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Book Discussion and Review: Pinned Post Week 4

Two reviews for you this week from two very different types of books. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction and I don’t read a lot of books that include multiple POVs. But both of these books are very compelling, albeit for very different reasons.

First up is Ghost Electricity by Sean Cunningham. I normally stop reading a sample the moment I realize it has switched from a major POV (point of view). However, from the get-go I was rather drawn to the first character so I read about the second. I was drawn in by that one too! There were far too many POVs in this novel, but I must say the author was quite clever about it. Each scene was a story unto itself, although not in such a way as to make you put the book down and feel finished. It was several stories, each one given major importance. The result was a book told from the eyes of more than one unlikely hero. One of my favorite characters by the end played fairly minor roles at the beginning, but she was a clever little thing with a penchant for inventing and getting herself and others out of trouble. This character alone could own many stories to come.

Of course with such a book, there was one or two POVs that I didn’t care for. The one was because she had a tendency to fall into a dream world, but the dream sequences were generally mercifully short (I confess I’ve never been a fan of dream sequences in books.) During some parts of the novel there were so many short POV scenes, it became impossible to keep the names straight. I sallied forth and carried on, rightfully guessing I’d put it all together when the time came. The premise of the book started out fairly unique, but did fall back into familiar territory creating a nice blend of new and old. Most importantly of all, it was a fun read. What appeared to be multiple plot lines was actually one story told from multiple viewpoints, including the bad guys, the good guys and those who straddled the line. I’m looking forward to book two. If you want to try something different, give this one a try. I really liked it!

This next one is far outside the range of my normal reading, but I helped edit this book.

Suicidal Thoughts from A to Z is a journey fraught with pitfalls as the author tries to find relief from mental illness. Of particular interest is how the healthcare system is failing the mentally ill, the depressed and the suicidal. While it’s quite obvious our healthcare system is a mess in general, those with paranoia, anxiety and depression are quite possibly the least equipped to handle the serious shortfalls required to get help.

What made this essay so readable for me was that the author did not fall into self pity, nor did he veer off into clinical detachment. It’s an honest portrayal of methods tried and failed; an ongoing search for answers. There’s an obvious empathy for others and the occasional wry sense of humor sneaking through. The author is at turns likeable, desperate, tired and despite it all just a tiny bit hopeful. The excerpts from other articles peppered throughout remind me of a writer writing a page and then balling it up in frustration as it gets thrown away–only to start again from a different angle. The articles themselves aren’t as interesting as the actual journey.

If you know someone who has suffered from severe depression or other mental illness, you might find this an interesting read. If you’ve ever had cause to wonder “Why don’t these people just get help?” you might find out just how far away help can be.

It’s short enough that you don’t get bogged down emotionally, and it’s insightful enough to be useful.

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Posted: January 20, 2018
Filed in Book Reviews, Under $5

Some Hopeful Cancer and Alzheimers News

Some positive news on a possible blood test that can detect cancer in very early stages. It can, in some cases, help pinpoint the location of the cancer as well. We need all the good news we can get in this area.

Unrelated there’s also been some positive research on alzheimers. I don’t care as much for this article/announcement because it does not name the diabetes drug(s) but if there are any that are proven to be effective in people, the drugs might be available sooner rather than later since they will have already been tested in humans for diabetes. Side effects will already be known. I do wish they had said exactly which drugs they used in the tests. Alzheimers is a terrible disease and we need answers–fast.

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Posted: January 20, 2018

New Soap Scent

I just received my latest order of potions! Well, really it’s more the ingredients to make potions! I have added a new soap scent — it’s labeled grapefruit mangosteen–and I’d say the mangosteen comes out more than the grapefruit. It reminds me of mango or papaya–a fruity, melon, lightly sweet smell. It’s light and pretty. I’ll be adding it to the soap line first and then as I receive feedback, I will decide whether it should be part of the lotion and shampoo lines. Of course, you can request it in either if you can’t wait!

Notice the fabulous fabric behind the new potions. That is from my friend Cathey–I made a very cute neck pillow with the fabric! It’s rather elegant for my humble abode, but I do love it!

The quilted design shows up really great in the first picture with the new scent. She has great taste! I’m so lucky to call her friend!

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Posted: January 19, 2018

New Cover for DragonKin

We have a new dragon for DragonKin hatched in the garden of Stanely Morrison! Isn’t he beautiful???

I haven’t uploaded the cover anywhere yet, but I’ll be working on that today and tomorrow.

*Dragon copyright 2017 Stanley Morrison

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Posted: January 18, 2018

High of WHAT???

I would just like to be on record: TWENTY-SEVEN is NOT a high. Of anything. Who thought that was a good idea???

