Thursday, April 30, 2015

Feeling poetic tonight...

Today on the way home from work, I started thinking about my sister who passed away this year. Those thoughts began to take the shape of a poem. The words were beautiful and I began to tear up, but of course, I was driving and the words were fleeting. By the time I got home and dug out my notebook and pencil, most were gone. Most, but not all.

So here goes. My poem for Amy.

Reduced to ashes,
an elegant vessel,
a shadow,
no more laughter.
Your memory, strong,
even now.
Gone, but not forgotten.
Lost, but not forever.
Until we meet again,
in this world or another.

Now, don't feel bad for me. Or for Amy. She had a great life, and a great sense of humor, which is why I think she'd giggle at what poetic nonsense I wrote next. So, here it is, also for Amy. Something lighthearted and bright, like she was.

Precious ball of fluff
Eyes of blue, focused
Flash of motion, pounce
Success and a present
No more mouse.
Hmm, not sure where that came from. But it led me to think of those cute little jumping spider pics that pop up on Facebook sometimes. So, another one.
Old man spider
shadows hide
watchful gaze
whiskered face
cute, but frightful
Well, that's it, unless you count the alternate words my husband and I came up with for Are you sleeping the other day.
Prairie jackal
Prairie jackal
Might eat you
Might eat you
If you let him catch you
If you let him catch you
Shame on you
Shame on you
Sigh, I don't think I'll give up my day job. 
Good night, Amy. Hope you got a chuckle out of these.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Romance Review: Pastels & Jingle Bells by Christine S. Feldman

Pastels and Jingle Bells by Christine Feldman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A refreshingly sweet romance.

This novella features the first romance in a series where the women falling in love happen to work in the same bakery. First up is Trish Ackerly. When her old grade-school nemesis wanders into the shop, Trish dives behind the counter and hides, but her coworker sets events in motion that will make her face her bully. But, he isn't quite as bad as she remembers him...

Alright, first off, this is a cute, well written romance. It's also clean and focuses on those first shivers of awareness and attraction, as well as the confusion of reality clashing with preconceptions. All of it is well done and amusing, and I liked that the story kept a smile on my face the whole time I read it.

I also liked that the main character's first name is the same as mine. I too started off as a Patricia (a.k.a. Patty) and was troubled with similar taunts based on my name. I am now a Trish, like the character in the story, and feel equally uncomfortable being called Patty. Because of this, I related closely to the main character and understood how hard it must be to set those feelings aside to see the man her nemesis, Ian, grew up to be.

On a more technical level, the story is both well-written and well-edited, and the pacing is spot on. Usually, this is the part where I try to balance the review with constructive criticism, but I can't think of anything I didn't like.

This is a quick, pleasant read, perfect for a relaxing weekend, perhaps with a pastry or two handy. I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes romantic stories in small bites, particularly those that focus more on the emotional rather than the physical aspects of love.

View all my reviews

Pastels & Jingle Bells on Amazon-It's free today! (check price before buying)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

YA Dystopian Review: The Earth Dwellers by David Estes

The Earth Dwellers (The Dwellers, #4)The Earth Dwellers by David Estes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Earth Dwellers is the finale for two linked, but separate storylines. For the Dwellers series, it wraps up Adel and Tristan's adventure, revealing a fourth Realm on the surface. For the Country series, it merges the staggering cast and struggles of the three Countries that survived on the surface.

Little attention is given to developing the characters from each series, but I did like how the book rings true to each one. Like in the books leading up, each chapter is told by one of the characters, using their unique voice to do so, but each chapter is labeled with the narrator's name up front, so you don't have to guess. Not that I think it would be hard to figure it out.

Another thing about this story I liked is how difficult and seemingly impossible the final conflict is and just how thoroughly it's resolved. The level of tension builds quickly and stays at a level that keeps you reading.

Not much attention is given to the established couples either, though Adele and Tristan's relationship seems to have the most focus. The rest seem to be accepted, like Circ and Siena's, or starcrossed, though I won't say which one or ones (no spoilers). Basically, this story wraps things up and doesn't pose any new questions.

Finally, if you're looking for a happily ever after, beware. The body count is huge, and main or favorite characters are not guaranteed any sort of safety. Sure, that makes for an exciting and nervewracking conclusion, but it also left me in a state of shocked disbelief. I kept hoping the narrators were mistaken.

