Aug 18, 2017

Dragonsworn (Dark-Hunter, #28)

Dragonsworn (Dark-Hunter, #28)Dragonsworn by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For the first time in a long time she didn't rehash everything that happened in previous books, but at points I felt lost as I felt I should remember something that I didn't. She really needs to find a happy medium between rehashing everything that happened and making vague references to things that she thinks we should know, we do seem to be moving the story line along some albeit at a snails pace.

It seems that the Chronicles of Nick will be tied into the main story line soon as references are made to things that happen in the CoN. First for the important stuff we learn. Noir is Falcyn's Father and his Mother is Lilith two Primary gods. This means Falcyn is extremely powerful, and is actually the War God Veles, Falcyn is a nickname his sister gave him. His brother Hadyn was a Simon Magi with the ability to take life and destroy souls. I kinda think that Hadyn may still be alive (Shadow maybe), he seems to powerful to kill. And that the Dragonstone Falcyn has is actually the Dragonsworn it can actually bring people back to life. Which is why Morgen wants it, she wants to bring her son Mordred back to life.

There also seems to be some question about WHO FATHERED Acheron. It seems that Archon tricked Apollymi (Braith) into marrying him by pretending to be the reincarnation of her dead lover Kissare. What we know about Kissare, he is a Sephiroth and he fathered the FIRST Malachai (THIS MEANS NICK AND ACHERON ARE RELATED). Archon said he wasn't Acheron's Father so the speculation is that Kissare has been reincarnated and that he actually fathered Acheron (My guess it may be Savitar).

Phoebe is alive, and Urian is more important than anyone suspected, he holds the blood of Apollymi, Bet, Set and Acheron and is the key to bringing them all down. The fate of the world is in the hands of Styxx's family not Acheron's. (For those who don't know Urian is the son of Styxx and Bethany).

OK now for the story, Falcyn learns that his son Maddor is alive as well as his sister Xyn and being held by Morgen Le Fey (the Lords of Avalon books also seem to be being tied in). Medea's family is being attacked by a plague sent by Apollo (her grandfather) and she comes to her brother Urian for help. Even though Urian hates Stryker (for killing Phoebe) he loves his brother Davyn and is willing to help. They need Falcyn's Dragonstone to cure Medea's people. But before they can ask Falcyn for it Morgen tries to get it and Falcyn, Blaise (Falcyn's grandson) Urian and Medea wind up in another realm. Falcyn is immediately attracted to Medea starts telling her stuff he NEVER tells anyone and when they get separated from the group have sex. Rather unbelievable even for a Kenyon book. They find Blaise's adopted Father Merlin dead and Nimue dying. Before she dies she tells Blaise to take Merlin's stone and go to Camelot and release the dragons. By this time Braise has hooked up with Brogan and rescued her from the Crom. Shadow (another mysterious character) helps them get to Camelot through the Shadowland although he is injured doing so. When they get to Camelot they get help from Brogan's brother Brandor. They find Maddor pinned in such a way that if they free the dragons Maddor will be killed. Brogan summons the Crom and gives him Morgen's name. Falcyn accidentally puts Maddor's soul in the Crom's body, as the Crom he can't harm Falcyn as Brogan hasn't given the Crom Falcyn's name. Maddor learns that Falcyn is his Father, Blaise is his son and that Falcyn loves him. The Crom breaks free, Simi arrives to help (apparently everyone is afraid of HER) Falcyn puts Maddor back in his own body. The Crom goes to kill Morgen, Maddor steals the dragonstone from Falcyn. Simi talks him into giving it back. Everyone escapes except Maddor who can't leave. Falcyn and Medea go back and rescue Maddor. Falcyn's cures Medea's family (fun fact Apollymi is his Aunt) and when Medea goes to check on Davyn she find Phoebe feeding on him. Urian accidentally turned her into an Anglekos when he fed her tainted souls. When she attacked the compound she was living in Stryker went got her and was keeping her imprisoned. He intended to tell Urian but he slit Urian's throat before he could (oops parental fail). With Falcyn beside her Medea tells Urian about Phoebe. Unfortunately Apollo controls Phoebe.