Turns out that Junior does, in fact, know how to use the litter box. Oh, to hear him tell it most mornings (at 3am many times) he MUST GO OUT or he will DIE. He puts up quite a fuss over it. This morning at 4am when we opened the door, he got one lungful of that fresh FROZEN air and hightailed it for the litter box. Good. Maybe he can teach Leo.

This is clearly a day meant for potato bacon soup. It’s not good for anything else.

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Posted: January 16, 2018

Book Discussion: Pinned Post Week 3

And something a little different this week–Space Opera! Yup, I do on occasion read space opera.

My Delicate Destruction Sounds like a very fun adventure!

Kat is a genetic fugitive on the run from the Federation.

She was just a normal college girl in L.A. hanging out with her friends. Well, not completely normal. Kat raced cars and lived in the underworld of Los Angeles to escape the pain of her twin brother’s cancer. When her own cancer manifested the two of them were approached for a study. They both signed their lives over for a chance to survive.

The program put them in cryostasis and when Kat woke up 500 years later, she was alone and afraid in the dark of a ruined hospital. Her twin, Kris left a note for her to find him. Somehow they’d both survived. Whatever the doctors did changed her, and Kat finds herself on the run, seeking refuge with a crew of smugglers. Capt. Wolfe agrees to fly her across the galaxy in hopes of finding her brother – with the government hot on their tail.

Renee Pawlish has a new book out in the Dewey Webb series! I’ve read and reviewed her Reed Ferguson series. Hint: Really enjoyed the characters and the plot. Great mystery books.

Trouble Finds Her — Book 5 in the Dewey Webb series, just out!

You can pick up books ONE AND TWO for just $2.99 for a couple more days.

Book one is: Web of Deceit

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Posted: January 14, 2018

Mystery and Thriller Sale!

Two days only! Mysteries and thrillers on sale–includes cozies and not so cozies! Renee Pawlish has put together a great list! Check it out and see what might interest you.

I thought The Lockington Legacy by Lynda Wilcox looked very intriguing so it’s next on my TBR!

A country house party. A fabulous heirloom. A daring theft.

A priceless diamond necklace, known as the Lockington Legacy, has been stolen. The newly opened Gemini Detective Agency has been approached to recover it. However, there is one small problem. The owner refuses to let them tell anyone it has been stolen.

For twins, Linzi and Loren Repton, this is only the start of their problems. A suspect turns up dead, their client’s daughter is in trouble, and there is something very mysterious about a certain bag lady and her missing dog.

The Lockington Legacy is Book 1 in The Gemini Detectives, a cozy mystery series by award-winning British author, Lynda Wilcox.


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Posted: January 13, 2018

Bargain Historical Mysteries

Blog reader, Elisabeth, wrote in to recommend this author/series–and there’s a limited edition boxed set on sale right now!

In the Den of the English Lion

Journey to Elizabethan England where you’ll meet Noah Ames and accompany him on his quest to protect and honor his Queen, no matter the cost.

In this limited edition box set, you’ll find three gripping historical mysteries from award-winning and bestselling author Neal Roberts. Enjoy over 1,000 pages of Tudor and political intrigue, all for one low price.

A Second Daniel

London 1558. An orphan from a far-off land is renamed “Noah Ames,” and given every advantage the English Crown can bestow.

London 1592. Now an experienced barrister, Noah witnesses what appears to be a botched robbery outside the Rose Theater, a crime he soon suspects to be part of a plot against Queen Elizabeth herself. Steadfast in his loyalty to the Queen, Noah must use every bit of his knowledge and skill to lure her most disloyal subject onto the only battlefield where Noah has the advantage … a court of law – though in doing so he risks public exposure of his darkest secret, a secret so shocking that its revelation could cost him everything: the love of the only woman who can offer him happiness, his livelihood … even his life.

Also at Kobo.

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Posted: January 10, 2018

New Scents and Old

I’m messing around with putting another order in for essential oils. Don’t worry. If you have already ordered lotion, shampoo or soap, we’ve probably talked about which scents you like–and I carry those as standards. But if there is something you haven’t seen or isn’t listed that you are interested in, now would be the perfect time to mention it!

Most Popular Scents
There are times when I’ll let a scent run out–it can depend on how many orders I get for a particular scent over time, but rest assured, Lavender is a staple. Jasmine is running a close second. The citrus melon is proving popular as well. Mint comes and goes in popularity.

The spruce was very, very popular, but it is too expensive to make the bar soap. I have decided I will carry it for lotions and shampoo–but would have to raise the bar soap to 5 dollars per bar to continue making the bar soap. It’s a subtle, but lovely fragrance. It’s one I don’t tire of!

