Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Reading Year in Review

This year, I have only managed to read 81 books.  Way off my pace of 140 books last year!  Although, I wasn't working last year until September.  There was a time where I was even too busy and stressed to write down my books in my reading journal, so that number might be a few low, but it's pretty close.  Here are some highlights:

The only "regular fiction" I read was:

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Be Different, Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian by John Elder Robinson
The Beach House by Jane Green
Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett

All but two of these were my book club's picks.  I can only attend my book club in the summer due to my job now, but I try to read along with them at home.  I enjoyed all of them, but my favorite was Unbroken.  It's quite a story; all the more interesting because it's all true!

Here are some of the series I read a lot of this year:

Betsey Taylor Vampire queen by Mary Janice Davidson, I really enjoyed the first few books, but then the jokes seemed to get old and there didn't seem to be enough meat to the books.  I stopped reading at book # 8.  I might pick-up more later.

Laurell K. Hamilton.  I finished up reading all the available Anita Blake books and started reading the Meridith Gentry series.  I don't like Meridith as well as Anita, but then again I like Shifters and Vampires better than the Fey anyway!

I'm still reading Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series and I have started reading the Dream Hunter books also.  I don't get the Dream Hunter books.  I still don't really understand what I dream hunter is and there are a lot of characters and stories to keep track of, but she is still worth reading.  I am on book 16.  I read Acheron in November, it's got to be my favorite so far!

My favorite by far is J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood Series.  I devoured all 11 books!  The men are totally hot, completely cool, and utterly heroic!  I LOVE them!  I have started reading her Fallen Angels series since I have to wait until March to get the next Black Dagger book (and I must say I can't wait to read it!)  The Fallen Angels are really good, but not quite up to the most excellent level of the Black Dagger Brotherhood!

I have read the first two books in Larissa Ione's Dominica series and so far I am really enjoying them!.  I am excited to read the next Black Dagger Brotherhood book, the next Sookie Stackhouse book, and the next The Hollows book.  I am sooo looking forward to all the excellent spring reading!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas



I have not been posting because I have been busy working.  I work as a teacher's aide for my county's special educations cooperative and I love it, but it keeps me very busy.  After work, almost every night, I have to run the kids around then help the youngest with his homework (a long nightly struggle).  I don't mind.  I consider helping my children the most important thing in my life right now.  Sometimes other things have to take a back seat.

I have been reading, but I haven't been very good about keeping up with my writing journal.  Here are some highlights:


My latest discovery/favorite--J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood.  This series has everything and I mean everything I have ever wanted in a book--romance, hot, but tough heroes, steamy sex scenes, paranormal, lots of on going story lines, and a large cast of characters that we continually follow through the books!  I can't get enough!

I did not read a Christmas novel this year.  I have been unhappy in the past with these.  It seems like the story line always overshadows the Christmas part and the story lines are usually not what I would normally want to read.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What I've Been Reading

Okay, I haven't put out any book reviews lately.  It doesn't mean I'm not reading, it just means that I haven't felt like reviewing any books.  I often think that there are plently of reviews out there.  Why should I rehash the same old again?  If I do write a review, I try to keep it short and sweet.  I really hate the reviews that go on and on and on about every detail of the plot.  If we cared that much, we would just start reading the book.  So, here is what I have been reading in the last month:

Paranormal:

Deep Kiss of Winter, Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter, Okay
Spellbound, Hex Hall #3, Rachel Hawkins, Okay
Undead & Unwelcome, Betsy Taylor Vampire Queen # 8, Mary Janice Davidson, Okay
Devil May Cry, Dark-Hunter #13, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Good
Once Burned, Jeaniene Frost, Okay
Vacation with a Vampire, Harlequin Nocturne, June '12, Not Great
Lover Awakened, Black Dagger Brotherhood #3, J.R. Ward, Heaven
Kiss of the Dead, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #21, Laurell K. Hamilton, Heaven
Sentinels:  Tiger Bround, Harlequin Nocturne, Aug. '12, Doranna Durgin, Not Great
Lover Revealed, Black Dagger Brotherhood #4, J.R.Ward, Heaven
A Kiss of Shadows, Merry Gentry #1, Laurell K. Hamilton, Heaven


Erotic Romance:

50 Shades Darker, E.L. James, Okay


Literary Fiction:

The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffennegger, Great

My Raiting Scale:  Bad, Not Great, Okay, Great, Heaven

Friday, August 10, 2012

Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose




This year for vacation, my husband wanted to drive to Yellowstone.  I was at first unwilling to spend so much time trapped in the car driving, but my husband was persistent and wore me down like he usually does.  He has an old friend that moved from the Midwest to Montana and he has been dying to see the Montana/Yellowstone area ever since.  I try to read a book about the area we are going to see and this year I select the classic, Undaunted Courage by the unequaled Stephen E. Ambrose.  I had planned to read it aloud to the family during the LONG car drive thinking that I would have plenty of time.  Well, when the book came, I realized the folly of that kind of thinking.  The book is

