Mar 31, 2013

Scoundrel

ScoundrelScoundrel by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paul Shanahan is ready to come home to Boston and put his days as an IRA terrorist behind him, the 5 million in gold he plans to purloin from the IRA will provide a nice retirement fund. But his carefully laid plans go awry when the tenant his brother in-law installed in Paul's home without permission notifies the authorities there is an intruder.

Forced to deal with his handlers before he was ready Paul tells them about everything except the "Rebel Lady" and her hull full of gold. But unbeknownst to Paul the "Rebel Lady" holds more then gold and her dark secret may destroy America if Paul isn't able to find her location in time.

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Dead Money

Dead Money by Eng
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dead Money is a gambling term you'll have to read the book to find out what it means.

Dan Morgan is offered a great deal of money for his filly. He hesitates to sell her because of his romantic involvement with Beth. But the potential buyer refuses to take "No" for an answer. After a frantic phone call from his trainer imploring him not to sell the filly and informing him they want her for a scam the trainer winds up dead. Dan is determined to prove his trainer was murdered and to find out why.

O'Brien doesn't seem to have the breath of knowledge of horses and racing that Dick Francis does, but it was a good yarn. And I really love Aly Dancer the little filly with the big heart. Wonder if there is a sequel planned.

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Mar 27, 2013

To Grace Evans

Grace Evans age 11 is worried that if homosexuals are allowed to marry it will take Moms & Dads away from kids like her.  Honestly not sure how she thinks this issue will impact "her" life but then she is 11, 11 year olds aren't know for well reasoned thoughtful arguments.

Grace many children today don't have a traditional family it is a shame, but it has nothing to do with homosexuals being allowed to marry. You can blame it on HETEROSEXUALS procreating then getting divorced, if they were even married to begin with. There are a lot of unwed Mothers in the world today. A lot of children grow up in one parent households and most of these children turn out just fine.

Maybe we should ask the children of homosexuals how they feel about their parents being denied the right to marry. Because these children actually are impacted by this issue. You Grace are not and never will be unless one of your parents is a closet homosexual. 

Irony thou name is Gina Miller.

The few times I have read Gina's writings, I cringed at her lockstep conservative perspective on the issues and her ignorant disdain for liberals and those who seek to preserve our nation as founded. From what I have read, her main weapon is empty sarcasm. I say "empty," because sarcasm without a foundation in truth is a dumb weapon of baseless insult, whether the user of it realizes this or not. It was highly amusing to read Miller's denouncement of Alexandra Petri's column on what's her name, you know the has been former Governor of Alaska.

Sadly the poor persecuted Christians have had to start their War on Christmas nonsense in March.  Really not being allowed to use public tax payer money to fund your Religious Displays does not constitute a War on Christmas, it harkens back to the founding principal, you know the one about separation of Church and State.  

Mar 24, 2013

Guest Post by Bo Alawine

I was utterly aghast at the lie perpetuated here by the Sun Herald editorial board in its March 19 editorial.

Ten years ago, the U.S. launched an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation, a nation which, despite the claims of the then-President and his Administration, had absolutely nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 and which possessed no weapons of mass destruction arrayed against the United States.

Over 4,000 American lives lost, tens of thousands of Americans wounded or crippled, over 100,000 Iraqi civilian casualties.  Over $1.6 TRILLION was spent on the invasion and subsequent occupation with an estimated $6 trillion more to come in veteran’s expenses.

And yet absolutely no one has been held accountable. No one from the Bush Administration, not one single member of Congress who voted for it, not one single member of the supposedly liberal media which either wholeheartedly endorsed it or failed to offer even a word of caution.

That this paper conveniently neglects its own role in endorsing and supporting this colossal failure of American foreign policy and conflating it with the hunt for Osama bin Laden is despicable.  That this editorial board would callously, under the auspices of "honoring" the dead, not even mention that the Iraq War as a mistake is beyond contemptible.

The message here is very clear:  Don’t criticize our blunder in Iraq.  Doing so would be “dishonoring” the troops.

If the Sun Herald Ed Board truly wants to honor those who died while in service to this country as a result of both of those conflicts, the very least it could do is be honest about WHY those service members died.  It could also offer a public apology for failing to oppose a war which should have never been.

Mar 22, 2013

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book with lots of depth. Paints a very accurate picture of how anyone who is different or doesn't belong is treated in small Southern towns.

Ethan Wate dreams of the day he can escape Gatlin and the town's obsession with the Civil War and family trees. He dreams of going away to college and making his escape from the boring small town his family has lived in for generations. Then his dreams are haunted by a beautiful girl and his life changed forever when SHE moves to town.

Lena longs to be a regular girl with a regular girls problems but her 16th birthday is looming close and the last thing she needs or wants is a boyfriend. But then she meets Ethan and everything changes. He convinces her that together they can find a way to break the curse on her family.

When they find the locket Ethan Carter Wate gave to Genevieve they catch glimpses of how the curse came to be and the role the "Book of Moons" played in it. Ethan is convinced that if they find the "Book of Moons" they can find a way to undo the curse. They find the book in Genevieve's grave but before they can find a solution the book goes missing.

Macon Ravenwood (Lena's Uncle) is willing to sacrifice everything to keep Lena safe and goes to extreme lengths to ensure she chooses the Light. But will history repeat itself or does Amma's help (the Wate family servant, and like a Mother to Ethan) change everything.

