Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) – Book Review

Published Date: September 5, 2006

Publishing Co.: Berkley Sensation

Pages: 334

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I read Singh’s first book in her Guild Hunter series years ago and really enjoyed it at the time. Rarely am I in the mood to read romance so when I found this at a used bookshop for $0.50, I thought I’d give the series a try.

There were aspects of this that I really enjoyed. The emotionless race of Psy and the network they linked their conscious to for information was a pretty fascinating premise and I could read about it for hours. I will always remain a sucker for shapeshifters so combining the two races and the hierarchy of the world they live in was another reason I should love this series. I even enjoyed the burgeoning relationship between the two main characters, and many of the side characters as well.

BUT, the gratuitous sex scenes just interrupted the more interesting parts of the story. I wouldn’t have minded that in and of itself but I didn’t particularly like the sex. I think a lot of it had to due with the naivety of the female MC. I guess I like a female that knows what she wants and has no problem demanding it of a man.

Unfortunately, after taking a peak at the summary of the next book, this is one of those series that each book focuses on a new couple and that just isn’t something I dig. Once I get committed to characters, I like to stick with them. If the series continued with the characters we were introduced to in this series, I would at least give the second book a shot, but since it doesn’t, I don’t think I’ll be continuing.

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Girls Burn Brighter – Book Review

Published Date: March 6, 2018

Publishing Co.: Flatiron Books

Pages: 309

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A story I won’t soon forget.

Poornima and Savitha are two girls born into a poor village in India. Everyday is a struggle to survive. To have enough food, not to fill their bellies, but just enough to keep them alive. To make enough money to buy the bare essentials. Living in shacks with no doors, dirt floors and sleeping on mats. Poornima’s father is desperate to marry her off, but her skin is too dark for most men’s taste. The dowry their families demand, too high for him to pay so he grows to despise her even more. Why did she have to be a girl?

Savitha’s father is an alcoholic who begs at the temple for hand outs. Her mother works as a servant, which is considered low class. She has several sisters and she’s determined to earn their dowry money before her own so that they may have better lives.

The two girls find each other and become best friends. Savitha brings a light to Poornima’s life that she didn’t know existed after the death of Poornima’s mother. Life begins to have a kind of hope.

Then, life promptly crushes that hope. Stomps on it and spits on it’s ashes, for both girls.

A cruel act forces Savitha to run away, and Poornima is married off to an evil family. Despite their desperate situations, they are both determined to find one another again. This begins a journey across countries, that takes darker and darker twists, with no promises that they’ll ever make it back to each other.

At times, this story tore my heart out of my chest. It is beautifully written, moderately paced and achingly real. A testament to the light that burns inside every human being, and that some torches refuse to be snuffed out no matter how dark life gets.

Blogging Anniversary Q&A

I didn’t intend to wait a whole week to answer questions but that’s just what happened and you know what? I am a-okay with that because you guys came up with some interesting questions and the blog officially hit 700 followers. Thanks for that!

Now let’s get to it.

  1. Hot or Cold? (As in weather and beverages.)

A. For weather, chilly. That’s right, I commit to nothing but autumn weather! If there was somewhere that it was autumn 24/7, that’s where I would move to. Beverages, hot coffee. I like cold coffee drinks too but even during hot weather in the summer, I need hot coffee to start my day.

2. Why blog?

A. I wanted something different to do. I read all the time, I read the internet way too often. I started reading other people’s blogs and thought it might fun. It took me two tries but on the second try, when I changed topics, it was fun.

3. What are your opinions on thongs? And do you own many pair?

A. Damn Aussies, always gotta make fun of the difference of dialect. 😛 I still don’t 100% know whether this means the footwear or the underwear and frankly, I’m afraid to google it. The footwear, fine. I own a pair as I like to be as barefoot as possible in the summer. The underwear, well I don’t want to see anyone in their thongs to be honest lol. I’m sure there is a pair or two lurking in our house for sexy time with Mr. C&M. 😉

4. Which character (book, movie, or TV) do you identify with most and why?

A. Throw down the ultimate question gauntlet why don’t you? The first answer that springs to mind is Sabrina from the Netflix series. I like getting dark and spooky, but I’m nice and just want to enjoy life with my friends and loved ones even if there’s always someone trying to ruin it. Plus, I really wish magic was real.

5. Why did you start the blog, and why did you restart your blog?

A. Originally, I started the blog to vent my frustrations about the world and people at large. Although, I did it in an anonymous manner as I was paranoid that someone would figure out who I was and who I was talking about. When I restarted the blog, it was to focus on book reviews, random things I enjoy and still do a little bit of the same thing. However, I don’t hide behind anonymity anymore. I try to be a very honest person, even if people don’t like it.

