Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa's Visit

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Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, except that damn mouse. The socks hide in the basement so my feet, they are bare. It's freezing outside but go out if you dare.

The dogs were all calm chewing on their doll heads. As I try to remember if I took my meds. And Tinker, my cat, wants to sit on my lap but me I'm allergic so I say "DOWN!" with a clap.

All this holiday eating has made me feel fatter, I think to myself as I mix brownie batter. Coconut may be good, maybe a dash. Then all of a sudden there is a loud crash.

I look out on the deck & see the flakes blow. Curses to those who said "Let it snow, let it snow." Maybe earlier I didn't make myself clear... but it's Christmas, no curses, just gimme some beer!

I close the door tight, lock it up with a click & figured I'd wait up for good ol' St. Nick. There won't be a hippo but him I can't blame, they may seem quite calm but I know they aren't tame.

Now Santa's big bag he could fit lots of tricks in, but I guess a big hippo just wouldn't mix in.   I'll give up that wish for the good of one & all, no need to thank me the sacrifice is quite small.

As I sit by the window looking up at the sky & wait for the big man to mosey on by, I think about morning & the shoveling to do. Just how much there will be I don't have a clue.

The next thing I know there's a magical poof & the dogs go all crazy with a "WOOF-WOOF!" He really did have a belly, big & round & a beard of white piled on his chest in a mound.

He didn't have his sack, all packed up with loot & he was tracking in snow with his left boot. I was beginning to think that he was a hack until he bent down & gave the table a smack.

His eyes looked quite angry, it was rather scary. I was thinking he had gas from all the dairy. I offered him the bathroom, if he had to go, but he just shook his head at me, to & fro.

Then he smiled at me big, showing all of his teeth & he said "To you this night I bequeath."  He asked if I had any meat from the deli. He was sick of milk, cookies & cheese that's smelly.

I said to him "Santa you're not acting like yourself." "Aren't you supposed to be a plump jolly elf?" I then realized he wasn't wearing red. He said he was leaving that to Rudolph instead.

I said to him "Santa, you are being a jerk!" "Make that mood jolly & get yourself back to work." He got a little mopey & sniffled his nose & then from his bent up position he rose.

He dashed to his sleigh like a heat guiding missile & gave all his reindeer a jolly old whistle. In a matter of seconds his reindeer took flight as he screamed to the world "Merry Christmas, good night!"
©MDO

Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Kerin!

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I hope your birthday is filled with much cheer
And of course, many pints of ice cold beer.
You are getting older but have no fear
Because age comes before beauty and there's beer!

May this day provide many laughs and smiles.
People celebrate in many styles.
But you my friend have survived life's trials
So you deserve beer, piles and piles!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
©MDO








Birthday poem for my friend, Kerin Hansen.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ash Cat

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Out in the wild I'd stalk my prey
But in this home it's hide or play.
I need to rest, go away!
It's hard to look so cute all day.

When you lie down do I bug you?
You like to snuggle I know you do.
I've brightened up your sad, blue hew
Now let me hide out from this zoo.

I'm incognito under here.
If you must you can come near
But like the panther I cause fear.
Ok I don't, I see your sneer.

I know I look so cuddly
But I'm the Ash cat don't you see?
 I have a rep to some degree 
But maybe one more petting spree.
©MDO





This poem is inspired by the awesome snapshot my friend, Kerin Hansen, caught of her cat, Ash.







Friday, November 1, 2013

Stop, Look and Listen

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Nature in all its God given glory, 
Can be used up and left feeling whorey. 
Dull and worn out, just downright defeated. 
Losing its parts, its life force depleted. 

In comes the rain to provide it a bath. 
To give old and new a freshened, clean path. 
Self sustaining is what was intended 
But some damage needs help being mended. 

We walk the Earth just taking for granted 
All the beauty there is on the planet. 
Stop, look and listen, it’s what we’re all taught. 
Put it to practice or it’s all for naught.
©MDO




The words were inspired by the awesome photo taken by Heather Kemp Jarosiewics

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Jeff!

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It's your birthday & you're getting old
Don't get too worried if you smell mold
I'm a lot older, I've smelled it for years
I can tell you there's nothing to fear!

May this next year bring you good things
The time just flies, like it has wings
So make the best of it, come what may
And celebrate daily... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
©MDO




For my brother

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Virginity Mission

The Virginity Mission
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Mac is a 20 some year old virgin on a scientific expedition in the Australian rainforest. She's stepping outside of her comfort zone to push herself into opening up more and hoping that she will also find someone with a taste for cherry. Right from the start her lust is fueled by Jason, the Army sergeant that is there with his team to support the expedition. The problem is that everyone has been warned that fraternization between the solders and the students is strictly prohibited. You know what they say about forbidden fruit....

This is a very short and quick read, about 100 pages. It starts out with Mac's sighting of Jason and takes off from there. There is a little push and pull in the beginning but you pretty much get the idea from the start that Jason is as attracted to Mac as she is to him. Jason is in his 30's and much more experienced and Mac comes off quite naive but for being a complete story that's wrapped up as little time as it is, it's a good read. Check it out! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Letters to Katie

Letters to Katie
Provided by BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Katherine Yoder is at that age where her friends are married and having babies yet she is still single and pining after Johnny Mullet. She doesn't want to marry just for the culture and their expectations; she wants to marry for love. Johnny is who she has loved since childhood however, as far as she knows, he just sees her as his sister's friend. While she goes through her days, working at a local pie shop, a possible, new suitor piques her interest.  Will she give him a chance at her heart?

