Monday, October 20, 2014

Off to stop some sick vampires


Jane Yellowrock, our shape shifting skinwalker, is off to help the vampire Master of Natchez, Mississippi, with only a partial idea of the problem he is having with rogue vampires. Per usual, rogue vamps will be destroyed in this fast paced story.

You may think this is a familiar plot line because it is but as per usual, Faith Hunter takes the basics and turns it on its ear! Example: these rogues are not as easily killed as have been previous ones. The addition of Khristine Hvam's narration only adds to the story's ebb and flow. I follow the series because I love Ms. Hunter's writing and that each book is complete so you don't have to read them in order. Then there is the looming question of how she is going to twist the formula to make each book new and refreshing. As you can tell by my stars, she's done it again! Give just one of them a try and you'll be hooked on her books!

5 out of 5 stars.

Traveling back in time to Persia


This was one of my Audible.com choices. Unfortunately, there is an oops in the recording that therefore messed up the download. The end of the two parts are cut off. It didn't bother me so much on Part 1 but was at a crucial moment in Part 2!  (GRRRR!) Naturally I called Audible.com immediately! They are going to fix it and then alert me, so I can get the rest of the story! The question is how long will it take them to fix it! You know how some of us are when we are so into a book that we just have to know, can't wait to know the rest of the story! I'm one of those! What do you do then? ORDER THE BOOK!

Publisher's Summary:

"In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. When her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.

Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her talent flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage to a wealthy man, the young woman finds herself faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to create a new life.
©2007 Anita Amirrezvani; (P)2007 Hachette Audio"

And that is where it cuts off! Decision time!

It should have taken just a bit over 13 hours to hear the entire story that is narrated by the rich voice of actress Shohreh Aghdashloo who is originally from Iran. Her voice add so much color to enjoyment of this book. I feel in love with her voice, accent, laugh, and intellect the first time I saw her on the Craig Ferguson show.

Maybe I need to expand a bit. When I read I hear the story in my head with my American accent. I've heard German, French, Irish, Scottish, Russian, Spanish, Chinesse, Janpanesse, and the variety we have in America, and India so sometime a bit of those accents rings in my ears. The voices of the middle eastern countries have not added their music to my ears enough to remember them.

One thing is learned quickly...the role of this woman in 17th century Pursia wasn't any better than that of women in Europe in the same socioeconomic level.

Anita Amirrezvani has not only told us the story of a gutsy young woman but bits about rug making from dye to design to finished product. She also gives us some short folk tales of the period.

I am giving you my review now because I cannot see the review changing much with reading the hard copy. It's been out for a while so you should be able to find it in most of your usual haunts. It's almost Halloween, so go haunting those places for this book in any format you like!

UPDATE:

I have now finished both the book and the recording. Sure enough, it was as wonderful as I expected! I loved all the characters in the book because of what they added to not only the understanding their motivation, but also the flavor of the peoples of the time whether good or bad. There was a richness to this book that makes me anxious to see what she comes up with next!

The conversation between the author and narrator at the end of the recording is most interesting!

Who should read this book? I would have gotten a lot out of this book about the age of 13 or 14 so young women, mothers and daughters, people who want to know a bit more about the rug making process and their makers, people who love myths and legends! This is definitely on my favorites for 2011!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Better read than....


Angels' Flight by Nalini Singh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I liked the narration but got discombobulated when going from one story to another!

For someone who now buys more audio books than Kindle books, the above statement is a shocker!

FYI, I have other audio books by her that I enjoy...a lot!

View all my reviews

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Zulilly.com: A review

I've now purchased enough items  from this company to feel competent to review it.

Pro:  The prices are generally good.

Con: If you don't like the product, you can't return it. (That's how they keep the prices low.)

Warning: On the jewelry, make sure you have a ruler beside you so you know the exact the size of any piece or you may find you've ordered something you cannot return. I did get one piece as a gift. I liked the color but the piece was considerable smaller than I expected.

