Monday, February 25, 2013

What will you cast for?

A Cast of Stones by new author Patrick W Carr was intriguing to say the least.

It took me a bit to get into the story which starts with a young man, by the name Errol, is being thrown from a tavern. The different names of people and things took some getting used to. Soon the young man is tasked to deliver a message to a remote destination, all the while, he just thinks about the coin he has received to deliver this message and how it can buy his next drink. Low and behold if he doesn't come under attack on the way!

Once he arrives at his destination, he tells the tale of his journey to this remote place to the inhabitants there. Now he sees suspicion and unease in those that the message is intended for. Plans change and Errol is now swept along in the tidal wave. Those with him discover that he is special, but will not elaborate what they know. Bad goes to worse continually in this book. At this moment, they have been poisoned. What could be next? Oh, that is just the start. Against his will, he now has to travel away from the village that is all he has ever known.

Still, this group of people are being chased. Errol becomes seperated from the group. He almost dies, which in turn helps him to learn to live life without the product of a tavern. He learns a line of defense that is uncommon, but he is really good at defending himself now and can hold his own.

The journey must continue though, and Errol becomes the prisoner of a merchant, because his special ability and intuitiveness, he has to help the merchant, against his will, make more money than he ever has. Finally he breaks free and makes it to the destination that the group he had been with were aiming for.

I must say that going into this book, I didn't realize that this is part of a series. I just kept reading and reading to find out the ending of the story to become frustrated when I realized that I will have to wait until the next book. Wait!!! I don't want to wait! Oh well. Teaches me to be more observant when reading book descriptions. Good book!

Allowed a review copy by Bethany House for an honest opinion. So there you have it. A good book that I want to know how ends.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Candy Schemes

UnrivaledThe story, Unrivaled by Siri Mithchell, begins with Lucy Kendall returning home to St. Louis from her grand European tour with her aunt and uncle. Lucy has collected candies from all over Europe and expects to return with new candy ideas to make with her father at the family business, City Confectionary. Yet, when Lucy arrives home she is told her father is not well and Mother has decided to sell the business in order to survive.

Charlie Clarke is slightly in trouble once again. He has now been summuned to St. Louis at the request of his father that walked out on his family. His father regrets his decision to leave but the strive to be successful drives him more and he boldly takes on the candy busy with little regard to anything but money. He grew his candy business to one day pass on to his son.

Both characters want nothing more than to help their families. Lucy wants to revive City Confections and to gain the approval of her father. Charlie is still uneasy with his father but seeks approval from the dad he never had growing up in Chicago. It is amazing at the ideas that they come up with trying to out do the others; but at what consequence?

The flipping back and forth between characters at the change of each chapter takes some getting used to. The author, Siri Mitchell is a strong writer.

Reviewed from a NetGalley copy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cakes

I have posted some of the cakes that I have made in the past and will add to the page as I begin to decorate cakes again. I just finished a skeet cake and will upload it soon.

So...in the mean time, take a look at my cake page. Some I think are good, some I still see things I could have done to improve them.

I guess we all find things that could be made better. But, when you are just starting out, you have to learn the ropes.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hair

They say a hairstyle can make or break a person. I figure it all depends on the situation and life around you. Since high school, I have cut my hair off to be donated. I did that again about six months ago. Now the delimia is, grow it again or leave it shorter. I love being able to dry my hair and style it in about 5 to 8 minutes. Depends on distraction from the little people in the house.

So I gander here and there looking for a style. I would like to have thicker hair, but the Lord blessed my head with what I have. Not much. I do know a certain, I will never be blond. I just don't have a brave enough bone in my body to try that one. My almost black hair going blond would probably put me in shock. Red highlights, I will attempt. Red and golden brown, might be my next venture. But what style to put with color?

My hair is fine and not completely straight, not completely curly. So finding to "style" is like finding a great fitting shoe. Hard to do. The shaggy look seems to work best for me. 

To be honest, I have no idea where I gathered these pictures from, so I am not able to give a site resource for any of them. Most like I picked  them up searching Google.









Can you sleep with peas?

Obviously, if you are a princess, you cannot sleep with a pea in you bed! 

I remember sitting on his knee, my grandfather reading the story of the Princess and the Pea to me, when I was very young. I would have been about 5 or 6 since he passed on soon after that. That night, he asked if I thought I could sleep with all those mattresses and still feel the pea. I remember in the book, there was a picture of a bed piled with mattresses all the way to the ceiling and a loooong latter just to climb on top. No, I might not feel a pea in my bed, however, I wouldn't not have dared to go to sleep on top of all that considering I was afraid of rolling out of my own twin bed. Ah, memories, sweet memories.