Anyway, if there is something you’ve heard of and want to try, let me know!

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Posted: January 8, 2018

How I Find Books to Read

Warning: RANT.

You’ll notice that the book discussion books this week are a little more expensive than I normally post. It’s not my fault. I’ve been having a very hard time finding good bargains this week and those books that I posted truly looked great. I think I’ve narrowed down the problem. It’s not all that narrow either.

In searching for Urban fantasy, I keep coming across books labeled, “Reverse Harem such and such.” Such and such might say, “Fantasy” or “Romance” or “Paranormal.” REVERSE WHAT??? Okay, I didn’t like harem stories when they weren’t reversed. I’m not even positive that I know what that means. I do know that I never appreciated a male hero who was a womanizer. If he happened to have a harem, I wasn’t likely to be reading the books. I don’t even like love triangles. I am pretty darn sure I don’t need harems in my reading, reverse or otherwise. Furthermore, there is NOTHING “romantic” about a harem. Nothing. No matter which direction it runs. These books cannot possibly be urban fantasy, but they are all over the place. Apparently I spent too much time on a page with a Reverse Harem because the next time I went to Amazon, the entire row of “Recommended for you” was…GAH!!!!!!

I can’t FIND the urban fantasy because these titles are in the way!!! I even tried to turn recommendations off. I looked for that little button that says “This recommendation doesn’t fit” or whatever it says. Bummer. I SPENT EVEN MORE TIME ON THE HAREM PAGE. Now, I’m scared to go back to Amazon at all! What if they stop advertising the echo spy device that has been at the top of the page since forever…and have…NO. IT DOES NOT BEAR THINKING ABOUT. Can someone go to Amazon for me and make sure that the echo is still there?

I have searched high and low, I promise you. I was certain I had escaped the harem. I found this blurb. It had nothing to do with harems…well, I didn’t think it did:

Third line of the blurb is “Falling in love with Hale and Zander. It wasn’t supposed to happen.”

I’m thinking love triangle, but I read the blurb through to the end and the last line was thus:

“But Hale and Zander, along with their friends, Baxter and Colten, have their own opinion when it comes to Carly and they have every intention of turning up the heat and forcing their way into her life.”

ALL OF THEM? I guess the first two guys didn’t present enough of a problem.

*headdesk*

My other pet peeve lately is: “The Main Heroine must work with the (insert FBI, CIA, Police, Chief of Police) who is annoying (but hot) to solve the case.” Well, the “annoying” part is dead on. If you’re going to use a cliche (heroines often fall for agents of the law), you don’t have to go overboard and tell us how good-looking the guy is, how “hot” he is or even how annoying he is. If you must do so, don’t use the word “hot.” Be more clever or more subtle because “hot” conveys the impression that instead of reading about a competent, attractive and worthwhile person, I’ll be stuck reading about a cardboard character with the depth and heroism of a Chippendale dancer.

In perusing other blurbs, I would just like to say: There is NOTHING. NOT. ONE. THING. sexy about stalking. NOTHING.

AND FOR THE LOVE OF…why is EVERY SINGLE guy/gal “hiding a secret” that could change everything? WHY? Can’t they just kick some demons around, not fight with the love interest, and not be “hot” and just have an adventure??? You know, not all of us are hiding a huge secret. We don’t have “When she learns the truth, it could change everything.” Some of us are just kick-ass dragons and we don’t need mysterious pasts with some lame secret that usually turns out to be “his power had never been seen in the world before and he had to keep it hidden because no one would like him/her if they knew.” Because of course, everyone really wants to be the one with special powers even though he/she pretends to be ashamed of this dark secret.

Cliffhanger endings: No. Please. I know we need to sell books, but if I see the word cliffhanger in any review, even a 5 star review, I WILL NOT READ THE BOOK. Even if it is free. My reading time is limited and precious to me. I want a complete story. A few odds and ends that aren’t quite wrapped up is one thing, but a cliffhanger is a “No Deal.”

Last, but not least: A lot of us aren’t 18 and suddenly finding out we aren’t who we think we are. We are NOT ALL SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES who were adopted out because Mom/Dad was this important magical someone and they had to hide us from the world. Some of us are just dragons and shouldn’t be messed with. And that’s okay. We don’t all have to be a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE who is about to discover we are way more than meets the human eye. We just need to kick some bad guys around, and we don’t need to be shocked and surprised when we see a scale, a fairy wing or whatever. Really. Just pick up the sword and get moving.

Where are all the good bargain books hiding??? WHERE???

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Posted: January 7, 2018
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