The products I've ordered I like but on one of the dresses (below), the quality is rather shoddy so there are strings on the hem that need to be clipped. I did ware the dress and discover upon disrobing that the fabric bleeds. It will need to be hand washed and rinsed well. I'll probably won't put it in the dryer until I am sure I've got the bleeding under control.  I got several complements on it. It's gauzier than I expected.  I like that the design requires no additional neck wear. All I need is a pair of earrings and maybe a bold bracelet. Yes, it is longer in the from and back and shorter on the sides. Perfect for me as I love the fullness but because of the cut, I don't have to worry about it getting caught in the wheels of my electric wheelchair.
I like this top in person but have not worn it yet. I'm thinking it will have the same bleeding problem as the red dress. It will go well with black pants to dress it up, or jeans for a casual look.
 I wore this necklace with a denim dress with red trim. This was a perfect accent and got several complements. I like it because it's not too big or too small and is sort of lacy. 

This just arrived. The color is a bit deeper more a burgundy or maroon. Supper soft.  I already know it will go with many things in my wardrobe!
I wore these with the black and ivory sweater. I love them. They did what I wanted to keep my arms and hands warm and my veins nice and plum for the doctor's vein plan!
 This is lovely and warm (yes, I tried it on). My problem with it is the bits of gold running through it which I think makes it a bit dressier than I wanted.
 This is the black and ivory sweater I wore with the fingerless gloves. ('worked well together.) It's a one size fits off. I had to let it air out as it had a bit of a smell to it.
I love making meatloaf and this is a good size to take to a to a pot luck dinner. I also love banana nut bread and think this would make a presentation dish as well.
I want to make different breads to give as gifts or freeze for us (2 people) for occasional treats or make-a-head meatloafs fast meals comfort meals.

 Yes, another loaf pan. This is a bit bigger than the white one. I like the lifter for many reasons.
 This is going on the ledge behind the bed for charging our cell phones and my iPad over night. Charlie even thinks is cool.
Will I buy more from this site? Yes, but with care and attention to details.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An Ice Cold Grave: Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 3

They said:

"Hired to find a boy gene missing in Doraville, North Carolina, Harper Connelly and her brother Tolliver head there, only to discover that the boy was the only one left of several who had disappeared over the previous five years. All of them teenagers. All unlikely runaways.

All calling for Harper.

Harper soon finds them—eight victims, buried in the half-frozen ground, all come to an unspeakable end. Afterward, what she most wants to do is collect her fee and get out of town ahead of the media storm that's soon to descend. But when she's attacked and prevented from leaving, she reluctantly becomes a part of the investigation as she learns more than she cares to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville—knowledge that makes her the next person likely to rest in an ice-cold grave."

I thought:

Charlaine Harris's did it again. Great writing put me in the middle of things with characters and surrounding that rang true.

If this is your first experience with Harper after reading the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, don't expect any supernatural beings. The only oddity is her ability to see the last moments of deceased person's life; which came about after being stuck by lightening. With this vehicle Ms. Harris moves the duo around the country for each new mystery.

Alyssa Bresnahan narration was "spot on", as they say in Britain. Each character rang true consistently.

Using one of my Audible.com credits was well spent. If you like a good cozy mystery, keep this one at the top of your list! 

Travel To A Distant Country In A Different Time!


The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one of my Audible.com choices. Unfortunately, there is an oops in the recording that therefore messed up the download. The end of the two parts are cut off. It didn't bother me so much on Part 1 but was at a crucial moment in Part 2! (GRRRR!) Naturally I called Audible.com immediately! They are going to fix it and then alert me, so I can get the rest of the story! The question is how long will it take them to fix it! You know how some of us are when we are so into a book that we just have to know, can't wait to know the rest of the story! I'm one of those! What do you do then? ORDER THE BOOK!

Publisher's Summary:

"In 17th-century Persia, a 14-year-old woman believes she will be married within the year. When her beloved father dies, she and her mother find themselves alone and without a dowry. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to sell the brilliant turquoise rug the young woman has woven to pay for their journey to Isfahan, where they will work as servants for her uncle, a rich rug designer in the court of the legendary Shah Abbas the Great.

Despite her lowly station, the young woman blossoms as a brilliant designer of carpets, a rarity in a craft dominated by men. But while her talent flourishes, her prospects for a happy marriage grow dim. Forced into a secret marriage to a wealthy man, the young woman finds herself faced with a daunting decision: forsake her own dignity, or risk everything she has in an effort to create a new life.
©2007 Anita Amirrezvani; (P)2007 Hachette Audio"

And that is where it cuts off! Decision time!