Johnny Mullet is at a point in his life where he wants to make it on his own, not only to prove that he can but to also feel like he is worthy of Katherine. He's come to realize that he is in love with her but until he makes a go of the horse farm that he is on a mission to get up and running, he doesn't want to let her know how he feels. There are hurdles for him to overcome and compromises he must consider and make but when Katherine becomes ill he reevaluates everything and decides the time has come to make the leap.

The book is a nice and easy read but it just seemed like a lot more could have been done with the love triangle. It was a pretty simple angle really and I just kept thinking that just because the Amish lifestyle is supposed to be simple doesn't mean the books about it have to be also. All in all it's a happy ending type of read. Katherine comes down will an illness where she ends up losing her memory and now she has 2 guys interested in her. Who will she remember and/or choose? It's pretty predictable but it's a happy go lucky type of read if that's what you are into.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Breaking the Rules

Breaking the Rules
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Navy officer Joe Figueroa made a decision one afternoon to see a fortune teller and what he was told charted his course in life.

Susana Cigan, a true Romani with the gift of sight, worked in a shop by her Grandmother's side. At the young age of 13 she had one of her first readings and was taken aback by what it was that she saw.

It was during the chance encounter that Susana let Joe know that he'd meet the love of his life that evening. There was some attraction between the 2 of them & while Susana knew who the woman was, she didn't provide that detail. Joe leaves the shop with a renewed sense of his future and taking the reading as his guide; he meets a woman he believes is the love of his life and marries her.

The book jumps ahead to show that the marriage was anything but good & has now ended. The 'love of his life' was caught with another and so now Joe is once again single but rather than mingle, he's in search of the fortune teller that he feels is to blame for what's transpired. Once he finds Susana again however, he quickly learns that her prediction was true and it was his interpretation that was a little off.

This was a quick read and I haven't read a lot of books that get into the Romani/Gypsy culture so it was great to read some of that. It shows the hold that the culture has on their people and the struggles they go through to have their own individuality. At the core is the love story and it's a simple one but sometimes that's really all you need.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Until I Break

Until I Break
Read May 19th-20th, 2013

This book I actually purchased myself and I had to move it up on the reading list because the author was getting so much negative feedback that she actually pulled it from the shelves, so to say.  M. Leighton, writer of some pretty erotic books, pulled this one & why?? The subject matter I guess. I didn't actually take the time to read reviews and such. I follow her on facebook & she posted that it was being pulled and I thought "Hmmmm, I bought that one not too long ago so I should check it out to see what the fuss is about." What did I find? Nothing any more touchy than some other books I've read. I did read some blog posts from the author after reading the book to see what she was thinking and you have to respect her for her view on things but it's sad that she was driven to the point where she felt she needed to pull a story that was pretty close to her heart & the heart of her artistic freedom. Needless to say, those that missed out.... well they missed out because it was a good read!

The main character is Samantha Jansen who is a well-know author that publishes under the alias of Laura Drake. She disguises herself whenever going in public as the author and lives vicariously through that 2nd self that she has created. In her own life she's very private, reserved and haunted. The genre that she chooses to write is romance/erotica and the books are pretty much her fantasies, until....

In walks Alec Brand, right into a book signing and all Samantha's fantasies in the flesh. Alec has his own secrets and haunts which find Laura Drake, aka Samantha, hard to walk away from. There's a darker side to Alec which he's trying to tame and part of him thinks that this woman may just be what the doctor calls for.

There's a twist in the read and if you are one to try to predict, it's pretty easy to predict it in this read. I myself am thinking that may be what got people in an uproar but you know what??  It's a book and it's happened in movies, which I do not believe have ever been threatened to be pulled because of it. Each person is free to voice their opinion of course and what may float one person's boat could sink anothers but really it's all up to you to decide if it's sink or swim. Sink in and enjoy it for what it is or put it down & swim onto another read more in your comfort zone that is;-)

What we have here is a story about 2 damaged souls that find each other and help each other take a path through life that may just find them some comfort and love. If given a chance, it's really a beautiful tale of healing... or the path to it. Sure you'll dislike Alec at times, hell... you'll dislike Laura at times but isn't that the way of most of these reads? There's always that push and pull, it's what helps keep you reading right? Well, if you didn't get a copy of this one before it was pulled then like I said... you missed out. If you did and you haven't read it then what are you waiting for??  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pushing the Limits Trifecta

Books marketed as "Young Adult" make me feel a little guilty for loving them.... just saying:-)

I have to say that I do like this series a lot, so much so that I had to read them all as fast as I could. So this review will be on all 3 of them so it's rather long however it's in 3 parts so each section can be read as a stand along. Katie McGarry does an excellent job providing all the teen angst that is mixed in with the troubles and issues of being in the foster care system and dealing with the 'normal' kids who have 'normal' families.  Each book focuses on a couple amongst a core group of characters so that each book is linked in the series.


Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

In Dare You To we have the story of Beth and Ryan and the one that I began with and got me hooked into having to read the other 2 out.

Beth Risk struggles between helping her mom & letting it be what could ultimately ruin her chance of a better life for herself. She's grown up with the role of being the mother for someone who should have been looking out for her in life. Time and time again she is let down but continues to be her mother's shield and then escapes to her aunt & uncle's house for refuge. Beth's aunt and uncle aren't the best role models either but they do provide a home to Isaiah and Noah, their foster children and Beth's best friends.  After a particularly bad entanglement with Beth, her mom & her mom's abusive boyfriend Beth ends up being arrested because she takes the blame for her mom to keep her out of trouble. In swoops her uncle Scott, the uncle that once promised to always take care of her but then left to try to make a better life for them... yet he didn't come back for her... until now.

Ryan Stone is the kid from the 'right' side of the tracks. He's the baseball all-star with dreams of going to the majors.... even if they aren't all his dreams. On the outside he appears to have the perfect life but the walls of one's house aren't made of windows for reasons, it's easier to keep things hidden. Ryan and his group of friends like to play games of dare but little did he know that one of those dares would be too hard to let go of. 

It's a story of 2 young people who struggle through the troubles of life and find in each other the strength that they each lack on their own to make it through. It may be a young adult book but there is a young adult in us all that can definitely appreciate it!

This is book 3 in a series but it's actually considered the 2nd. I had to read book 1 & 1.5 and turns out book 1 I liked the best.  I didn't read them in order but it really isn't necessary to. Here's a little on those:

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)
Read May 31st-June 5th 2013

This book is my favorite so far in the series. I loved it from start to finish! This book is about Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins. Katie had some great lines in this book. Right from the start I was loving Echo for her description of her parents;

"My father checked his watch from the chair to my right and, on my left, the Wicked Witch of the West shifted impatiently. I was missing first period calculus, my father was missing some very important meeting, and my stepmother from Oz? I'm sure she was missing her brain."

The tale of Echo is that she is dealing with the aftermath of losing her brother and an entanglement with her mom that scarred her pretty badly, leaving everyone talking of her taking a ride on the crazy train. Now she's dealing with some memory loss and some counseling sessions that are hoping to help bring back some of those memories.

Then there is Noah. He's a foster kid that is in the system due to losing his parents in a fire. He has 2 brothers that he is fighting to get back into his life. He's got his friendship with Beth & Isaiah that help him make it through his daily struggles but he's looking for more. If it weren't for the loss of his parents and being in the foster system he would have been on the path to becoming a baseball star or more. Now the anger of being in the system & torn away from his brothers is something he's got to fight through so that he can become something the system will see as a good home to get his brothers back.

Noah and Echo meet as they cross paths during seeing the counselor and they are then thrown together for more. It's starts out as tutoring, then to help each other uncover some secrets that the counselor's files hold, but ultimately to become each other's savior. They've both encountered loss of someone they loved dearly and struggle with the way their lives have gone since. In their pain they find the calm that each of them need to find their ways back to some sort of happiness. 

This was pretty emotional and enduring. My favorite passage, or the one that hit me on a personal level I guess, was;

"The worst type of crying wasn't the kind everyone could see--the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life."

There are definitely some little surprises here & there throughout this read and I was just too entrenched to even try to guess some of them but others you can figure are coming.  You'll want some tissues for this read but do read it, don't let that be something that stops you!

Crossing the Line (Pushing the Limits, #1.5)
Read May 28th, 2013

This is a quick read, coming in at under 100 pages but Katie McGarry packs a lot in those pages. This one is the story of Lila Mccormick and Lincoln Turner.

Lila is the best friend of Echo Emerson (from book 1) and Lincoln is the brother of Josh Turner. As we know from book 1, Echo's brother has died and along with him so did Lincoln's brother so the 2 here are brought together through that tragedy.

Lila and Lincoln meet during the funeral of Aries Emerson. Lila is there for her friend Echo & Lincoln is there because his family felt it would help get through their loss. The 2 of them bond during the quiet moments each of them take and then carry on a 2 year relationship through letter writing. The old tried and true art of letter writing that is... until things get out of hand and letter writing isn't quite fast enough.

Through their letters they have fallen for one another and make plans to go to college together. For Lila it's a big step out of her comfort zone to leave home and be on her own so she's looking to Lincoln to be her home away from home to help her. She soon finds out that he's been keeping some things from her that can change everything and that then threatens their blossoming relationship. Lincoln isn't willing to sit back and let that happen so he takes matters into his own hands and helps Lila see the light. 

I would have loved to read this in a fuller version. I guess with it being 1.5 it's got that little "stuck in the middle" sort of feel to it that the 1/2 books can sometimes have. It would have been great to have a little more of the back story around the funeral and such since book 1 takes up after all of that. Don't skip it though, it's a great read and sweet that they fall in love through their letters to one another.

Overall I say check the series out!  I can't wait for the next book, Crash Into You. This one will focus on Isaiah Walker, who will finally have his day. Isaiah we meet in book 1 and hear more about in book 2 but basically he is, or was, in love with Beth Risk.... or so he thought.... 

Gotta wait until Nov of this one....


Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Ever hear the little idioms people say and wonder how they came to be? You know, the cute little things line "ants in your pants" or "like two peas in a pod"? Well, this is a kid's book so it doesn't really get into all that detail but it does provide a cute look at the idioms and what they really mean.

The pictures shown for each one depict little animals in different scenarios that fit the literal meaning of each.  Then if you look closer at the bottom, upside down, you'll see some tiny writing that gives the the figurative meaning of the the phrase. It's a cute way to introduce these common idioms to your child and hey, you may even find one or two that are explained a little better to you also:-)



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Peek-a-boo Monsters

Peek-A-Boo Monsters
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a very short but cute read for kids. It was purple with a polk-a-dot monster in the window so I couldn't pass up a free review to check it out... you know, for the inner child in me:-)

The monster pictures throughout are more on the adorable side than the scary, it's about 10 pages long and very short on the words so it makes for a great book for the very young kids. I think they'd get a kick out of pointing out the various monsters and getting their own creative juices flowing on drawing up some of their own. If you have a child that is afraid of the boogy monster under the bed or in their closets, this fun read may help nip that in the bud and show them that they are just goofy creations of the imagination.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Extra Hot Excerpt for Losing Control


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“What makes you think I’ll be done with you?” He says and he moves my hands upward until they meet in an arch above my head and he can grip my wrists in one big fist. Free, his left hand slides down my arm, leaving a trail of goose bumps in his wake. His mouth is on my chin, my jaw, and then my neck. He’s tasting me, pressing the flat of his tongue against my racing pulse. “Maybe I’ll never be done with you and your solid gold pussy.” At the last word, he closes his mouth over that pulse point and sucks hard. The only thing holding me up is his hand around my wrist. He pumps his thigh against me and an involuntary moan escapes my lips. 

“I don’t care,” I manage to choke out this obvious lie because my body cares a lot. “I’m not a toy. You don’t get to put me in Barbie’s expensive town home and play with me until you’re bored. I’m a fucking real person and my mom’s a real person. And we don’t need this shit right now.” 

He doesn’t stop my diatribe but he doesn’t lift his mouth from my skin either. He’s sucking hard at the spot where my neck curves into my shoulder and his hand is under my ass, moving me backward and forward along his thigh. His other hand has worked its way under my shirt and is palming my breast, a large thumb rubbing my nipple. I realize my hands are free and that I’ve been holding them above my head while he rubs all over me. When I drop my hands to his shoulders I find I can’t push him anyway. Instead, I’m using his shoulders as leverage to grind down on his thigh. 

The nerve endings of my sex are hyper sensitized and I swear I can feel every thread of his superfine wool pants. His leg moves, a tiny hitch, but it interrupts the rhythm and removes the pressure. “Don’t you stop,” I threaten him, all the heat in my tone has turned from anger to throaty desire. 

“Shh, bunny, I got you.” He lifts me completely and spins me around. I have no option but to wrap my legs around him. A few quick steps and we’re in another bedroom with one giant bed and nothing much else. He tumbles me back onto the bed and then lowers himself on top of me, and there’s nothing in my field of vision but the hard planes of his face and the ruddy flush of desire on the high points of his cheekbones. He looks fierce and hungry. 

Before I can capture another thought, his mouth is on mine and his hand is pushing aside the lace of my soaked panties. I’m moaning from both the feel of his thick tongue inside of my mouth and the sensation of one and then two of his fingers thrusting inside me. Sucking hard on his tongue, I lift my hips to grind against his hand. 

His free hand spears my hair and tugs my head back as if he can’t get his tongue deep enough inside me. He tastes of spearmint and earthiness, of true desire. My whole body is alive and it’s straining toward him, toward completion. I brace my feet against the mattress, seeking more pressure. Breaking away from his mouth, I pant, “Harder. Fuck me harder with your fingers.” 

I give him a quick once over. His suit is ruined. He never took even his coat off when he finger fucked me and I’m guessing the fragile wool wasn’t meant to be worn during any intense physical encounters. There are creases in the arms and shoulders were I clutched him and was that a … stain on his thigh. I ducked my head to hide my embarrassment. “You owe me a lot of explanations.” 

“I’ll be here when you’re done. Come back and we'll talk.” 

I give him an absent nod but it’s not sufficient of a response for him. He strides over and tips my head back. “I’m having this suit bronzed, you know.” 

My cheeks heat because I know he’s referring to the mark in the wool made from my arousal. He leans down and gives me a hard kiss. “Come back here tonight.” It’s a demand and not a question.


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Friday, May 24, 2013

Stealing Harper


Book provided by Edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com in exchange for an honest review

Before getting into the review too much on Stealing Harper I'd be remiss if I didn't say that you must read it's predecessor first:


Molly McAdams does an excellent job taking this novel, which is from the point of view of Harper, and condensing it down to Chase's point of view in Stealing Harper.