This adaptation by Charlotte Guillain of the beloved story is a cute one to read to a little girl. All ladies most get our beauty sleep in the event that we meet our Prince Charming. I was looking for a little more detail to be honest. For instance, just how did the Prinecess become lost? How did the prince feel when he saw her?  How many blankets did he pile on the doggy Princess bed? What did she do trying to go to sleep when she couldn't? Things like that.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Life after a Tornado

Beyond the Storm
Carolyn Zane

This book, an eye opening experience. A lot of research on tornados must have been done to complete this book. I felt like I was there, in the book, experiencing what was happening. I have been in bad storms before. Nothing of this magnitude. Of course, there are more than one type of storm though.

Abigail is on the rise as a hair dresser/designer. She has awards, her own shop, life the way she wants it. She has lived in this town all her life. When you become accustom to certain things, do you pay heed to warning bells. A tornado is on the rise, the sirens are going off, but many people have begun to ignore them.

An EF5 tornado rips through town. Many barely have time to find shelter. Many are not with their family and loved ones when all this occurs. Businesses and homes are ripped apart. Even sadder, family and lives are ripped apart too.

The author tells the story of several families that go through this terrible day. Wrapped up in their own lives and not seeing much beyond their noses. This tornado is a wide, eye opening, experience. After the destruction, Abigail, for reasons unknown to her, begins gathering bits of fabric. Part of a wedding dress, a man's suit, a restaraunt's curtains, a dog bed, etc.

I kept hanging on, waiting for mention of a favorite character even to the members of the community in the book. They were waiting on word of their friend as much as I was. Which way would the story go? Would they be alive and pop up around the next bend, or had they been a vicim to the tornado?

Now, I am being very honest when I say that I don't cry while reading books, I don't cry at movies or commercials. For some reason the emotion at the end of the book got me a little. I had a tear to roll. Highly unusual for this gal!

Great book. Will look for more from this author.

Dog teaches about corn

Of course , Mosey doesn't realize that he is teaching the world about how corn is planted, how it grows, and then is harvested. All he cares about is his favorite napping place.
 
Mosey's Field

Written by Barbara Lockhart and illustrated by Heather Crow is about Mosey, the dog. He has a favorite napping place. Don't we all. I could sure use a favorite napping place just in sight of the house, where a comforting breeze blows, where I can ponder on things and not worry about all that needs to be done.

One day, Mosey's nap is disturbed, then it is disturbed the next day. Soon, his napping spot has disappeared in a field of corn. The author wraps Mosey's summer around the growth a his favorite corn field.

A fun book to read or the little ones read to theirselves.

Do you have a pesky classmate?

The author and illustrator of this book might have a solution for you if you do.

There was always a kid or even more in my classes growing up that had or did everything better than you. Seems that is the class even as you grow up into adult life. Humm... Just thought I would get away from those types. Guess not. Anyway....

We had the priviledge to preview My Crocodile Does Not Bite written and illustrated by Joe Kulka. I was so impressed with the artwork of this book, that I looked him up. His website it http://www.joekulka.com/index.html. I would recommend going to it and looking around. This guy has talent. Not with just drawing, by the way. The story line was great. Even with the negative comments from the bully type character, the main character of the book kept his cool. He continually showed the remarkable talents of his pet crocodile. Must to the dismay and aggrevation to the bully. She, yes, I said she, must get her way all through life and cannnot stand the thoughts of someone out doing her. She learns a valuable lesson in the end as we all should. Admit defeat and congratulate the other. There is usually a next time around that you will have the chance to out do another...if that is your cup of tea.

I would recommend this book. Very enjoyable and an easy read for 6 to 7 and above.

World on a String (Updated)

World on a String by Larry Phifer.


We received an eBook version of this book from NetGalley for review. I read this to my daughter the other night and she enjoyed the illustrations. There were some issues with the NetGalley book to begin with. The words being written on top of the illustrations were very hard to read. The color of the words and color of the illustrations were too close in hue. There were pages in the eBook that we had to just look at and keep going or make it up as we went.

After I shared my concerns to the publisher of the book, they emailed me back. Thanks!! The formatting was much better on the second file and now my daughter can enjoy the book in its entirety. The words flowed easily from one page to the next.

The story about a boy that has a favorite balloon and how he feels when it goes missing is reminiscent to my daughter and her blanket. She has to have that favorite blanket when going to sleep.

I believe the print version of this book will be stunning considering the illustrations and the vibrancy of colors.

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