Friday, August 28, 2015

Daily Themes: August 28, 2915

Tell this story
"It turned out there was nothing behind her sunglasses."

            Jacob and Marissa stood side by side in the long corridor.

            “We need to talk.” She didn’t respond. “Look at me.” She turned to face him. “I need to see your eyes when I say this.”  No response. Jacob took her glasses off and stumbled back. It turned out there was nothing behind her sunglasses.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Daily Theme: August 27, 2015

Dialogue
"What I lack for in common sense, I make up for in sarcasm."

            Marissa knew they were all waiting for her. They had listed all of her failures and she had sat quietly by while they showed how useless she was to their organization.

“What I lack for in common sense, I make up for in sarcasm. So I’m not a failure at everything.”


“Marissa!” Jacob’s voice hissed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Daily Themes: August 26, 2015

Dialogue
"This is the 5th door he's knocked on."

“What is he doing?”
“No idea.” Marissa took a step away from Jacob. “This is the 5th door he’s knocked on. No one answers then he moves down the hall to the next door. I don’t know what or who he’s looking for, he just keeps knocking.”
The old man knocked on door number six.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Daily Themes: August 25, 2015

Tell this story

You wake up in a hole with a one mile crater around you and you are the only person for miles. 

“What is it like?”

“Close your eyes and imagine what it’s like to be totally alone.”

“Okay.”

“Now picture you wake up in a hole with a one mile crater around you and you are the only person for miles.”

“Okay.”

“How do you feel?”

“Isolated, unsure, confused…” His voice trailed off with his realization.


Book Review: Starlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

Starlight on Willow Lake (Lakeshore Chronicles, #11)Starlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love going back to Willow Lake, it really represents somewhere I wouldn't mind living if I was to ever leave my crazy suburban life.

I really like that we got to see some past characters, but it wasn't forced on us to make the story fit into previous books in the series. It's a small town and you can expect for the lives of people to overlap so Faith's friendships all made sense. That said, I wish there was a family tree so I could be clear on how this branch of the Bellamy family connects to the other Bellamys we've met over the series.

I enjoyed Faith and Mason's story. I like that it wasn't the typical they get together, face some hurdles, then happy ending.  There were hurdles to them even getting together and even more to face after they finally realize they belong together. It made the novel compelling and kept me hooked (but really anything set in Willow Lake has me hooked).

As much as the story was about Faith and Mason is was also really about Alice, Mason's mother, and Faith's daughters Ruby and Cara. It was about these five lost people finding what they needed with each other. It was about creating a family and how that word means more than blood connections.  Even though Alice and Mason are mother and son, they needed to create a different bond, a new bond for the new challenges they are facing in life.  Alice was in a horrible accident that has left her nearly completely paralyzed and neither of them now know how to deal with the other. Faith is brought in to care for Alice and in doing so she brings her daughters who are also kind of caretakers for Alice.  They help heal her heart and in helping her the girls are also helped by Alice.

I could really go on talking about all the little things I loved, but that would spoil the book and it is a really great book.  I personally don't like reading books out of order in a series but in all honesty this book could stand on its own. Just go back and read the rest of the books if you haven't already fallen in love with Willow Lake like I have.

I received an ebook copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Daily Themes: August 24, 2015

Dialogue

"See, this is why I told you to never leave the ship. I didn't want you to see that." 


            Marissa knew she was dreaming. There were flashes of her life, but not the life she remembered, but another life she lived with Jacob.

"See, this is why I told you to never leave the ship. I didn't want you to see that."


Marissa stared at the body at Jacob’s feet and ran from him. 

Daily Themes: August 23, 2015

Tell this story

His mind was filled with thoughts of french fries and revenge. 



Jacob was furious when he came out of the dream. Marissa was supposed to be safe, yet something went wrong and now she was in danger. Someone was going to pay for this mistake. His mind was filled with thoughts of french fries and revenge. Food and then track down who thought to hurt her. 

Daily Themes: August 22, 2015

Dialogue

"Here, hold my dignity. I've got some sketchy stuff to do." 


Marissa sat in the dark cave watching Jacob sleep.

“Have you no dignity.” She remembered asking him once.

He laughed and held up his hand with his signet ring. "Here, hold my dignity. I've got some sketchy stuff to do."

She had worn that ring for years around a chain on her neck. Hadn’t she?

Daily Themes: August 21, 2015

Tell this story

"If you're reading this, you've been in a coma for almost 20 years now. We're trying a new technique. We don't know where this message will end up in your dream, but we hope we're getting through. Please wake up. We miss you." 


Digging through her bag Marissa found a note she didn’t remember packing.