So let's recap a little. In Taking Chances we are introduced to Harper. She grew up on a military base, her mom died while she was young and dad raised her. Being that dad is a military man, her upbringing had quite a few boundaries and she couldn't wait to escape those by going away to college. Having grown up on the base Harper worked to save a nice nest egg and befriended the men that were under her dad's watch. Once she gets to college she is paired with Bree as a roommate and Bree introduces her to her brother Chase. Chase's house has a variety of dudes, including Brandon, and Harper feels quite at home being around them all. Harper is drawn to Chase and Brandon and has to make a decision on which to choose. Just when you think she makes her choice, she's drawn back to the other until the decision is pretty much made for her. 

Stealing Harper is from Chase's point of view. It's a quick read and pretty much just fills in what he went through as Harper was trying to make her choice. If you take a look at the info on the books you will see there is a final choice made & if you prefer to just jump in & not read too much about them ahead of time you will learn that the choice isn't quite what you think it is. I loved reading Chase's side of things because it made me remember what a great family he had. He's quite close to his parents and his sister and it was great to see him talk to his mom about his feelings for Harper and great to see that she gave him very sound advice. You also see how Chase was trying to push Harper away because he didn't think he was good enough but in doing so he pretty much tortured himself, her and those around them. Brandon sort of came in and scooped her up as Chase pushed her away and while that was happening Chase was pretty resentful and picked a lot of fights with Brandon. There is a lot of back and forth between the 2 of them and it strains their friendship quite a bit. I sort of feel like a lot of the fights that Chase picks with Brandon are more so because of the guilt and conflict that he feels over wanting to steal Harper away from his best friend when he feels like he really doesn't deserve her. There's a lot of sadness and heartache in the story because you just want them to work things out and just when it looks like they have something else happens to unravel things again. 

It's no secret that there is a death, a pregnancy and a lot of conflict and emotional trauma. Especially if you did read Taking Chances first. You can sort of predict what's happening before it happens though so for me, I escaped the trauma that a lot went through as they read the books but I still enjoyed them none the less. I was pretty much a Brandon fan after reading Taking Chances because he stands by Harper until the end. The more that I think about things, after reading Stealing Harper, I have to say that while I loved Chase more with the extra insight... I still liked Brandon more in the end. Brandon just seemed to keep his cool a little more when it came to the fights and seemed to have his life together a little more, or maybe his faith in himself was just a little better so that he wasn't always second guessing whether he was good enough or not for Harper. Harper, she had some tough choices but in the end she comes out richer from the experiences.  

Grab yourself some Kleenex and get yourself a copy of the book, or both books, and settle in for the roller coaster of young love. You may be a little tearier in the end but you definitely won't regret it!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Now You See Me

I love me some movies and in my lifetime I have paid to see oh so many, either on the big screens or through rentals and purchases. Now a days I have been privileged enough to get in on some free screenings that are often offered through different local groups & theatres here in Minnesota, who work in combination with the production companies of the movies. They basically do so to get the word of mouth out on the movie in hopes of bringing in the viewers once it's officially released. I figured I'd begin doing my share by blogging my reviews. Word of warning... I'm not a picky movie viewer nor do I have the memory to remember all the great lines and details so my reviews may be a little simple and lack luster but you'll get the gist of things. So here we go....

Free screening at the Mall of America on 5/16/13 ~~ Officially releases 5/31/13
Click on the picture above to see info on the movie from IMDb.com

Now You See Me and boy do you see a lot of faces in this flick!  The main characters are:

Jesse Eisenberg ~~ J. Daniel Atlas
Woody Harrelson ~~ Merritt Osbourne
Isla Fisher ~~ Henley
Dave Franco ~~ Jack
Mark Ruffalo ~~ Dylan Rhodes
Melanie Laurent ~~ Alma Vargas
Michael Caine ~~ Arthur Tressler
Morgan Freeman ~~ Thaddeus Bradley

With exception to Melanie Laurent, who I guess I have seen in Inglorious Bastards but I'm not recalling her part at the moment, I'm pretty familiar with the actors. Enough to know that the parts they play in this movie are pretty much their usual fare, plus magic of course.

It’s a little difficult to get into too much detail on the movie plot itself without possibly giving away clues that may assist you in figuring things out so I will be staying away from that in my review. Instead I’ll give a broad, simplistic overview and then go through the characters to give you a little info on what their broader part is & what I did, or didn’t like about them.
In the beginning we are introduced to each of the 4 illusionists while they are in their element. You also see a hooded person in the crowd that seems to be watching along with us. At the end of each of their acts, or at some point near after, they are presented with a card that is a personal invite to an elite group amongst magicians. Each of them show up to the meeting point to be amazed and drawn in to a very well thought out plan for them to achieve, an initiation if you will.  Together they become the 4 Horsemen and magical hi jinx ensue. That’s all I will say about that for fear of giving away too much. Be prepared to be drawn in by the illusions though. This is definitely worth seeing in the theater, on the big screen, with all the sound effects and such.
Jesse, J. Daniel Atlas, was his usual neurotic self but I loved him in this part! He’s an ego driven character but then again, aren’t all magicians?? He comes off as a cocky ass but it’s fitting so I didn’t dislike him, in fact it made me like him all that much more in this movie. His skill is illusion and let me just say that he does a card trick in the beginning that I was pulled in by cause you of course pick a card along with the chic in the movie & I’ll be damned if he didn’t get it right!! He sort of becomes the leader of the magical rat pack and I’d have to say my favorite scene with him is when he’s in the interrogation room with Mark Ruffalo, the 2 of them are great together in their back and forth banter!

