Sep 29, 2011

Alasandra's Reading List ~ September

  1. The Passage by Justin Cronin - very dark book, extremely well written and thought provoking, takes place in the future.  After his wife's death Doctor Jonas Lear seeks a way to prolong life. He travels to Bolivia in search of a mysteries "virus" that can cure terminal patients. The army tags along in hopes of using the "virus" as a weapon. Once the "virus" is secured it is taken to a secret army facility and experiments on death row inmates begin, when Dr. Lear insist that six year old Amy (no last name) be brought to the facility and infected with the "virus", Wolgast begins to question the orders he has been given. Then the unthinkable happens the subjects of the experiments escape, FBI Agent Brad Wolgast flees with Amy as the world he knew ends. (Decades later) Peter lives in one of the last human colonies, realizing the lights that keep the Virals at bay are failing Peter and his friends will set out with Amy to uncover the mysteries of her past and hopefully find a way to destroy the Virals. This is the first book in a trilogy and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
  2. Mortalis by R. A. Salvatore - The rosy plague leads to great sickness and suffering throughout Corona. When Colleen contracts the plague Pony attempts to heal her with a soul stone but discovers it is no use. Looking for answers she spirit walks to the elves and Lady Dasslerond gives her a recipe to help alleviate the suffering but warns her it will not cure the plague, Colleen dies. De'Unnero (known as Brother Truth) uses the plague to cause trouble between the church and the people and leads a band of renegade monks (Brothers Repentant) throughout the countryside maiming and killing "sinners". Abbot Agronguerre and Prince Midalis make peace with the Alpinadorans lead by the ranger Andacanavar and Bruinhelde. Agronguerre later become Father Abbot of the Abellican Church. Brother Francis chooses to go out amongst the plague victims and minister to them. When Dainsey (Roger's wife) contracts the plague Roger takes her to Pony. Pony sees a vision of Avelyn's hand and makes a desperate journey with Dainsey to Mount Aida where Dainsey taste the blood from Avelyn's palm and is cured. Pony and Dainsey spread the word and pilgrims flock to Mount Aida for the cure. Pony accepts King Danube's offer to make her Baroness of Palmaris (Pony still doesn't know her child lives).
  3. Frankenstein the dead town by Dean Koontz -  Deucalion is able to stop Victor once and for all and love flourishes in the most unlikely places. I enjoyed the series immensely and am sorry to see it come to an end.
  4. Claiming the Highlander - Kinley MacGregor - Maggie convinces the women from the MacAllister and MacDouglas clans to go on strike until their clans make peace. Now the men of both clans want her head. To make matters worse the MacAllister's have taken their laird hostage and threaten to kill him if the women don't come out in four days. Determined to save his brother Braden MacAllister agrees to go with Maggie to the MacDouglas Laird and convince him to make peace. But along the way Braden succumbs to Maggie's charms now he not only has to keep them alive but win her heart. (Very humorous and entertaining book)
  5. Ascendance by R. A. Salvatore - Jilseponie marries King Danube and a jealous Constance causes problems from day one. Afraid that Jilseponie will bear a child and usurp her sons position in the royal line she has birth control herbs secretly placed in Jilseponie's food. Aydrian "Nighthawk" the son of Elbryan and Jilseponie teams up with De'Unnero to wrest the crown of Honce the Bear from King Danube. When Constance dies Jilseponie is accused of murdering her, the trial provides Aydrian the chance to wrest the throne from King Danube with Duke Kalas help. Unable to kill her own son Jilseponie is sent into exile by Aydrian.
  6. Kill Me If You Can by James Patterson - Starving artist Matthew Bannon finds a medical bag full of diamonds in Grand Central Terminal, now the Russian Mafia have hired hit men to kill him and retrieve the diamonds.  But Matthew is full of surprises and killing him won't be as easy as they think.
  7. Implant by F. Paul Wilson - The Joint Committee on Medial Ethics and Practice Guidelines slanders Dr. Duncan Lathram leading to is daughters suicide and his careers demise. Now Dr. Lathram has a chance to get even with the men who destroyed his life and family and don't even remember his name. Will Dr. Gina Panzella be able to stop him?

Sep 19, 2011

No on 26

Before voting on the Personhood Amendment please consider all the potential ramifications.

If the Personhood Amendment passes many forms of birth control would be illegal. This would lead to more unplanned pregnancies.  

Women who are raped would no long have access to the Morning-after Pill and would be forced to endure an unwanted pregnancy.

Pregnant women would be treated like second class citizens when it comes to their medical care. They could be denied lifesaving medical treatment if it would result in harm to the fetus.  For example a woman with cancer could be refused life-saving medical treatment because it could put a fertilized egg in danger. Ectopic pregnancies would also create a dilemma.  The developing cells must be removed to save the mother's life. However, with the fertilized egg being considered a Person, with full rights, ending an ectopic pregnancy would be considered murder.