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Aug 17, 2017

Black Cats Tell All

In the interest of full disclosure my cat Yin's story is featured in the book, but even if she wasn't I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. It gets 5 stars and then some. Some of the stories made me laugh, some of the stories made my cry but they all touched my heart and I fell in love with each and every one of the cats featured in the book, and the photographs were outstanding.

Black Cats Tell all is a "celebration" of all that is positive about black cats, with the hope of once-and-for-all reversing negative stereotypes that to this day are still far too prevalent.  In most cases the stories are narrated by the cats themselves.   A portion of the proceeds from this book will help Shelter Cats. I was shocked to learn that black cats got a bad rap June 13, 1233 when Pope Gregory IX issued a papal bull proclaiming black cats were an incarnation of Satan. Leading to many black cats being killed.

This book aims to reverse the negative stereotypes that many people still hold about black cats. 

To learn how to get your copy visit  Cat Wisdom 101

 And be sure to check out Yin's story. ~Alasandra

Pascagoula River Audubon Center - March 2017, Part 1

  The Moss Point Fine Art Gallery is located inside the Pascagoula River Audubon Center and showcases the work of local artist. When I visited in March 2017 the work of Ruth Kimbrough was being featured.

I love her work.

We had an unseasonably WARM WINTER, I don't think I wore a sweater all winter, so I win a ticket to Pascagoula River Audubon Center's  Birds and Brews in March and what happens it turns unseasonably COLD. If I hadn't won the ticket I would have stayed in but since I had a free ticket I put on my thermal underwear a heavy sweater and a heavy coat and braved the freezing temperatures in MARCH, I am so glad I did as I had a marvelous time. And Captain Benny McCoy supplied warm blankets for his passengers.

Captain McCoy is very knowledgeable about the local waterways and the local wildlife, I learned a lot from his tour.

And the Scenery was magnificent.

I love the older houses on the River

Really wish I had blogged about this sooner as my memory has faded but the marsh grass is an important part of the ecosystem. I wish I remembered more of what Captain McCoy told us about it.

I know that it's used as a nursery. It also makes for an interesting picture with the clouds reflected in the water.

Sure would be nice to have these lovely blue skies back. We are having an unseasonably WET SUMMER.

I took a picture of this sign so I would know where I was at, if we ever go kayaking here. Dr. Thomas Singley and some of his neighbors were nice enough to put signs in the maze of bayous in the lower Pascagoula River.

I saw this Egret as we were putting into shore, I think it may be a Great Egret but I am not certain.

I turned this picture into a pencil sketch as it was sort of blurry.

This is a Red Buckeye. I had gotten one from the Center a few years ago, but I don't think mine made it. If it ever stops raining I need to go look in the yard for it.

Hopefully I will be able to get another one as they have a Master Gardeners Program now.

The views are lovely. I will do a post about the Ospreys and Owls I saw soon. ~Alasandra

Aug 15, 2017

Midnight at Marble Arch (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #28)

Midnight at Marble Arch (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #28)Midnight at Marble Arch by Anne Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book begins with a young girl becoming hysterical at a party when Neville Forsbrook approaches her. She is the daughter of the Portuguese Ambassador, which gives Pitt an opening to investigate her death after she throws herself out a window at another party rather than be taunted by Neville. Pitt is convinced that Neville raped her, but Quixwood insist that Neville was with him at the time of the rape and couldn't have done it.

Meanwhile Narraway is investigating the rape and murder/suicide of Catherine Quixwood at the request of her husband who is a slight acquaintance. When the police arrest a young man, Hythe, that Catherine Quixwood was acquainted with for the crime Narraway doesn't buy it. In fact he believes Hythe's story that he was looking into financial transactions for Catherine Quixwood and that they never meet in private. His belief in Hythe is so strong he hires Symington to defend him.

Another young lady is raped and found dead leaving Pitt more determined than ever to capture the rapist. When another you lady is raped she names Neville as her rapist, but her Father refuses to press charges in order to safe guard his daughters reputation. Slowly Narraway and Pitt begin to suspect that Neville also raped Catherine Quixwood, but with a death sentence hanging over Hythe's head they are desperate to find proof that Quixwood himself was behind his wife's rape and murder.