Woody, now who doesn't love Woody? Am I right, or am I right?? Ok, I'm sure some don't but I love him. He always brings the funny & definitely doesn't disappoint in his opening scene or throughout the movie. Woody is Merritt Osbourne, a one time famous mentalist/hypnotist who is trying to make a comeback. I'd have to say that his opening scene is definitely my favorite one of the movie. Well, that and also his back & forth banter with Mark Ruffalo in the interrogation room was pretty great.

Isla Fisher, Henley, is the escape artist and again I think her opening scene was her best one in the movie. There's a little tension between her Jesse's character, since she was once his 'assistant' so the banter is great, especially when it comes out as to why he let her go. She hangs with the boys rather well and definitely holds her own in all the action that takes place.

Dave Franco, Jack, he's a little of a 'jack of all trades' so the name is quite fitting. His awesome scene is a fight scene about midpoint in the movie when Mark Ruffalo's team finds their lair. Just when you are about to discount him as the runt of the Horsemen you are in for a WOW, one of the best fight scenes ever!

Mark Ruffalo, Dylan Rhodes, is the detective in hot pursuit of catching the4 Horsemen in their bank heisting antics. As mentioned previously, there are some great interrogation moments between him & Jesse and him & Woody. He also has his moments with Melanie's character, who becomes his unwelcome partner in the mission. He is on a mission to capture and bring down the guilty parties.

Michael Caine, Arthur Tressler, is the benefactor for the 4 Horseman and Morgan Freeman, Thaddeus Bradley, was once a magician himself but now he debunks the magic acts. Morgan is willing to assist whomever he can benefit the most from and Michael, well he is willing to collect from whomever he can. 

Melanie Laurent, Alma Vargus, is brought in by Interpol to assist Mark since the first bank heist that the 4 Horsemen pull of involves an European bank. She's a believer of magic and tries to help Mark Ruffalo see the joy in that.

I thought overall this movie had quite an original plot and it was fun to watch. Can yosit back and over analyze it to make it less than? Sure you can but why waste the energy when you can just sit back and enjoy it for what it is?  I definitely enjoyed myself and I would encourage one and all to go see it when it hits a theatre near you because I only hit the tip of the iceberg in my review, the movie will definitely take you on a magical journey!

I would say out of rating scheme of 1-5 popcorn buckets, I'd give this:




Friday, May 17, 2013

Family Pieces



Book was won through a First Reads drawing done by the author on Goodreads

It took me a while to get through this book but not because it wasn't good, only because I had the paperback version so I had a hard time fitting in that reading time. I'm so used to the versatility of the Kindle app that I find it harder to fit in actual paperback books now! I finally decided to buckle down though and once I really dug in I was hooked and made the time to finish up. Misa Rush had a way of drawing me in where even though I could predict a lot of it I still wanted to read more so I could just experience what they went through. So much emotion jammed into the pages.

Karsen Woods thought she had it all and that she knew where her life was going until that fateful day when a car accident began a chain of events that would turn her life upside down. Around Karsen's neck, at all times, is her cherished puzzle shaped charm necklace. This is her tie to her family as she is away at college. She's always been told that it was handcrafted by her Grandfather and each family member had one. They were made to fit together to show their strong family bond. She soon comes to realize that one of the pieces seems to be missing.  As things in her life continue to spiral she holds on to the curiosity of the missing charm.

Not all that far away we have Addison Reynolds. Living the high life as a successful magazine owner, but looks can be deceiving. She's guarded and leery of letting people in, which all stems back her family history. Relationships are a foreign concept to her and she is all about work. Life has a way of surprising you when you least expect it though, even when it seems like things can't get worse.

Here we have a beautiful story that shows that even in those times that you think you are at your lowest, there are little charms in life that can be pieced together so you can sit back and appreciate the good too. 

This book is available now, click on the picture above to learn more about it and order a copy

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wonderland 2

Provided by NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review

I love me some graphic novels so I had to take advantage of getting to read this one before it was out on the shelves. Just look at the cover alone! This is Wonderland 2 (Volume 2) by Raven Gregory & Illustrated by Sheldon Goh.

Now this is definitely not the Alice in Wonderland that you remember as a kid but would you really want it to be? I see a lot of people complaining that it's too adult and over the top with language, gore and scantily dressed women but you know what?? This is sold as an ADULT graphic novel so do you really want to see Alice in her little girl version of the blue & white dress and the same old story!?! The women are dressed as they are to draw in the guys that may not normally go for this storyline. The violence and language, yeah.... I'm sure they enjoy that also. Now me, I'm a female and I don't mind the women's parts hanging out because I can appreciate the excellent art in these books! It's not like you see anything more in these pages than what you see on TV, in movies, or in some cases.... walking down a street near you. Half the reason I enjoy graphic novels is for the eye candy they provide in the form of art... for the guys the eye candy may be the girls. The other half of the reason of course is the story and I enjoy it being made more adult. There are a few taboo words scattered throughout and yes it is rather gory in parts but come on, they were asking for it!

