Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review: Power Game by Christine Feehan

Power Game Power Game by Christine Feehan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Power Game is a magnificent addition to the Ghostwalker series by Christine Feehan! This is my favorite series that Christine Feehan writes, although I do read all of them! I love the idea behind the Ghostwalkers. A crazy, rich, megalomaniac that is super patriotic and with endless resources and no morals. I strongly suspect there are a lot more people in the world like this then is widely known so I find this series really fun to read. I'm also not strong in my knowledge of science but a lot of the details in this are so wonderful and seem plausible to some extent.

Even with all that, I was a little worried when starting this book because I was not as big of fan of the last book, Spider Game, as I have been of the rest of the series. Although, that is to be expected. Not every book in romance series are super wonderful to everyone who reads them. But this one reminded be a lot of the first few books in the series, where Ms. Feehan is giving us the third story from the fourth military group experimented on. She didn't try to add a whole bunch of new craziness and FINALLY started to conclude some things that had been dragging on throughout this series. It had a few 'took you long enough' moments, things readers (me at least) have been wondering why characters haven't dealt with before considering they have been known problems since like book four!

I loved Bellisia's character. Her abilities were super cool and the origin of her genetic mix was awesome! I wasn't a big fan of the snake or spider genetic mix, let me tell you! Ugh. I won't give away what it is exactly but I really liked it! It was also great to get to know Ezekiel, get some insight into his brothers through him and also be introduced to a few more members of their team. I know it's prep for future books, but since it's prep of existing characters and not another previously unknown experimented on team, it works. You will stay up late reading this one, so don't start it on a work night unless you can work on only a few hours of sleep!

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review: Bean's Heart

Bean's Heart Bean's Heart by Laura Jo Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laura Jo Phillips is an exceedingly excellent author of menage stories. She uses the 1000 Worlds 'world' that she's built into making the necessity of a 3M, 1F relationship a biological necessity that really works! I've read to novels since the beginning of the Soul-Linked Saga and this latest book of the Hearts of ICARAUS series, which is a spin-off/continuation of the Soul-Linked Saga, was a wonderful read!

The Hearts of ICARUS follows the children of the characters within the Soul-Linked series and this particular story is a part of almost a mini-trilogy within this series. This mini-series started with Vari's Choice, in which you learn that triplet sisters have had their very existence messed with since they were in the womb. We learn in Ria's Visions, which follows the middle triplet, that Vari is not the only sister that's been messed with. In Bean's Heart we see the conclusion of this mini-trilogy within this series.

Bean's story was an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. Chaos, the entity/thing that's been messing with the sisters, has been trying to kill Bean since she was seven and is seriously messing up her interactions with her destined mates. It was such a unique situation, we hadn't seen anything previously like it from Laura Jo Phillips. To have one of the brothers so adamantly against the relationship is so against my expectations of the series, but worked really well. I was thoroughly satisfied with the relationship interactions, the sister bond and the final defeat of one of the enemies we've been seeing since Rayne's Return!

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Review: Alien Nation

Alien Nation Alien Nation by Gini Koch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Always a page turning read from Gini Koch. I really love the Kitty Katt series. Kitty is a wonderful, well-rounded character with a wicked sense of humor that surrounds herself with some really great people. This novel continues the series really well and I think shows a wonderful possible future of what it would take for the world to come together and unite. Considering humanities history of war, it could only take alien invasion and the imminent threat of death to bring everyone to some form of understanding and cooperation. Kitty's speech to the religious and world leaders was very blunt and very realistic and true to today's problems.

Kitty's band of characters continues to grow as she finds more people that are absorbing into her world. She does this really well, whether they're other humans that she saves, bad guys that she reforms, or aliens that she either saves and/or befriends. It was also great to see a conclusion to one of the villain themes that has been plaguing the books for quite some time. It was starting to get a little old considering all of the new problems that Earth and Kitty keep getting into, and the final confrontation met all expectations.

You do start to wonder though, why the people around Kitty aren't all around more paranoid when they go into combat situations. You would think they'd be really tired of getting captured and rescued by Kitty and would therefore act differently, buy alas, no. I did enjoy that the characters are actually aware of this phenomenon and know it's a topic of discussion when going into battle! That when they get captured, Kitty has a beginning plan to get them out of it from the get go. Or at least a theory of a plan: Go with the Crazy!

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Review: Masquerade Menage

Masquerade Menage Masquerade Menage by Trinity Blacio
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoy reading books by Trinity Blacio but I have to say that the longer she's been writing the worse her editing and grammar becomes. I don't know if it's because she's producing so many titles so close together or what but the first books of hers that I read were the first three books of the Running in Fear series. THEY WERE PHENOMENAL!!! Emotional, character rich, plot strong and all around good. But everything that I've read after those first three get worse and worse in the details and grammar.

