Saturday, July 31, 2010

Books: The Night Before and The Morning After

I have a lot of books just around the house that I haven't read. One is another Jackson novel, The Morning After. I read it not realizing that the book was a continuation of another, The Night Before so Morning was my 5th read while Night was my 41st.

The first story starts off with a woman, Caitlyn Montgomery, who not only thinks she's nuts - she is. This makes things complicated when a killer targets both her and her family. There is quite a bit of focus on the detective in this story more than the feelings between Caitlyn and the psychiatrist she turns to, Adam Hunt. Jackson also brings in Reuben Montoya, her New Orleans series detective. But the reason for her focus on the detective becomes more clear in the second story.

Pierce (Detective Reed) finds the killer is after him this time as well as a reporter, Nikki Gillette. While Nikki was also in the first book, it is the second one in which the romance develops between the them. What I like about thrillers is that I have to guess who the killer is (or at least have the fun of watching them corner the bad guy). I had some suspicions in the first book on the killer, but I was wrong - and surprised. It wasn't who I thought and the killer somehow didn't make sense to me. I figured out who the killer was in the second book because Jackson gave too much away.

There wasn't that awe I have after reading that makes me wholeheartedly recommend a book. That didn't make me regret reading them.

A little reminder here that I really like the tiny romance aspect of my thrillers, go ahead roll your eyes here. ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

TV: Covert Affairs

Yea! New show on USA and if they don't screw it up, then it may be a decent replacement for Monk. Don't get me wrong, nothing can replace Monk. But this show is cool, female lead, mysterious, funny, and has Doug Liman (Bourne trilogy director) as one of the executive producers. The pilot had me glued. The Wiki had me theorizing. And Gorman (Ugly Betty) had me contemplating him for my next geek/nerd Man post. (Which is fitting because Ramamurthy is joining the cast soon.)

Piper Perabo is awesome. She is so kick a**. I believe some people are comparing this show to Alias. Never watched that show, but if you liked it please give Covert Affairs a chance.

Tuesdays at 10/9c on USA

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Miscellaneous: Amazing Acquaintances

acquaintance n 1. a person with whom one has been in contact but who is not a close friend

I have an acquaintance that is amazing. I want to say that I wish we were better, closer, friends just because she is so cool, but that sounds so shallow. Maybe we'll become better friends, and I can rightfully claim her as more than an acquaintance. For now, I'll have to settle and all those who are closer to this person can smirk at me.

Who is this person? Her name is Kristen and she'll be featured on The Rachael Ray Show this Wednesday. She is an artist who is talented not only with paint, but as you'll see on the show: Jelly Bellys. Amazing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Men: Alexander Skarsgård

I'm posting this man because one of my readers is a True Blood fan :) While he's got many of the qualities I like, blond hair, pretty blue eyes, hard body, I didn't like pics of Alexander with the long hair. So I searched and searched...and searched and finally found a picture I could swoon over. I'm happy now :)

Name: Alexander Skarsgård (Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård)
Best Known For: TV, True Blood
Year of Birth: 1976
Status: Single
Height: 6'4"
Fun Fact: Was in the military

Other tidbits? He has 5 siblings. He quit acting as a teen/young adult over a girl he left back home (turns out they weren't compatible and he left movies for nothing.) He's dating Kate Bosworth, who is only 5'5" and probably has a crick in her neck when she spends any time with him. I've got two inches on her ;)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chocolate: Chocolate Covered Peeps

I was worried about this when I heard about it here although the purple color was fascinating. I was worried about the sugary coating. How would that fit with the chocolate? Anyway, B's mother surprised us with some Choco Peeps and I was able to sink my teeth into one.

Mine was yellow with milk chocolate coating. It was flat and not upright like the chicks at Easter. Mine was cracked, leaking slightly gooey goo, and sticking to the wrapper. I bit into it and... it was basically a chocolate covered marshmallow. There was no hint of lemon, but I'd have to try the others to make sure I wasn't just overwhelmed with the experience. I think they changed the composition of the Peep to make it work. Which is just fine by me, btw. Chocolate covered marshmallows are the best :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Books: Deep Freeze and Fatal Burn

Deep Freeze by Lisa Jackson was my first read of the summer. Sorry it took so long, but the other books called to me!

Anyway, the story is like this: Jenna is a former movie star who moves out to the boonies of Oregon to get a better life for her kids and away from the bad memories of the death of her sister (which she considers to be her fault). She is followed by a stalker who is killing citizens of the town in a bizarre tribute to her - with Jenna as the final target.

I've written about some Lisa Jackson books before, and mentioned that she likes to stick to the formula. That is true, but the hero isn't lumped in with the killer this time around. She ends with a cliff hanger that moves into the other book, Fatal Burn. This one ran along the same lines as Deep Freeze. This woman gave up her daughter 13 years before because the father took off and the man she married was abusive. The adoptive father seeks her out because the daughter was abducted and he thinks she had something to do with it. I couldn't figure out who the killer was by the end and the final scene was a little bit of a let down, but I will continue to read this author.

She has a little "Dear Reader" blurb that explains why she wrote both books. It was intriguing. I'm hoping to find some other thriller writer this summer. I tend to stick with the same authors because I know I'll be happy with my read, but I need to branch out...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TV: Eureka and Warehouse 13

Both of these shows premiered for the summer in the last week or so. Season 4 of Eureka and Season 2 of Warehouse 13. I've been waiting to see what happens!

Eureka was planning some show with historical costumes and such. There was no cliffhanger left from last season to really worry about. I was worried anyway because I hate historical books, and my preference doesn't change much when it comes to TV. But they did a decent job. Cute. Straight to the heart of what is Eureka. The only part that threw me was the ending. Since I'm not going to spoil it for you, let's just say some things ended nicely and some didn't. I'm not sure I want them to fix it.

