Monthly Archives: October 2017

Book Clubs Are For Winners

Ignited Moth and I have been in a book club going on 5 years strong. Each month one person hosts the event and presents 4-5 books that are voted on. We read the winner and meet once a month either out at a restaurant or at the host’s house with a potluck lunch/dinner. It definitely has expanded the types of books I read and let’s just face it, it’s oodles of fun. Book club girls know how to hang.

For the month of October, I was the host. The winning book was A Season With The Witch which I recently posted a review of. Most of the girls of book club are vegan so lunch was butternut squash soup, pumpkin spice muffins and peanut butter pumpkin dip with apples. Scrumptious.

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Lunch was followed by a tour of the cemetery behind our house with a history talk presented by myself about both the town and legends of the witches buried here.

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Rumor has it that the skeleton hand along the top has a different number of fingers every time you count.

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After book club, the day entailed Ignited Moth and I having a bestie’s day and slumber party. Shopping, book store browsing, carving jack-o-lanterns and watching Stranger Things 2.

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Are you involved in a book club? How does your book club operate? 

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A Season with the Witch – Book Review

A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts.

3.5 out of 5 stars

The allure of Salem, Massachusetts is a large one if you’re someone who revels in Halloween and/or history. We all know the basic outlines of the Witch Trials but this book just proved to myself that I don’t know enough. Now, this isn’t the book to pick up if you’re looking to learn about the Witch Trials like myself, but it is the one to pick up if you’ve been wondering just how weird Salem gets around Halloween.

It was interesting to find out that Salem only really began putting an emphasis on Halloween a few decades ago. It sounds like a divided town. One where half the residents want to be known for arts and culture and the other half is proud of all the Halloween fun. One half thinks they are disgracing the legacy of the victims of the witch trials, while the other half thinks that they are honoring them.

The first half of the book is an examination of the city’s entire history, the second half gets more into the weird stuff. While I enjoy history, I didn’t exactly enjoy the manner in which the author recited the lore. I cannot pin point the exact reason that it bothered me but, I’ll go with mildly boring. The second half was more entertaining, hearing from real life residents.

LOTS of typos.

Overall, a decent travel book to inspire people to check out a legendary American city and have some spooky fun.

Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread

I have seriously slacked when it comes to baking this Halloween season. But fear not, I celebrate all things pumpkin all the way until Thanksgiving.

I recently joined a baking group that meets once a year in December and bakes and decorates a mass amount of cookies. I’m actually pretty nervous about it as these people have been doing this for 20 years and I’ve only been baking about a year and half now. I’m convinced that my cookies will fail in some manner but I’m sure I’ll also learn approximately one million things from these people.

Anywho, this recipe was quite tasty. I don’t know that the buttermilk actually made much of a difference compared to any other pumpkin bread recipe but I needed to use it up and this recipe fit the bill.

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Recipe Here

Kitty Goes to Washington – Book Review

Kitty Norville #2

3 out of 5 stars

Kitty Norville is a character that a lot of people seem to have a problem relating to, at least in the beginning of the series. To a point, it’s understandable. She’s a werewolf but not the bad ass she-wolf everyone is used to in virtually every urban fantasy werewolf story. She’s kind of a coward and rolls over easily. She’s jumpy like a cat instead of a fearsome predator. These attributes are actually why I keep reading. It’s a change from your usual she-kicks-all-the-ass-immediately-and-no-one-can-step-to-her urban fantasy trope.

This is the second book in the series and she’s slowly growing a little more backbone. She has been requested to speak in front of a committee in Washington D.C. on the behalf of vampires and werewolves. Creatures that were recently brought to public light. A scientist has been doing research on the virus’ that cause these different states of life and wants to continue to receive funding from the government to do so. As with all politics, there are others who hope to prove that vampires and werewolves should be exterminated. They are an affront to God. And yet others, who wish to use werewolves in the military as super soldiers.

Because Kitty is good at getting into trouble, she just might become a science experiment herself if she’s not careful.

Overall this series is okay. I keep reading because of the different type of heroine. The writing isn’t particularly strong but the action is interesting enough to see where this goes in the next installment of the series.

Too Early for this Shit – Netgalley

It’s not even Halloween and I’m already thinking about book resolutions for the New Year. (They’re the only resolutions I ever stick to!) I’ll go more in depth at a later time but this is a post in which I’m asking for your opinion.

