Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Alice I have Been Review

This book is one that I kept seeing in the store and just could not make my mind up on whether to buy it or not.  I finally caved and bought it.  I have NO idea why I waited so long. First of all, I love the story of Alice in Wonderland. I remember reading that the book was inspired by a real little girl named Alice and have been curious and curiouser since.

This is a much different version of the story than expected. The story is narrated by Alice herself as an 81 year old woman.  Her and her sisters had a friendship with Lewis Carroll (although they knew him by another name). Alice and Carroll had a very unusual relationship that is vastly altered from what I had always pictured. It is this relationship that leads to the story of Alice in Wonderland.  Alice brings the reader along on a journey that becomes divided into her life before "her story" and her life after. This book is so written so well that it is almost impossible to decipher the facts from the fiction.  It is an amazing story by an even more amazing author. 4 out of 5 stars for me.

Monday, May 29, 2017

My Review of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Happy Memorial Day All.  I hope everyone had a nice extended weekend.  I love Johnny Depp and the whole Pirates franchise.  Naturally I had to go to the Thursday night sneak preview.  And.......I had to see it in 3D because I mean, why not? My thoughts....IT WAS AWESOME!  It was true to fashion and filled with all the swashbuckling action and snarky commentary that has become trademark for all these movies.

This time a young sailor named Henry is in search of the trident that belonged to Poseidon because legend says it is the only thing that can break all the curses of the sea.  Henry needs to find Jack Sparrow in order to find the trident and of course along the way they are joined by the rest of Jack's crew and some new characters.  The cast includes Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kayla Scodelario, Geoffrey Rush, and Jack the Monkey.  There are appearances from Sir Paul McCartney, Keira Knightley, and Orlando Bloom. Long story short.. will be adding this to my home collection and telling everyone I know to go see this movie..

PS....make sure you stay tuned after the credits for the extra scene. I promise you will not be sorry.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Foodie Friday!

My "Friday Foodie" pick is a pick that I actually got at Barnes & Noble  on a clearance shelf.  I will admit the cover is the first thing that caught my eye.  Also it should be mentioned that I have a child who is currently studying culinary arts in a vocational program in high school.  I figured after reading the blurb on the back and inside cover that I could kill 2 birds with 1 stone.  I get to read a really interesting book and my kid would maybe be interested enough to read it and gain some pretty valuable info.  Plot twist...... it includes recipes and yes we have tried almost all of them.

The author actually runs a blog called Eat, Live, Run and trained at the Le Cordon Bleu school in Florida. She actually went to a traditional college first and still couldn't shake the little voice in the back of her head that was telling her to just go ahead and give culinary a try. Don't think that this book is full of just some random funny bits and recipes. There is a lot that she goes through.  She experiences real set backs and loss.  I just love everything about her writing style and of course I have totally stalked her blog.  I recommend this to anyone who loves cooking.  It's a fast read but when I was done I felt like the book packed so much into such a small amount of pages.  A 5 star read for sure!   P.S. I have made the spaghetti sauce recipe like 5 times, it's so good.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Bra Book by Jene` Luciani

Happy Thursday!  This is one of the many books I have been reading lately.  The title of the book alone peaked my interest and as a woman with rather large mammary glands I am always on the lookout for any assistance I can get to wrangle them in.  I swear I can remember being 12 and super jealous of my friends who had already started developing.  Let me tell you, that changed pretty rapidly over the course of that year lol.  I have spent so much money and time on trying to find the right bra.  I was a solid 38C all through  college and then as soon as I got pregnant with my child those days of cute bras from Vickie's sailed away forever.  I have been in double digits since and no matter what I do it seems like no bra ever fits like it should. You know what I mean. There is always the one that cuts off circulation to your rib cage but was supposed to be a minimizing one. Let's not forget the one that turns your breasts into mini torpedoes. Oh, and my personal favorite, is the one that has too much padding and is cut so low in the front that you end up with 4 boobs instead of two perky ones.  Seriously, I can probably count on 1 hand how many proper fitting bras I have owned as an adult.  Sad, right?  I bet I am not the only one.

This is the 2nd edition of a book originally published in 2009.  If the author's name seems familiar to you then you have probably seen her on the Dr. Oz show. She is also a fashion expert.  I recommend all women read this book. I learned so much from Ms. Luciani.  Who knew I have been putting my bra on wrong almost everyday?! There are some pretty serious facts and stats in the book as well.  She doesn't stop with bras either, she covers shape wear (ie: the dreaded Spanx) and swimwear.  I was able to even share some tips with my girls.  The writing in the book is engaging and entertaining.  It's like having a brunch with your besties and discussing just how awful bra shopping can be.  My favorite take away is the fact that spending a fair amount of money on a bra that fits perfectly should be as natural as spending good money on a reliable and decent vehicle not just buying the first cheap car I find.  This is for real a life altering ride for women.