Overall though, I must say I loved this book, my second favorite in the combined series after Fire Country. Folks who love YA Dystopia will likely love this series.

I received a free copy of this book some time ago as a thank you for participation in a blog event. Great book, great series.

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 23, 2015

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: Life, A.D. and M.I.A. by Michelle E. Reed with Giveaway #T4T


Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you the Atman City series by Michelle E. Reed:
Life, A.D.: Life After Dez
M.I.A.: Missing in Atman!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


In Life, A.D. you have two choices: join the program or face the consequences.
Seventeen-year-old Dez Donnelly crashes headlong into fate on the side of a rural highway, her life ending in a violent collision of steel and screaming brakes. The train that delivers her newly departed soul to the crossroads of the afterlife won’t be carrying her to the sweet hereafter until she accepts her abrupt end and learns to let go of the life she’ll never finish. 
Her new reality is conduct manuals, propaganda, and unrelenting staff, all part of a system to ease her transition from life to death, while helping her earn her way out of limbo. Atman City, beautiful and enticing, is an ever-present temptation that is strictly off limits to underage souls. The promise of adventure proves too strong, and beneath the city’s sheen of ethereal majesty, Dez discovers a world teeming with danger.
Welcome to Life, A.D. where being dead doesn’t mean you’re safe, and the only thing harder than getting out of limbo is getting through it.
add to goodreads
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N

I loved this book. it takes on the aspect of death and afterlife, transforming it into a character driven story.” – Troy, Goodreads Reviewer

There was a theme threaded throughout the tale: Most people are busy living life preparing for the future instead of living in the moment. Gosh, I love that.”S.A. Larsen, Author

“I think Life A.D. holds high potential for a fantastic series. It was GREAT and I really do think that people would really get into it if it became a series.” – Olivia, Book Comet


Dez is finally hitting her afterlife stride. She hasn’t missed a meeting or session in 42 days, and she’s put the adventures and danger of her first days at Atman behind her. Life after death is becoming tolerable, yet nothing is quite what she’d hoped. Confusion over her feelings for Charlie, residual resentment over losing Hannah, and a continuous stream of unwanted assignments leave Dez restless and argumentative. In a missed encounter with Crosby, her prying gaze lands upon a single entry in the datebook on his unoccupied desk. These few, hastily scribbled words reveal an enormous secret he’s keeping from her. Possessed by a painful sense of betrayal, she once again sneaks off to Atman City, determined to find answers to an unresolved piece of her life. It begins as all their adventures do, but as light falls into darkness, a stop in an unfamiliar neighborhood sets forth a chaotic series of events. Dez will have to fight for her very existence, and will face painful, irreparable loss in an afterlife teeming with demons wielding ancient powers.
add to goodreads
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N


“This was a wonderful continuation to the Atman City series!”Bri, Books and Ashes

“I couldn't put it down!!
Now I desperately await the next installment. I'm nowhere near the writer Michelle Reed is, so I won't bother trying. I'll simply say this book is a must read, following the first installment, "Life A.D."”Amy, Goodreads Reviewer

“M.I.A. had an interesting ending and I imagine there will be a third book in the series based on it. I look forward to reading it.” – Dawn, Bound 4 Escape

Michelle Reed
Michelle E. Reed was born in a small Midwestern town, to which she has returned to raise her own family. Her imagination and love of literature were fueled by a childhood of late nights, hidden under the covers and reading by flashlight. She is a passionate adoption advocate who lives in Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their yellow lab, Sully.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blogger's going nuts!

Holy bugs, batman. 

Blogger's going crazy. I move my pointer and the all the text and pics shift and follow it around, randomly changing justification and re-positioning. At one point, an image began to spontaneously reproduce itself and leave trails of itself throughout the post. 

I don't know what kind of gremlins have invaded, but I really hope Google can find a way to eliminate them. I've heard sunlight works...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Blog vacation! (maybe I should have announced it first)

Well, here I am. Yes, still blogging. Just not recently.

So, yes, I'm taking a blog vacation. During this vacation I plan to:

  • Read too much (of course)
  • Think of things to blog about that aren't reviews
  • Edit some stuff
  • Think out the stuff I'm editing
  • Play some Everquest
  • Watch some corny SyFy movies
  • Edit some other stuff
  • Practice some Karate

Yep, good times. I'll check back in a bit later.

So, if you were on vacation, what would you do? Answer in the comments. :-)