484 pages (with lots of small words of each page).  Undaunted myself, I decided to forge ahead and read as much as I could.  My husband and the raging princess actually looked forward to and enjoyed the readings.  By the end of the trip, I had read 132 pages, the first 10 chapters.  We all are enjoying the book so far and plan to bring it along to read whenever we have a car trip.  We will probably be reading it for the next several years, but it is a great book and worth the effort!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Water Parks and Silos





Yesterday, I was at the water park.  I am roped into going every year to take my kids, I don't particularly enjoy it.  As I have grown older, I have developed a fear of being in enclosed spaces and I have never liked being in the dark.  So as you can imagine hurdling down a small, enclosed tunnel, in the dark does not in anyway sound fun to me.  So I sit frying in the sun at the wave pool.  An overcrowded, murky 0 depth entry pool.  It disgusts me and there are lots of unknown floaties floating around.  I try not to think about what is floating and what is causing the water to be so murky and I quickly cool off so I can go roast in the sun some more while I wait for my kids to be finished.  I would have preferred a spot in the shade, but all the shade spots are gone, so I am adding more unsightly "age" spots and moles to what's all ready there.  My sunscreen has proven to be ineffective.  I guess it's time to toss it.  How many years have I had that tube?  I probably don't want to know. 

So I am sitting immersed in the unnatural, man-made monstrosity that is the water park.  Surrounded by throngs of people, cement, unnaturally bright plastic tubes, and loud music that is piped all over the park.  I am pretty good at shutting out stuff and am trying to read one of my three books I brought (one never and I mean never wants to be without reading material).  Putting my book down, I gaze out of the water park and look longingly across the farm fields when I spy I silo.  You still see old falling down silos dotting the  horizon.  They were built back when farmers could still make money planing crops and raising stock.  The silos held the silage that cattle ate.  Farmers now days, can't make money raising a small herd of cattle, so the silos stand unused and falling down.  Cattle are now raised on giant industrial farms and the family farmer is struggling to make ends meet, banking it all on how well the next season of corn and soybeans will do.  So, I sit having 'fun' frying in the sun and cooling off in the murky water, thinking about how sad it is that the days of being able to make a good living off of a small farm are long gone.   There will be no more silos, no more barns, no more small family farmers quietly making a living.  Sure their are still farmers, but it's all about being big now.  More acres, more heads, until it is nothing more than an industrial machine.  We no longer build silos.  Now we have to look forward to more unnaturally bright water parks.   

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Parents: You must read this!



 This book is a must have for parents!

I might have written about this book before, but I feel so strongly about it that I wanted to blog about it again.  I have always been a big reader and have routinely read to my children, but I have taken it to another level since reading this book several years ago.  Read the info. below and pick-up the book.  I never reread books, but I think I might be reading this one again. 

Also, check out Jim Trelease's website at, www.trelease-on-reading.com


Below is an excerpt from the web site:

This is not a book about teaching a child how to read; it’s about teaching a child to want to read. There's an education adage that goes, “What we teach children to love and desire will always outweigh what we make them learn.” The fact is that some children learn to read sooner than others, and some better than others. There is a difference. For the parent who thinks sooner is better, who has an eighteen-month-old child barking at flashcards, my response is: Sooner is not better. Are the dinner guests who arrive an hour early better guests than those who arrive on time? Of course not.
However, I am concerned about the child who needlessly arrives late and then struggles through years of pain with a book. Not only will he miss out on large portions of what he needs to know in school, he'll experience a pain connection with print that may stay with him for a lifetime. There are things that families must do as "preventive maintenance" to ensure against those pains.
Even I have to admit that the subject of children's reading is broader than simply reading aloud to children, passionate as I am about that subject. And that's why there's a chapter (five) devoted to SSR—sustained silent reading, reading aloud's silent partner, if you will. And just as the best baseball players come from countries and states where they can play baseball most often, research shows that children who have access to more print (magazines, newspapers, and books) have higher reading scores—because they end up reading more. That's explored in chapter seven.
There is also a chapter on television (nine), including some new research correlating infants' daily TV exposure with attention deficit disorder by age seven. That chapter also includes information about a mechanical device for the TV that is the most successful reading tutor in the world!
Questions covered in the Introduction for print edition of The Read-Aloud Handbook:
  • What if the No Child Left Behind Act is wrong? Where does that leave the nation’s children?
  • Are you suggesting this reading stuff is the job of the parent?
  • Can we really change families and homes in America?
  • Will this book help me teach my child to read?
  • How did a parent come to write this book?
  • How do I convince my husband he should be doing this with our children?
  • Is reading still important in the video age?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Summer of Harry Potter, Update



After a rough start (which I have blogged about earlier this summer), we finally finished the first Harry Potter book on the 4th of July, Yea!  My son, eventually, got into the book and once I dragged him away from whatever he was doing (he never likes to transition away from something he is enjoying) he would enjoy the nightly reading.  Immediately after finishing the book, we watched the first movie with the Raging Princess (who is also a Harry fan). 