The overall story line here is Alice & her ancestors and descendants dealing with Wonderland, that is constantly coaxing them back in. Here we see Calie, daughter of Alice, and her daughter Violet on the run from getting pulled back in... once again. Will they be successful? Will Wonderland finally win? You'll just have to get yourself a copy to find out what really happens and go through the excitement on your own... frame by beautiful frame.

I thought this book was slated to come out on 5/21/13 however a couple of the Comic Stores near me had copies on the shelf and it's available on Amazon. You can click on the picture above to be brought there where you can check it out & get it on sale even! Hurry, I'm not sure how long that sale will last.

If you enjoy the Fairy Tale sort of graphic novels, as I do, then check out what else Zenescope has to offer.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

True

Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Life struggles sometimes provide the catalyst for some to make choices that provide them with better lives.... regardless of what some of those in their lives may think of said choices.  Erin McCarthy introduces us to this book with Rory, Jessica & Kylie dealing with the after effects of their night out partying. Rory is the naive college girl who is in her 20's and still a virgin. Jessica & Kylie are Rory's roommates and these girls live loose and fancy free but have nothing but love for Rory.

Rory's a smart girl who is studying to become a doctor and has always made the right choices in life but now she's contemplating losing the virginity. She thinks she's found the one to do that with, one that's a bit on the awkward side like her, however things do not go well with that decision. In walks Tyler to save her. Tyler has been around her group of friends for sometime, in fact he has a 'friends with benefits' sort of agreement with Jessica. Tyler isn't the boy next door but Rory soon comes to find out that below the inked up, tough guy exterior is a man that is worth her virginity and so much more.

Rory's a logical thinker, she goes through life making the logical choices. For this reason she has a tough time with literature and Tyler, he happens to excel in that area. The 2 of them begin to study together and so it begins. There are bumps in the road where you think they just won't recover and if we were dealing with characters of a different make up they probably wouldn't but logical Rory has a way of getting over the bumps and sometimes helping Tyler over some too. 

Their backgrounds and lifestyles are quite different and Tyler, he for sees his future to be destined and he's not sure that he wants to pull Rory into that with him. He's not sure either of them deserve that. Will he be able to push Rory away or will he look past that and hold on to her. Rory on the other hand decides Tyler is the one but keeps running into reasons that try to tell her she may be wrong. Will she listen to those, will she let Tyler push her away? There is a lot of heart wrapped up in under 300 pages of a quick, but well worth it, read. Pick up a copy, you won't be sorry.

There is even a hint of the next book, where we see Jessica move on to find a little love herself.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The S-Word

Provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I’m going to start off by saying that this book would be a great one for teenagers to read as a school assignment. It even has the complimentary question guide at the end that can be used to hold discussions and such. What’s it about? Well, it’s all centered around the ever growing topic of bullying and there is a little bit of all types of bullying in this read but it’s main focus is built around a suicide and the events that occurred before and after that.
The story is narrated by Angelina (Angie) Lake, one time best friend to Elizabeth (Lizzie) Hart. To the world the ‘F-Word’ is that taboo word but here at Verity High it’s the ‘S-Word’ that becomes the catalyst to the end of days for one Lizzie Hart. We find out quickly in the beginning that she has committed suicide and now Angie is trying to piece together clues to discover what really happened  and who is responsible for the outcome, other than herself.
Angie & Lizzie’s friendship went way back to their pre-school years. Lizzie was the more subdued and quiet while Angie was a little more outgoing, wanting more out of life then what the town they lived in could provide. While Lizzie & Angie were the best of friends, Lizzie wasn’t always free and easy with divulging her secrets. Angie did discover that they possibly had a crush on the same boy however, through some physical traits that Lizzie did provide on a secret crush she had. In enters Drake. Well, Drake also grew up with Angie & Lizzie but it wasn’t until the high school years that he was being looked at as dating material. Now I don’t want to give too much away because that would just ruin the mystery of the story but basically Angie ends up dating him and on Prom night she discovers Lizzie & Drake in the hotel room, in bed… together!  Feeling as if she has been betrayed by her best friend & boy friend, she withdraws from the both of them. Of course because it happened at Prom word spreads and the bullying begins with the ‘S-Word’ being thrown around, verbally and in written form.
There is a diverse group of students at Verity High and many have experienced some bullying, to different degrees. This is a story that Chelsea Pitcher has cleverly put together and it just goes to show you that you can’t always believe what you hear, or even what you see in the heat of the moment. Sometimes you need to calm down and then listen and see past what it is that you think you see on the surface. The soul is a fragile thing, our surface is built to protect it and sometime the cruelty of others chips its way through.  

Get yourself a copy of this book, give it a read & then pass it on to the kids in your lives that could benefit from it also!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Taste of You

Product Details

A Taste of You, by Sorcha Grace, was provided to me by NetGalley & Premier Digital Publishing in exchange for an honest review. 

I have to admit that I totally judge a book by it's cover.... at first. I mean, I'll read the blurb on what it's about if the cover doesn't appeal but if the cover grabs me then my instinct is to just get it. Sometimes that works out & sometimes it doesn't, in this case it totally worked!

I was drawn to the cover cause I love the contrast of the red amongst the black and white, or gray.  That & the hint that it's a bit on the erotic side. The title, well that along with the strawberry tells ya food is involved also so what gal doesn't want to pick this book up, right??