6. What blog posts are you most proud of?

A. I enjoy all my book reviews but I think the one I love the most, just personally, is the one venting my frustration with Kathy Griffin when she did the stupid Trump pic that got her in trouble.

7. How would you describe your blog in 3 words to someone who is new to reading it?

A. Shenanigans, reading, and humorous. (I think I’m funny and that’s not up for debate.)

8. Do you own an actual machete?

A. I’m really surprised that no one has asked this until now. I don’t! But Ignited Moth does and she’ll loan it to me if I need to hack someone up. 😉

9. If you could only have one kind of cake for the rest of your life, what cake and why?

A. Cheesecake. I don’t have a good reasoning for this.

10. What genre would you never read?

A. ‘Never’ is a strong word. I like to think that I’m open to trying just about any genre at least once but if I had to pick one right off the top of my head to ignore forever, it would definitely be erotica. I like plenty of books that have sex in them, it’s just that sex isn’t the whole point of the book.

11. What is your unpopular bookish opinion?

A. I find it horrifying that anyone would write on the margins of pages in a book. Text books I’m a little more understanding of but you’ll never catch me doing it in a million years.

12. What do you love most about blogging?

A. The perfect question to end this Q&A. I can say with 100% certainty, the fun people I’ve met. I love chatting with people from all over the world about common interests and learning about fandoms that I’ve never been introduced to before. (I’m looking at all you Warhammer modellers out there.) It’s probably half of what keeps me going with the blog. I enjoy rambling about things I like and finding other interesting people to chat with.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to think up a question. I had a blast answering them and who knows, here’s to 7 more years of blogging!

7 Year Blogging Anniversary

Sometime in the last month, WordPress notified me that it was my 7 year blogging anniversary and I was just too busy at the time to do anything about it. Now you might be sitting there thinking, “Whoa damn! That’s a long time” but the truth of the matter is that this blog sat like a dead fish in the water for 4 years of that time. I don’t know why WordPress never deactivated it, but they didn’t. My actual blogging anniversary is actually more like 3 years.

I’m a little surprised that I’ve stuck with it that long to be honest. The difference this round being that I put in the effort to seek out other blogs and talk to people and I’ve met a lot of awesome people that way.

So, in celebration, let’s do a little Q&A session! There are a lot of new faces following this blog lately and maybe you have some questions for me that you haven’t been around long enough to know the answers to. Maybe, someone wants to ask something that we’ve never chatted about. Maybe, you just want to ask the most ridiculous question you can think of.

I’ll post in a couple of days the answers to any questions. Seriously, have fun with it!

One Word Kill (Impossible Times #1) – Book Review

Published Date: May 1, 2019

Publishing Co.: 47North

Pages: 201

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A group of D&D playing friends in the 80s struggle with their friend’s deadly illness, life drama and a stranger from the future who needs them to steal something from a tech company.

It’s incredibly hard to review a 201 page book without revealing too much about the plot and any surprises.

I found the characters to be enjoyable, relatable and fully able to carry the story to the places it went. The story itself was fast paced, only slowing down when our MC was dealing with his chemotherapy. Here, I thought Lawrence excelled at how it must feel to be battling a deadly disease. My one is issue is the ease with which they break into a tech company, their only real obstacle something completely unrelated to their mission.

This would work well as a stand alone so I’m not entirely sure where Lawrence will head with books 2 & 3.

Wanderers – Book Review

Published Date: July 9, 2019

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 800

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review.

What if the world began to end today? That is the essential premise behind Chuck Wendig’s new apocalyptic novel Wanderers.

Set in today’s political atmosphere, with the twist that the opposite team won the election. The losing political side is having a hard time accepting those terms and when the world starts to go to Hell in a hand basket due to a mysterious sleepwalking sickness, they stoke the fires of rebellion. Of course, they don’t call it rebellion, they call it revolution. (It’s always considered revolution if you’re on the “right” side.)

Shana’s sister Nessie is the first person to begin wandering the land, blank faced, and unresponsive. She’s shortly followed by other random people in town. Every few hours the herd grows. People try to stop their loved ones, but the results are deadly. The only thing Shana can do is follow her sister into whatever awaits, as her shepherd. Her guardian. Who else is going to do it?

Shana and her wandering sister are joined by an eclectic cast of characters during their journey. Benji, a CDC doctor desperate to crack the mystery. Pete, an aging rock star clinging to any notoriety he can find even if that includes joining up with a disease no one understands. Sadie, the brains behind a computer program that is trying to save the human race. Marcy, a former cop injured in the line of duty who finds relief from the pain only by being near the flock of sleepwalkers. All act as shepherds along with dozens of other friends and family members who refuse to leave their loved ones to wanderer the countryside without protection.

