genius as it is about working very, very hard.


Review: Fight or Flight by Jamie Canosa



I am honored to announce that I am participating in the Blog Tour for Jamie Canosa's new book Fight or Flight for young adults. She emailed me with the blub and I just couldn't resist. It sounded like a book I would enjoy reading. I was not disappointed!

Title: Fight or Flight
Author: Jamie Canosa
Publisher:
Publish Date:

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First of all, I love the name she chose for the main character, Em. Her full name revealed later in the book is Emerson. Completely original!

It is simply amazing the lives that people live and we have no clue what is going on in them. Em, for example is a girl running from her past. She packs a bag, effectively. Has a plan and gets through the main part. Only to be destroyed by unforeseen circumstances. She is now left completely and utterly alone. And her plan is kaput!

She must learn how to survive on the streets with nothing. And she must learn fast because there are people who want what little she has left, people who will do anything to attain it. She has been fleeing her life to survive, but she may not be able to run from this.

Enter Jay. The unsuspecting hero that lurks in a man who has been on the streets for awhile. What he sees in Em, he doesn't know, but something draws him to her and before he knows it, he is helping her survive. But in reality, they may be helping each other just as much!

A great love story. A sad sob story.

The details of living on the streets and trying to find the simple things in life we take for granted like food and shelter is just heart breaking, but eye opening. Truly wonderful story telling. The emotions and thoughts of these two character is what kept me reading continuously to finish. Very well written!!

Summary -
Be smart.
Keep your head down.
And look out for number one.

These are the rules Jay has lived by for the past two years. The rules of surviving life on the streets. But when Em comes bursting into his life, in all of her disastrous glory, the rules go right out the window.


Survive.
Flee what’s been left behind.
And never look back.

Emerson’s plan was simple. Though, it was easier said than done. The city streets are dangerous and unforgiving to a new arrival. Especially, a seventeen-year-old girl who’s never known anything but life in the suburbs. Sometimes, however, what’s lurking behind those white picket fences can be more frightening than any dark alley.


Both of them made the same decision when life got overwhelming—to run from their demons. Brought together by fate or circumstance, Em and Jay find the kind of love neither of them ever expected. But, when those demons come back to haunt them and their love is on the line, which instincts will they choose to follow this time . . . Fight or Flight?


 

Movie Review - The Call



Just left the theaters from seeing the new movie with Halle Berry called The Call. It was so incredibly fun! Kept my on the edge of my seat and a hand half covering my face.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this movie. First of all, I really don't like scary movies. (No I don't know why I like to try and see them) I do like to figure out the plot and how it will develop, though. I also tried to get a friend to go with me, but she was out of town. Blah, so I decided to give it a go by myself.

I am really intrigued right now with the emergency people and jobs, as I want to get my EMS license so I can volunteer once a month with the fire department paramedics. So knowing Halle Berry's character, Jordan, is a 9-1-1 operator right away was a great thing. Then add in a serial killer and a teenage girl - that right there is pretty much a great teen book - which have become my favorite genre!

Halle Berry played a wonderful emergency operator with a traumatic experience and then reliving it to see how she would do things (if anything) different.  But the one who stole the show was the teenage girl abducted, Abigail Breslin, who plays Casey. She has been in other movies like My Sister's Keeper and Little Miss Sunshine. She is the type of girl who it's easy to fall in love with. She is kind, friendly, beautiful, funny, but also vulnerable and strong. It didn't take long for me to start rooting for her to get away safely, but I am not telling whether or not she does! Halle Berry's boyfriend is a cop which made it more interesting because we got to see the side where the operator job ends and the call-in emergency people step in.

This is a fantastic movie for a girls night out or even a date as there is a simply titillating twist at the end!!


Homemade chicken soup

I was so sick recently, that I had to take 3 days off of work just to try and get better, which is kinda insane for me. Diagnosed with Strep and a sinus infection, I was desperate for chicken soup, but being gluten free I couldn't find any that I could eat. Finally after recovering enough to feel okay to work in my kitchen. I found a recipe online that seemed too easy to be good.

LINK FOR SOUP

Put a small chicken in a stockpot (3-4 lbs)
Cover with water
Add large carrots, celery, onion, garlic and salt and pepper
Simmer til chicken falls off bone
Cut apart chicken
Serve with soup, meat and veggies

SO GOOD!!! AND SO EASY!!

I am just so shocked this was so incredibly easy. I plan on doing this recipe at least once a month so that I can use the chicken meat for regular meals like chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, chicken tacos and then I can use the broth for cooking or as soup! The chicken could not have been juicier!

I had to share.

What recipe is shockingly easy?

Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken


Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher:
Publish Date:
Hardcover, 488 pages

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BUY THIS BOOK!! SERIOUSLY THIS WAS A BOOK I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR FOR MONTHS!