For the last year or more, I’ve been thinking about joining Netgalley. I’m afraid of commitment but excited at the prospect of reading more ARCs.

What has your experience with Netgalley been like? Should I take the plunge?

Tell C&M the ways of the book force.

Cupcakes & Chaos

Ever since we bought our house in June, we’ve had nothing but vehicle problems. Both broke down the week that we signed the papers, then the week we were moving in I hit a deer. In August, we switched out one of the vehicles for another used vehicle. We had to replace the alternator pretty much immediately, then it lasted about another month before it sprouted a massive gas leak. The leak is going to cost more to fix than the vehicle is worth. So my lack of interaction on here in the last week is due to all that stress. (Although it seems that a lot of blogs have been a little quiet lately as well.)

Ultimately, we said fuck it all and traded in one car and signed a lease on a brand spanking new car. A lot of people think that leases are pointless since you’re throwing money at a car you don’t own. I used to think the same thing. However, for $70 more than what I was paying on TWO vehicles a month, we have a car we shouldn’t have to worry about for the next 3 years. The relief has been unbelievable. A massive weight off my shoulders.

Now it’s time to sit back and thoroughly enjoy the Halloween season. I’m hosting book club at my house for this month and have some pretty big plans. Next month, a little traveling around the state now that I have that ability again.

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Godsgrave – Book Review

Book Two of the Nevernight Chronicle

5 out 5 stars

Mia has essentially graduated assassin school and moved onto being assigned targets. Despite being on the job constantly, she’s always working on her plan to exact revenge against those who killed her family. However, the Red Church may have different plans and do not care about Mia’s agenda. Nevertheless, she’s a clever girl and will figure out a way to enact her plans. (Plus, can you really tell an assassin, “No”?)

This is a fantastic edition to the Nevernight Chronicle, not only do we have one thing we love (by we I mean me, but you should too), assassins, let’s add gladiator battles in an arena. An arena where they can make giant courses come up out of the floor to make the fight more difficult at that. The story hops back and forth between the recent past and how she came to become a gladiator and the now, her training and developing relationships with other gladiators. Why must an assassin become a gladiator to get to her target? It’s all about precise timing and taking out two enemies at once. And does it really hurt an assassin to know even more ways to murder someone?

There is only one path to vengeance and it’s paved in blood and glory.

Mia’s just here for the blood.

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ALL THE PUMPKIN – PART 2

More pumpkin stuff! (I’ve actually been pretty lazy about trying things and I’ve definitely been lazy about baking things…)

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Pumpkin Spice Cheerios – Better than regular Cheerios but just a hint of pumpkin spice. Pretty good fall cereal. (Let’s face it though, BooBerry will always be #1.)

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Biggby’s Chumpkin Coffee – Oh dear pumpkin fiends, this is chai with pumpkin. Chumpkin. Doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, it’s goooooood.

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Thomas Pumpkin Spice English Muffins – Last year, I mentioned this company’s awesome pumpkin spice bagels (which is always worth a repeat) but their english muffins with pumpkin spice are awesome too.

Home Improvement: Undead Edition – Book Review

3 out of 5 stars overall

I’m not a short story person, so I’m pretty proud of myself for reading this. It was nice having a book to just leave at work to read on my lunches and I found a couple new authors to look into.

If I Had a Hammer by Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse short story. Tara and JB are doing a little remodeling after their twins are born and release a negative spirit. Conveniently, their nanny is a psychic and helps to solve the mystery surrounding the spirit and how to get it to move on. 2.5/5 stars

Wizard Home Security by Victor Gischler
A wizard in a wizarding community has his house broken into and all his expensive spell materials stolen. This is the story of his funny failures at securing his place. (Example: a zombie bear sentry.) 3/5 stars
Continue reading Home Improvement: Undead Edition – Book Review

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I was gifted this recipe for my wedding but haven’t tried it until now. I wanted something easy and tasty to take to a craft beer fest that my uncle throws. (Plus, I needed to test it out anyway for book club at the end of the month. Most of the girls are vegan.)

Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines spice cake mix (To be vegan it must be Duncan Hines)

1 can 100% pumpkin puree

Directions:

Blend thoroughly. Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.

The results are tasty indeed. The batter is extremely thick and sticky and a bear to work with. (Hence why they’re pretty lumpy looking.) Very moist and flavorful result.

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