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.