I think it is SO important to share the books you love with your kids.  They will pick-up on your enthusiasm and even if they don't ever like it as much as you do, you still have shared something of yourself with your kids and along the way are fostering a love of reading that will sustain them for the rest of their lives. 

We have started on book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  The goal is to finish it before school starts. 

I'm Farming and I Grow It



I LOVE this!  Check it out!

My Aspergers Child: Best and Worst Jobs for Aspergers Adults

My Aspergers Child: Best and Worst Jobs for Aspergers Adults: 80% of grown-ups with Aspergers do not have full-time jobs – not because they can’t do the work, but because they can’t manage to be sociall...

This is a great article, very informative.  It is never too early to start thinking about careers for your kids in this economy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Blog Name!

I have changed the name of my blog to www.paranormalbooklife.blogspot.com.  I changed it to more accurately reflect what the blog is all about and what my interests are.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward



Paranormal Romance
Book 2 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series


In this series, there are vampires, who are born, and lessers, who are made.  The lessers are soulless, evil beings out to destroy the vampires.  The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a class of vampire, warriors who are born  into the Brotherhood.  The men are bigger and more powerful than the common vampires. 

This book is about Rhage.  Rhage was cursed to carry a draggon-type being with him.  When he looses control, he turns into a dragon.  The dragon is all rage and fury and will harm/eat anyone in his path.  It is this curse that makes it especially hard when he falls for the very fragil human, Mary. 

The suffering, the very beautiful, Rhage goes through over years trying to gain control of the dragon's rage make him a very sympathic hero.  He falls for the average, nothing special woman and treats her like a queen, caring for her and protecting her even when it harm himself.  I love the broken, self-sacrificing, georgeous hero falls for the regular girl romances.  Great Stuff!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Best of YouTube- Extreme Sheep Art!



This is really cute.  Super Lego boy and I watched it and laughed and laughed!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett


Selection of the United Methodist Women's 2012 Reading Program
Education for Mission Category
Fiction

This book is about four women and one teenager making a life changing mission trip to South Africa.  The women each sign up for the trip for selfish reasons and end up being humbled and moved by the people they meet.  Through their work with others who have so much less than they do, they realize that they need to learn to let go and rely on God and have faith in his plans for us. 

I love Christian fiction, the stories are a way for us to learn how to live as a Christian in an entertaining way.  This books tells a good story; I really wanted to know what happened to the women, but more than that it had a good lesson.  It also told the story of the people of South Africa in a way that allowed us to truly imagine the roughness of life there.  We have all heard the facts, but reading a story about individuals allows us to truly empathize. 

I also LOVE the United Methodist Women's Reading Program.  Look for a separate entry about it.




Beaded Hope is a real organization.  Go to www.beadedhope.com

Artisans of South African Creating Beaded Art 

Our Mission

Beaded Hope's mission is to fight HIV/AIDS one person at a time by providing South Africans with the opportunity to earn an income, support their families and nurture their creativity while preserving age-old African beadwork traditions.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber





This is a new series by the same Author that wrote the Vampire Kisses series.  While I liked the Vampire Kisses series, I wasn't that thrilled with this one.  It was written in a style that makes everything seem unreal, like you are hearing about the events second hand instead of being right there with the heroine. Although it is written in the first person.  It is also a bit too bubble-gum for me.  I like reading Young Adult books from time to time, but this was just a bit too much.  Maybe it was the way Celeste just let her friends and her old boyfriend boss her around.  It got really annoying after a while. 

The Raging Princess loved the book.  So maybe this is just one of those series that doesn't cross over for adults.


Friday, June 22, 2012

The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen




This book starts off with an interesting idea, what would happen if the world of vampire and vampire hunters you read about in your favorite books came to life.  The main character, Amy, is attacked by a vampire and is saved by none other than her favorite character in her favorite book series.  Not all that great. The character development wasn't great and the Literary Physics idea seemed stuped. Plus, the Mom character was really underdeveloped and I thought there should have been a lot more discussion between Mom and daughters.

A unique idea and take on vampires, though.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter



Book 5 in the Gallagher Girls Series
Young Adult

I really like this series.  For once in a series written for teens, the mother is not dead or somehow unavailable.  The mother is a strong, smart, independent woman and very much involved in Cammie's live and the Dad is missing/gone in the series.  It is a refreshing change.  Cammie goes to a super secret, covert spy school for girls from 7th to 12th grade.  The girls are smart, brave, athletic, and good friends.  There is a love interest for Cammie, but it doesn't take over the story.  Cammie still goes on adventures, still does her own things, still is true to herself.  To top it all off the story line is interesting.  A good mix of action/adventure and friends/relationship. 