Ms. Blacio does an excellent job of building her worlds and her characters. Every book of hers is a menage story with relationships that are believable. But every book in the past two or three years the details make less and less sense until you get to the love scenes. Then they are back to being detailed. It's like she's rushing through everything else to get to the sex. So characters to from being throw stuff mad to all out weeping at the drop of a hat. There's no emotional build up and growth it's just a hormonal jump from one thing to the next. There's also weird illogical timing throughout. Characters are in the middle of a conversion that would only take about 20 minutes but the passage of time around them is hours. A character leaves the room and by the time one still inside the room walks to the window, the person who just left has had time to go to their room, change they clothes and make it outside to the swimming pool. Weird. And this doesn't even cover all of the grammatical errors.

After all this though, I do keep coming back to read her books. She builds great worlds and has strong female characters that are independent but still love their men. I also enjoy the kinky sex too! I do seriously recommend Running in Fear: Escaped, Abandoned, and Coming Home though. I don't remember nearly as many problems in those three books and they are really good!

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: Mischief and the Masters

Mischief and the Masters Mischief and the Masters by Cherise Sinclair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVE reading Cherise Sinclair's novels!!! She is such an amazing author! I'm a big fan of BDSM novels and she, in my opinion, is one of the greatest! Every novel of Ms. Sinclair's that I've ever read has been amazing and this one is just as good. The love the Masters of the Shadowlands series. All of the Masters from the club are unique and interesting and all of the subs are just as mischievous and submissively sweet.

Having read the past books in this series, I've previously read about the mischievous Uzuri and the pranks she's played on various characters throughout the series. So it was really fun to finally see that she has her own novel. It was unexpected to see that she had two Doms and not one, but after much reflection I could see the foreshadowing of this in the last book. Her back story was heart warming and interesting and played well with the personalities of cousins Max and Alaister. They familial relationship and history leading them into this type of relationship was believable and fun to read. All in all, a page turner that kept me up reading late into the wee hours of the morning!

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Edible DIY Gift Fail!

Image result for edible diy lucy bakerI am reading an excellent book that I found at my local library entitled Edible DIY by Lucy Baker.  It is really an excellent book for gift ideas but my favorite section is the 'Boozy' section that includes some pretty great recipes for alcoholic mixed drinks that you can make and bottle for family and friends.

I really had some fun reading all of this.  My problem came when I didn't read all the details of the recipe list in detail.  Note the IN DETAIL part of this!!!

So the Minty Irish Cream Liquor that was supposed to look like this (left).  Actually looks like this (right).


Not to say that it doesn't still taste extremely wonderful.  I just highly recommend not drinking it out of clear glassware if you have a problem drinking dark greenish-brown liquids!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Review: Charcoal Tears by Jane Washington

Charcoal Tears Charcoal Tears by Jane Washington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book surprised me. I did not remember that it was a young adult book when I finally got the chance to sit down and start it, so I had a little trouble getting started. I'll admit that I made it about 5 to 10 pages in before I got distracted and put it down. It was about two weeks later that I picked it up again and really gave it a chance. The concept of a young teen that just puts her head down and trucks through the battles of high school and her disastrous home life is not a unique idea, so there's a smoke screen to get through in the beginning. When two new kids in school bulldoze their way into her life and then to find out their two older brothers have also ingratiated into her life as well AND that there's a whole sub-culture of powered people that she is unknowingly a part of was a wonderful surprise.

All of a sudden readers are sucked into a crazy twist and turn story of a secret people, a magical, should be impossible girl, and a crazy stalker. Before you know it you've finished this novel and went to purchase the next two as well. The emotion is honest and a great read, the relationships between Seph and the brothers is a roller coaster of twists and turns that is hard to get off. The only thing that kept throwing me was the realization that would pop in every once in a while that she is just seventeen years old. I do wish Seph was a bit older for these stories but other than that I enjoyed everything!

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Refurbished Thriftstore Finds

The hanging light in my kitchen is in a weird place.  The light hangs in the middle of the room and not actually over where the table is.  So when I bought the house, I've had it in my head to look for a hanging chandelier with a long chain so that I can install a hook and have it hang in the proper place.  It took some time, but my patience paid off.  This lovely looking light is a thrift store find that was a weird (ugly) light brown color.  Using some metallic rusted bronze spray paint, some soap and water to clean the grossness off, it has a lovely new life in my kitchen. 

It wasn't even that difficult to change the fixture myself.  Ground wire to ground wire, white to white and black to black.  Buy a hook set from Home Depot and wa-lah. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Zombie Brew and Potion Bottle Decorating

I read about this craft project on a Librarian's blog and couldn't pass up sharing it. 

