Jul 29, 2018

A little bit of this and that

I have really fallen behind this year.  After being laid up in bed for a month with that vertigo,  I just haven't had any energy.  Well that is starting to change now that I am back on 4 10s.  Having that extra day off which I have designated as my drone day seems to give me more energy on all the other days.

I have actually found a semi-local canasta game that meets every couple weeks.  You know, if you had asked me ten years ago how hard it would be to find a local card game that doesn't involve gambling, I would have thought that it would be easy.  Not so.  Not even with the internet.  And its not like I am even picky on which game as  I play them all though canasta is near and dear to my heart as my Gram taught me to play.  Anyways, it took a bit of a search but I finally found one through meet-up.

Also now that I have energy, my muse is starting to come back.  But my studio is infested with fleas.   And I have NO bloody idea where they are coming from as the rest of the house doesn't have them.  I bombed it once and am going to do it again on Wednesday.  Cross your fingers for me that it works this time.

Oh, have you ever heard of the Sash Bag?  Check them out!  Doesn't that look like the way to go?  I have always carried a big purse but I am finding that they are getting smaller and smaller especially as I need to have a walking stick if I am covering any open ground. But these you wear just like a piece of clothing.   And now they are doing a Kickstarter campaign where you can even get them with a square pocket perfect for carrying an iPad!  Oh and they come in Rose Gold.  Drool!

Oh.  I almost forgot.  I sold my first piece of jewelry through Alchemee Designs and donated $22.50 to Old Dog Haven.  That felt so good!  Now to sell more.  Of course, it would help it I could even get into my studio to be able to take pics...

Well I am off.  Have far too much email to weed through.

Jul 22, 2018

Book Review: Nyxia Unleashed

Getting to Eden brought Emmett and his crewmates one step closer to their promised fortune. But surviving Eden may be the biggest reward of all. Discover book two in the trilogy Marie Lu called, “a high-octance thriller.”

Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces—Babel and the Adamites—with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?

* * * * * 

NYXIA UNLEASHED picks right back up where Nyxia ends which can be fantastic if you just finished the first book and want to dive into the second.  Not quite so good when you have had to wait a few months to get your hands on it as all the tension has eased off quite a bit and you might have to get to know the characters again.  You can read NYXIA UNLEASED as a stand alone but you will miss a lot of the nuances to the characters so I don't suggest it.  

This book is all about what happens when you take a bunch of teenagers, train them to be a weapon and they find out just how much you have been lying to them.  Sure there isn't much that a bunch of kids can do against a huge corporation, or is there?   Emmett and the group continue to grow and form into a unit, a family.  And it is a family that will stop at nothing to make things right.

NYXIA UNLEASHED is the middle book with all the associated issues of the middle child.  It's not a new or fresh as the first born but it has to hold our interest enough that we will continue onto the final and hopefully spectacular conclusion of the final child.  I feel that  this book more then succeeded.  

It took a few pages for my brain to bring me back up to speed on the characters but it didn't take them long for me to become entranced again. And we got to learn more about the other team that was introduced towards the end of Nyxia.  And there are definitely some interesting characters in that bunch such as Morning who is a good match and compliment for Emmett.  There were more then enough twists and turns to engage and hold my interest.  And now I can't wait for the final book!

I do highly recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy character driven science fiction.  This is a young adult series but really it is one that would appeal to readers of all ages.   Scott Reintgen is an author to keep an eye on and just click here to be taken to his website.

***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author. 

Jul 17, 2018

Book Review: Crimson Ash

You may live as a soldier or face death. Choose wisely.

Solanine Lucille wants her little sister back. Eight years ago, the government kidnapped her sister Ember, stole her memories, and transformed her into a soldier. But Solanine refuses to give up. Now that she and her fiancé have located the leader of a rebel group, she believes she can finally bring Ember home. But then the soldiers raid the rebels, killing her fiancé and leaving Solanine alone with her demons and all the weapons needed for revenge.

