Oct 29, 2012

Alasandra's Reading List ~ October

  1. Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Chronicles of Nick) - Ambrose (Nick) may have finally succeeded in changing Nick's destiny. Nick now knows that Ambrose isn't his Uncle but is himself come back from the future. Adrian (Nick's Father) plans to kill Nick and eat his heart thus gaining his power. With the combined powers he would be untouchable. But Nick isn't that easy to kill and has some pretty fearsome backup to call on. Also he realizes how much he loves Kody when she is dying and makes a deal with a surprising ally to save her. Can't wait for the next installment. 
  2. A History of Islamic Societies by Ira M. Lapidus - very informative but I found it hard to get into.
  3. Taming the Scotsman by Kinley MacGregor - Blaming himself for his brother Kieran's suicide (which it seems was faked) Ewan is determined to spend his life alone in his highland cave. Then Nora shows up demanding that he take her to her Aunt Eleanor of Aquitaine so she can escape marriage to Ryan. No sooner do they sat out for Lochlan's (Ewan's elder brother and clan leader) then they are abducted by gypsies. But the gypsies aren't what they seem especially the exotically beautiful Catarina.  It seems that Alexander's (Nora's Father) plot to unite his family with the MacAllisters is working beautifully when Nora and Ewan are abducted by the MacKaids. They plan to kill Nora and place the blame on Ewan. Ewan's incredible strength allows him to save himself and Nora but he is grievously wounded. Looking forward to further books in the series involving Lochlan's romance with Catarina (hinted at in this book) and why Kieran faked his death and has remained away so long. 
  4. The Warrior by Kinley MacGregor -Lochlan is in France looking for news of Kieran when he sees Catarina being pursued by the Kings Guards. Believing he owes her Ewan's life he intervenes and helps her escape. After giving his word to reunite her with her Uncle and Cousin after he sees Lord Stryder in Rouen they set out for the Tourney. Attacked by highwaymen who turn out to be friends of Catarina's Lochlan gains a knight (Bracken) to watch his back.  Stryder tells Lochlan of TWO MacAllister brothers in the Holy Land, Duncan & Kieran and that he does not know which Scot survived, but that after the tourney he will take them to him. Before they leave Oswald cousin of the English King has Lochlan arrested because of something his FATHER did years ago. As the highest ranking noble present Oswald insist that Lochlan be flogged, to save Lochlan Caterina reveals her identity as Philips daughter and a princess of France outranking Oswald. When she is taken into custody Lochlan vows to free her. But before he can the MacKaids kidnap her and plan to kill her framing Lochlan. Stryder seeks out Kestrel to help them and with his friends help Lochlan rescues Catrina and flees to the Scot's Castle. At the Scot's Castle Lochlan discovers that Kieran is dead. Before they can leave Philip tracks them down and makes a deal with Lochlan to give Catarina her freedom in exchange for Lochlan's life. Once Lochlan proves his love for Catarina to King Philip he allows them to wed and they return to Scotland. Where Lochlan receives a visit from Kieran. (This is both a MacAllister novel and a Brotherhood of the Sword novel).  
  5. A Dark Champion by Kinley MacGregor - Takes place before The Warrior. Rowena de Vitry hates fighting and has no wish to marry a knight. Stryder has no wish to be married period as he doesn't wish anything to get in the way of his missions for The Brotherhood. But King Henry and Queen Eleanor wants to see them wed and Eleanor comes up with the perfect plot to make sure the couple falls in love. The motto of the Brotherhood was "WE all survive, WE all go home, WE are brothers unto the end" but not everyone in the Brotherhood was decent, unbeknownst to Stryder when he sent Cyril and others to release Aquarius and the other women and young boys held in special cells they took advantage of them and left them behind. Tortured for five years these others were willing to do anything to escape their hell, even become assassins of The Brotherhood. When Cyril is murdered Stryder is accused, upon a second death Stryder is taken into custody and Henry demands a "trial by combat", with Stryder's opponent being the one man Stryder will not fight (his former foster brother) Damien St Cyr. When it looks as if Damien will kill Stryder, Damien reveals a shocking secret guaranteed to make Stryder fight. Stryder wins the battle and refuses to kill Damien. With Rowena in his bed Stryder seems to have everything under control then a Saracen servant shows up with a young boy (Alexander) she claims is Stryder's son, and offers his medallion for proof. Realizing that Damien was the last to have the medallion, he confronts him about sending Alexander to him and stumbles upon a surprising secret. (This book takes place before The Warrior and the epilogue sets up Christian's story).
  6. Return of The Warrior by Kinley MacGregor - Queen Adara tracks down her wayward husband Prince Christian (aka The Abbot)  and beseeches him to return home to claim his throne. But unbeknownst to Adara  Selwyn sent a small army after her to kill her and Christian, in order to keep the throne. Fleeing for their lives Christian sent Adara to a monastery to seek sanctuary from Brother Thomas. Holding the soldiers off long enough for Adara to escape Christian is badly wounded and close to death until Phantom shows up. Phantom gets Christian to the monastery. Adara realizes who Phantom is but agrees not to tell Christian. Once Christian is recovered they leave the monastery through secret tunnels and start amassing an army made up mainly of members of the Brotherhood. On the way to Elgedera Christian is attacked and mortally wounded.When he miraculously recovers the Bishop of Venice accuses Adara of being a witch and has her arrested. Christian and his army free her and continue on their way to Elgedera. Believing they will be ambushed at a certain pass Christian leaves Adara behind where he thinks she will be safe but the wily Selwyn was just waiting for the opportunity to kidnap Adara. Phantom uses his contacts in the city to sneak inside the palace so Christian can reclaim his wife and his throne.   