You need:
  • glass bottles of whatever shape and size you are interested in
  • paper towels
  • mod podge or brush on glue
  • black craft paint
  • metallic silver craft paint
  • brushes, either bristle or foam
  • printable labels you can find online
Wrap you glass bottle with the dampened paper towels.  Completely coat the damp paper towel with your glue.  Let dry.  Paint your dried paper towel covered bottle with the black paint.  Let dry.  With a foam brush, dab the metallic silver paint over the top of the black paint.  There's no particular way to do this, just keep dabbing until you cover the bottle.  Let dry.  Glue on the label of your choice.  If you want it to be a usable bottle than seal the paint with clear coat.  You're done.

It's so easy and you can do a lot of bottle at once.  Just have the patience to let everything dry and have fun!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review: Burning Bright by Melissa McShane

Burning Bright Burning Bright by Melissa McShane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was extraordinarily surprised by how much I ended up liking this book. The concept of certain abilities being common place and having a sort of 'ranking' system for them was pretty fun to read about. I also really loved the interaction of an unattached female during this time period as well as a female in the Navy and on ships during this period. It seemed really accurate from what I know about history and it was fun to read about.

I really love the relationship between Elinor and Miles. They started out very rocky and moved from that to a nice friendship. This was also a romance novel of old, by that I mean none of the explicit descriptions that are common in many romance stories today. You barely even get a kiss out of the couple but I never once missed it. Overall an excellent story and I will happily continue reading this series!

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Review: Ria's Visions by Laura Jo Phillips

Ria's Visions Ria's Visions by Laura Jo Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a big fan of this series! I love Laura Jo Phillips characters and the worlds that she has built. I am continuously surprised that she can give us such unique couples without repeating dynamics of previous characters. I will admit that I had some reservations going into the reading of this book. The previous novel about Vari was so good and her character's problems were so unique that I couldn't picture what we knew about Ria from that story into a character that I would be able to fall in love with.

But she was. Ria has such a different perspective, being the middle daughter when her older and younger sisters needed so much more attention from their parents. Her first 'meeting' of her Rami was also so extremely emotionally traumatizing that it was amazing she was still willing to let them near her. I did absolutely LOVE that Ms. Phillips brought a Brun back into the stories. What could be better than a sentient wolf and her cubs. So cute! And her [sentient wolf, Star] interaction and relationship with Ria was so strong and necessary to Ria's growth as a person that it was a great read.

I am still sucked into these stories and have the feeling of wanting to go back and re-read all the past stories after each one. I have no idea how Ms. Phillips is going to present a new heroine, which I am assuming will be the youngest sister, and still keep the plotline of the Doftle moving forward since that particular sister is not on the two year trip that our characters are currently on, but I am seriously looking forward to finding out!

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Review: Forgotten Visions by Lia Davis

Forgotten Visions Forgotten Visions by Lia Davis
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It has been a long time since I've found a paranormal romance story that involved witches that I've actually liked. Ms. Davis introduced plenty of interesting characters that were in the middle of their lives from the get go. I was a bit thrown at first when I thought the characters were about 18 or 19 years old, and I'm REALLY sick of romances with characters that are so extremely young. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that they were in their late twenties/early thirties and still living with family because that's what powerful witch coven families did.

I also really enjoyed the Divinity versus witch distinction and the crazy demon-villains were great. Kalissa and Ayden's interactions were wonderful and both of their powers were covet-worthy. This leads really nicely into what should be a fun, easy to read series. I've actually already pre-ordered the next book in the series which comes out soon.

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

October Re-Readathon

This month I've been giving my eyes a bit of a break from devices and going back to re-read some of my favorites that I still have on the book shelf.  This time it's some of what I consider the best of the Breeds series by Lora Leigh.
Image result for lora leigh breeds seriesImage result for lora leigh breeds seriesImage result for lora leigh breeds seriesImage result for lora leigh mercury's war

Now I don't in any way claim that there are in the correct reading order and they are certainly NOT in close to being all of the books in this series.  There are some like 20 plus books and short stories.  These are just four of my favorites.  I really love the couples in all 4 of these novels.  They each have unique personalities and the situations they are dealing with are great.  I do think that Coyote's Mate is probably my favorite though.  I don't know if it's because it's about a Coyote Breed or because they teased this couple in book 3 or 4 of the series and then it was years later that their story actually was published!