Now I'm going to say that the first half of this book seemed to move kind of slow. There were moments of greatness but I seemed to have a problem getting drawn in at first. I am one that juggles a few books at once however and that could have a lot to do with it cause once I buckled down and focused on this one I was in for feast.  The last half of the book certainly picked up and I had a hard time putting it down at that point.

Catherine Kelly is working her way out of the despair of being an under 30 widow. Once a well known sports photographer, she has given up that life due to the untimely death of the love of her life and the repercussions and guilty feelings of that. She's moved from Northern California to Chicago and has taken on still life photography, in the form of food. Beckett is her best friend and not only is he a chef/baker but he has the skills to make food look awesome for photographing so the 2 of them are cohorts in making food fun and sexy, digitally.  Then in walks William Lambourne who has an appetite for much more than food and the skills to tempt Catherine in to trying a little taste of passion.

William of course has a past that haunts him but unlike some of the other books where the male is more of a dominant figure, he's a little softer and not quite as demanding. The man is a multi-millionaire, billionaire even, so there are some past dating quirks that he's had but he is on a mission to show Catherine that things are different with her. The 2 of them connect through their love of art and food. I have to say that I was drawn to this story line for the same reason, who doesn't love art.... & food?? William, he knows his way around the kitchen and has some skills with food, in oh so many ways. You'll just have to pick up a copy of the book and read it for yourself but grapes, I may never look at them the same!

There are the ups and downs to the relationship of the 2 of them but in the end they want to make things work and they are willing to work with each other. The ending of this book.... I'm not even going to give a hint of what takes place all I will say is it's a major cliff hanger that just leaves you hungry for more!

I definitely loved this book. At first I thought I was going to give it a four star rating but the more I thought about it the more I thought it deserved 5! I just love how I was fed a story that built up the hunger to the point that I devoured it and was still left hungry! I had to check out Sorcha's website to see if there was a 2nd book in sight & was thankful that there is! The next one is  A Sip of You, I'm looking forward to it for sure! Grab a copy of this book give it a read and then we will wait together for the 2nd course that will hopefully quench our thirst for more!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bare It All

Product Details

I have to admit, I was a little excited that I was provided with a copy of Bare it All from Net Galley to read before it was available to the masses. I remember reading Lori Foster's books in the past and really liking them but this book reminded me that I didn't just like them, I LOVED them! Lori has a way of writing and weaving her story lines so that you are just drawn in and you want to soak it all up and then you just want some more. You know what, 9 times out of 10 there is more too! She takes the time to weave in a mix of characters that you get to know and love and then spins off another book in the series that is about each of those characters. 

With that being said, Bare it All is actually book 2 in the Love Undercover series and book 5 in the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series. Yeah, here she's a wonder weaver.... 2 series wrapped in! Now, I haven't actually read book 1 of Love Undercover or any of the Men Who Walk the Edge series but I'm adding all of them to the list... that's right, ALL!  Here's a snapshot of the 2 related to this specific read:

Product Details
Product Details

The good thing is I didn't feel like I was missing anything from the story in Bare it All however I do want to know more about what lead up to where we take off in this book! I want to read more about Logan Riske and Pepper Yates... not to mention get some back story on Reese Baredon & Alice Appleton, who Bare it All focuses on. Run the Risk is book 1 to Bare it All.  Trace of Fever is book 3 in the Men Who Walk the Edge series and Alice & Trace cross over to the Love Undercover series from there.  

Bare it all starts out where I'm thinking Run the Risk may leave off. Reese is a detective who has unknowingly brought some work home. Alice is the unassuming neighbor that tries to keep to herself but notices the unsavory types that come uninvited so she steps in to call for help on Reese's behalf & pretty much saves his hide. Alice has a past, it's a shady past that's she's constantly looking over her shoulder for cause she's afraid it may just sneak up and grab her.... again! The 2 are drawn together in a story that intertwines their lives in more ways than just in the bedroom. Reese's rescued dog, Chase, has already won Alice's heart and now she struggles with whether she is worthy enough to win Reese's heart or not. Reese is your all around good guy that would do anything to help anyone, it doesn't hurt that he's attracted to Alice, with all her quirks, & she just so happens to need a little help. There's murder, suspense, intrigue and a love story all wrapped up in under 500 pages. Well, this particular story line is wrapped up, you'll have to tune in and check out books 3 & 4 in the Love Undercover series to see what comes next.  

Getting Rowdy is slated to come out this year yet. We'll read more about Rowdy Yates, brother to Pepper and wanna be saviour to Alice.... friend to Logan & Reese. Will he & Avery Mullins get together?? He's a new bar owner & he's making her the bartender, can't wait to see what's in the mix for them! 


Dash is slated for 2014, no cover available for this one yet... that may not even be the final title.  This one will focus on Dash Riske, the younger brother to Logan, who may or may not be having a fling with his brother's boss.  Alice suspects there's something there in Bare it All, there's some hints and maybe we'll see a little more of them in Getting Rowdy to wet our appetite for this one.
If you haven't read any of Lori's books yet then you should check them out, all of them that I've read to date have been quite addictive! I plan on catching up to read those I haven't as of yet!!

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