Dark Lover by J.R. Ward



Book one, The Black Dagger Brotherhood
Paranormal Romance


In this series, vampires are born not made and the vampire population is in series trouble.  Their enemies are the lessers lead by the ultimate in evil, the Omega.  The lessers are soulless beings out to destroy the vampires.  The vampires are lead by the Scribe Virgin who is some mystical being with great powers.  The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a group of powerful vampires who protect their people from the lessers. 

This book reminded me a lot of the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  I enjoyed the book.  It wasn't a heart-stopping-I can't-put-it-down book, but an enjoyable read.  I liked the bond between Wrath and his Brotherhood, a group of deadly warriors, but all broken is some way.  I love heroes who are hot, powerful, great warriors, but alone and broken and can only be healed and made whole by their one true mate.  Heroes that once they find their one true mate are completely and utterly devoted to their women. 

I enjoyed the book and will probably pick-up the next few books in the series.  I usually get tired of a series long before the books run out and I probably will with this one as well, but for now I am looking forward to the next book.  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Beach House by Jane Green



This book is one of those woman's fiction novels that I rarely read.  For some reason, I am not that interested in most of the non paranormal books marketed to woman.  It is the June pick by my book club, however, so I picked it up.  I was not looking forward to reading it, but I wanted to make the effort for two reasons.   One, I love books and any book discussion is better than none.  Two, I realize I read mostly only paranormal books and enjoy stretching myself from time to time.  So, I ordered it from the library, picked it up, and let it sit for about a week.  I reluctantly started reading it and it seemed my worst fears were going to be realized.  It was about women who's marriages are falling apart.  Why are so many woman's books about that?  Does it make woman happy to read about other woman in pain?  I read slowly, often putting it down in favor of other, more preferable books.  At some point, though, I realized that this book was interesting and about more than pain and heartbreak. 

The book's main point seemed to be the theme, be true to your self.  I like that.  I think that many, many women aren't, that they are living lives for their husbands and families.  We do tend to get lost caring for others.   I loved the character's regrouping and finding out who they really are and what they want out of life.  I loved the sweet romances.  I loved the beautiful setting.  I got probably 1/4 of the way through the book and couldn't put it down.  It's a great summer read and a really sweet book with a happy ending and I love happy endings!   

Friday, June 15, 2012

High Blood Pressure




Yesterday I found out my high blood pressure is back.  I found out I had high blood pressure on Christmas Eve (yes, it kind of ruined Christmas for me).  I stopped taking Sudafed and the problem went away.  I thought the problem was over, but after a doctor visit yesterday, I discovered much to my horror, that I am still prehypertensive.  The doctor wants to start me of medication.  I now have a choice, I can take the pills for the rest of my live or I can make some changes to my diet and add exercise.  Maybe that will help.  Sounds like an easy choice right, but when I think of a lifetime of salads with tasteless vinegar dressing and chicken, chicken, chicken, I start thinking the joy of living is over.  I know, I am being a bit dramatic, but this is such a shock.  It is the first time I have ever really had to face the fact that I AM GETTING OLD and it sucks! 

I must go and start planning a new menu then take a walk with my new pedometer.  I don't want to rely on medicine and I would like to be around for a while longer--my youngest is only 7!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lotion and Nostalgia



Okay, I know this is a weird topic, but I love Baby Magic lotion.  My kids are no longer babies, so why am I thinking about baby lotion?  It is because it reminds me of my childhood.  Growing up this is the lotion we used.  It is actually a great, all around lotion, and doesn't smell too babyish.  We all used it.  I remember my mom and her pillow always smelled like this lotion.  You know how a song or a smell can take you back to another time?  Well, this reminds me of my childhood.  I have had to stop using it just because it has become really hard to find, but on occasion, I find it at Wal-Mart.  So, until the bottle runs out, every morning I'll have a few minutes of nostalgia. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

be different, Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian






This book marks the 42nd book I have read this year, of those, this is the 1st non-fiction book.  Of the other 41, only 3 were not vampire books, although they were still of the paranormal genre.

As the title of the book indicates, this is about embracing who you are, using the gifts you have, and dealing with things that you can't do or have trouble doing.

I have read John Elder Robinson's other book, Look Me in the Eye and I was really affected by what he said.  This new book is just as memorable.  As the mother of a boy who could have Aspergers and possessing many Aspergian qualities myself, Mr. Robison's words really hit home.  He doesn't bog his books down with boring how to advice, he tell his life story and what he has learned.  He is an inspiration.  I recommend this book to anyone who has Aspergers, knows anyone who has Aspergers, or anyone who maybe just has never quite fit in.  It is informative, funny at times, and an inspiration.

