Tag Archives: fun

Book Review: The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown

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From Goodreads:
Everything is calm in Cadillac, Texas until Aunt Agnes declares war on Violet Prescott, the president of the Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society, just in time for the annual jubilee. But after the festivities—and the hostilities—are over, it’s four friends who are left standing, proving once again that friendship is forever.

This book drew me in right away with its whimsical cover and southern flair title. The Texas locale was just right for these sassy ladies.

The story centers around Marty and her sister Cathy who are both part of The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeño Society along with a hilarious cast of characters. At first the book was a little overwhelming. We enter the story during a Society meeting and I really had to pay attention to who’s who and what the relationships are, which was more like work than fun. But, once I got the gist of how the characters relate, the story was enjoyable. What really stands out in this novel is not the main characters but the minor ones who add spice and laughter to the story. Aunt Agnes is priceless!

This book is chock full of scrapbooking, good southern food and a huge helping of southern sass. Of course, all is not well in this little Texas town where everybody knows your name and friendship and family ties run deep. Cat fights abound, there’s some spicy sex with exes and all shenanigans are done with the politeness only well-bred southern families can conjure.

A fun book that really takes friendships to heart.

This book was provided for review by Netgalley.

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Book Review: Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice Davidson

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From Goodreads:
MaryJanice Davidson gives vampire queen Betsy Taylor a Christmas to remember in this fourth funny outing in her bestselling Undead series. This time, Betsy’s holiday cup runneth over. For starters, Betsy’s mother has finally erected Betsy’s tombstone in the local cemetery. A psycho nut job serial killer is targeting tall, thin blondes in the Twin Cities: women who look like Betsy. Her vampire mate, Eric Sinclair, is balking at wedding planning and at the modern notion of communication, while her hateful stepmother has just had a baby. Of course, it’s time for the irrepressible Betsy to launch an advice column for vampires trying to cope and to team up with a freshly killed ghost to track down her murderer. But why does her sister, Laura, keep taking out that sword? As usual, Betsy floats triumphantly in a sea of chaos, helped and hindered by the usual madcap cast of vampires and humans.

I read the first book of this series, Undead and Unwed, back in 2009 and have been reading my way through the series off and on. Starting off fun and unique, the series is a cross between Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series and Molly Harper’s Naked Werewolf series, with a vampire twist. I really enjoyed reading 1-3 but this one just didn’t live up to my expectations.

The story does not advance at all with this installment. It’s more of a review of the first 3 books and should have been more appropriately numbered 3.5. There’s no plot whatsoever and no growth to the characters at all and, although Betsy is still the humorous self-absorbed character I know and love from the previous installments, her plight was considerably too blah to make this one worth reading.

I’m not sure why some authors feel they need to constantly reintroduce their characters in every series installment. By book 4 I feel like I have invested enough in this series not to be dumbed down by repetition. If great authors of intricate stories like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series don’t see a reason to repeat everything that has happened in past installments, certainly a light series like this doesn’t have to.

Unfortunately, I think I’ve already read the best this series has to offer and don’t intend to continue.

I encourage reading books 1-3 though. This really started out as a fun series with a unique take on vampires, a steamy love interest and some mystery solving on the side.

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Movie Cameos by Authors You Know

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It’s surprising how many authors have done cameos in the movie adaptations of their books. We can all probably name at least one and I bet most of you have spotted Stephanie Meyer in Twilight.

Head over to Mental Floss to see 14 cameos, some of which may surprise you. I’ve watched most of these movies and missed the cameos. Good thing there’s video!


Historic Misconceptions

We’re all history buff’s here in the Lonely Owl’s nest and we always enjoy history lessons that are made more enjoyable by someone’s awesome creativity no matter the outlet. Here’s a creative take on 5 of history’s misconceptions.

 


A Year of Reading Recap – 2012

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What would the New Year be without a look back at the old one? Here’s a recap of my year of reading 2012.

I’ve had the opportunity to read so many wonderful books this year. I surpassed my reading goal of 75 and reached an all time high of 117. 1Q84 was the longest book I read, 945 pages. I think that made the all-time high also. I gave mostly 3 and 4 stars with only 14 making the 5 star distinction, which makes me think I’m a bit too picky and hard to please. I had two books that were so terrible I couldn’t finish them and I’m still cursing about wasting my time on them.

I read more memoirs this year than ever. People are truly interesting and in some cases their stories are stranger than fiction. I cried more this year than ever too. Some of the stories were just so heartbreaking. I’m pretty sure I blubbered through more of The Art of Racing in the Rain than I’m willing to fess up to. Dogs dying in books seemed to be a common theme this year. I seriously cannot take anymore of that!