Beautiful Creatures ends with a lot of unanswered questions. Does Ethan and Lena's love survive and do they find a way to be together? Can Lena really not be claimed by either the Dark or the Light? And what is the "power" that Ethan has? Hopefully some of the answers can be found in the sequel Beautiful Darkness.

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Mar 18, 2013

Trilogy

Trilogy: A Collection by Prudence MacGregor
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A collection of 3 short stories.

Parallelograms doesn't seem to have much of a plot it ends abruptly and seems unfinished.

Random - I enjoyed but would have liked to have found out what happened to Prudence and her family. Perhaps one day the author will consider developing this story into a novel.

Up There - Gregory meets the woman of his dreams only to see on the news that she was in a plane that is missing. I found the story melancholy but enjoyable.

Random was my favorite of the 3 all seem heavy on description and short on plot.




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Mar 17, 2013

A Crowning Mercy

A Crowning Mercy (Crowning Mercy, #1)A Crowning Mercy by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dorcas Slythe is constantly humiliated and mistreated at the hands of her Puritan family and their servants. Then she meets Toby Lazender while bathing in a nearby stream and begins to dream of a life filled with love and beauty.

Forced to marry Samuel Scammell she despairs but her "Father's death" reveals a secret and a fortune. When Dorcas finds the Seal of St Matthew she takes the name of Campion and flees from her home. Hoping to find out more about the mysterious Covenant she seeks out Sir Grenville Cony. Cony is the holder of the Seal of St. Mark and his one desire is to assemble 3 of the Seals so he can claim Campion's fortune as his own. But Campion has a stalwart champion in Toby and he frees her from Grenville's clutches and she spends many happy months with Toby's family.

But with the help of Campion's "brother" Ebenezer Slythe, Grenville destroys the Lazender's home and takes Campion prisoner. Denounced as a witch she is held in the Tower of London and barely escapes the executioner when the mysterious Devorax whisk her away to safety. He delivers her to Mordecai Lopez the holder of the Seal of St. Luke. Lopez reveals that her Real Father is Christopher Aretine and that he assembled the fortune for her. Lopes helps her escaped to the Royalist Stronghold of Oxford and reunites her with Toby whom she marries. He gives her his Seal and promises to help her claim the two in Grenville's possession.

Devorax meets with Ebenezer and strikes a bargain he will share the money from the Covenant with him. He arranges for Ebenezer to get Grenville to come with his Seals to an old church and promises to have Campion and her Seal there. Grenville, Toby and Campion are taken prisoner by Devorax and Ebenezer. Devorax test Toby's love for Campion and when Toby passes the test he takes Ebenezer prisoner and lets Campion and Toby go with the Seals. He has Campion and Toby taken to Lopez's ship and couple sets sail for Amsterdam, while Devorax stays behind to deal with Ebenezer and Cony. Only after they have set sail does Toby realize the package Devorax gave Toby for Lopez is really intended for Campion. When she opens it she finds the Seal of St John.

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Mar 13, 2013

Devil's Lair

Devil's LairDevil's Lair by David Wisehart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enjoyed the book.

The book begins with Giovanni Boccaccio (a poet), William of Ockham (an English friar) and Nadja (an epileptic with the gift of prophecy) seeking the knight, Marco da Roma. Nadja believes that he can lead them to hell and help them recover the Holy Grail. They find a grievously wounded Marco on the battlefield with no memory of who he is. Captivated by Nadja's beauty he agrees to accompany them.

Using Dante's Inferno as a guide the pilgrims make their way into hell. William's death comes as a sad blow to the group. Marco remembers who he is and redeems himself and Giovanni and Nadja escape with the Grail.

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Mar 10, 2013

Gallows Thief

Gallows ThiefGallows Thief by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Literally at the last minute Rider Sandman saves a condemned man from the gallows with the help of his friends. He also finds the courage to ask the Father of the woman he loves for her hand in marriage and a loan so he can set up shop selling cigars.

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Mar 8, 2013

Decency dictates women have a choice



Hull’s letter was riddled with misinformation. While it is true that in 2000, 54% of the women obtaining abortions had been using some method of contraceptive (including the rhythm method Hull champions) only 14% were on the pill. Contraceptive use does prevent unwanted pregnancies and does reduce abortions. Oral contraceptives are also used to treat or prevent serious medical conditions. 

27 year old Savita Halappanavar was allowed to die in Ireland because of anti-choice policies like Hull wishes to force on America. Policies that make a fetus more important than a woman, and impose religious views on those who do not share them.

As for his claim that “many women forever regret their abortions and are traumatized by them”, there is no scientific evidence to support this assertion. In fact the Turnaway Study found “that there are no mental health consequences of abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. “

The five-year Turnaway Study looks at women’s “mental health, physical health and socioeconomic outcomes of receiving an abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term.” Other findings women who carried an unwanted pregnancy to term are three times more likely than women who receive an abortion to be below the poverty level two years later.”

Science, good medicine and human decency dictate that a woman be allowed to choose what contraceptive methods are best for her based on the advice of her doctor and that if an abortion becomes necessary she be allowed to have one. 

Mar 6, 2013

Wildtrack

WildtrackWildtrack by Bernard Cornwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyed the book but found it slow going in spots. My favorite character is the cat Vicky.

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