Red, White, and Blood



Nathaniel Cade, Book 3

The Presidential Campaign Trail, 2012: A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered while caught in a compromising position. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK. And with that, a centuries-old horror known only as the Boogeyman returns to taunt Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire. Against the backdrop of the 2012 presidential race, with the threat of constant exposure by the media, Cade and Zach must stop the one monster Cade has never been able to defeat completely. And they must do it before the Boogeyman adds another victim to his long and bloody list: the President of the United States himself.
 
I, of course, love vampire books.  Vampire romance is my favorite, but vampire action isn't bad either.  Book 1 in this series was my favorite.  We learned a lot about Cade and it was really interesting an unique.  The 2nd book seemed more like an action book than a vampire books--not as interesting.  This installment has more of Cade in it, what makes him tick, why he does what he does, and a bit about what he thinks.  This is the real meat, why the series is unique.  The relationship between Zach and Cade is interesting and I liked the Presidential Campaign/Boogeyman story (even though the villain name is stupid).  Good, not great.  (The book title is great!)
 
 


Saturday, June 9, 2012

True Blood Season 4


True Blood Season 4 is now out on DVD and Blue Ray!
(Of course, I picked the image featuring Eric.)



I am not one to be on the front lines of popular culture, I kind of do my own thing.  So it took me a while to hear about True Blood and the Sookie Stackhouse or Southern Vampire Mystery books that inspired the HBO series, but I think it was sometime during the first season.  I immediately sought out the books, fell in love with them, and proceeded to read them one after another until I had read all, I think it was, 10 that was published at the time.   I love the books and have reviewed them here in the past.  I even went to see Charlene Harris and have an autographed copy of one of her books. 

After I read the books, I anxiously waited for the first season on True Blood to come out on DVD.  I do not have HBO and I am not willing to pay for HBO, so I waited for the DVD release and immediately scooped it up, feeling very guilty about spending the money.  I raced home and started what was a True Blood viewing frenzy!  I had never seen anything like it before.  It was cutting edge, suspenseful, full of wonderful acting and characters, and featured completely delicious vampires and werewolves.  I was enraptured!  I was hooked!  I was obsessed!  I also felt completely guilty, the T.V. show is full of nudity and inappropriate scenes, so I had to hide it from my kids.  To make matters worse my husband just does not understand my obsession with vampires.  So, it is my guilty pleasure.  I watched all the episodes in just a few days and then went back and watched all the special features and commentaries.  Watch and repeat with seasons 2 and 3. 

I was probably looking forward to season 4 even more because it was to be my end of the school year reward.  I just entered the job marked last fall for the first time in 8 years.  Juggling work and home responsibilities was difficult, but I managed.  Working in the school system, I, of course, get the summer off and was really looking forward to relaxing, spending more time with my kids, getting to read more, and watching Season 4 of True Blood.  I raced out got the DVDs and OH MY GOD!  It was probably THE BEST thing I have ever scene on TV or the movies.  It was the best season by far. 

It covered probably my favorite book in the series, although the TV show does not follow the books literally I think they are the better for it.  It did, however, cover Sookie and Eric's romance.  I really like the Sookie/Eric romance.  Eric is by far my favorite character in the books and in the series Alexander Skarsgard is perfect as Eric.  Casting a Swede as Eric is a touch of genus.  The only thing is wish was different is Alexander does not have the wonderful long hair Eric is supposed to have.  Seeing a softer side of a ruthless, 1,000 year old viking vampire was so cool.  We also get to see the ruthless side of Eric.  When he pulls the beating heart out of that witch and then sucks the blood out of the artery like it was a soda in heart shaped cup, was so wonderfully cruel, I laughed out loud!  There are several more fight/killing seasons that are similarly gross, wonderfully disgusting, perfectly shot, and cruel. 

Season 4 had it all, romance and ruthless vampire business.  I am now going to watch all of the episodes again, this time with the commentary.  I can't wait!  

Friday, June 8, 2012




I signed my kids up for the summer reading program at our local public library.  Summer reading programs are a great way to get kids interested in reading over the summer.  They really like turning in their forms and getting a prize.  
I picked up the book the library's adult book club is reading.  I can't wait to get back to my book club.  I haven't been able to go because I was working.  I considered attending a book club that meets in the evening so I can go all year around, but I decided that when I am working even if I could find the time to attend an evening book club, I probably wouldn't have time to read the book anyway.  I will enjoy meeting over the summer while I can.

Update:  Now it looks like I won't even be able to make the June meeting.  The group is meeting at a different location and I won't be able to pick-up my son from Lego Robotics camp from that far away.  Sigh, the kids always come first. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012



I am a fantasy nut so, of course, I love the Harry Potter books.  I read them all the summer before the last two books came out.  I then rushed to the store like a kid to get the new books when they came out, but I didn't have a kid as an excuse.  My daughter was still too small at the time.  I read the first three books out loud to my daughter, but then she was old enough to read for herself and she didn't want me to read to her anymore, so I let it go.  I have been waiting for my son to be old enough for the books.  I have been excitedly waiting for summer, because this is the summer I share Harry Potter with my son.  The only problem is, he has changed his mind and now does not want to listen.  I have been stubbornly reading anyway, but it has taken the joy out of it.  The movies have kid of ruined it for them.  They no longer are interested in the books, because they have watched the movies so much.