I had a zombie run and it was a great one. Zombies are the new vampires. Super cool! If I were giving an award for best cover it would go to My Life as a White Trash Zombie. As Steven Martin said in Father of the Bride, “Bitchin!” That cover earns the Bitchin award. (if there were such a thing) Patrick Ness is my favorite author of 2012. Reading his book has inspired both my children and me.

Historical fiction is still my favorite genre. Mixing fiction in with a history lesson makes learning fun even at my age.

Out of the 117 books I’ve read this year, here’s my top 10 favorites:

1. Wilderness: A Novel by Lance Weller
2. Chaos Walking: A Trilogy by Patrick Ness
3. The Wild Girl by Jim Fergus
4. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
5. Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo
6. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
7. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
8. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
9. The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon’s Court by by Michelle Moran
10. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

My goals for 2013 are much the same. I’m upping my reading goal to 100. I think I can manage it without feeling too pressured. I’m going to do my best not to purchase books this year. I have probably 75 on my bookshelf waiting to be read and they deserve my love and attention. “Try” is the main word here.

I’m going to give a State Challenge a go and will be book blogging my way through the US. I hope you’ll join me along the way! Every book is an adventure and it’s so much more fun when you’re along!

I wish each of you a New Year filled with joy, happiness and many, many great books!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!


Book Review: The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

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Just as fun as the first installment in Molly Harper’s Naked Werewolf series, The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf is sure to lighten your mood and remind you how much fun budding romance can be!

From Goodreads:
Baring It All Generations of werewolves have been secretly residing in a secluded valley a stone’s throw from Grundy, Alaska. So when a snooping Outsider comes to Grundy to investigate rumors of lycanthropic shenanigans in the area, the valley’s pack alpha, Maggie Graham, resolves to chase him away, even if doing so takes a quick bite on the butt. What a pity that researcher Nick Thatcher turns out to be so drool-worthy, and that his kisses make Maggie want to sit up and beg. Maggie just can’t seem to convince Nick to leave . . . and even worse, she can’t convince herself to stay away from him. Cross-species dating is problem enough for a harried alpha female, but on top of that, a rival group of werewolves is trying to move into the valley. With interpack war threatening, Maggie can’t afford to be distracted. Combining romance and a career can be tough for anyone; for a werewolf in love with a human, it may be disastrous. . . .

This installment in the series picks right up where the first left off. It gets a fresh take though by changing the perspective to Maggie. The great thing is we still get all the great characters from the first book. I was really skeptical about reading this, wondering if I would enjoy it since I really enjoyed the first and didn’t really want to move on from the main characters introduced. I got a pleasant surprise! I liked this one just as much!

We get introduced to some great new characters too. Maggie’s view gives us some insight into the pack hierarchy without being bogged down by technicalities.

All of the Maggie Harper books I’ve read so far have been fun reads. They’re easy-going, girly books that are perfect for a beach read or to get you through a winter slump. This book features the same recipe of a heaping amount of love, a sprinkle of sex, a dash of comedy and a little mystery.

Great book…great fun!

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Book Review: And One Last Thing… by Molly Harper


I’d Rather Read a Book Than ………….. [3]

I’d rather read a book than…………

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…………..spend the day getting the outside ready for winter! I just hate to see my back yard full of flowers and beautiful color gone for good. I really don’t look forward to the snow that will eventually turn everything white.

I must say though, it was nice to get outside on such a beautiful day and work as a family and I was glad to check this chore off my list.


I’d Rather Read a Book Than ………….. [2]

I’d rather read a book than ……….

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…….do the season change over laundry. I spent the whole weekend washing up clothes for the fall season. I hate spending a whole day doing laundry. When I was first married I would save laundry for Saturdays and then spend the whole day thinking about what else I could have been doing. Over the years I learned my lesson and now I do a load a day. Except, of course, when I have excessive piles to wash like I did this weekend.

At least it’s done. Bring on the cool weather! I now have my comfy sweaters to keep me warm!


New Mini Post Feature: I’d Rather Read a Book Than……..

I’d rather read a book than…..

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Sew a button!

For some reason I hate sewing on buttons. I’ll gladly haul out the sewing machine to sew something fun, but ask me to sew a button or fix a small hole and it will take me forever to do it. My son’s shorts, which are pictured above, have needed a button since July! 2 months!


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