Increased unplanned pregnancies will lead to more people on welfare and receiving food stamps. Most of the children born to unwed and/or teenage mothers will need welfare.  If you consider the loss of education, opportunity and job and income loss that sometimes goes along with an unplanned pregnancy, the cost to the Mississippi Tax Payers is even greater.

Drinking and smoking during pregnancy would go from just being risky to becoming criminal negligence. 

Women who have miscarriages would have to endure investigation for possible criminal charges, from negligence up to and including murder. There is already legal precedent - 15 year old Rennie Gibbs was charged in Mississippi with Depraved Heart Murder in December, 2006 after a miscarriage.

Please think carefully about all the ramifications before voting, if you do I am confidant you will vote No on 26.

Sep 1, 2011

Alasandra's Reading List ~ August

  1. The Demon Awakens by R. A. Salvatore - well I enjoyed the story but I am bummed half my favorite characters got killed off. When Elbryan's village is sacked by goblins and  he is taken in and trained by the elves to be a Ranger. His best friend, Pony was the only other survivor and she has no memory of her past, and was saved by a traveling merchant. Avelyn trained from childhood to be a monk to please his Mother. He enters the monastery right before her death and is chosen for a secret mission to collect magic stones. We he realizes how ruthless and mercenary the other monks are he steals the most powerful stones and flees the monastery.  Avelyn (The Mad Friar) and Pony become friends and he determines to help her regain her memories. He takes her back to Dundalis, where she is reunited with Elbryan. When Quintall, now known as Brother Justice arrives to kill Avelyn Elbryan kills him, but Quintall's spirit flees to the demon Bestesbulzibar. Realizing the only way to save their world is to defeat Bestesbulzibar in his stronghold  Elbryan (The Ranger), Pony, Avelyn, Bradwarden (the centaur), Juraviel & Tuntun (the elves), Paulson & Chipmunk (the trappers) set out to confront him. After rescuing some human prisoners Juraviel has to leave his friends in orde to lead the prisoners to the only safe haven nearby.  Of the remaining number only  two will survive the brutal battle through the ultimate sacrifice of their friends.
  2.   Blood Memory by Greg Iles - When Catherine "Cat" Ferry finds herself pregnant by her married lover memories from her childhood start resurfacing. Cat is the only one besides the killer who knows how and why her Father was killed when she was eight. Desperate to  uncover evidence and unravel the lies from her childhood Cat must outwit a man who will stop and nothing to keep the past dead and buried. 
  3. Master of Desire by Kinley MacGregor ~Draven the King's champion (Henry II) believes Hugh is attacking his lands and Hugh is equally convinced the Draven is attacking his lands. To end the feud the King orders Hugh to give his daughter Emily into Draven's care. And Draven is bound by his oath to the King not to harm her in anyway. But the over protected Emily is determined to take the opportunity away from her Father's watchful eye to snare a husband. 
  4. Born To Be BAD by Sherrilyn Kenyon - 3 hot love stories starring BAD agents. In One Hot Night when Jason Bank's cover is blown Samantha Winslow is sent in to save his bacon. In Bad to the Bone Marianne's fantasy becomes real when BAD agent Kyle Foster kidnaps her for fun and games. And in the final story Captivated by You Agent Ace Krux will undergo any humiliation to save Rhea from being harmed. 
  5. Cold Vengeance by Preston & Child - In Fever Dream Pendergast learns his wife was murdered. In Cold Vengeance he learns that Helen is still alive. Judson Esterhazy is determined to kill Pendergast to keep that fact a secret from the mysterious COVENANT. After bungling his attempt to kill Pendergast he kidnaps Constance from the mental hospital to lure him out. After luring Pendergast to his death Esterhazy realizes that the Covenant already knows Helen is alive and wants them both dead, so he decides to work with Pendergast to save himself and Helen. Corrie Swanson (Still Life with Crows) is in New York and gets involved with the mystery after Betterton (reporter from Mississippi) contacts her in an attempt to get information about Pendergast. When Betterton winds up dead Corrie goes to check out the address he mentioned and discovers Nazi material before being discovered (is she still alive?). 