I have been waiting to sit down and be absorbed in a book from page 1 to the end and I LOVE THIS BOOK!

Oddly enough this book was never on my radar. I had no idea what it was about or that it even existed. I spent about 20 minutes after work, looking a t books trying to find ONE book to check out and take home to read. It was murder. But the moment I read this blurb, I knew! Okay, I didn't know, but I hoped.

The plot is incredible. This society figures out that puberty brings on special powers. There are five special powers you can attain - everything from telekinesis to mind take-over. To prevent these kids taking over the earth (I guess) they begin to bus children to reform camps. Only they aren't really reforming these kids. They are segregating them into special powers to control and watch them.

Ruby was taken from her home on her 10th birthday to a camp and without realizing it gets the scientist to mark her as green (telekinesis). Meanwhile the kids with the very cool, very dangerous powers are disappearing. After a test shows Ruby to be Orange (mind bender), she is taken to be "protected" only her protectors may not be what they profess.

She runs in to a group of kids, also special, they become her new family of sorts. Liam, Zu and Chubs are the ones who may be the ones to save Ruby, and she may save them.

I absolutely fell in love with the Black Betty kids who roam around trying to survive. Liam, Zu and Chubs are so uniquely wonderful. They truly become a basis for Ruby to learn, survive and have a relationship with, even though she is afraid to touch anyone. These kids were so much fun and to see their powers come out and protect them was incredible.

Summary -
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.


Review: Undeadly by Michele Vail

Title: Undeadly
The Reaper Diaries #1
Author: Michele Vail
Publisher:
Publish Date:

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I have to say this book started off really slow for me. It took me about a quarter of the way through to really start to get sucked in the plot. What threw me was the dead boyfriend. His character was a bit odd and seemed off, yet he was present often. I just kept thinking what are they doing with him and why is he still "alive".

Molly was a good character. Not necessarily a strong female lead. But I liked her. She wanted the good in people. She liked to not discount just based on past experiences. She wasn't just bent on following the orders of others, going with the big bad killer or any of that.

My favorite character was Rath, the already dead Reaper Molly stole Rick (her boyfriend) from killing. He was strong, sexy and very mysterious. I like that. He wanted to kiss her, but remained focused on his job. He didn't need to follow her around like a puppy or become jealous of her dead guy Rick.

The plot was different than anything I have ever read which was a breath of fresh air. I would have liked to see a bit stronger play on the weird in between characters that seemed to survive to have a purpose that to me was deflated. But by the end, I am really excited to read the next book in the series.

Summary -
 The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath.

Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble....

TV sucks you in

I am not a big fan of tv. Only because I have had bad experience with all the stupid people who sell you a satellite or cable. They just keep increasing the costs.

OH you want to have Oxygen channel? Well then you also have to have these other 800 channels you will never watch, but that will cost you another $30 A MONTH.

So when I moved, I swore no new tv costs. I have lived over three years without any kind of tv except the channels I get with a normal antennae. It is quite comical as when the weather changes, so do my channels.

I am addicted to Channel 12 morning news Monday through Friday where I watch The Today's Show, Kelli and Michael and Hoda and Kathy Lee. I don't catch it all the time, but I do try to catch a bit of it. Other than that, there isn't much I watch. Being in retail, my schedule is so different every week there is no way to actually continuously watch a program all the way through. I even tried watching online, but since I rarely know what day it is, I forget to check if a new episode is available.

THEN I went to my parent's house for a couple of days and my dad got me hooked on a show called, Chicago Fire Department. As my mother says, "it really isn't about the fires." There is so much drama and controversy going on, it is amazing these guys can even function. But alas, I am completely sucked in to the drama and want more.  We literally watched like ten episodes. It is about a Chicago Fire Department that houses a paramedics unit as well. They go on all calls from fires (duh) to chemical spills to gun shots to car accidents. It is quite funny that every 10 minutes there is a call bc having been in a fire house for a few weeks, there are days without calls. But that would be boring, yeah? The people are great. My favorite character has to be Shea. She is a blond, slim, lesbian EMT. She rooms with a guy on the fire squad, a lieutenant, who sleeps with anything that has legs, including an ex-date of Shea's who shows up unannounced. (lol) Her partner is Gabriela, a Spanish-speaking beauty who has a problem separating herself from the chaos she is working in. She is constantly in trouble trying to bailout immigrants, trying to decide who she is interested in. One of those interests is the other Lieutenant, Matthew, who was engaged and then he helped birth a baby at an accident scene and his fiance said she never wanted to have kids. So now he is dealing with his mother who is in jail for murdering their abusive father.

Seriously, DRAMA!!

But I truly enjoy the chaos and the characters are just fun and entertaining.

Here's a clip -