The 2nd edition was released on April 18, 2017.
ISBN: 9781944648329
Buy Now:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bookstore
Cost: approx. $19.99 (USD) in paperback

**This is an ARC that was provided by NetGalley and BenBella Books.  Thank you very much.  The opinions expressed in the following review are my own honest and unbiased thoughts.**

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Welcome to this week's pick of " What to Watch Wednesday".  This is a little different than I planned on it being.  I was glued to this new series on the CW every single week.  I remember growing up reading the classic Archie comics and I loved them.  Turns out that this new series is nothing at all like the comics and yet it's simply perfection!  The cast is filled with lots of new and rising stars as well as a few familiar faces.  Luke Perry returns as Fred Andrews aka Archie's Dad.  M├Ądchen Amick stars as Alice Cooper or Betty's Mom. Robin Givens as Mayor McCoy aka Josie's Mom and Skeet Ulrich as FP Jones aka Jughead's dear old Dad.

The series opens with the murder of Jason Blossom.  The town of Riverdale is anything but peaceful and serene.  The show takes a dark look into small town secrets and how everything and everyone is connected in some twisted and sometimes unexpected ways. I could not get enough of this show. I can't even wait for the new season because the cliff hanger ending had me feeling some type of way. Here's where it gets unexpected.....Netflix has the entire first season available to binge right now.  Don't delay it will makes the perfect show to watch over the upcoming long weekend.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Any Day Now by Robyn Carr....A Short Review

Any Day Now by Robyn Carr

This is a book I read a few weeks ago but I thought it would be a good one to share here for TBR Tuesday.

I read book 1 of Sullivan's Crossing and simply fell in love with Cal and Maggie. I would like to mention that I MAY be partial to Robyn Carr and her series ( Virgin river series).

Sierra Jones has had a tough go of things lately while being in recovery. She decides going to Colorado to be closer to her brother Cal, whom she adores, and his new wife Maggie is just what she needs to help her get back on track of things.
She makes new friends and an even newer love interest in hottie fireman Conrad. Needless to say there are some issues from her past that come reappear and threaten to destroy any chance of happiness she may have found.

I really loved this book, especially how the next couple gets set up for the next installment and their HEA.

Of course you can order this book as well as book 1 on Amazon. I reviewed the kindle version.

Monday, May 22, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Review

Hello there!   So as you may have noticed I haven't been posting as often as I should or would like to be.  I have recently been undergoing changes to my day job and as such was distracted.  My sincerest appologies.  Now that being said I have decided to revamp my blog.  Going forward the new format will be geared toward certain topics each day.  Confused yet? Here is how things are going to be working: 

 Monday will be "Movie Monday" and will cover everything surrounding movies that I have watched or am obsessing about watching, etc,

Tuesday will be " TBR Tuesday" and will cover book recommendations, reviews, and all things book related.

Wednesday will be "What to Watch Wednesday".  That's right ...you guessed it. This will be dedicated to reviews on Netflix series or TV shows that I think are worth mentioning.

Thursday will be "Through With it Thursday" and will cover reviews for any books from my TBR stash or any personal choices I have read not just ARC copies.

Friday will be "Foodie Friday".  This is one of my favorites because it will combine my love of food and books.  I will post about any new recipe books I have read, cooking show obsessions, Pinterest picks that I have tried out, and any book that I am reading that may also include recipes as a side note.

Now that business is out of the way let's get right in to my Movie Monday pick.  The trailer above ( shout out to Warner Bros/YouTube) is pretty self explanatory.  King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.  I have been super stoked to watch this since the very first moment I realized it was actually being made.  Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur? Yes please! not only was he amazing on SOA but I even really enjoyed watching him in Pacific Rim.  The cast also has Jude Law as Vortigern aka" Evil thrown stealing-brother killing uncle" and Djimon Hounsou as Bedivere.  Bedivere's job is to work with the mage and ready Arthur to take back his thrown.

