Jan 28, 2013

1356

1356 (The Grail Quest, #4)1356 by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Poor Thomas always seems to get stuck looking for some relic. This time it is the Sword of St Peter known as la Malice and of course evil churchmen want it too.

The book begins with Thomas of Hookton (le Batard) employed by the Count of Labrouillade to retrieve his wife who has run off with another man. The Count is a particularly disgusting specimen who castrates his wife's lover and humiliates her. The greedy Count foolishly attempts to cheat Thomas and his men so Thomas attacks him, gets the money he is owed and at (his wife) Genevieve's urging takes Bertille with them.

A message arrives from Billy urging Thomas to find la Malice. Before he can set off to find it the Count of Labrouillade sends Roland to retrieve his wife. Roland is the Virgin Knight and full of quaint ideas about honor and chivalry. Thomas sends him packing and sets out for Montpelier to find out more about la Malice. Roland follows him and sets the town police on him but Thomas escapes. But while Thomas is in hiding Roland takes Genevieve and (their son) Hugh hostage, intending to exchange them for Bertille. Roland is dismayed when the Count of Labrouillade attempts to rape Genevieve and horrified when Father Marchant takes her eye out. Roland and Robbie help Genevieve and Hugh escape.

Roland intends to return to fight for France but then he meets Bertille and falls hopelessly in love with her. He then joins forces with Thomas so that he can kill Bertille's husband and they can marry. Roland also reveals that la Malice is in Poitiers. Unfortunately the evil churchmen get their first and take the sword.

Thomas and his men join the Black Prince they are hopelessly out numbered and trapped on a hill without food or water but they hold the line against the French charge and wind up taking the King of France and his youngest son prisoner. Thomas kills his enemies retrieves the sword and leaves it to be destroyed.

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Jan 26, 2013

The Three Earths ~ Chapter 1

In a galaxy for away on a plant (Semrys) much like Earth, a young Prince was the only survivor of his family. His story began before his birth in the Kingdom of Skye. The King of Skye, King Solomon was very wise,  Scientist and Philosophers thrived in his Kingdom which was known for it’s culture and tolerance.  Then alas King Solomon fell in love with Princess Sophie from the Kingdom of Christisall. Unfortunately she was as pious as she was beautiful and once she married King Solomon she sat about changing  the Kingdom of Skye.

When King Solomon asked what Sophie would like for a wedding present she sweetly asked him to build a huge Cathedral where she could  worship her God. Thinking the request was relatively harmless he ordered the Cathedral to be built.  This created a huge hardship for the peasants of Skye who were forced to work on the Cathedral, as they were unable to work in their fields and harvest their crops. Luckily the scientist were able to come up with many time saving devices and the Cathedral was completed in a year but many would have starved if the government warehouses where surpluses of food were kept were not opened. While no one starved everyone had to tighten their belts and the pompous priest who came from Christisall  to work in the Cathedral  just made matters worse with his constant criticism of the Scientist and Philosophers.  But while the seeds of discontent had been planted an outright rebellion would not take place for many years.

When Queen Sophie became pregnant with the royal heir the whole kingdom rejoiced.  The King was overjoyed and asked Queen Sophie what she would like as a gift. She told the King how unhappy she was that the Cathedral was empty on Holyday except for the King and herself and requested the King order his subjects to attend Holyday services at the Cathedral. The King didn’t want to do this as he was proud of his Kingdoms religious tolerance and the fact that his subjects were free to worship as they wished, so at first he refused. But eventually the Queen and the Priest wore him down. Now the Kings subjects were very unhappy about being ordered to attend Holyday services and it created a hardship for many of the peasants who had to get up before dawn to walk to the Cathedral but since overall the King was a wise and just man they didn’t revolt right away.

The royal nursery was full with the Crown Prince Daniel, Prince Justin, Princess Chastity and Prince Obed.  Each of the children had their own faults and foibles Crown Prince Daniel was full of mischief and always looking for adventure, Princess Chastity was  pious and plain, Prince Obed was devout and dour and perhaps took a little too much pleasure in the idea of sinners being punished and Prince Justin was studious and shy. Prince Justin’s great love was books and ironically it would be books that would lead to the downfall of the Kingdom of Skye.