I need to rethink this.  I will now read Harry Potter as a "bonus" reading during the day and still let my son pick what he wants to hear at night.  I think we will also have a big family movie night to watch the movies after we finish the books.  Maybe I can make a Harry Potter theme day, food, games.  I need to whip up some excitement. 

Despite my continued insistence, my daughter, the raging princess, has not finished the books.  She has discovered vampires and now isn't that interested in Harry.  Here is the new plan--I read all the books to both of them.  R. Princess can join in when we finish the third book, whether she wants to our not.  Sometimes you have to push things a bit.  They usually come around and if not, at least, I tried.
  
Update:  Okay, I put my plan into action today. It went better. My son listened without humming. He was still playing with a toy, but I think he WAS actually listening. The bad part is, now I still have to read stupid superhero books over and over again at night. Sigh, the things we do for our kids.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Harlequin Nocturne - April 2012




Paranormal Romance

Warrior Rising the Esri Series by Pamela Palmer

In this book, the humans are still fighting the evil Esri king who is intent upon enslaving the entire human race.  The 1/2 Esri humans are on the front lines as they are the only humans who can resist the hypnotism of the Esri.   Harrison Rand is charged with guarding the Esri Princess who might be the only thing that can stop the evil king.  Along the way he fall for her, sparks fly, a war is fought, etc.

This series has not been a favorite of mine.  The author created an entire new world that smacks of a bit too much Science Fiction for my tastes.  Also, the instant desire just seemed weird.  There didn't seem to be any reason behind it.  I did finish the book and it was okay, but not great.


The Werewolf's Wife by Michele Hauf

Ridge Addison is the new alpha of his small werewolf pack.  He is determined to end his marriage that he jumped into one night on a whim in Las Vegas, so he can get on with his life.  The problem is he has never been able to get Abigail out of his mind.  When he looks up Abigail, she is determined to make a life for her and her son without men and without Ridge, but when her son goes missing, she accepts Ridge's help.  They soon learn the sparks are still there.  Can they reunite, can they find Abigail's son?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The action/kidnapping kept the reader turning pages.  The romance was interesting and believable and the supernatural elements were good, too.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Everlast - What It's Like official video



I love this song! It never fails to move me.

Kiss of A Demon King



Book 6 in the Immortals After Dark Series
Paranormal Romance

I am starting to really look forward to the books in this series.  They are well written, have great romance, and a great supernatural mythology.  In this book, Rydstrom Woede, a rage demon takes center stage.  Rydstrom is the rage demon's king, but his kingdom was taken from him in an attack by the evil, unkillable, Omort and he has been searching for a way to get his kingdom back for centuries.  In the last book, Rydstrom's brother finally attained a sword fabled to be the one think that could kill Omort.  Now Rydstrom needs to get close enough to kill him.  Unfortunately, he is imprisoned by the evil, Sorceress of Illusions and 1/2 sister to Omort, Sabine.  Rydstrom is strangely drawn to Sabine and with so much at stake, it makes for a very interesting situation.  Could Rydstrom trust Sabine, is Sabine really his mate, should he choose Sabine or his kingdom?

This book was full of really steamy romance scenes, lots of intrigue, and action.  A great read!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another Milestone for the Raging Princess

My daughter, affectionately known as The Raging Princess, officially completed 8th grade last night.  She received her diploma, a certificate for being on the A, B honor roll, certificates for being in Newspaper club, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Library Club and the Presidential Silver Award for Academic Excellence!  I am so proud of the hard work she did.  She managed all A's and B's even with taking advanced math, reading, and writing.  I am happy for her, but a bit sad.  She is growing up so fast!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Harlequin Nocturne, March 2012



So Here are the March offerings in the Harlequin Nocturne series (available at Wal-Mart for less than list price).  I love this series, not because it is such great reading, but it is good light reading.  When I'm feeling overwhelmed by things and have too much on my mind to tackle other books, I can always pick-up on of these.  I also like to pick them up to keep on hand for those "oh no, I have nothing to read emergencies." 

I recommend them both.  I have read books in this series that I wasn't that thrilled with, but these were both pretty good. The Half-Breed Vampire is a werewolf/vampire story that took me a while to get into, but I thought it finished strong and Forever Claimed is 3rd in The Claiming Series.  I wasn't thrilled with the first book in this series, but books 2 and 3 were good.  There was a little bit of repeating the same info over and over, but for the most part a very enjoyable read.