And even finding the proof may not be enough as the quick thinking Quixwood intends to kill Neville in the act of raping Vespasia, who unfortunately won't live to tell the world that Quixwood was involved. Now Thomas and Victor must risk everything to save her.

Love the fact that Victor Narraway and Vespasia are getting closer.

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Aug 14, 2017

GoT - Eastwatch

Littlefinger is inciting unrest in House Stark and attempting to turn Sansa and Arya against one another. Hope Jon gets home soon, and hope Arya takes care of Little Finger once and for all.

Cersei tells Jamie she is pg and that she will tell everyone he is the Father to hell with what they think. Wonder how Euron Greyjoy will take that news. Really hate to see Jamie stuck with Cersei, if he could ever get away from the bitch he would be a halfway decent guy. He did at least listen to Tyrion. And while Tyrion was secretly meeting with Jamie, Davos was finding Gendry. Gendry and Jon seemed to like one another when they were introduced, Gendry is going with Jon to get one of the "Dead" to take to Cersei. They hope a little show and tell will inspire everyone to band together to fight the White Walkers and Cersei seems to be considering a temporary alliance considering that Daenerys killed off most of her army. Jon petted one of  Daenerys' Dragons and the Queen seems to be thawing she didn't suggest the King of the North bow once this episode.

Sam completely missed the importance of Gilly's prattling about Jon's Father getting an annulment and marrying Jon's Mother. Really you would of thought he would have paid more attention to the Royal line. And I am not sure why they felt compelled to depart from the book. In the books while Jon's parents were indeed married the Targaryens often had more than one wife, so no annulment.

Really not much accomplished this episode, I really don't see Gendry as a contender for the throne, but it's nice that Jon will have a side kick, his own age.

Sam has gotten feed up with life at the Citadel so I suppose he is either headed back to the Wall or to Winterfell. He hasn't been told that after his Father and brother refused to bend the knee Daenerys had her Dragon burn them alive. There is a lot of speculation about how Sam will feel about the woman who murdered his Father and brother. In the book I think he would thank her as his Father was awful to him and in fact tried to have him killed. And Sam was sent to the Wall so his younger more athletic brother could inherit and with the expectation that bookworm Sam would die at the Wall. Still they were family and the TV shows and book have departed from each other so much as to be unrecognizable so we will just have to wait and see. But I think Sam the pragmatist will accept that it was necessary due to his Father's actions.

Aug 13, 2017

No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories

No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short StoriesNo Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reacher never disappoints this lady and Lee Child again hit a home run with these short stories. Some I had read before and some he used pieces of in full length novels but they were all enjoyable reads.

Too Much Time - Reacher realizes there is something hinky with a police sting when he is set up by the cops. He counts on an honest cop to help him catch the dirty FBI agent when he breaks out of jail

Second Son - Read before see my previous review

High Heat - Read before see my previous review

Deep Down - Read before see my previous review

Small Wars - I think this one would have been better if we hadn't known who the killer was from the beginning. Reacher's personal relationship with the killer allows him to solve a supposedly unsolvable case.

James Penney's New Identity - Reacher helps a veteran fleeing from an arson charge.

Everyone Talks - Uncharacteristically Reacher talks to much and helps a new cop stop a Protection racket. This one was actually told from the new female cops POV.

Not a Drill - Reacher helps find some missing hikers and discovers they aren't what they seemed to be.

Maybe They Have a Tradition - Reacher arrives at a posh estate in England in time to help rescue a doctor and a policeman who were on their way to the estate.

Guy Walks into a Bar - Reacher prevents a kidnapping once he figures out who the real victim is.

No Room at the Motel - Reacher gives up his room to a pg woman and her husband.

The Picture of the Lonely Dinner - Reacher stumbles into an attempt to capture/kill a spy.

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Aug 12, 2017

Scrapbook Pages

 Most of these pages I made for challenges. I find challenges a good way to get out of my comfort zone and learn new things.

 This was for the Vintage Style. I used a picture of my Mother and her cousin Mary Elizabeth at the beach when they were young girls.

 Being an only child I found the sisters challenge challenging but realized I have a sister she just has fur.

