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

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

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!