"If you're reading this, you've been in a coma for almost 20 years now. We're trying a new technique. We don't know where this message will end up in your dream, but we hope we're getting through. Please wake up. We miss you." 



*Note, I feel really weird about leaving this one like this since I only wrote 12 words. So when I do my re-write of this project in September I'll be rewriting the whole of this letter.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Daily Themes: August 20, 2015

Dialogue

"Throwing up when you're scared isn't really a super power."

Marissa sat curled in a ball, what little she had in her stomach was no longer there. “Guess this is my super power.”
            “Throwing up when you’re scared isn’t really a super power.”
            “It’s an inside joke between me and an old friend.”
            He looked down at her, “Maybe you’ll tell me about it sometime.”


Daily Themes: August 19, 2015

Dialogue

"My fish!"
"Forget the fish, we have to leave. Now."
"But... my fish!"

            Jacob just finished cooking when they heard the sounds coming towards them.  Before she could move he was gathering their bags, dousing the fire, and pulling her into the woods.
            “My fish!” Marissa pulled free to grab the meal.
            “Forget the fish, we have to leave. Now.

            “But…my fish!” She was tired of eating beef. 

Daily Themes: August 18, 2015

Tell this story

"Come with me," he said, knowing the answer would be no.
After a moment, however, she said, "Come with me instead."

Marissa had opened the door to the tunnels when she heard something. Turning she saw her guard walking quickly towards her.
            “Come with me,” he said, knowing the answer would be no.

            After a moment, however, she said, “Come with me instead.” She held out her hand. He hesitated briefly, took it and they ran. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book Review: Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome by Reb Riley

Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and HealingPost-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing by Reba Riley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! I think most people (at least in my circle) can claim a bit of post-traumatic church syndrome (PTCS). I wasn't brought up in the same manner as Reba Riley, but in my own way I started to question the church I was raised in and the beliefs I had followed since I was young. Unlike the author, my PTCS wasn't as severe and I have found my way back under my own terms.  And that I feel is the core of this book.

Reba goes on a 30 by 30 journey.  She wanted to experience or better understand 30 religions by her 30th birthday. This journey impacts her life in more than just a religious aspect. She is battling health issues and her past religious experiences in what feels sometimes like a minute by minute battle to complete this journey.  Her journey takes her to an online chapel, a synagogue, mosque, and a number of other places of worship.  She spends time with Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Athiest, Wiccans and Amish just to name a few. Through it all Riley finds finding God is about more than religion.

I recommend this book for anyone going through any stage of PTCS. Where ever you are on your own journey, knowing you aren't alone out there is great. It's something Riley discovered along her way. Every time she brought up her project, she met people who were supportive or on their own journey


I received an ebook copy for an honest review from Netgalley. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Daily Themes: August 17, 2015

Dialogue
"You're one of them now," she whispered softly.

The door opened the the old man was dragged inside. The guards dropped him on the floor and left without looking at Marissa.  She leaned over him and could already tell there was in a change in him.  The mischievous light in his eyes was gone. “You’re one of them now,” she whispered softly, sadly.

Daily Themes: August 16, 2015



Dialogue
"I think not."
Marissa watched as the brothers ran home.
“Time to lock this door.” The old man pulled an old brass key from a pocket, closed the door and locked it. The door disappeared.
“So you’re what, a guardian of the tunnels?”
“Time to unlock your door now.” He mumbled.

“I think not.” An ethereal voice answered.

Daily Themes: August 15, 2015

Tell this story

We'd been bred for working, not dreaming. We were supposed to be simple creatures. But we weren't.

“My people were made to be workers, not dreamers. We were supposed to be simple creatures, content to work our days away producing for our masters. But we weren’t. Some of us were dreamers and we created the tunnels. There are few dreamers left, the tunnels are no longer safe.”

“And yet you travel them?”

Friday, August 14, 2015

Daily Themes - August 14, 2015

Dialogue

"Turns out separate planets wasn't far enough." 


Marissa woke to warm sun on her face, the smell of coffee, and hushed voices. She smiled thinking about the journey that brought her to this place. The smile vanished when she heard the faint moos from outside.

“Turns out separate planets wasn’t far enough.” She groaned and covered her face with the pillow.

Daily Themes - August 13, 2015

Dialogue

"That's it for this week! Thank you to our studio audience, and to everyone else, join us next time on Superpowers You Really Don't Want!"

“That’s it for this week! Thank you to our studio audience, and to everyone else, join us next time on Superpowers You Really Don’t Want!”
“What in the world was that?”
“It’s my favorite show.”
“They don’t like it.” Marissa looked over at the sleeping brothers.

“Children don’t know what good shows are any more.”

Daily Themes - August 12, 2015

Dialogue

"My cooking is so awesome, even the smoke alarm cheers me on." 