It should have taken just a bit over 13 hours to hear the entire story that is narrated by the rich voice of actress Shohreh Aghdashloo who is originally from Iran. Her voices add so much color to enjoyment of this book! I feel in love with her voice, accent, laugh, and intellect the first time I saw her on the Craig Ferguson show.

Maybe I need to expand a bit. When I read I hear the story in my head with my American accent. I've heard German, French, Irish, Scottish, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and the variety we have in America, and India so sometime a bit of those accents rings in my ears. The voices of the middle eastern countries have not added their music to my ears enough to remember them.

One thing is learned quickly...the role of this woman in 17th century Persia wasn't any better than that of women in Europe in the same socioeconomic level.

Anita Amirrezvani has not only told us the story of a gutsy young woman but bits about rug making from dye to design to finished product. She also gives us some short folk tales of the period.

I am giving you my review how because I cannot see the review changing much with reading the hard copy. It's been out for a while so you should be able to find it in most of your usual haunts! It's almost Halloween, so go haunting those places for this book in any format you like!

UPDATE:

I have now finished both the book and the recording. Sure enough, it was as wonderful as I expected! I loved all the characters in the book because of what they added to not only the understanding their motivation, but also the flavor of the peoples of the time whether good or bad. There is a richness to this book that makes me anxious to see what she comes up with next!

The conversation between the author and narrator at the end of the recording is most interesting!

Who should read this book? I would have gotten a lot out of this book about the age of 13 or 14 so young women, mothers and daughters, people who want to know a bit more about the run making process and their makers, people who love myths and legends! This is definitely on my favorites for 2011!

View all my reviews

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Beginning of an Adventure


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Don't you just love it when reviewers seem to be so divided? Made me wonder so I listened to the snippet. I liked the narrator's voice. I liked the summary of the book. I had to find out what the fuss was all about!

I love libraries! I've experienced wandering around and had a book title just sort of leap out at me. So when the story starts out in the Oxford tombs with a manuscript appearing to young scholar Diana Bishop, I'm hooked. Diana is the last in the line of distinguished witches. Unlike her predecessors, she wants NOTHING to do with witchcraft. But her bloodline will win out over her desires. She makes notes about the manuscript and returns it. Soon the tombs are filled with witches, vampires, demons. One vampire, Matthew Clairmont, sticks out to become our hero.

As in all romances, the course of true love is not smooth. Is he, like all the other creatures after her for her ability to summon the manuscript? Is he really her protector? Can he help her deal with her blossoming sorcery abilities? Can he protect her from all the other witches, demons, and vampires who are after her? Most of all, can a witch of her family line and a vampire from an equally distinguish family be allowed to have any kind of relationship?

I liked the way Deborah Harkness moved these characters along in their relationship as the tension about Diana and manuscript escalated. Thing develop smoothly and logically. Some might say "predictable". I wonder if some of that judgement came after the book was finished.

While I liked all the characters, I especially loved the house and its ghosts. I won't tell you why. You'll have to read/listen to find out for yourself!

I wanted to give Jennifer Ikeda 5 stars but couldn't as couple of times accents changed inappropriately that distracted me. (i.e., I gave her 4 stars.)

This was a well used credit! I would highly recommend this book. If the following books are as good as this one, I would recommend the series!Don't you just love it when reviewers seem to be so divided? Made me wonder so I listened to the snippet. I liked the narrator's voice. I liked the summary of the book. I had to find out what the fuss was all about!

I love libraries! I've experienced wandering around and had a book title just sort of leap out at me. So when the story starts out in the Oxford tombs with a manuscript appearing to young scholar Diana Bishop, I'm hooked. Diana is the last in the line of distinguished witches. Unlike her predecessors, she wants NOTHING to do with witchcraft. But her bloodline will win out over her desires. She makes notes about the manuscript and returns it. Soon the tombs are filled with witches, vampires, demons. One vampire, Matthew Clairmont, sticks out to become our hero.

As in all romances, the course of true love is not smooth. Is he, like all the other creatures after her for her ability to summon the manuscript? Is he really her protector? Can he help her deal with her blossoming sorcery abilities? Can he protect her from all the other witches, demons, and vampires who are after her? Most of all, can a witch of her family line and a vampire from an equally distinguish family be allowed to have any kind of relationship?

