Salad & A Chat – Look Who’s Back

Yes, you read that right.SALAD and a chat. Because it is the evening and I can’t have caffeine after 5 pm or I don’t sleep at night.

Secret things that happen over my shoulder when she thinks I’m not looking.

I’m not 100% sure that I’m out of my blogging/reading funk but I’m here anyway! My little cousin made it through his surgery great and is home resting, but that was an intense 4 days. I took time off of work since I have a ton of vacation hours and no vacations planned, so that I could help my aunt and uncle as needed. I tried to make sure they ate and tried to get some sleep and didn’t burn themselves out.

On top of all that, there was a job change for Mr. C&M that was/is a bit stressful so all-in-all, it was probably a good thing that I took some time away.

This also means that I have a few things to post from my backlog. I’ll be reviewing the book that I did not finish, still debating reviewing The Chamber of Secrets and a baking recipe.

I bought two books in February: Master Assassins and The Kingdom of Copper. They were $1.99 each on the Kindle. Did I just ruin my New Year’s Resolution? NOPE. I have a $20 Amazon gift card that I’m working off of, so technically, I’ve still spent $0 of my own money on new books. ^.^

In review, hopefully March is a much better month.

I’ve been trying to catch up on everyone’s blogs, but going days at a time between logins makes that very difficult. If I’ve missed anything of yours that you think I would be interested in, please feel free to link it in the comments!

A Bit Extra Hiatus

Hey guys. Life has been a bit extra lately, so I’m popping in to let you know that I’ll be in a bit of a mini-hiatus for the next week.

I had a fantastic girls weekend with Ignited Moth while Mr. C&M was out of town, but now my little cousin heads in for open heart surgery for the third time in his life. (Heart defect) So you can definitely say that I’ve been a bit distracted.

I DNF a book but I don’t even have the attention to sit down and review it. I also began rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. But other than that, I think I’m a book slump as well.

I will still get on here and there to keep up with your lovely blogs but there will be less posts from me for a minute.

I hope everyone else is doing well!

Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim #1) – Book Review

Published Date: July 21, 2009

Publishing Co.: Harper Voyager

Pages: 388

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Dragged to Hell by demons at the behest of his supposed friends, Stark has spent 11 years battling in the arenas in Hell. Instead of facing lions and bears, he faced demons and other hell beasts. He was traded from one of Lucifer’s generals to another and was just generally treated as Hell’s bitch. Now, he has snuck his way out of the pit and is more than ready to seek vengeance for both his false imprisonment and the murder of his beloved girlfriend.

The world has changed a lot in eleven years. Not only must he adapt quickly, he has to launch a game plan to get his vengeance before everyone knows he’s back. Some groups have already been tipped off to his presence and are hindering his quest. He’s a one track man though and he’ll have his vengeance, opponents be damned.

This was a fun, although not very profound, read. Stark is stubborn, yet not unfeeling despite all the torture he’s been through. He’s amiable in the face of a world against him. Literally both Heaven and Hell do their best to get in his way, but he’s picked up so many tricks in his short, violent life, that even they cannot quite catch up with him.

So if you’re looking for a good, fun vengeance story that features a hit man that escaped Hell, look no further.

Slow Cooker Apple Cobbler

What?!?! Two recipes in one week’s time AND one of them isn’t banana? That’s right, I’m putting the ban hammer down on buying bananas for while so my husband cannot, deliberately, not eat them so that I’ll bake something.

Speaking of which, he was having a bad day at work so I made this amazing little treat despite being tired from work and grocery shopping. Yeah, I’m pretty awesome.

And so is this recipe! I will be making this for guests in the future.

Recipe Here.

Banana Spice Cookies w/Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Here’s what I ended up making for the Super Bowl party. The picture isn’t too pretty because I forgot to take a photo until later after the cookies had been layered in a travel container. They received praises from everyone who tried them so we’ll label this recipe a win!

One thing I will note, don’t try this frosting recipe unless you have a hand mixer OR prepare to pump your muscles up with intense whipping action.

Cookie Recipe Here.

Frosting Recipe Here.

High Voltage (Fever #10) – Book Review

Published Date: March 6, 2018

Publishing Co.: Delacorte Press

Pages: 476

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This might as well have been titled: Dani: The Most Unique, Misunderstood, Better Than Everyone Else, Heroine.

Man, does this girl love talking about herself and how different she is from everyone else on the planet. I don’t care if it’s true, I don’t need to read about it relentlessly. I fully admit that the Dani books are always the hardest for me to slog through. I thought it might be a bit better because she’s an adult now but unfortunately, her mind is still very much a teenager.

I’m not even going to explain the plot, it barely moved. There was a bad guy, they take care of it all too quickly because Dani is oh so mighty and then they move on to more character “development” for Dani.

I could care less about Kat’s point of view, though I know it’s required for the minimum amount of plot movement that happens.

After all of this complaining, why I am still reading this series?

1. I have a lot of time invested in it.

2. I love a lot of the side characters.

3. The world building is great.

4. The plot line is still interesting even though it stalls in this volume.

5. It looks like Mac is back as main POV in the next book.

I’m actually giving this more stars than it deserved because I still did enjoy myself whenever Dani stopped talking about how awesome she is.

Coffee & A Chat – Cat Butt

I don’t get no respect.

Hello my favorite little weirdos! It’s the first Coffee & A Chat of 2020. A post where I just ramble about whatever I feel like because I can and I will.