The old man was moving around the kitchen with great flourish.
“I haven’t cooked for people in so long. Don’t worry you’re going to love it.  My cooking is so awesome, even the smoke alarm cheers me on.” He laughed greatly as he stirred a big pot.

Marissa and the brothers exchanged a worried glance. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review: Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti

Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great BooksVoracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cara Nicoletti loves food, you could say it's in her blood. She comes from a family of butchers and is herself a butcher and a baker. As much as she loves food, Cara also loves books.  She's been an avid reader since childhood. As she reads, she finds that in books as in life a lot of things happen around food.  This book takes a look back at some of her favorite books and the food found between the pages.  Each book is paired with Cara's version of food based on or inspired by the book.

The books/recipes are broken up into three sections: Childhood, Adolescence and College Years, Adulthood. Since it is currently August and I participate in Austen in August (run by Roof Beam Reader) I'm going to focus on the two Jane Austen novels that appear in this book.

Pride & Prejudice White Garlic Soup
As any reader of the novel knows and as Nicoletti points out, there is a lot of talk of food, but no mention about what the food actually was that everyone was eating and enjoying.  We get one mention of a type of food when Mr. Bingley mentions white soup. Do a search and you will see some things that don't sound so appetizing. Nicoletti has tried many of them and decided she needed to come up with her own version. It's an intense recipe that starts the night before and involves soaking, blending and straining.

Emma Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg
Nicoletti didn't warm up to Emma because of the connection to Clueless. I only picked up Emma because of the movie (it started my love of Austen). Being a butcher Nicoletti found a kinship with the way Emma knows her way around the butchery of an animal. To run the household, a woman of the time would need to know the different cuts of meat from the animals in order to properly tell staff where each cut should be sent or used. While butchery may have been Nicoletti's draw to the novel is was Mr. Woodhouse's attempts to get people to eat like him that inspired this book's recipe.  Besides gruel, he attempts to persuade Mrs. Bates to join him in eating a soft boiled egg.  It seems like a simple recipe, but we're told it's not an easy task.

This book is filled with great stories about how each book came into her life and how the food connects to another aspect of her life.  I enjoyed the book because books and food play important roles in my life too and besides my obsession with cookbooks I very rarely connect the food in books to other aspects of my life.  The one yearly time I do is when I celebrate the Central NJ Region of JASNA's annual Box Hill Picnic. Based on the event in Emma all the officers bring a strawberry themed treat for everyone.  This book has opened my eyes to so many more possibilities and it has also added to my ever growing To Be Read List.


I received an ebook copy for an honest review from Edelweiss. 

Daily Themes - August 11, 2015

Dialogue

"Time's up, honey."

Marissa woke to find yet another dark figure leaning over her.  This one was old and he was pointing a knife to her.

“How did you get down here?”

She stared at him blankly.

“Answer me!” he growled.

“I, uh, um...”

“Time’s up, honey.” Before he could harm her with the knife they heard voices.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Daily Themes - August 10, 2015

Tell this story

An abandoned shack turns out to be a door to another universe as a band of local hooligans is about to find out.

The boys approached the shack. They had been planning for weeks how they were going to come out here and see if the stories were true.  The stories said the shack wasn’t just any abandoned place, there was something going on here.  Opening the door they were surprised to see a hallway, not a room.

Daily Themes - August 9, 2015

Tell this story

It was a tight-knit community so everyone knew one another. Except for the man in the lighthouse, who kept to himself...

It was a tight-knit community so everyone knew one another. Except for the man in the lighthouse, who kept to himself and never left the building as far as they were concerned. In truth, he used the underground tunnels frequently to move around town. While they were curious about him, he knew everything about them.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Daily Themes - August 8, 2015

Tell this story

It has never been mapped - there's all kinds of unknown that awaits you!

The guard lead Marissa to a large steel door.  

“These tunnels haven’t been used in years. Remember don’t surface before sunrise.”

He handed Marissa a knapsack with supplies and a flashlight.  Flipping on the light, she stepped through the door. “Are you sure you can’t come with me?”

With no answer, he shut the door.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Daily Themes - August 7, 2015

Tell this story

Write about a unique relationship between an immortal and a time traveler.

“I want her gone and not just out of this compound.”

“She’s a government official, you can’t kill her. We have to follow the plan.”


The (delusional) leader looked at his companion and knew the man from his future was correct. He came back for a reason, a reason that would ensured his long life.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book Review - You're Never Weird on the Internet

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Felicia Day and I loved this book. This was a great journey story of how she got to where she currently sits as the Queen of the Internet.