 I didn't make this for a challenge but made this for my parents anniversary out of a kit I put together.

And this is my rendition of Pond Life. Hope you enjoyed my pages. ~Alasandra

Aug 10, 2017

The Promise (Elvis Cole #16, Joe Pike, #5, Scott James & Maggie #2)

The Promise (Elvis Cole #16, Joe Pike, #5)The Promise by Robert Crais
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a mysterious woman hires Elvis Cole to find her friend Amy he has no idea the trouble he is stepping into. He arrives at the address the woman gave him only to find the street cordoned off shortly after he knocks on the door. When a man exits the back Scott James, who is there with Maggie searching for a criminal that is in the vicinity instructs him to go back inside, the man then furtively leaves from the front attracting Cole's attention. Cole gives chase but the mysterious man gets away. Shortly afterward Maggie and Scott find the criminal they were searching for dead in the house and Maggie alerts to explosives.

Unfortunately the STUPID detectives on the case consider Cole to be a suspect and he is forced to call his friends Pike and Jon Stone in. Realizing that Scott James got a good look at his face the mysterious man has a bomb planted on his car, but Maggie alerts to it and saves their life. This results in Scott being taken off active duty and a guard placed on his home. In an attempt to take Maggie out so they can get to Scott poisoned hamburger meat is left in the yard. Thankfully Scott and Maggie find a dead racoon before Maggie eats any of the poisoned meat, but determined to find the man responsible for trying to kill his dog Scott starts working with Cole, Pike and Stone against orders.

With Stone's contacts they quickly discover that the woman who hired Cole is SAC Homeland Security Hess and that Amy's friend Charles is really who she is after, as she suspects Charles is a dirty agent. Whey they find the warehouse Amy is hiding the explosives in, they also discover that what Charles doesn't know is that Amy plans to wear a suicide vest to the meeting with the buyer for the explosives she manufactured believing them to be with Al-Qaeda and responsible for her son's death.

Unfortunately Scott was under surveillance when he took Maggie to search the warehouse and when he refuses to answer questions he loses his job and Maggie is taken away from him.

Cole uses what he knows to get Hess to call Scott's bosses and fix things and to give Amy immunity in exchange for her help and agreeing to receive psychiatric care.

When Charles kills himself once he knows that his boss is on to him the mysterious Mr. Rollings suspects a trap and doesn't attend the meet although they do capture his buyer. He could have gotten away clean but his desire to kill Scott cost him his life as Maggie will protect her Pack no matter what.

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Aug 7, 2017

GoT - The Spoils of War

Daenerys is still hung up on making Jon bend the knee. So far he has refused but he is leaning in that direction as he needs her men and Dragons. I really hope Daenerys discovers his parentage soon.

Daenerys marches on Cersei's army returning with the spoils from High Tower (food and gold) with her Dragon and her Dothraki Horde Daenerys is a force to be reckoned with. While Bronn does manage to get an arrow in the Dragon Daenerys is riding (boo) the Dragon manages to destroy the ballista (weapon Cersei had developed to kill dragons) and almost gets Bronn. Seeing the Dragon wounded Jaime charges at it and Daenerys and barely escapes it's fiery breath with his life., thanks to Bronn's flying tackle. Tyrion still loves his brother and was rooting for his escape. I only wish Jaime would wake up to how evil Cersei is and change sides.

Arya arrives home and Brandon at least realizes who she is now as he gives her the dagger (which is made of Valerian Steel)  that Littlefinger gave him. Sansa seems totally baffled by the changes in her sister and Brienne seems somewhat dismayed to find another woman warrior who is her equal. I really hope Littlefinger is on Arya's list (remember Littlefinger is responsible for Ned Stark's death).

Theon arrives at Dragonstone and Jon lets him know that the only reason he isn't going to kill him is because he rescued Sansa from Ramsey. I really can't find it in me to like any of the Greyjoys and wouldn't mind if they got finished off soon.

The Dalai Lama's Cat and the Power of Meow

The Dalai Lama's Cat and the Power of MeowThe Dalai Lama's Cat and the Power of Meow by David Michie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Dalai Lama and HHC teach you to live in the Meow. HHC discovers friends (including the driver) from past lives and Serena deals with a meddling grandparent.

