All posts by cupcakesandmachetes

About cupcakesandmachetes

I read stuff, I bake stuff, I rant about stuff. Book in one hand, cupcake in the other, machete for a mind. I find myself endlessly entertaining. You might too. Or you might not, but you'd be lying to yourself.

Men Explain Things to Me – Book Review

Published Date: April 14, 2014

Publishing Co.: Haymarket Books

Pages: 130

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The men who get it also understand that feminism is not a scheme to deprive men but a campaign to liberate us all.”

This collection of essays would be brilliant if the title and blurb portrayed what it was really about. Feminism, how far we’ve come and why there is still work to do. If that had been the entire intention, this would have been 5 out of 5 stars.

Unfortunately, what was billed to me was not what was received. I went into this looking for funny anecdotes of men with no clue, saying dumb things to women in their quest to seem intelligent. Every woman can relate and has her own stories about this exact subject. That happened twice in the beginning, while the rest dived into fighting the patriarchy. Which, do not get me wrong, I am down for, but I was looking for something more humorous.

“Finding ways to appreciate advances without embracing complacency is a delicate task.”

If I ignore what is lacking in humor, it is rich in information and it is a topic that should never leave anyone’s mind until there is equality. Therefore, I think this is an important read. However, I have a feeling that more people will pick this up for the same reason that I did and those people probably already understand that there is still work to be done. Meaning, the people that need to be reading it to get the message, most likely are not.

“Men explain things to me, still. And no man has ever apologized for explaining, wrongly, things that I know and they don’t.”

Pestilence (The Four Horsemen #1) – Book Review

Published Date: September 14, 2018

Publishing Co.: CreateSpace

Pages: 381

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I honestly thought that I would not like this book. I thought that if I didn’t hate it, I would at least not finish it. I mean, the cover is cheesy and the premise is not one of my usual choices. However, much to my surprise, it sucked me in.

Sara Burns drew the short stick. The apocalypse has begun and this firefighter drew the stick that decided she would be the one to die trying to kill one of the Four Horsemen. That’s right folks, God has unleashed his wrath because well, humans suck. Or a lot of them do at least. Four or five years ago, the horsemen rode the Earth and destroyed the human way of life. Then, three of them went back to sleep while Pestilence spread his terror upon the planet.

Now Pestilence has come to Sara’s neck of the Canadian woods and she has been chosen to try to take him out. I’m not entirely sure why humanity would think a divine creature could be killed by guns or any other means but as a desperate species, I guess we’ll try anything.

So obviously, she fails.

Pestilence takes her hostage and forces her to come along for his ride of horror and doom. DOOM I SAY. He doesn’t unleash the plague on her but tortures her just the same because, “to live is to suffer” or something along those lines. Plus, he would like a little vengeance since he may not be able to die, but he can feel pain all the same. And she lit him on fire.

As they travel spreading disease and death, Sara forces Pestilence to see that there are some redeeming qualities to humans. Kindness, compassion and LOVE. That’s right, this is a love story. A story of falling in love with one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. That’s why folks, I didn’t think I would enjoy this all that much. It is a weird love story plot. However, the characters were great. There is some obvious Stockholm syndrome issues for a little bit, but the divine bad boy redemption is really what brings it home.

I would label this as probably not for everyone but I for one, enjoyed myself.

I am undecided whether I will continue the series. The second book, War, has an even better rating that the first one. It will probably come down to what my mood is, as usual.

Snow Hounds

It’s been quite some time since the dogs had their very own post here on the blog and with the recent snow fall, they’ve been especially cute playing in the fluffy whiteness. So just sit back and enjoy a small photo gallery of my funny little snow hounds. ❤

I loving refer to Ozzy as the Snow King in the winter as he LUUUUUURRVVVEESSS the snow. Samus loves it for a minute, bounds through it like a deer and then is promptly ready to go back inside to the warmth. Ozzy must be convinced to come back in.

The Outstanding Blogger Award

Thank you The Corner of Flaura for tagging me!

The Rules

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. (very important: see why in step 5)
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

Questions:

  1. Would you rather travel to the deep sea or outer space?

Could you ask a more difficult question?? I mean………..crap. I think I’m going to have to choose deep sea but you should feel bad for making me think so hard about this. I want to see all the sea critters. I want to see space critters too but I think I’m guaranteed a few sea critters. Aliens, please make contact soon because, why not?

2. Are you artistic?

Is ‘sort of’ an acceptable answer? I can do STUFF. Just not anything particularly GOOD.

3. How many books did you read last year?

Forty.

4. If you could live any one historical figures life, which would you choose?

I think I’m going to have to choose the Notorious RBG.

5. Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter?

Autumnnnnn.

6. Which character in a book would you most like to be?

Full fantasy mode with this one, Julia (aka Aurelia Ryder) in the Kate Daniels series. I dig her powers, her attitude and her obviously future mate. (But I’d like to stay a brunette please.)

This were some pretty fun questions so I’m going to keep them for my tagged peeps:

Ignited Moth

The Shameful Narcissist

Imperial Rebel Ork

Grab the Lapels

Bookstooge

Anyone else who would like to jump in, feel free!

I can’t believe I actually got around to doing one of these. I’m just not a good tagged person, I frequently forget about them. :3

Coffee & a Chat – From Novels to Textbooks

First book haul of 2021. All from the dollar store. A whopping $3.18 was spent.

I didn’t accomplish much this week aside from working. No new recipes, no book reviews. Hell, I barely even read the current book I’m working on. I’m a bit ‘meh’ on it currently and don’t know if I’ll finish it.