I can’t remember how I started watching The Guild, but I know I instantly loved it, it was so true to different levels of my reality. I wasn’t a hardcore gamer, but the relationships you form online and how that becomes more of your real life than your real life, spoke true to me.  I loved learning how the characters were based on people Felicia met in her exploration around the Internet.  Knowing that the show was semi-autobiographical just makes it even more awesome.

She’s done what most of us dream of doing, turning our passion into our profession. She’s doing what she loves most and in the process making stuff that we can all enjoy.


If you are a familiar at all with her work and would like to know more about her this is a must read!


I received an ebook copy for an honest review from Edelweiss. 

Daily Themes - August 6, 2015

Dialogue

"Don't say a word. They're listening." 




Marissa woke with a hand pressed over her mouth and someone breathing next to her ear, “I have to get you out of here. We have to move fast. Don’t say a word. They’re listening.” Her guard removed his hand and stood back. Truth or trap? It didn’t matter she wanted away from the cows.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Daily Themes - August 5, 2015

Dialogue
"Put her in the back room with the rest of the products."

"Put her in the back room with the rest of the products." The delusional leader demanded.

“Did he just call me a cow?”

The Chief Authority Supervisor paid neither any mind and continued. “You will be under supervision until the morning at which time you will be escorted off our property. You are hereby dismissed.”

Daily Themes - August 4, 2015

Tell this story
Create a positive review from a critic about a story you have yet to create.


Congratulations Marissa, you have single handedly broken a key political alliance due to your own selfish beliefs. We congratulate you on how fast you managed to accomplish this feat.  Only two hours into a simple overnight stay and you managed to cause trouble. That is quite a feat and you should be proud of yourself.

Daily Themes - August 3, 2015

Dialogue
"Why aren't you worshiping me, mortal?"
"Not interested, thanks."

Marissa sat with the other overnight guests for dinner and was the only one not following everyone else.  When it came to different customs of different compounds, she normally didn’t participate. She struggled enough with her own home situation.

"Why aren't you worshiping me, mortal?" said the compound’s delusional leader.


"Not interested, thanks." Marissa smiled.

Daily Themes - August 2, 2015

Tell this story
The wail of the siren signaled the five minute warning for curfew, and everyone scrambled to not be caught outside.


The wail of the siren signaled the five minute warning for curfew, and everyone scrambled to not be caught outside. Marissa cursed. That damn cow conversation had lasted too long. She packed up her work and went out to talk to someone about a room for the night. Awful curfew. Stupid job. Damn freakin’ cows.

Daily Themes - August 1, 2015

Dialogue
"Our main source of energy is currently cows."

“Our main source of energy is currently cows.”

“Cows?” Marissa’s focus snapped back into the conversation.

“Yes, cows.” The man adjusted in his seat, ready to tell her how and why cows were their energy source.


She liked her job, for the most part, but these onsite compound visits we’re starting to push her limit. 

Finish the Series Challenge - Buchanan

Buchanan by Julie Garwood (I've read book 1, and books 7-12)
#2 Mercy
#3 Killjoy
#4 Murder List
#5 Slow Burn
#6 Shadow Dance

I hate starting series in the middle, but somehow my OCD in book reading didn't really kick in with this series.  While the books are interconnect each book can pretty much stand on its own.  You get enough background when needed.

I think one of the things I enjoyed the most about these books was the outdated tech talk. The best were the discussions of cell phones having cameras in them and how unique that was at the time. In each case, it was thankful that one of the characters have one of these phones in order to take a picture of something important to the investigation.

The first book in the series was written 2000 and in the last 15 years so much has changed that these books seem so wildly outdated. Still they have great characters and I like the slight suspense.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Daily Themes-July 3, 2015

Dialogue

"Well, that was one way of doing it." 



The group approached the bridge. It did not look sturdy at all, but it was either attempt to cross it or spend precious time trekking across the expanse of the cavern to the far bridge and then walking back to the passageway that was right across the way.  The opted to cross over the bridge.
Well, it was more Donna decided for the group.  She was tired, dirty and getting more annoyed the longer this mission took to complete. Hitching her back up on her back she cautiously took a step onto the bridge. It held. She took another step and another and as her confidence grew she sped up her progress.  She was moving too fast and quickly saw that her next step was out into midair. She fell.
Thankfully the fall wasn't too bad, the bridge hadn't been that high. After a brief mental check she sat up and looked back up at the group. Sitting up she thought about displaying a vulgar sign to show the guys what she thought of them as they stood there laughing. Deciding against it she took a deep breath, stood up as dignfingly as possible and brushed herself off.  She looked around and realized the other side of the cavern wasn’t that steep and should be nothing more than a steep trek up.  She made it up and looked across at the group.
“Well aren’t you coming?”