Queen Sophie usually ignored her middle son as he made here very uncomfortable. She saw the world in Black & White and didn’t like to be forced to think or see shades of gray in situations. And Prince Justin with his probing questions and agile mind was always making her see complexities where she didn’t wish too. But one day when she came across him in the courtyard she paused to talk with him and picked up the book he was reading which was full of probing questions and thoughtful discourse. She found the book very unsettling and rushed to the priest with it. The priest barely glanced at it before he pronounced it blasphemous and decreed that the King must order it and all books but the Holybook burned at once. The Queen rushed to the King and begged him to have the books burned but HE REUFSED. The King really believed in Freedom of Speech, and Learning, and Philosophy and had no intention of having his Kingdom turned into a backward theocracy like Christisall. The Queen was very upset when she realized the King would not give in to her demands and rushed to the Priest to get his advice.

The Priest went on and on about how the King was a heretic and was leading his people astray and that it would  be best for everyone if he was removed from the throne and a GODLY man or woman was on it. He also pointed out that if something should happen to the King she would be in charge until the Crown Prince came of age. Now Queen Sophie had never wanted to marry King Solomon who was old enough to be her Father, but had only done so because the Head Priest of Christisall told her it was her duty to God to do so, so she found it easy enough to poison the King. The priest was overjoyed his plan was working but he realized right away that there was no way she would kill who own children, who she loved in her own strange way. So the priest came up with a plot to get Daniel and Justin out of the way. He convinced the Queen that it was the Kingdom of Skye’s duty to seek out the Holy Relic that was being kept in a heathern kingdom to the North and that Crown Prince Daniel and Prince Justin should lead the Holy War. Prince Justin who realized how WRONG the expedition was flatly refused and outwitted the priest by insisting that GOD had told him he didn’t want him to go. Crown Prince Daniel saw it as a great adventure and was happy enough to go but somehow broke his leg right before the soldiers were to leave. Prince Obed wound up leading the Holywarriors, to the High Priest dismay as Obed was his choice for king, and he didn’t expect the Holywarriors to return alive.

Obed led the Holywarriors to the village where the Holy Relic was located where he found all the able bodied men absent as they were off on an pte winkte hunt. Believing he was doing God's will be slaying the infidel he ordered the slaughter of everyone in the village, even the newborn babies. When the hunters returned and saw the slaughter of their kin they tracked down Obed and his warriors and slew everyone to avenge their kin, then they set out to destroy the Kingdom of Skye.

The philosophers, scientist and intellectuals of Skye convinced Prince Justin & Crown Prince Daniel to accompany them east to the Kingdom of  Semrys, where they would be welcomed. Queen Sophie, The High Priest and Princess Chastity fled to Christisall where they didn’t get the reception they expected. Queen Sophie’s brother the King was worried about his throne so he had Queen Sophie and the High Priest executed for treason. Poor Princess Chastity was sent to a nunnery. The peasants of Skye surrendered to the barbarian tribe who treated them decently. So ended the Kingdom of Skye.

Jan 22, 2013

Without Mercy

Without MercyWithout Mercy by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fearing that Shaylee's life is in danger at the elite boarding school for troubled teens she was sent to Jules arranges to get a job as a teacher there. Upon her arrival Jules discovers that her ex-boyfriend Cooper Trent is there investigating Lauren Conway's disappearance.

When Nona Vickers and Drew Prescott are murdered in the stables Jules becomes even more convinced that the school holds a deadly secret. With Trent's help Jules uncovers the secret society that terrorizes the school and takes down their fanatical leader. But the nightmare continues when Jules remembers what really happened the night her Father died.

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Why is Gina Miller so Hateful?

It's bad enough that the woman consistently refuses to refer to our duly elected President in the proper manner but one can only wonder why Renew America continues to give her a platform for her bigotry.

What is a "real marriage"? and why is it that Gina Miller's definition is the only one that counts? Allowing homosexuals to marry in no way harms a hetersexual marriage. I am really puzzled why Gina Miller and the others who wish to deny homosexuals the right to marry thinks it does.

Jan 13, 2013

24 Hours

24 Hours (Mississippi #2)24 Hours by Greg Iles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Will Jennings heads to Biloxi for a medical convention he has no idea what a nightmare his life is fixing to become. Blaming Will for his Mother's death Joe Hickey kidnaps Will's daughter Abby. Joe has devised the perfect crime that has worked 5 times in the past. Abby is left with his retarded cousin Huey, while Joe holds Karen (Will's wife) hostage and Joe's wife Cheryl is with Will to ensure his cooperation.