Breeds Series
  • Tempting the Beast (Breeds #1) (Feline #1)
  • The Man Within (Breeds #2) (Feline #2)
  • Elizabeth’s Wolf (Breeds #3) (Wolf #4)
  • Kiss of Heat (Breeds #4) (Feline #3)
  • Soul Deep (Breeds #5) (Feline #4)
  • *The Breed Next Door (Breeds #6)
  • Megan’s Mark (Breeds #7)
  • Harmony’s Way  (Breeds #8)
  • Tanner’s Scheme (Breeds #9)
  • *Wolf’s Hope (Breeds #10) (Wolf #1)
  • Jacob’s Faith (Breeds #11) (Wolf #2)
  • Aiden’s Charity (Breeds #12) (Wolf #3)
  • *In a Wolf’s Embrace (Breeds #13)
  • Dawn’s Awakening (Breeds #14)
  • A Jaguar’s Kiss (Breeds #15)
  • Mercury’s War (Breeds #16)
  • *Christmas Heat (Breeds #17)
  • Coyote’s Mate (Breeds #18)
  • Bengal’s Heart (Breeds #19)
  • *A Christmas Kiss (Breeds #20)
  • Lion’s Heat (Breeds #21)
  • Styx’s Storm (Breeds #22)
  • *Primal Kiss (Breeds #23)
  • Navaro’s Promise (Breeds #24)
  • *An Inconvenient Mate (Breeds #25)
  • Lawe’s Justice (Breeds #26)
  • Stygian’s Honor (Breeds #27)
  • *The Devil’s Due (Breeds #28)
  • Rule Breaker (Breeds #29)
  • Bengal’s Quest (Breeds, #30)
*Denotes short story/ novella

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Make Your Own Dog House!

My that I have a backyard of my own, I've been wanting to make a dog house that will fit a specific spot on my back patio.  I also wanted it to have a flat roof to use for storage and a hinged lid to easy access.

With the help of some scrap 2 x 4, a 2 x 2 and 2 sheets of plywood from the hardware store I was able to make my vision a reality.  I measured the space I wanted my dog house to fit carefully and started by making a frame with my 2 x 4s.  I found a local hardware store that would deliver wood at a decent price and was able to get 2 sheets of plywood.  I started by cutting the 'floor' board, the back wall and one of the sides.  I used some spare clear wood seal on each piece as I was cutting, and screwed things together as they dried. This gave me a nice break between all the measuring, cutting, painting, and re-charged my power drill. 

After fitting the first 2 wall pieces together I came to the conclusion that  I needed a better way to screw the walls together than trying to screw into the 1/2 of the plywood.  This made me dig out the scrap 2 x 2 that I had cut that to fit each corner.  The 2nd plywood created the other 2 walls and the roof.  After determining the measurements of where I wanted the hole for the entrance, I recruited the help of my brother-in-law to actually cut the hole since I didn't have the correct tools for it.  After attaching the 4th wall in place and painted it purple using some spare black paint to paint on windows.  I purchased some adhesive linoleum tiles for the bottom (they're pretty and I think will hold some extra 'coolness' for my dog).  Once all that was done I moved the house into place, lined up the roof and attached it with my hinges.  I chose to attach black plastic to the roof to help with moisture and got some extra shingles to cover the roof.  There was a gap in the back since the hinges need room, I used some scrap 4 inches pieces of wood, painted them black then mounted them to make the 'peak' of the roof and cover the gap. 

All in all it took a couple of weekends of work since there was a lot of painting and cutting but overall was fairly simple and the end product is exactly the custom made, perfect fit that I wanted.  Not bad considering I made the design up myself!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Review: Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb

Apprentice in Death Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big fan of the In Death series by J. D. Robb. The characters are fun to read about and some of the technology they have in the future are incredibly fun and I'd love to own! Ms. Roberts doesn't disappoint with the newest addition to the series. The case is a little predictable if you watch cop shows but still interesting and fun to follow. But the true draw are Eve Dallas and her wonderful relationship to husband, Roarke.

How their personalities clash and interact, his help with her murder cases and the large group of friends they've made over the years are still the best parts of the books. We get to see Mavis and Leonardo with daughter, Bella, Nadine Furst, which we haven't seen a lot of in recent books, Trina and many more. I really loved the different discoveries Eve makes about herself and her influence on products that Roarke develops for his business because of her. I do wish that there had been more personal interactions between all of the characters and must admit that if they hadn't shown the birthday party they'd been talking about during the book I wouldn't have liked this book nearly as much! All in all are great addition to the series!

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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet (Book 2 of the Kingmakers trilogy)

I loved the first book in this series, A Promise of Fire, and was waiting with bated breathe for this one!  I am so glad that as a librarian I am eligible to read advanced readers copies of books! 

Amanda Bouchet is a new author that continues to prove herself an excellent writer (this is only her second novel).  This story starts right where A Promise of Fire leaves us.  You are captured by the chaos and emotions of the first interactions between Cat and Griffin in the first few paragraphs.