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Aug 4, 2017

Sinister (Wyoming, #1)

Sinister (Wyoming, #1)Sinister by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everyone is coming home for Ira's wedding to gold digger Pillar. Pillar is a piece of work she passed her son Rourke off as her husband Chad's, but after his death sued Colton (Ira's son) for paternity. So as you can imagine Ira's kids aren't too pleased with the match. And while the last thing Colton wants to do is attend his Baby Mama's wedding he does want the opportunity to get to know his son and reconnect with his former girlfriend and the local vet Sabrina.

The first hint of trouble is when Amber's body is found in the Church where Pillar and Ira are intending to marry when the church is set ablaze. Amber was just passing through on her way home with no local ties to the community so no one can imagine a motive for her death. But while everyone is at the fire Mia Collins is murdered. Mia once had an affair with Ira's brother Judd and Judd died in a fire at the old homestead when he was with Mia. After his death husband stealing Mia, sued Judd's family for child support as she gave birth to his daughter Kit shortly afterwards.

Ricki (Ira's daughter) is still mourning the loss of her Mother Rachel, but has started a new life with her daughter Brooke and has convinced Sam to hire her on as his deputy. She also plans to convince him that she wants more than friendship from him. When her daughter is trapped inside the burning house she has been living in she is even more determined to get to the bottom of the crimes that seem to be targeting her family. When Pillar is found died in her bedroom after being drugged and the room set on fire. Ricki starts to put two and two together when she remembers Brook's insistence about Georgina having it in for her after she knocked her down and Brook saw the contents of her purse, medicine and a gun.

Delilah is ready to renew her high school romance with Hunter (Georgina's son) but a displeased Georgina claims that Hunter is a by product of her affair with Ira years ago making him Delilah's brother. A talk with Ira reveals that the "affair" occurred years after Hunter was born and a DNA test reveals that the Major is indeed Hunter's father leaving Delilah and Hunter free to pursue their romance. Georgina is confronted with her obsession with Ira and arrested for Pillar and Judd's murder. Georgina mistakenly believed that it was Ira having an affair with Mia so she set fire to the homestead where they meet resulting in Judd's death.

When Delilah receives a message supposedly from Hunter she rushes to meet him at the old homestead only to discover that he is being held prisoner by the man everyone refers to as Black Hat (the cheif suspect in Amber and Mia's murder). She soon realizes that Black Hat is Judd's son Garth who resents the fact that Ira forgot about Judd's wife and their children while he supported Mia and her daughter Kit. Before Garth can kill Hunter and Delilah, Kit kills him.

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Aug 3, 2017

Roadside Geology of Mississippi by Stan Galicki, Darrel Schmitz

Roadside Geology of MississippiRoadside Geology of Mississippi by Stan Galicki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Informative book, I had been to a lot of the places mentioned so it was nice to learn more about them. Great for homeschoolers studying geology, lots of possible field trips throughout the State.

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Aug 1, 2017

GoT The Queen's Justice

Not much happened in this episode. Daenerys really doesn't like the fact Jon Snow calls himself the King of the North and refuses to bow to her, but she does listen to Tyrion and gives Jon the Dragon Stone he wants. She stress her "rightful" claim several times but if I have Jon's lineage correct he has a better claim on the throne then she does, it will be interesting to see how she reacts when told he is Rhaegar Targaryen's son.

Sam succeeded in curing Jorah.

Jaime is still stupidly in love with Cersei, I much prefer the book where he is beginning to develop feelings for Brienne of Tarth. Jamie outwits Tyrion and Daenerys by taking a page out of Rob Stark's playbook. He left Casterly Rock and marched for the Tyrell's (Highgarden), when he poisons Olenna he learns that SHE was the one who killed Joffrey.

Brandon Stark returns home, hopefully to reveal Jon's true parentage.

Ellaria Sand, was forced to watch as Cersei poisoned her daughter Tyene. Not sure what happened to her other daughters, did they die in the battle with Euron or did they somehow escape? I think it would be really sad to see House Dorn gone from the show.