Friday 9/8c Syfy

The commercials leading up to the premiere for Warehouse 13 were very funny. There was a massive cliffhanger from season 1 in which everything fell into place just like I thought within the first ten minutes of the show. The interaction between Pete and Myka was pretty much the same except that Pete's snark seemed a little too snarky. Heh, he oversnarked. I also was worried about Leena, and I shouldn't have been.

Tuesday 9/8c Syfy

Click on the links to their websites (above) to watch the episodes online.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Miscellaneous: Air Flop!

The Last Airbender was horrendous! Shyamalan did not do it justice at all. I hope Nickelodeon refuses to collaborate or fulfill any kind of contract with him for two more movies. There were two things that REALLY bothered me.

1. Shyamalan claimed that he wanted to honor the martial arts from the show. Instead he had the actors spend an eternity waving their arms around before any bending occured. The cartoon versions would have obliterated them in the same amount of time.

2. The ending to the first book was huge! Think ocean. At the end of the movie Aang's success equated to nothing more than a puddle. I so want to explain more, but anyone who is even remotely interested in the REAL Airbender would be getting a decent spoiler - I don't want to ruin it.

The choppy part could have easily been fixed if Shyamalan really thought about what was important. The characters needed to bond with each other and the humor was necessary - he really didn't do anything with that at all.

Best character (and even that is pushing it)? Momo.
Best part of the movie? The scenery.

Please look into the series because it's awesome! Don't even watch the movie for free. It's a waste of your time.


I must be getting lazy. Lazier, rather. In my old age. And I add that because it sounds much better to say I'm 100 years old and lazy than 10 and lazy. I've been forgetting my "Me" posts with regularity. Granted, they are only up once a month, but when I can't even be bothered to do that much when I'm on vacation then I know there are problems with my motivation.

So July, eh? I did manage to do some cleaning. No where near the intended cleaning. But after 10 hours of scrubbing, washing, packing, moving, and yelling (the kids), I couldn't find the energy to do it again any time soon. Besides I'm working on my book reading goal. I cannot vacuum Fruit Loops out of the sofa and read at the same time.

July also brings with it the knowledge that my vacation is at its peak. I get to spend the next ten days here enjoying the height of summer then I'll be thundering down the backside of the mountain to my return to work. Joy.

Until then, strawberry lemonade (Simply Lemonade blended with frozen strawberries) and chocolate chip cookies to you. Don't say it! The pounds will come off when I have to start hauling this body back and forth to work. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Men: David Paetkau

Name: David Paetkau
Best Known For: TV, FlashPoint
Year of Birth: 1978
Status: Married, Evangeline Duy
Height: 5'10"
Fun Fact: Spent a year backpacking through Europe

This Canadian's got such a baby face! But he's no baby. He isn't drop dead gorgeous, but I picked him because he has the same coloring as B when we met 100 years ago. I think David's eyes are darker blue, but the long light eyelashes and brows are the same. Their heights are about the same, too.

Anyway, he's different from some of my others, especially my favorites, in overall looks. Oh, and there's a picture out there of him with a nipple ring(s?). I'm not sure if it was for the role he played, though. And I like him better with his hair not sticking up in the front. And he looks best with his serious face. I'm just rambling now...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Chocolate: Tidbits

1. The theobromine in chocolate is poison to dogs. The amount of chocolate that is deadly to the dog is directly related to the size of the dog and how much theobromine is in the chocolate eaten. In a 20 pound dog it takes 200 ounces of white chocolate for the dog to show symptoms of poison, while it takes 2 ounces of baking chocolate to do the same.

I'm not a dog person, but this is a good reason not to have one. I leave too much chocolate laying about.

2. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest chocolate bar weighed 7,892 lb 8 oz and was made by Elah Dufour - Novi in Alessandria, Piemonte, Italy, on October 11, 2007. The longest measured 11.57 meters and was created by A. Giordano in Rivarolo, Italy (near Turin) on March 15, 2010.I ate a five pound chocolate bar once. Made by Ghirardelli, I kept chunks of the mammoth block on my person for an entire month before the thing was completely consumed.

3. Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate.

Just another reason Hawaii is my favorite vacation destination :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Books: Enchanted, Inc.

I picked up Enchanted, Inc. because it looked cool. I love books with magic! My very first impression was that it went somewhat slow - not in a good or bad way, just slow like the last Harry Potter. You know something good is supposed to happen so you just keep reading.

My second thought was that the author, Shanna Swendson, had a unique take on the magic situation. In this book the magic people spend most of their time in the big cities so they can blend in. Why would they need to do that when they have magic to disguise them? That's the unique thing. According to Swendson magic people use charms to keep people from seeing their wings and pointed ears. It works on nearly everyone because we all have a little magic in us that can get influenced. Well apparently there are people without a single magical bone in their body - they're immune to the charms - and they are so rare that they're valuable.

In this story Katie, an immune, escapes a horrible job to work for the original magic company (you'll understand if you read the book). She likes it there and they like her. I was looking for romance and while she does somewhat pursue a love interest that isn't what the book is about.

So did I like it? I would give it a 6 because it's low on the romance and the long story...until I did my Internet search. I always go online after reading a book to see what others think. Do they think the same whay I do? Turns out this is the first in a series, which explains the lack of finality with a love interest, and is being made into a movie for 2011 release!

I'm off to do more Amazon perusing on the next three books: Once Upon Stilettos, Damsel Under Stress, and Don't Hex with Texas. Hopefully you'll see me posting another review soon of the next book...