  7. Herbs Gone Wild! Ancient Remedies Turned Loose by Diane Kidman - more of a reference guide. 
  8. The Guardian by Sherrilyn Kenyon - When Lydia goes to Azmodea to rescue Solin (her Father) she is taken hostage by Seth (The Guardian) who gives Solin an ultimatum return with They Key to Olympus or Lydia dies. Big problem for Solin his daughter (Half Were-Hunter/Half Dream-Hunter) is the key. Solin rallies his enemies to go to his daughters aid. When Azmodea is attacked Seth is captured by the Greek Gods who have come to kill Lydia. Even though Seth is tortured he protects Lydia. Noir sends Jaden to get Seth down and after Noir leaves sneaks Lydia in to see him. Seth returns Lydia's powers so she can return home, but she refuses to leave with out him. Lydia uses her powers to teleport Seth and herself to Sanctuary in New Orleans where Carson treats Seth's injuries. Seth's Aunt (Ma'at) shows up and heals Seth and provides him with a body guard, Maahes. Maahes takes them to his home in New Orleans but Verlyn (God Noir sent to bring Seth back to slavery and to capture Lydia) finds them. They manage to escape to Ma'at's temple but a bunch of people show up some wanting to kill Lydia others lead by Solin trying to protect her. Seth figures out that Lydia is the key and comes up with a plan to protect her. He brings a "dead" Lydia into the throne room and allows Verlyn to drag him back to Azmodea for Noir to torture. Lydia awakens days later at Solin's home with no memory of her time in Azmodea or Seth. When she remembers Seth she leads her own army to bring Seth home. 
  9. I, Michael Bennett by James Patterson - Not as good as some of the previous books. I know it is a work of fiction but the police brutality and cutting corners really bothered me. Michael Bennett decides to arrest The Sun King at his daughters graduation, things go from bad to worse his long time friend Hughie is killed by Marietta and The Sun King kills a young waiter before Bennett captures him. Marietta manages to escape. In between chasing the bad guys Bennett manages to screw things up with Mary Catherine. Sadly The Sun King doesn't stay in jail. With his money and power he arranges to bust out of jail. Bennett manages to track him down to a cabin in the woods where the Feds start a forest fire to flush him out. The Sun King leaves a naked Marietta behind swimming in the pool as he flees on an ATV. Bennett kills her when she reaches for a gun. Leading to the Sun King putting a hit out on his family, including Mary Catherine. The book ends with all the Bennetts including Mary Catherine going into a witness protection program. 
  10. Born in Sin by Kinley MacGregor - Callie (Caledonia) hates all things English so she is horrified when King Henry forces her to marry an English Earl. Sin is attracted to the red haired beauty but he hates Scotland and has no wish to return or marry a Scottish lass. But feeling he owes Henry from rescuing him from slavery in Outremer he agrees to marry Callie and discover who The Raider is raiding Henry's subjects. Callie soon discovers Sin's soft side as she watches his kindness to her younger brother Jamie and his consideration of her. When his Mother attacks him Callie comes to his defense and falls in love with her handsome husband.But her clan refuses to accept him and are plotting how to get rid of him. They have invited the MacAllisters to come help them and are rather surprised at the warm welcome Sin receives from them and are amazed to discover that he is there "bastard" brother. When he save a village from an enraged bull most of the villagers are won over and decide to celebrate his wedding to Callie, but Dermot (Callie's brother) takes advantage of the celebration to poison Sin. But Sin's friend Simon eats the cake instead of Sin. Suspecting Dermot is The Raider he fears that doing his duty to Henry will drive a wedge between him and Callie. He allows Aster to go after Dermot, but when neither return he fears the worst and rides out with his brothers only to discover that Henry has been attacked. A remorseful Dermot returns Aster's body to the castle and tells how his plan to hold Henry for ransom went horribly wrong. When King Henry shows up demanding The Raider be turned over to him Sin takes the blame. Henry leaves with Sin planning to execute him in England, but Callie rallies her clan and the MacAllister clan and goes after them. She threatens to go to war with Henry if he doesn't return her husband. Henry refuses until Dermot finds the courage to reveal he is The Raider. Surprised that The Raider is a young boy Henry agrees not to kill him but insist he be taken into English custody. Sin bargains for Simon's brother Draven to be awarded his guardianship and Henry agrees.
  11.   Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James - After all the hype I was expecting more then a Harlequin Romance with kinky sex. Typical naive young girl meets handsome rich experienced guy and is swept off her feet. They fall madly in love but something comes between them. In this case Christian's past.Christian Grey was born to a drug addict and prostitute that we assume abused him (cigarette burns on his chest) adopted by the perfect family at age four he doesn't feel he fits in. An older female friend of the family (Ana refers to as Mrs Robinson but we do learn her first name is Elena) seduces Grey when he is 15 with S&M which is the only form of sex he engages in. Then he meets the virgin Ana and has vanilla sex for the first time. He also promises her "more" and tries to deliver. He meets her step-Father at graduation, he takes her to a family dinner, and he follows her to Georgia where he meets her Mother. Everything seems to be working out until his need to punish pushes Ana to far and she walks out.Personal I found the witty emails they exchanged the best part of the book.  
  12.  
11th Hour (Women's Murder Club, #11)11th Hour by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Couldn't put it down.