There were a few other things accomplished though;

I received my second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. This time, the side effects kicked my ass. Super sleepy, achy, hot flashes and cold sweats (no fever though) and a minor headache. I felt like an old woman going through menopause. I started feeling super tired the night of the vaccine, didn’t sleep too well and felt like garbage for about 12 hours the next day. The day after that, I felt normal again. 10/10 would do it again though.

As of this morning, I applied to go back to college. There is a recent initiative provided by my state for adults to go back to school to earn a degree where they pay for your tuition fees. Years ago, I went to community college with the intention of getting a degree in small business administration. For a myriad of reasons, I never finished. Now, I’m going back to earn a degree in business administration – associate of arts. The way I see it, it will help the small business that I currently work for and any future enterprise I may start myself. (see last post.)

I should start back to school in May so I’m sure you’ll see a decline in posts then but I’m hoping to be more organized and be able to balance life and school better than I did back in the day.

So that’s it for this week folks, did anyone else get the first or second dose of the Covid vaccine? What were your side effects if anything?

Coffee & a Chat – Bookstores and Dog Beds

The Prince of Barkness gets a new bed. (Ozzy)

Good snowy morning ladies and germs! What a way to round out the first month of 2021 but with a little chat over the morning’s caffeine intake.

A new realization this month: This pandemic has made me realize many things over the last almost year, and my dears, the general public made me question whether I want to be a pharmacy technician the rest of my life. After a bit of consideration, I discovered that the answer had become a solid, no. Then, Mr. C&M gave me another idea; to one day open my own bookstore.

So that’s the new life plan, in the next 5 to 10 years, open my own bookstore. Pharmacy is still fine for now but if someone is rude, I want to be able to throw them out of my own store. (I may also be falsely envisioning that book patrons are a less rude bunch, but let me have my dream.) I helped open one small business, after lots of research, I think I can do it on my own one day.

As for the rest of January, I did pretty good with keeping up on content.

I reviewed two books –

Magic Triumps by Ilona Andrews (5 stars)

Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews (5 stars)

I also reread Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with my BFF and started another book;

I posted 3 new recipes –

Eggnog Bread

Applebutter Cookies

Soft Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

I also received my first dose of the Covid Vaccine almost 3 weeks ago. My second dose is this Tuesday. I didn’t have too many side effects with the first dose. Just muscle soreness for 24 hours and was ravenously hungry the next day. We’ll see what the second dose has in store as we’ve heard that’s usually where you see more side effects.

This may become my new format, Coffee & a Chat’s for the end of the month to recap progress and various happenings.

How was your January??

Mr. C&M is Twitchin’

Heathen_Rite – Twitch

Well I had hoped to post a video link to my lovely. foul-mouthed husband’s Twitch page however, WP has decided that unless I upgrade, I shall not be allowed. *Shakes fists at WP overlords* So text link it is.

There’s no judgements on my part about all the swearing as, I sound much like a trucker in my day-to-day life. I say it mostly as a warning for anyone not into that kind of thing.

He plays a little bit of everything. Rivals of Aether, Super Smash Bros, Among Us and there is even a video of yours truly doing a full Castle Crashers run with him on our anniversary. He loves video games as much as I love books and isn’t that how love is supposed to work??

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please go give him a follow. It will make the fellow happy and make me look like a good, supportive wife.

Also, he said if he gets even one follower from this post, he’ll kiss my toe. Make sure he knows I sent you. I want this toe kiss on principal alone.

Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) – Book Review

Publishing Date: January 12, 2021

Publishing Co.: NYLA

Pages: 359

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Eight years after the end of the Kate Daniels saga, we return to a much different Atlanta under the disguise of a stranger. Or least, that’s how it appears. Really the person with a different face, different voice, different scent, different name, is Julie, Kate’s adopted daughter. She gallops into town on her carnivorous horse, Tulip. A prophecy has been foretold of Kate’s death at the hands of a newly resurrected god and if Kate knows that Julie is in Atlanta, the future becomes more certain, Kate will die.

Julie has spent the last eight years becoming as powerful as she possibly can to protect those she loves and those who need it most. She has spent the last four of those eight years doing everything she can to change the results of the prophecy. This is her last chance. If she fails, the woman who saved her from the streets will perish from this world forever.

Trying to stop a god, in your hometown, without being noticed, has it’s problems. Not everyone can be fooled by her disguise no matter the precautions she takes, and those people threaten to blow her cover. The last person she needs to find out about her return home is the man she loved, but it’s harder than hell to hide things from a werewolf.

I am not disappointed. Kate Daniels left big shoes to fill and her predecessor jumped into both boots, ax swinging and power words on her lips. Where’s book two?

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) – Book Review

Published Date: August 28, 2018

Publishing Co.: ACE

Pages: 336

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The triumphant (see what I did there) conclusion to one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time.

As if it’s not bad enough that you’re about to go to war with your own father, another heavy hitter with a personal vendetta against your family shows up and demands his very own war on your world. Plus, your thirteen month old son is beginning to express his potential magic. Such is the life of Kate and her soulmate Curran.

These two separate but equally deadly wars will take everything they have in their arsenal to keep their son alive and save the people they love, but the opposing armies are massive and Atlanta is going to have to come together if it wants to survive. Enemies must become allies or face certain annihilation.

It has been a long, exciting journey to this ending and I was so pleased that it finished on a great note. I don’t expect that it will be the very last we’ll see of Kate and Curran as their world is expanding to other series and for that I’m grateful. This has been some of the best world building I’ve seen in any urban fantasy universe. The characters were addicting and the magic system equally enticing. Ilona Andrews are a dynamite writing couple. They have yet to fail me and I suspect I’ll be running off to purchase their latest release that continues Julie’s narrative.