I liked the way Deborah Harkness moved these characters along in their relationship as the tension about Diana and manuscript escalated. Thing develop smoothly and logically. Some might say "predictable". I wonder if some of that judgement came after the book was finished.

While I liked all the characters, I especially loved the house and its ghosts. I won't tell you why. You'll have to read/listen to find out for yourself!

I wanted to give Jennifer Ikeda 5 stars but couldn't as couple of times accents changed inappropriately that distracted me. (i.e., I gave her 4 stars.)

This was a well used credit! I would highly recommend this book. If the following books are as good as this one, I would recommend the series!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 1, 2014



In the Woods by Tana French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a body found at an excavation site right by some wood where 20 years ago 2 out of 3 kids disappeared. Are these 2 incidences related? To add to the intrigue, one of the investigators of the new mystery was the one kid who did return.

The interaction between primary investigators was fascinating. By the end of the book, I understood that the next book in the series will probably not involve any of these characters but rather pick up with a new murder mystery and a new team of investigators.

Some people might be disappointed with the lack of Irish accents by the narrator but it didn't bother me as had I read it, I would have heard it with an American accent. The British accent of Steven Crossley was ok with me.

This is a series I will likely follow!

View all my reviews

Need some recipes?


This is a cozy mystery with many, many recipes...a bit more than I like. I felt they were used to fill out a weak story. If you are a baker, the recipes sound really good.

I did like the characters of a mother, her 4 daughters (who have a habit of finding dead bodies), her mother's intended, and the men involved with said daughters. 

While one mystery is solved, the other is left hanging. If you've read many of my reviews, you know I generally like books that don't leave you hanging. This book did not catch me enough to make me want to get the next book in the series or start in from the beginning.


I purchased this book during a recent sale at Audible.com

3 out of 5 stars

Monday, September 29, 2014

Homemade Laundry Soap!!


"Sick of buying laundry soap?? Me too. This stuff is awesome because it is way stronger then the store bought laundry soap. You only have to use 1 Tablespoon per load. This recipe makes a huge cookie jar full of soap and is going to last a life time, well maybe not quit that long. I originally made mine in July and I still have a ton and I do at least 8 loads of laundry ever week. So I am thinking it will last me almost a year. 1 year of laundry soap for less than $20, have I got you sold yet? I love not having to buy laundry soap all the time anymore. This laundry soap also works just fine in HE washers. 

Update: **I just ran out of laundry soap and it is March. So July to March that's 9 months of laundry soap for $20 bucks. I am pretty happy about that.**


Here is what you need:

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)

2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle.  (This is optional, I added it into mine because I have pretty messy kids and the cleaner the better)

You should be able to find all of these items at your grocery store.

**Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. I know that does not seem like enough but this recipe does not have fillers like the store bought detergent so you only need 1-2 Tablespoons.** 

This detergent is fairly mild smelling, it is not over powering. If you love a strong scent you may have to add a fabric softener or laundry crystals to each load. You can find laundry crystals in the detergent isle.


Start out by grating your Fels-Naptha soap just like cheese. You can use a food processor or just use your hand held grater, what ever you have. Those of you with an HE washer may want to run the mix through the grater again to get an even finer mix.

**Don't worry the Fels-Naptha will dissolve in your washer even if you only use cold water like me.**


Toss all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket lined with a garbage bag. This part makes your whole house smell great. Once everything is mixed store soap however you like. The recipe makes about 2 gallons worth of detergent. Walmart has large glass jars in the kitchen department."


I got this posting from a blog, Being Creative to Keep My Sanity, for this posting, I just snarfed it because the information is so good! All you gotta do to go directly to her blog, is click her blog name in this paragraph. As soon as I get out of this rehab place, I want to try making this! 

I got this from Being Creative To Keep My Sanity,

Other sites:  http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-laundry-detergent-soap/
A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Don't worry if you've not read the previous books, much of the back story is contained herein. For those who have read the previous books, this can be a bit annoying but it did not stop me from enjoying this edition or wanting to get the next book! This, like previous books are quite addictive.

The narrator, Roy Dotrice, really adds to the enjoyment of the story

I purchased this edition from Audible.com.