Now  some of the reviews I have seen regarding this movie have been not the greatest.  Guy Ritchie is the director and if you are familiar with his shooting style then you already know this will be action packed and filled with interesting filming angles ( literally a few scenes were shot in super speed mode and I almost got cross-eyed).  The other thing I feel people are overlooking is that this is a very new take on an old folklore story.  This Arthur is a very sarcastic and witty one.  I loved it.  The basic plot is not so different from what you might expect. Arthur's parents die at the hands of his power hungry uncle and Arthur disappears to be raised in a brothel ( ok ....maybe slightly different than expected lol).  He grows up fighting and learning to protect the women that raised him.  The uncle naturally is searching for him because the prophecy states that Excalibur can only be removed by the son of the rightful king.  Once Arthur is found and the sword removed all manners of action break out. There is so much going on that I could barely look away long enough to blink.  The movie itself is PG-13 and runs about 126 minutes.  There is some rumors flying around that this was only the first part in a 5 part franchise and I say bring it on!  I give this a 4 out of 5 stars.  Go see it with anyone who loves the actors, the myth of Arthur Pendragon and Camelot, or an action movie fan.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bringing the Tarot to Life by Scott Martin

****I was granted an ARC of this book through NetGalley but any review or opinions expressed are my own and unbiased.****

I have always been drawn to things like palmistry, psychic readings, and tarot cards but I have  limited experience with having any of these done.  There is something so appealing to me about " having your cards read" but I have never gone anywhere to pursue this.  My daughter and I love all things like this and have looked at buying a deck of tarot cards and teaching ourselves.  I have yet to cave but she did about 3 weeks before I was sent this book.  Talk about your timing right?

This book is good for new and experienced tarot users alike.  However, it focuses more on how to incorporate the cards in the deck into theater games.  I was in drama club all through Jr. High and HS so I thought this was a perfect sort of twist. The book is broken up into 3  major sections.  Section one deals with using the cards in a form of journal exercises. I really enjoyed the questionnaires listed to help the reader imagine what type of character each card would translate to in human form.  It made the deck seem less intimidating.  Section 2 is filled with various tarot theater games.  I will be honest by this point my interest was starting to wane.  I just felt like there was too much going on and it got a little dry for me.  Section 3 is all about the card meanings.  This is the section I liked most.  The illustrations were very beautiful and the descriptions helped make the cards more understandable especially in the case of what it might represent in a reading.

Overall I only gave this 3 stars because I felt that it was pretty uninspiring until the last part of the book when the cards themselves were covered in more detail.  However, I absolutely believe that the exercises in this book would greatly benefit a drama club on any level.  It was entertaining trying to pick a card and write a detailed description of it including everything from what kind of voice it had to what it might ask for if granted 3 wishes.

You can purchase a copy on Amazon and also find my review as well as others there and also on Goodreads.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Gilded Cage by Vic James


**I requested an ARC copy from NetGalley and the following is my honest, unbiased opinion.

This is a difficult book to categorize.  I would say it has a political, futuristic, supernatural type of vibe.  Each chapter is more or less from a different character's perspective and honestly, I was not sure what was happening the first few chapters.  The reviews and descriptions of the story list Abi as the man character but really I feel like it is Luke.  Luke, Abi, and Daisy are all siblings that are being forced to participate in their " Slave days".  Slave days are something that every commoner must participate in during their lives at some point that lasts for 10 years.  The " Equals" are the elite few that have skill or are part of a family that has skill.  Skill comes in all forms and can be anything from mind control to self healing.  Abi is the oldest and is set on attending medical school but her parents have decided that Abi, her younger brother Luke, and her 10 year old sister Daisy will all begin their slave days together as a family on the biggest mansion known as Kyneston.  Then just as the day arrives to begin the sentence a last minute decision leads Luke to being sent to Millmore instead of where the rest of the family is going.

Millmore is a glorified concentration camp.  He spends his days waiting for  Abi to come up with some sort of way to get him transferred.  After a few months he becomes part of a secret club that begins to riot.  Abi, meanwhile has been trying to get Luke with the rest of them and has also developed feelings for one of the equals who does not have any skill.  Her sister Daisy begins to idolize the main heir Gavar while her job is to take care of his daughter. The 3 siblings are all making the best of their situations when tragedy strikes and Luke ends up at Kyneston with the rest of his family although he is not entirely sure how this happens. Then the rest of the story is filled but political moves and confusion as to who is friend and who is foe.

Overall I enjoyed this book.  I am most certainly going to read the second book as soon as it is available since the cliff hanger in this one has peeked my interest for sure.  The beginning of the book is confusing but if you stick it out things start to fall in place and a pretty decent story unfolds.