Then Joe's plan begins to unravel. When Joe starts to rape Karen she attacks him with a scalpel, Will manages to get Cheryl on his side and Huey becomes Abby's protector. A desperate plane ride gets Will to Abby before Joe Hickey but will all their sacrifices be for nothing.

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Jan 10, 2013

WTF

How anyone can believe it is OK to sell guns online is beyond me. This practice needs to END immediately. It should be readily apparent to almost everyone that online purchasers can easily hide their true identity making background checks and mental health screenings impossible.  Not to mention there is no way to guarantee that the gun actually gets to the person who ordered it.

That being said no bank should have the ability to freeze a customers accounts simply because they do not like the business they are in. It seems the matter has been resolved the gun dealership opened an account with a local "gun friendly" bank and the Bank of America released the majority of funds (banks routinely have a waiting period from when you deposit funds and when they are available to you). 

Bank of America certainly has the right to decide who they wish to do business with. If they choose not to do business with GUN DEALERS that is their right.

Jan 9, 2013

Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades, #2)Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Much better then the first book. Christian and Anna embark on a real relationship.First they have to deal with Christian's ex-Submissive stalking them with a gun. She is a real piece of work she left her husband for another man. The man died and now she is stalking Anna and Christian. Anna walks in on her in her apartment, luckily Christian realizes that something is wrong and rushes into the apartment and is able to talk Leila down and send her off to the looney bin.

Then Anna's boss, Jack, tries to blackmail her into having sex with him. Christian fires him and Jack sabotages Christian's plane. Luckily Christian survives.

Then Elena (Mrs Robinson) shows her true colors when she verbally attacks Anna after Christian announces his engagement to Anna. Loved it when Anna threw her drink on the child molesting bitch. But it was pretty good when Grace (Christian's Mother) walked in and slapped her after overhearing what Elena had down with her son when he was a teenager.

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Jan 8, 2013

The Stupidity of Hobby Lobby & Gina Miller

As most of you know Hobby Lobby is objecting to having to provide preventive care for their female employees and the nutcase Miller is defending their stupidity.

Under the Affordable Care Act, women’s preventive health care – such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care, and other services – is covered with no cost sharing for new health plans. However, the law recognizes and HHS understands the need to take into account the unique health needs of women throughout their lifespan.

The preventive care includes CONTRACEPTIVES, to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Contrary to the lies Miller is spreading it does not require coverage of abortion.

You can see what is covered here.

And because CATHOLICS are opposed to contraceptive use there are even religious exceptions.

Group health plans sponsored by certain religious employers, and group health insurance coverage in connection with such plans, are exempt from the requirement to cover contraceptive services.  A religious employer is one that:  (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit organization under Internal Revenue Code section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii).  45 C.F.R. §147.130(a)(1)(iv)(B). See the Federal Register Notice:   
Women's Preventive Services: Required Health Plan Coverage Guideline HRSA

Hobby Lobby isn't a religious employer, they are an arts and crafts retailer. Their goal is to make a profit selling arts and crafts material to their customers.As a retailer one can assume that their employees come from diverse backgrounds and faiths. There is absolutely no reason why their employees should not be covered by the Affordable Care Act and why their female employees should not receive preventive care. The Affordable Care Act does not trample anyone's religious freedom on the contrary it gives female employes the right to exercise their religious freedom and obtain the healthcare that they wish regardless of their employers religious beliefs. Employers should not be able to dictate the healthcare female employees receive based on their beliefs.

I wonder if Miller would be as quick to champion Hobby Lobby if David Green practiced Scientology? Would Miller be OK with a store owner deciding that mental illness wasn't real based on their religious beliefs and having the "right" to deny insurance coverage for mental illness to their employees?

Vaccination is another hot topic, what if an anti-vaccination religion was allowed to deny insurance coverage of vaccinations based on their religious beliefs?

Employes male and female should not have their healthcare dictated by their employers religious beliefs. 

Jan 6, 2013

Hot Blooded

Hot Blooded (New Orleans, #1)Hot Blooded by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Detective Rick Bentz links radio personality Samantha Leeds stalker to the serial killer who has been hunting New Orleans prostitutes.

Ty Wheeler, ex cop turned true crime writer, comes to town to uncover the truth about what really happened to Annie Seger.

Can Ty and Bentz uncover the dark secrets from Annie's past in time to unmask the killer before Samantha becomes his victim?

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