Thursday, May 17, 2012



Mother's Day is one of those holidays that has always seemed forced and insincere to me.  Despite that, I have always tried to make the day nice for my mother, but my kids were always too young to really do much.  I have received the cutest school made gifts and cards and, of course, sweet hugs and well wishes.  This year, however, my oldest is 14 and she took charge.  She asked what I wanted, figured out she could order it on Amazon, got my husband to order it, snuck the gift in the house before I got home from work, and wrapped it.  I love my gifts!

Thanks to the Raging Princess for taking charge.  Thanks also
to the Lego Hero and the Sports Nut for a great Mother's Day.  I love you all; you guys are the best!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole



Paranormal Romance
Book 5 in The Immortals After Dark Series

I am liking this series more and more.  Each book at least mentions previous characters, if not involves them in the story line, which is nice.  I like the continuity between books.  The author has thought up a multidimensional world full of lots of different creatures that make up the Lore.  There is the conflict of an upcoming Lore War and to top it all off, the romance is great! 

In this book Cadeon, a rage demon, after being a small character in several books, finally takes center stage.  He has found his one true mate, but is forbidden from being with her because she is human.  Meanwhile, the human, is turning into an immortal being that is suddenly being sought after by half of the Lore.  Cadeon has to choose help his mate or help his brother.  I loved this book, great action, great romance, great conflict, and what's a romance without a little heartbreak that is resolved in the end? 

UCC leader applauds Obama stance on marriage equality










UCC leader applauds Obama stance on marriage equality


I'm proud to be a member of a church that supports gay marriage.   Click the above link to read the story.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Monarch books 2012




In grade schools and libraries across Illinois you will find displays of Monarch Award books in the Children's section.  These are books voted as being notable for grades K-3.  The lists always contain a good variety of books; something everyone will like.  Schools make a special point to try to read books from the list to the children throughout the year, but the list contains 20 books and schools just can't read all the books to the kids.  The schools usually have a special recognition for those children who did read all 20 of the books.  The new lists come out in the spring.  The reading usually starts in the fall when the kids come back to school.  I just finished reading all 20 books to my son (2nd grade).  It took me longer than I had hoped, because I took breaks from the reading to read books to him that he really wanted me to. (If you have been reading this blog, you know some of those books were quite lengthy.)  I am so glad I made the effort.  They are great books!  While my son wasn't thrilled when I pulled out a Monarch book, he always liked them, some he even loved.  So when your kids go back to school grab a list (usually available at the library) and start reading!  You and your children will be glad you did.

Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris



Book 12 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series

The author, Charlaine Harris, is winding down the series and reading the book, I could tell.  It was a bit depressing.  Nothing seemed to happen in this book.  There was a lot of Sookie being alone, getting ready for work, working, going home from work and very little else.  There were a few conversations with vampires, werepeople, and fae, but just short conversations with very little in depth or action going on.  I hope Ms. Harris has a few surprises up her sleeve, but I think I know where the series is going and I hope I'm wrong. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


                              

My daughter was confirmed on Sunday.  It was a wonderful ceremony and it meant so much to her.  We go to a United Church of Christ and the confirmation process started last year in 7th grade.  It has been a long road.  The kids, attended church services, attended Sunday school classes, preformed service for the church, planned and ran Wednesday night church services during lent, attended youth group meetings, did the 24 hour famine lock-in, went on many field trips to learn about other faiths and cultures, met with mentors every other week all year, met with the pastor once a month, went on a weekend retreat, read her faith statement during church service, and I think their were a few more things they did that my daughter wasn't able to do.  It was a lot of hard work, but in the end she learned a lot.  I think her faith grew and I am grateful to everyone involved for making it such a great experience for her.  That doesn't mean that is wasn't a grind, because it really was, but it was so worth it.  I think the experiences she has had are a great faith foundation that she will hopefully continue to build upon as she becomes older.  She learned a lot of great things about faith, tolerance, service to others, and diversity. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Undead and Unworthy

by Mary Janice Davidson
Book 7 in the Betsy Taylor Vampire Queen Series



In this book Betsy and Sinclair have just Married.  Betsy, the unwitting Vampire Queen is still trying to figure how just what it means to be queen, what she must do as queen, and what her powers are and how to handle them.  He husband, Sinclair is King, only because he slept with her right after she defeated the old ruler.  They do come to love each other and have a human wedding, although Sinclair is a bit overprotective of Betsy. 

I liked this book better than the last few.  Betsy is finally accepting her responsibilities and is finally being less of a materialist twit.  I wish the author would go deeper into Betsy and the other characters, adding more romance and heartbreak.  It's good, but not one of my favorites, but really, how bad could a book with vampires be anyway? 



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wednesday Night Sucks!




For the most part, I try to be positive on this blog.  Although, my husband seems to think I am not positive enough--to that I say too bad.  This is my blog and I write in it what is on my mind and what is important to me.  I am not trying to make people laugh.  Not that I have many readers to worry about anyway. 

So tonight, I write what is annoying me.