On the opposite side of this mysterious malady, are the people calling for the extermination of the walkers. Stoking the fires of dissent and promising to take matters into their own hands if the government won’t stop these “terrorist agents.” Preacher Matthew Bird is gaining fame with his sermons calling these people “the Devil’s pilgrims” at the behest of a man he barely knows. A man he has been warned is dangerous, but popularity is an addicting thing. He’s looking toward the wrong evil and there will be hell to pay.

At 800 pages this is a whopper of an apocalyptic book. It took me about a month to wander my way through but it wasn’t boring. I could give it a break for a day or two and then pick it up and binge read for hours. This is an original tale and if you like reading about the end of the world, you should give this a try.

Hey! I’m walkin’ heeeeere.

Wooo! New York, you big beautiful city. We had a ton of fun but we are glad to be home. Nothing makes you appreciate your home state like going to city that thrives on chaos.

We had quite the debacle as our flight to NYC was canceled last minute, apparently due to the fact that they moved El Chapo through LaGuardia airport that night. So we were rescheduled for the next morning. I’ve never had a flight canceled before so it was quite stressful. Our rerouted flight flew us first class from Detroit to Cleveland. 4 hour layover in Cleveland and then finally flew us to NYC. Layovers are SO freaking lame.

Day One: Since we arrived later in the day, our friend picked us up from the airport and we went back to his place. Dined on some delicious pizza and then went out to Staten Island’s notorious punk/metal bar Mother Pug’s Saloon. Our friend’s friends made us feel hella welcomed and we had a great night with too much booze.

Day Two: We spent the next day recovering poolside at our friend’s wife’s family’s house. (That was a doozy.) We barbecued to celebrate our friend turning the big 3-0.

Day Three: Our friend took us into the city. He wanted to make it as New York as possible so we took the Staten Island Ferry, followed by the subway to our first goal: the Nintendo store. Now, if you don’t know, there are only two in the world. One in New York and one in Tokyo. Mr. C&M was completely overwhelmed and in awe. It was worth the whole trip just to see that.

We then made our way to the famed Trash and Vaudeville. A punk/metal clothing store that we’ve heard of for years and years. It was pretty cool but to be completely honest, not as sweet as we were expecting. We bought some patches and pins and it was fun.

From there, we had the New York taxi experience to get to China Town and our friend’s all time favorite Chinese food restaurant. Wo Hop. We’ve been forever ruined on Chinese food. There is nothing like it in Michigan.

We headed back to Staten Island to pick up our friend’s pregnant wife. We had Italian food and then went to Brooklyn in search of the ultimate metal bar, Duff’s. The rest of the night was spent meeting more awesome New Yorkers, chatting and enjoying good music.

Day Three: We went to the infamous Coney Island. It was a gray overcast day but that was refreshing because the previous days had been 90+ and humid as hell. We walked the boardwalk and then went to a pizza joint and had our first Sicilian slice pizza. ZOMG amazing.

Later, we went out to a nice little Mexican restaurant for our friend’s birthday dinner. It was followed up with a Smash Bros. session back at their apartment and then to bed since our flight was early the next day.

We had a great time and will definitely go back to visit our friend again and explore more of the city. The smog attempted to kill me though. I could not breath for most of the trip, to the point I thought that maybe I had picked up a bug. However, upon landing in Michigan and about 30 minutes into our drive home, I could breath out of both nostrils again.

If you have no other reason to go to New York City, just go for the food. We ate like Kings/Queens the whole time.

Blueberry Banana Bread

I have baked so many breads that it’s finally getting to the point where I’m not 100% positive that I have not done this recipe before. I don’t THINK I have.

Either way, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to re-post good recipes.

The grocery stores have been loaded with blueberries and it’s hard to resist buying them every single time I go shopping. Obviously, at least once, I did not resist.

This is an easy recipe with your classic banana bread taste, peppered with pops of delicious tartness. Great for summer picnics.

Recipe here.

Coffee & A Chat – The Sickness

I know I’ve alluded several times to Mr. Cupcakes and Machetes being sick, for over a month now. After numerous doctor visits, labs and other tests, they still do not know what was wrong with him. No solid theory anyway, just a bunch of small things that happened all at once. They sent us on a wild goose chase to find an affordable MRI place when they told us he had a lesion on his liver during his ultrasound. Turns out it was a false reading thankfully. So needless to say, we’ve been worried, stressed and exhausted for some time now. However, he finally appears to be on the mend and we’re both looking forward to getting our lives back to normal.

That means more time for reading, baking and making things…….once we get back from our vacation next week. We’re both ready for it. After all the bullshit, we need a little escape. Then, we’ve got to get cracking on projects we’ve neglected around the house.

So this is just a post about the relief that my husband is finally starting to feel better and life should get some resemblance of normalcy restored.