First and foremost – I HAVE BOUGHT ZERO BOOKS IN JANUARY. I didn’t think I could do it but I did. I’ve been on an Urban Fantasy kick as of late and I own quite a few of those. I’m also working on a controversial non-fiction read. I take my time with non-fiction though or I don’t enjoy it as much. I have to finish it by March 3rd as that is when my Kindle Unlimited ends and I do not plan to renew it. I find I can read most of what I want that’s available on Unlimited within a month or two.

I’ve decided to not stress myself about posting on the blog so there may some weeks where I post frequently enough and others where I only post once. That does not mean however that I’m not going to keep up on YOUR blog posts. It’s a part of my morning coffee-before-work routine to see what everyone else is up to.

It hasn’t been a REAL winter here in my part of Michigan. All rain and ice and very little snow. Why am I complaining about this? Because it means I have little excuse not to go out when people ask us to and I was really looking forward to using that excuse to stay home more.

Mr. C&M and I have a lot of metal concerts planned this year. With no vacation to save up for, we’ll be doing more fun little things.

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl, which in general, I don’t care about BUT my boss has a crazy party every year so either I need to run out to buy a snack to bring or find an easy baked good to make, so ta-ta for now!

How has 2020 treated you thus far and what are you looking forward to the most???

Man-Eaters, Vol. 1 – Comic Review

Published Date: March 5, 2019

Publishing Co.: Image Comics

Pages: 128

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

A mutation in Toxoplasmosis causes menstruating women to turn into ferocious killer wildcats-easily provoked and extremely dangerous. As panic spreads and paranoia takes root, the fate of the world rides on the shoulders of one twelve-year-old girl.

In volume one, we’re introduced to our main character Maude, and the world she’s been raised in. A world where girls are fed hormones to keep them from menstruating, so that they don’t turn into killer cats. A world where girls are treated like second class citizens and relegated to special areas away from boys. A world where there are public flyers warning people to turn in the women they love if they start acting even a little bit oddly.

This was a fun read. Chock full of feminism so if you can’t hang, just don’t try. This is mostly an introduction volume focused on world building and thus, the plot doesn’t get very far. The artwork is great. I would check out the second volume.

Summer Knight (The Dresden Files #4) – Book Review

Published Date: September 3, 2002

Publishing Co.: ROC

Pages: 446

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A vast improvement from Grave Peril.

It probably helped that this had zero Buzzkillington the Third in it. (Michael.)

In Summer Knight, we see a complete unraveling of Harry in regards to the ending of the last book and what happened to his girlfriend, Susan. He doesn’t care much about anything other than trying to find something to help her resist her new semi-vampire status. In the mean time, vampires have declared war on Harry and the White Council and have put hits out on both. Harry is under intense scrutiny by the Council and may even get fed to the vampires to help put things back to right. At least that’s the opinion of Harry’s enemies among the Council. As if all that wasn’t enough, war is brewing between the two faerie courts and Harry’s been dragged in against his will to help absolve Queen Mab of murder. So needless to say, Harry can’t sit in his basement studying any more.

Here, we begin to see some of Harry’s more annoying traits begin to die down. He recognizes that keeping people in the dark, in order to protect them, is actually only doing harm. He still wants to save all the damsels but he acknowledges that sometimes, the damsels can handle themselves.

He also begins to accept help from his friends instead of trying to be the lone hero so that no one else but him gets hurt. He lets them know the level of danger and leaves the decision to attend the melee up to his possible allies.

The growth of Harry Dresden looks good on him.

spoilers below

I’m very upset about the death of Meryl. I think she would have been an absolutely great character addition to this series beyond one book. I could read a million more books about troll girl.

My favorite battle moment was when Harry looked at an enemy, yelled, “Meep! Meep!” and ran away.

I’m relieved this is picking up again. Maybe I won’t wait so long to continue onto the next book.

Missing in Michigan (Alex Bentley #1) – Book Review

Published Date: November 2019

Publishing Co.: Midnight Grasshopper Books

Pages: 176

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Alex Bentley is a ghost therapist. She helps spirits move onto whatever afterlife exists. People hire her to rid themselves of troublesome ghosts that are effecting business or driving the living person insane. Her latest case pulls her to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. What at first appears to be your average restless spirit turns into a missing persons case. The police have put in virtually zero effort in finding missing teenage boys, instead just labeling them drug addicts and runaways. The rumors in the small town even point to Native American folklore as the possible culprit.

This book is absolutely fine if you take it for what it is. A paranormal mystery with minimum world building and fairly two dimensional characters. There is a possible love triangle and some insta-love happening and isn’t that the formula for a million urban fantasies out there?

As someone who helped start a small business, I find her complete lack of business sense annoying. She’ll jet off to help someone with no guarantee of getting paid or getting paid much more than it’s costing her. She’s flying to other states, spending days at a time, coming home and having barely any money to show for it. She’s on the brink of losing everything, yet she does it again. You can point out that you can’t put a price on doing what you love, but when you’re the only known ghost therapist, you can literally put a price tag on it.

All the action parts were sparse, easily handled and over almost immediately. Even drawing out more detail of an eventual trial would have provided some well needed depth.

What this book needs is more fleshing out. More world building, more character building and progression, and more descriptions of virtually everything. At times you went from being inside the character’s mind frame to the character addressing you as if you were an audience or they were writing a letter. Anytime that Alex thought anything remotely deep that might resound with the reader, it was pointed out how serious and dark things were getting in her head and she tried to lighten the mood with some quip.

There is a lot of potential here for a great urban fantasy if the author worked out a few of these kinks. Otherwise, it’s fine but not something I’ll run around recommending to my friends.