*  Having only 1/2 hour at home before I have to leave to take the kids to choir practice.
*  Finally get home from errands and kids activities at 7:45
*  Having to stop at the allergists, the library, office max, and four trips to church in one night.
*  Only having 45 minutes to get a kid with ADHD (who's medication has long since worn off) to do 30 minutes of homework in 45 minutes.
*  Having to eat frozen dinners because I have no time to cook.

I just got home and was in such a bad mood that I decided to take a few minutes to relax and calm down.  So, instead of doing the right thing, I let my son go play his Wii instead of doing homework.  We may not even get to the home work.  To that I say, Oh Well (Imagine how Katy Perry says it in "Last Friday Night (t.g.i.f)," which I am listening to right now.)  Sometimes you have to let things go. 
I'm sure that yes, there are lots of people that have similar busy nights.  My questions is Why?  Why is a lifestyle like this necessary?  Why are we so busy?  I'm tired.  I have two kids, two dogs, three rabbits and a fish to take care of.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012




Well after weeks of obsessing over Minecraft and watching endless hours of videos of people playing it on You Tube, my son finally got his chance to play the game last night.  It was much harder than he anticipated and he couldn't do anything.  That on top of the fact that he discovered PokePark, the Wii Pokemon game, on You Tube and watched all of those videos and was extremely sad there were no more to watch.  I found the game at Wal-Mart, but it was $50.00, too much to spend and I suspect it would also be too hard for him.  My son went to bed with tears in his eyes.  I wish I could shield him from disappointment, but I guess that is part of growing up.  A bad day.

Saturday, April 28, 2012



I didn't finish this one.  See The Unfinished below.


This is the book I am now reading.  I have to share the excerpt.  It is the BEST description of the challenges of raising a child with ADHD I have ever read!


"Creating a good life and crafting a promising future for a child with ADHD is incredibly complicated.  Lest you've gotten so down on yourself for "failing" that you've forgotten what you're trying to accomplish, let me remind you how high the bar has been set for you:  You have to convince an underfunded school system that may be understaffed with undertrained educators to learn and use new classroom and homework systems to ensure that your child has the same chance to learn as the dozens of other children under its tutelage.  You have to work with a doctor pressured by managed care to treat patients faster and more cheaply in finding medication that will calm your child down and help him concentrate, without keeping him up at night or causing other intolerable side effects.  You may very well have to negotiate with your insurance company with the skill of an experienced arbitrator to get coverage for therapy, medications, and even visits to the prescribing physician.  You and your child's other parent have to set aside philosophical differences and marital conflicts to form a united front to help your son or daughter with ADHD.  And you have to take on these time-consuming, exhausting tasks without neglecting your other kids, harming your own health, or going broke." 



Just when I was ready to download Minecraft and try to figure how to help my son (age 7) play it, he discovered some Pokemon Wii game.  I even had a membership number ready to go, thanks to a co-worker that gave me her husband's unused membership.  Midwestern son will, no doubt, come back to wanting to play Minecraft, but I have had a reprieve.  My son's fixation on things is a result of his Aspererger's and his impulsiveness is all ADHD.  He is not the easiest kid to raise, but he's a great kid and a constant joy (when he's not begging non-stop for the latest object of his current fixation).  

Well, it reprieve didn't last long.  My son is having a fit because I took the computer away and won't go do anything else except lay next to me yelling.  In the midst of this, he reminded me about Minecraft.  Oh Joy!

Thursday, April 26, 2012



Hey fans of Charlene Harris' Sookie Stackhouse books check out this interview:

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/04/26/sookie-charlaine-harris

The new book, Deadlocked, comes out Tuesday, can't wait!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012




My son has discovered Minecraft.  I know nothing about it.  Is 7 too young to play minecraft?  Anyone know anything about it?  This is all new to me, my daughter isn't remotely interested in video games.  I have learned to play the Pokemon card game, learned all about superheros, read book after book about dinosaurs, have navigated You Tube for him so he can watch how to build Lego videos, helped him build Lego's, and now it's Minecraft.  What's next?

Sunday, April 22, 2012




My husband started a new job April 2nd.  He went from one large international company to another.  It should have been a painless switch and it was except for one thing--insurance coverage.  We were only without coverage for a weekend, but it is now the third week in April and we still do not have health insurance cards.  I have been forced to pay for Doctor appointments with cash, hoping that I will be reimbursed at some point.  I have had to miss three weekly allergy shot appointments and have been without medication for allergy and my daughter has been without acne and eczema medication.  When we finally did get the Rx cards, the new insurance only covered two of the five Rx's. 

What is going on?  We are the richest country in the world.  My husband had a good job and works for a good company and yet we can not get affordable medications.  My daughter's generic benzoil peroxide acne cream retails for approximately $170.00.    Why do the politicians kowtow to the pharmacy lobby?  People are suffering, in pain, and even dying because they cannot afford the medications they need.  This just isn't a political issue, it is a moral one as well.