Watching as Catalia learns to accept that her secret is out, that she now has family to protect and she must come to terms with her destiny is a wonderful, crazy ride.  And if Griffin has anything to say about it, people to protect and nations to seize control from the corrupt. I was able to guess one of the subtle, secrets within this novel but was surprised at every turns with the new creatures to battle and powers people had.  I seriously love that the mythology aspects had a bigger presence in this novel too!

Overall an excellent novel!  One I'm exceedingly glad I didn't have to wait until it's release date in January 2017 to read!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Project Renovation - Picnic Table: Part 2

It's finished!

After finishing three coats of yellow paint, I could still see some of the gray through it.  Since I had already had to buy a second quart of paint I decided to definitely do a Tye-dye affect with spray paint.  I raided my spray paint collection and decided to only use the purple, teal and silver.  All I did was spray randomly until I got a finished product that I liked. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Review: Crimson Death

Crimson Death Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad addition to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. It does continue where the last book left us, but at this point in the series there are so many characters that there's almost no real expectation of remembering exactly who any of the new people are. Ms. Hamilton enjoy throwing people into big orgy piles and they are entertaining to read but not easy to follow along. I miss some of the older really good characters such as Wicked and Truth and am no longer that interested every time she throws new people at you.

At least in televisions shows or some other series if you have this many character in this many life threatening situations you expect people to die and this is the first book that I can remember in a long time where someone actually died, and it was a character you could actually remember their plot line too.

I also have almost no concept of how time passes in Anita's world. Not much progress has been made in her main relationships with the engagement and marriage is concerned but all of a sudden Cynric is heading to college and not the 16 year old boy anymore. It's all very weird. I have been a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton a long time but I miss when her intricate and detailed plots were the point of her books and not the sex.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Project Renovation - Picnic Table: part 1

 With the help of a friend, I received this old picnic table for free!  It's one of those older styles that were around more when I was a kid with a separate table and 2 benches.  If I went and purchased something today it would be one of those attached pieces that sometimes tip when you only have a person sitting on one side. 

Now comes the renovation!  I started with a good scrubbing.  There were a lot of spider webs (shudder).  I did debate replacing one of the boards which was on the verge of rotting.  After deciding against it comes the repainting.  I chose yellow for the new base color.  I'm also debating doing a splatter paint decorative affect once I get the base color down. 

As I said, this is part one of this project.  Please check back next week to see the conclusion and final results.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Decorative Serving Plates

Something simple this week because I'm on vacation! 

What you need:
  • 3 plates of varying sizes
  • 2 candle holders
  • gorilla glue
Use your gorilla glue to attach one of the candle holders to the largest plate.  Then attach the second candle holder to the smallest plate.  Once those are completely dry, attach the middle plate to the other end of one of the candle sticks.  When that's dry attach the top plate and candle holder to the middle plate.  I found it easier to work my way up so that you can look over the top of it to judge where to glue it.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Beyond Series by Kit Rocha

I have recently discovered a new series by an author I was previously unfamiliar with.  It is set in a post-apocalyptic world that had hints of the Hunger Games set-up without the kids and tournament side of things.  I purchased the bundle of the first three novels as a set on Amazon.  This included: Beyond Shame, Beyond Control and Beyond Pain. 

Kit Rocha presents us with a world set around a central 'city' that holds the power, grown from the ashes of the previous civilization.  The wealthy and powerful live where they have running water, power, technology and a crazy amount of rules and regulations for their citizens.  They use servant/slave labor to run things for them.  Around the city are the slums/ghettos or numbered zones that are controlled by the powerful 'gangs' in each area.  And outside of this, a long way away are farms that produce most of the food.  Farms are harsh existences and not an idle place to live. 

15830843The Beyond Series is all about the gang that hold power in Section 4, the O'Kane gang.  There are not a lot of rules except don't cross or endanger a member of the gang and don't try to encroach on their thriving liquor business.  In Beyond Shame, a city Councilman's daughter breaks the two strikes you're out rule and is thrown outside the city walls.  She is eventually rescued by one of the O'Kane gang and taken in until she can get on her feet.  When it turns out that she has knowledge that can help the gang and one of the members becomes interested she must decide whether she'll return home when the opportunity arises or become a member of the O'Kane gang.
In Beyond Control the leader of the O'Kane gang must come to terms with the woman who is the unoffical 'Queen' of the O'Kane gang.  Either he learns to face reality or she'll leave the O'Kane gang for good.  And without her, it'll all fall apart.

In Beyond Pain a female rescued from the worst scenario must make amends with her new place in the world.  Taken in by the O'Kane gang and learning to trust them is the hardest thing she's had to do, but now they also want her to go back into the bowels of Section 3 to face the life that brought her to her worst moment.