  6. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  7. The Demon Spirit by R.A. Salvatore - Thinking Bradwarden dead after the battle with the demon dactyl, Bestesbulzibar, Pony & Elbryan flee Mount Aida. Father Abbot Markwart who has been possessed by Bestesbulzibar sends some monks to Mount Aida to discover what happened. There they find Bradwarden still alive and through torture learn of Pony and Elbryan. Taking the Chilichunks (Pony's foster family) prisoner the monks attempt to discover where Pony is, when the Chilichunks are unable to answer the monks questions they take Connor (the Baron of Palmaris' nephew and Pony's former husband)  prisoner, in order to lure Pony and Elbryan into a trap. When Abbot Dobrinion objects to the way his parishioners are being treated he meets with an untimely end. Suspecting foul play in Abbot Dobrinion's death and recognizing the two monks who have taken the mantle of Brother Justice Connor flees for his life and finds Pony in order to warn her of Father Abbot Markwart's desire to see her dead and tell her of Bradwarden and the Chilichunks imprisonment. Joining with Pony, Elbryan, Roger and Juraviel they kill one of the Brother Justices and Roger and Connor attempt to take the other back to Palmaris for trial. When the Brother Justice escapes Connor is killed and Roger flees for his life. Unable to out run the Brother Justice Roger sets a trap that leads to the Brother Justice's death. Roger takes Connor and the Brother Justice's bodies to the Baron and tells him of what Connor suspected and how the monk killed him. The Baron and Roger set out for Ursal to enlist the aid of the King against Father Abbot Markwart. Abbot De'Unnero realizing what the Baron plans to do transforms into a Tiger and kills him on the road to Ursal. Roger manages to escape. Meanwhile Juraviel, Elbryan and Pony with the help of Master Jojonah rescue Bradwarden, alas the Chilichunks are already dead. Jojonah is branded an heretic and is burned at the stake. 
  8. The Demon Apostle by R. A. Salvatore - A pregnant Pony chooses to leave Elbryan and makes her home in Palmaris disguised as Belster's wife. Brother Francis helps Brother Braumin, four additional monks who are disciples of Jojonah and Roger escape. They flee to Dundalis seeking Nightbird. (Elbryan) and Pony. Father Abbot Markwart attempts to take over the Kingdom and frightens King Danube into submission when he visits him in spirit. Father Abbot Markwart sends Bishop De'Unnero after the fugitives, who have set out for Mount Aida. When Bishop De'Unnero confronts them with the Kingsmen he reveals his ability to turn into a tiger. Realizing that Bishop De'Unnero killed Baron Bildeborough the leader of the Kingsmen Shamus Kilronney chooses to side with Nightbird and he and his soldiers are branded as outlaws by De'Unnero. De'Unnero flees back to Palmaris. Reaching Avelyn's grave the "outlaws" are saved from a goblin attack by Avelyn. When Father Abbot Markwart enters Palmaris to great fanfare Pony is overcome by rage and launches a magical attack on Markwart. Even though the attack should have killed him Markwart somehow manages to survive (raising red flags for those who know about possession), and comes after a fleeing Pony in spirit. The elves intervene and send Markwart's spirit fleeing but Pony is seriously injured. Lady Dasslerond takes the child from Pony and hides him in Andur'Blough Inninness. Pony is taken to her friends and thinks that Markwart killed her Babe. As soon as she is strong enough she sets out to find Elbryan with Colleen Kilronney (Shamus' cousin). Markwart and King Danube with monks & Kingsmen in tow set out after them and capture Pony a seriously wounded Colleen flees to Dundalis. When Thomas attempts to hide her he too is taken prisoner. Pony is able to use a Soul Stone to warn Elbryan of the armies approach. Roger is sent off to find Pony. By the time he realizes she is a prisoner he doesn't have enough time to return and warn Elbryan. Roger sets off on his own for Palmaris in hopes of finding allies and a way to help.  In order to save Pony's life Elbryan and the others surrender. Pony, Elbryan, Bradwarden and the monks are imprisoned at St. Precious. Roger with Master Engress' help is able to free the prisoners. For awhile they hide in the caves but when they realize they are about to be discovered Pony sets out to confront Markwart and the rest follow. King Danube orders everyone to let them pass in hopes that Markwart will be killed. Pony joined with Elbryan's spirit defeats Markwart who realizes at the end he was possessed by Bestesbulzibar, as he is dying he confesses to Bishop Francis that he was wrong and instructs him to set things right. But victory is bittersweet Elbryan is dead and a part of Bestesbulzibar lives inside Pony & Elbryan's babe. 
  9. Private by James Patterson ( I wonder if he is creating a new series) Jack Morgan takes over his Father's private investigation company, Private and turns it into a very successful company. When his friend Shelby is brutally murdered in her own home he sets out to find her killer, while also investigating football games that may have been thrown for his Uncle Fred and helping the city stop the killers of young girls. 
  10. Gideon's Sword by Preston & Child - Gideon Crew sets out to avenge his Father who was framed as a traitor. After successfully avenging his Father Eli Glinn  (The Ice Limit)  recruits Crew to work for EES. His first mission is to find the plans for a revolutionary device a Chinese fugitive (Mark Wu) is bringing into the country. Mark Wu is viciously murdered by the Chinese operative Nodding Crane before Crew can get the device from him. Now Crew must outwit Nodding Crane to find the device and stay alive.