After raiding a rebel camp, sixteen-year-old Ember doesn’t understand why killing some boy bothers her. She’s a soldier—she has killed hundreds of people without remorse. But after she fails a mission, the rebels hold her hostage and restore her memories. Ember recognizes her sister among the rebels and realizes the boy she killed was Solanine’s fiancé.

Ember knows she can’t hide the truth forever, but Solanine has secrets too.

As their worlds clash, the two sisters must decide if their relationship is worth fighting for. And one wrong move could destroy everything—and everyone—in their path.

* * * * *

Books set in the dystopian genre are rather hit or miss with me.  I have read some truly spectacular ones and have found others that bore me to tears.  I have found that it all boils down to whether I can relate to the characters.   

CRIMSON ASH started off rather slowly for me and I was starting to think that this was going to be one of  those misses.  However I found that Solanine had snuck up and became a character that I cared about.  I started to cheer her on as she would get back up after a defeat.  And I really liked one of the secondary characters, Kane, who tended to stay in background but was always there.  

This really is a coming of age story.  Both Solanine and Ember have some growing up before they even have a chance to rebuild their relationship and possibly the world.  

I wouldn't say that CRIMSON ASH was one of those spectacular reads but I found that I enjoyed the story.  The characters grow on you and the some of the plot twists surprised me.  The pacing however was slower than I really prefer.  Also it felt as though the finale was rushed once you finally reach it almost as though the author had reached a word limit.

I really don't know if I would recommend this book.  Some of my readers might really enjoy it.  Others might find the slow pace irritating.  This book does contain a lot of violence but no explicit sex.

***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author. 

Jul 15, 2018

Book Review: Whisky Sharp Torn

Sometimes what you find isn’t what you were searching for...

Beau Petty has been searching his whole life. Searching for a place that fills all the empty spaces in him. Searching for a way to tame the restlessness. Searching for answers to the secret he’s never stopped trying to solve. What he wasn’t searching for was a woman to claim all of him, but when Cora Silvera walks back into his life, he’s ready to search out all the ways he can make her his.

Cora has spent her life as the family nurturer, taking care of others. But now she’s ready to pass that job on to someone else. It’s time to make some changes and live for herself. It’s in that moment that her former teenage crush reappears and the draw and the heat of their instant connection is like nothing either of them has experienced. He craves being around her. She accepts him, dark corners and all.

Beau thinks Cora’s had enough drama in her life. He wants to protect her from the secrets of his past, even if it means holding back the last pieces of himself. But Cora is no pushover and she means to claim all those pieces.

* * * * *

I am totally in love with this series!  It is based in Seattle which is local to me so picking up a book in this series is similar to slipping on a comfy pair of jeans before heading off to hang out with your best friends.  Now Cora hadn't been a character that I was familiar with but I looked forward to getting to know her simply because she was friends with Maybe and the rest of the gang.  And getting to know her and Beau was a real pleasure.  

Ms. Dane has penned another winner with TORN.  Characters that quickly become as old friends, witty dialogue and really hot sex.  Beau and Cora seem to be made for each other but they both have enough baggage from their pasts to keep both their lives and the story interesting.  I was actually sad when I finished the book and had to tell them goodbye.  

I do recommend WHISKEY SHARP TORN to my readers who enjoy a contemporary romance with a lot of heat.  There is explicit sex in the story but it follows as part of the plot rather then being the plot.  TORN does stand nicely on its own but reading the previous books will enrich the story as you will then have the backstory on a lot of the secondary characters.

***I received  this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher or author. 
Jul 1, 2018

When a dog isn't...well a dog.

The other day,  I was sitting in traffic after my massage therapy and noticed that the truck in front of me was a Great Dane!  Now to me, a dog is a furry four legged being that usually enjoys being petted and speaks in a series of barks, grunts, whines and grumbles.

So I decided to start paying attention and noticing these 'alternative' dogs that are running about the world.  When I can, I am getting pics of them and sharing on Instagram with the hashtag #dog2.0.