I have every intention of reading the next books in this series, so far there's a second bundle containing books 4-6, a short story bundle and books 7 & 8 are available individually with book 9 to come out this Fall. 
  • #3.5: Baeyond Temptation -
  • #4: Beyond Jealousy -
  • #4.5: Beyond Solitude -
  • #5: Beyond Addiction  -
  • #5.5: Beyond Possession -
  • #6: Beyond Innocence -
  • #7: Beyond Ruin -
  • #8: Beyond Ecstasy -
  • #9: Beyond Surrender - Coming Fall 2016

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Vari's Choice by Laura Jo Phillips (Hearts of ICARUS series, book 5)

31206805 I started reading Laura Jo Phillips' novels way at the beginning of her first series, the Soul-Linked Saga.  And I've liked everything she done since then.  One of my favorite things about her as an author is that she is writing to tell the stories involved and doesn't keep trying to stretch things out just to keep making money.  The Soul-Linked Saga series was a 9 book series because there are 9 shape-shifting 'clans' in this world. Yes, this series has since had two different spin-off series' but they too are with a clear and direct purpose.

 The Hearts of ICARUS series is Ms. Phillips' third series and involves the children of the couples in the Soul-Linked Saga series.  And out of the 5 books in this series, this one has become my second favorite.  Varia Lobo is a really well written character that has a unique destiny.  I loved the way the author keep taking readers into flashbacks into Vari's past when she was discovering her abilities and ultimately her destiny.  We saw her both discover herself as a woman beginning a complicated relationship with her destined male set and her as a young child of five whose family is learning to deal with her abilities and their repercussions. 

Vari's male set was sort of typical for the world they live in, they were just more scarred than previous characters.  But their interactions with Vari were great and their almost constant discoveries of something else new and unique about their mate, and having to deal with those discoveries, was fun to read.  I REALLY loved seeing past couples from the Soul-Linked Saga pop back up into the stories, which they have been throughout this series.  But in this one I had less trouble keeping track of who is who.  I will admit that with Salene's Secrets (book 4) and Tani's Destiny (book 2) I really had trouble remembering who was who and even what occurred in their books when they were seen again in this story. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Dark Carousel by Christine Feehan

I recently received and ARC for Dark Carousel by Christine Feehan.  I am a huge fan of Ms. Feehan's novels and have been looking forward to this release.

Now, one thing that I hadn't realized before starting this book was that she had written a short story entitled Dark Crime in the anthology Edge of Darkness that came out sometime earlier this Spring.  Apparently, in Dark Crime we get introduced to a Carpathian couple, I'm assuming the four children in this novel and the main male character, Tariq, in that story.  It was a little confusing because I didn't know this beforehand.  But even without having read Dark Crime yet, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Charlotte is a wonderful, strong female lead that has been dealing with vampires (although she doesn't know they're vampires) for quite some time now.  And Tariq is unique amongst the majority of the Carpathian males in most of the previous novels because he has been living out in the human world for many centuries.  That made their understanding of each over way less frustrating for a modern female reader.  The safe-haven they've created in California was clever and modern and the continuing attack by the Malinov vampire brothers was fun to read and both exciting and nerve-racking.  A wonderful addition to the Dark Series!  And since there are around thirty books now, that's saying a lot.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Raised Food Bowl Tray for your Pet

I have a dog that I love a lot, but she is the slobbery-est eater ever!  If you're like me and don't always have the time to clean the floor after every meal, than that slobbery drys into the grossest goo.  After dealing with this for many years, I decided to use some of the scrap wood at my house to try my hand at making a raised food try for her, maybe it would cut down on the amount of slobber and water all over my floors. 

What you need:
  • piece of plywood or whatever slightly larger than the dimensions of your food mat
  • Stair balusters or spindles
  • decorative trim of your choice
  • stain or paint of your choice
  • screws
  • Tools: power drill, saw, hammer
I found 4 balusters in my storage shed when I bought the place and finally found something to do with them, since I live in a single story house!  I used my hand saw to cut the decorative lathed portion of the baluster to use as the legs of my tray.  Once I cut them to size (which I measured against my dog) I drilled a hole for the screws.  The top piece of wood was also left over from another project, which I just had to cut down to the correct width.  I drilled holes in the corners and attached the legs to my top with screws.   I purchased a piece of decorative trim that would give me a slight lip when attached in an effort to keep spilled food on the tray and used finishing nails to attach it. 

With wood putty, I filled in the nail and screw holes.  I also found a bunch of water shield stain when I bought my house, I used a combination of 2 of the stain colors to finish off my creation.  I think it turned out pretty good, and since I had everything but the trim I spent a grand total of about $6 (with trim left over for my next project)!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Citronella Bottle Lanterns

I got these really lovely bottles for free from someone in my area that had posted them online.  They have beautiful lids that were easy to drill a hole into for the brass fitting.  I used gorilla glue to attach the lid and the fitting together and cut my length of wick.  Using the marbling with nail polish technique that I showed in a previous blog, I added decorative color to my clear bottles.  All that's left is filling the bottle with citronella oil and we're good to go!  I fun, beautiful citronella lantern for your outdoor seating areas.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Marbling Glass with Nail Polish

I have recently discovered that it is fairly simple and fun to add color to your glass projects using nail polish.  Here's what you need to do.