A rogue cop is murdering drug dealers and severed heads are found at a movie stars estate. The police find several more buried on the grounds. And a pg Lindsay believes Joe is cheating on her.

If that isn't enough on Lindsay's plate a jerk reporter is taking liberties with the truth and screwing with her cases.

But as usual the Women's Murder Club solves the crimes and the reporter gets his just deserts when he is caught with a hooker.

And Lindsay finally listens to Joe who has been telling her the truth all along.

View all my reviews



Oct 13, 2012

Porches

Eclectic Patio design by Interior Designer Design Associates - Lynette Zambon, Carol Merica

I have been looking at various Options for a back porch. This is probably my #1 pick but I also like

Traditional Porch design by Austin Architect Christopher K. Travis

This one 



And I really like this one but don't think it would look right with our house.

Oct 4, 2012

Last Nights Debate

Helen says it best.

I will add that Romney reminded me of a snake oil salesman. Honestly his manic chatter gave me a headache. It was like he was afraid if he stopped talking those listening might have time to think and realize that with Romney 2+2 no longer equals 4 but whatever Romney has decided it should equal at the moment. Or worse yet they might ask a question he didn't have an fairytale answer for.

And his bullying of Jim Lehrer was appalling. He ran roughshod over the moderator. It became sadly apparent that President Obama would also have to ignore Lehrer in order to get a chance to present his views.

Somebody over in the Romney campaign decided to go ahead and shake that Etch A Sketch