What you need:
  • Nail polish colors of your choice
  • Basin for warm water that you don't mind getting nail polish all over
  • tooth picks
  • a place to set out to dry
  • sealant of your choice: nail polish clear coat, spray paint clear seal, etc.
  • Optional: gloves, so you don't get nail polish all over your hands
Fill your bin with warm water (too hot water makes the nail polish clump really bad and doesn't work).  Poor your nail polish into the warm water in a swirl pattern of your choice, possibly use the tooth pick to create a swirl pattern.  Lower your container into the nail polish pattern, rolling if necessary and set out to dry.  When it's all dry, spray with your sealant (or apply by hand if you choose to use clear nail polish).

Saturday, July 2, 2016

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

As a librarian I sometimes receive advanced readers copies of books, to write reviews on and with the hope that I'll purchase copies for my library.  One of the more recent books I received was A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet.  Since I get a lot of ARCs, I don't also approach reading them with the best attitude.  They're often short, simple and not much to dwell on, this one COMPLETELY surprised me!  I loved it so much!

Cat is a mysterious figure that is protecting herself, her secret and everyone else that she lets into her life.  She is discovered by Griffin, the strong and powerful leader that has recently overthrown the royal family that's been in power for ever.  In a world were those with magic and power have ruled for as long as can be remembered, Griffin thinks he's discovered in Cat the secret to keeping his family in power during this time of turmoil.  But there's a lot more than meets the eye with her.  Kidnapping her may prove to help the realm but also may bring war to them all.

I loved reading this book and seriously hope that there will be more to the series.  I believe that there has to be at this point because although some things were resolved and there was a happy ending, there's still so much more that has to be dealt with.  Looking forward to them all, but dreading what will probably be a long wait for them to be published.  A Promise of Fire will be available in August 2016.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Message in a Bottle Oil Lanterns

I had some fun with these.  Message in a Bottle Oil Lanterns.  The one in the middle does have lantern oil in it already, you can't tell can you?  Sand in the bottom, a 'message' made out of parchment paper and tied with twine, topped with a brass 'couplet'/ring thing, and wick.  I used electrical tape to give it a snug fit on the wine bottle.  On the other two shown, these are bottles that had screw on lids.  I drilled holes into them the size of my 'couplet' and gorilla glued them to it.  They screw on and off the bottles beautifully.  Check out my Etsy page to request a custom order if it's not something you want to try out yourself!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Secret Pleasure by Lora Leigh

The next book in the Bound Hearts series is finally out!  I don't know about you, but it has been quite some time since I've seen a book from this series.  I almost didn't remember where we left it, or with who would be a better way to put it.  Alyssa Hampstead is a character that we've seen in other books as a side character, the same with Sebastian (I'm not sure about Shane).  

With this story, we get the background story that lead both of these characters into the previous situations.  On top of that we get the hot and action packed, page turning goodness, that is usually a Lora Leigh novel. I really loved Alyssa's strength and the triplets chemistry is off the charts.  Sebastian and Shane balance each others personalities wonderfully and have that perfect balance of protective instinct and dominant personality. 

A wonderful read, four years in the making!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pedestral Earring Holder

I have been looking for a better way to hang/store my stud earrings for a while now.  They've been in a small container up until now and I was getting sick of having to dump out the entire thing to find what I'm looking for.  I remember from when I was a kid having earring holders that you could thread any kind of earring into, but all I could find at stores were things for dangle earrings.  So I decided there had to be something that I could make that would work better.

Here's what I did:
  • Purchase a plastic pedestal frame (mine was from Michael's) for $2.00.
  • Choose the acrylic paint color that I wanted it to be (paint is anywhere from $1.50 to $4.00 a bottle), with a foam brush paint the white frame.  Foam brushes work better for this so you don't get brush marks.
  • Seal your paint with a clear coat of some kind. 
  • Cut a piece of screen to the correct size, paint it a color of your choice (optional).
  • Use an exact-o knife to cut out the inside of the clear, plastic pieces that came with the holder to protect the photo.
  • Staple the 'frames' you've created with the exact-o knife to either side of the screen.  This will support the screen so that the weight of the earrings doesn't make the screen sag in the frame.
  • Put year screen into the frame and put your earrings on it.
You're done, and all that doesn't take that long.  Waiting for the paint to dry takes the most time.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

June Re-Readathon

book cover of 

Saving Grace 

I'm starting a regular post that I'm calling the Re-Readathon to honor some of the good books that I've read, still own and re-read regularly because they were just that good. This time it's author Julie Garwood and a number of her historical romances set in the highlands.  There are a couple of books and series that are all set in the highlands and each is just as good as the last.  Saving Grace was the first one that I read and is still my favorite of her books.  A widow of an abusive f*-wad is getting a second chance by marrying a highland Laird.  She must first learn not to be afraid and second learn to live in a highland clan that is also recovering from war and turmoil caused by her late husband.  

There is also the Highland Laird series, which consists of The Secret, Ransom, and Shadow Music, and the Laird's Fiance series, which is The Bride and The Wedding.  The books set in the highlands are not the only good ones though, The Prize is also pretty phenomenal. There are more stand alone novels and a few other series which are good, but not my favorites.  Give them a try sometime if you're in the mood for historical romance, it's well worth it!
book cover of 

The Secret
book cover of 

The Prize

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Glass Bottle Shelf Watering Planter

I have had a lot of fun using glass bottles for crafts now that I can cut them fairly easily (see previous blog for instructions). This one is a self-watering planter.  I scored the bottle  around the upper two thirds of the glass.  The upper half is flipped upside down and sitting in the lower half.  With screen (which can be bought at any hardware store) I cut a small piece to create a 'cup' with it in the flipped upside-down wine bottle top.  Take some string, I've used cotton 'wick' and twine but multiple lengths and tie them together about one quarter of the way from one end.  make sure the knot is on the top of the screen 'cup,' so that it will directly in the soil. 

Get any tropical plant, that need constantly moist soil.  Place a small portion of soil on the screen making sure that you can still see the ends of your string.  Place the root ball of the plant on top of that and fill in with the rest of your soil. Fill the bottom half of the bottle with water and you're done!  If you're interested in how I decorated the bottom to make is purple and green and blue, stay tuned for a future post about that!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cutting Glass Bottles

I have always been intrigued about crafting using glass bottles.  The results look so cool, but it seems really difficult to actually cut the bottles in a usable way.  I did some research and found that this $17 device is the best way to do it (I got mine on Amazon). 

Diamond Tech Crafts G2 Bottle Cutter

It takes a second to put things together but once it is together, it works great!  You use this main device to score the bottles and then with a pot of boiling water and a tub of ice water, move the bottle (submerging the score line) from one pot to the next.  The quick temperature change turns the score mark into a nice clean cut.

After that all you need to do is sand down the edges.  Start with coarse sand paper and move to fine sandpaper.  Only a few minutes of sanding is enough.  I'll follow this post with others on the various projects I've used these bottles in!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Author Recommendation: M.K. Eidem

I am constantly on the look out for new authors.  Today's market can be very frustrating when I want a complete book, that is not part 1 of 3 sold separately, but a complete full length novel.  When I'm looking for these in the paranormal romance category, it can be even more complicated because so many authors are self-published and throwing together content to sell something and even though it's 75 pages long they still want $5 to $7 dollars for it.  Bleh, no!

But recently, I ran across the author M.K. Eidem and pass almost completely shocked to find that her writing was a full length novel, extremely well written and thought out and EDITED!!!  After reading the synopsis from one of her newest novels, and then finding out it's a series, I went back and purchased book one on my Kindle. 

You can not even understand how relieved I was to find an author that was actually worth my time to read.  I enjoyed it so much that by the end of the weekend I was the proud owner of the three books of the Imperial Series and the three books and two short stories of the Tornians series.

M.K. Eidem's novels are all set on other planets and/or in space.   The Imperial Series is about a reality where Earth is an undiscovered planet that comes under attack and a fleet of the Coalition move in to assist.  While attempting to thwart the attack, a fighter is shot down and the pilot is saved by Cassandra and her family.  While he is being retrieved by his people, under imminent threat of death, Cassandra and her niece are taken aboard.  The moon is destabilized by the enemy and Earth is devastated, killing everything.  Cassandra and her niece must find their way in a new planetary system while constantly being pursued from some inexplicable reason.

The Tornian Series is again set where Earth is an undiscovered planet, but this time other planetary systems have been seeking females after they have become nearly extinct, with 200 males to every 1 female.  Earth females are found to be compatible to Tornians and to save themselves, human females are kidnapped from Earth and brought to their system to become essentially 'breeders.'  The Tornians must find their way in a new reality, dealing with unruly, stubborn females that won't become the pampered toys they are trying to make them.

Both excellent series that I would highly recommend!  Especially is the digital download age of breaking stories up into multiple parts in order for new authors to make money.  I don't know about you, but I'm not going to keep supporting this stupid trend that has just got to stop!!!!