Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Uh, I don't know what to say about this one.

I didn't 'get' it.

Worth a view? Maybe.
Worth a buy? No. I wouldn't watch this one again, but it wasn't a time waster like some other films I've seen when I wish I could get back that 120 minutes of my life and use it for something better.


Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) spends the entire 90 minuteish film going from one disastrous spaceship/station to another. She decides to die in space but then after a 'visit' from Matt (George Clooney) she decides that life is worth living and to do all she can to return safely to earth or die trying.

She does make it to earth, lands in a lake, nearly dies swimming out of her flooding pod and is the sole survivor of all the catastrophic spaceships/stations she spent time on, which were basically all the ones around Earth.


We have approximately seventy minutes of Dr. Ryan alone in space and twenty minutes (if that) of her with Matt. So, if you're a Sandra Bullock fan, she gets loads of screen time. If you're a George Clooney fan you have less luck. Go watch Ocean's Eleven instead.

The effects are top of the line and the acting is superb. The word on the street is the real astronauts say it's the most true to life film of what they go through up in space (minus all the fatal catastrophes). And at the end, no one comes to find her and/or she still has the challenge of finding 'civilization'. Those parts would've been worth watching.

But, I just didn't get it.

The real question is whether it's possible for a debris storm to circle the Earth and destroy all of our satellites and space stations. What do you think?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fortune Cookie Winner!

Thanks to all who entered!

The winner is Tara! 

Your book will be in the mail soon.

Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie by Josi Kilpack is the next to last book in the series and not only is Sadie up to her elbows in mystery, but Ms. Kilpack has to keep coming up with new and inventive ways to kill people off!

This time Sadie is trying to uncover the mystery behind her estranged sister's death, while desperately trying to connect with a nephew she's never met, all while visiting the city (San Francisco) where Pete and his deceased wife vacationed often. Plus, she and Pete are trying to sell their homes and their wedding is only a few weeks away! What could possibly go wrong? 

If you're Sadie Hoffmiller, everything! 

I've come to greatly appreciate Ms. Kilpack's style of writing and the way she weaves in her descriptions, not to mention her recipes! Plus, she always keeps me guessing until the very end as to who the killer is because she gives the reader multiple potential suspects. 

My favorite side character in this one is the neighbor with a fetish for pink, even her poodle is pink! What a hoot she is! 

All told, if you've enjoyed the series so far, you won't be disappointed. And no, this isn't a spoiler, but Sadie doesn't die and the wedding is still on since the last book is titled Wedding Cake

I'll be sad to see the series end, but I'll enjoy reading them over again and making the recipes. Of course, I'll need to buy the earlier ones. I only picked up with Blackberry Crumble

How many Sadie books have you read? Will you be sad to see the series end? Which book is your favorite so far? Which recipe? 

Sadie Hoffmiller has always liked things to be just so. A place for everything and everything in its place. Order over chaos. And of all things Sadie should be able to control, her own wedding is at the top of the list. With the big day just three weeks away, Sadie is busily adding the perfect final touches to her wedding plans. But the arrival of a mysterious letter that bears a San Francisco postmark and no return address could change everything. The only person Sadie knows in San Francisco is her older sister, Wendy, whom she hasn't seen or heard from since their mother's funeral nearly fifteen years ago. Sadie has faced off with murderers and crooks in recent years, yet the potential of her sister reentering her life is both overwhelming and frightening. But, as Sadie soon discovers, the letter is just the beginning. Wendy's world turns out to be a place of unanswered questions, twisted truths, and more than one motive for murder. Includes eight new mouth-watering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadie's Virtual Test Kitchen The authors culinary mysteries have become favorites with members of Goodreads and other book networking sites


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Is Captain America 2 every bit as good as the first film? You betcha! 

I may have even liked it more! 

Steve Rogers is always striving to do the right thing. It's not about being on the winning side. It's about truth and right free of pride. How can you not get behind a guy like that? 

The themes of the movie are simple. What is truth? What is right? Are they the same? What do you do when they are different? And the biggest one: who can you trust in a network of spies who do work for the 'greater good' of man? Because not everyone agrees on what that is. 

Hydra comes back into play. Peggy is back. (Did they CG her age or was that all make-up?) Steve's scene with her is one of my favorites from this film. It's very short, but says so much. I love having Black Widow side by side with Captain America. One of my fave moments is of them on the escalator and another is the War Games reference. When is that girl going to get her own film already?! 

Lots of action, graphics, etc. All the stuff you come to see and appreciate that make a great action film, including those great one line nuggets of humor. Solid acting all around. 

The best part of this film is the character development of Captain America. That is what drives and really makes this story work for me. I hope they can carry it through to the third film. They didn't for Iron Man 3 and it took away from the story for me. 

When the biggest plot twist was revealed, I didn't see it coming and felt totally stupid, because they totally foreshadowed it and I still didn't see it coming at me. That's good storytelling and keeping the viewer in the moment so they don't have time to think ahead. Well done screen writers. 

My only criticism is the last shot of the main part of the film. Captain America is looking down at something he's holding and Falcon is standing just behind him to the right. That is where the cut happens. It should have ended with Captain America's eyes coming up to hit the camera and then cut. Just my opinion. But I think it would've made the ending stronger.  

Stay to the end. The very end of the credits. You don't want to miss that last scene/shot. 

Can't wait for Captain America 3! 

Worth a view? Absolutely! I'm so glad I saw it in theaters! 

Worth a buy? Preorder today! 

Did you think Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a worthy sequel? Why or why not? 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fortune Cookie Giveaway!

I'm giving away a signed by the author copy of Fortune Cookie by Josi Kilpack! Don't miss out on this latest installment of her series!

All you have to do is follow the Rafflecopter below to enter to win. You've got 3 days! I'll announce the winner here on my blog on Thursday and send the lucky winner the book on Friday. (Deliverable to continental USA only.) What could be simpler?

Put on your creative thinking cap and GO!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Caddie Woodlawn

This is a Newberry award winner from 1935. Yes, we're going back aways on this one.

It's a charming story of redheaded Caddie who lives with her family on the Wisconsin frontier in 1864. It's a snapshot of about a year of her life and I learned lots about what life was like for people in that day and situation. Caddie is easy to love and so is her family. There are Indians, lost dogs, bad storms, berry picking, pranks, recitations, clock repair and more encapsulated in this little tome.

Is it easy to get kids to read children's historical fiction? No. But, I read this to my daughter at nigh over a few months and we both enjoyed Caddie's adventures and watching her grow. A nice literary fiction about frontier life and coming of age.

Worth a read? Yes.

Worth a buy? I'd rent it from the library.

Have you ever heard of or read Caddie Woodlawn?


At age 11, Caddie Woodlawn is the despair of her mother and the pride of her father: a clock-fixing tomboy running wild in the woods of Wisconsin. In 1864, this is a bit much for her Boston-bred mother to bear, but Caddie and her brothers are happy with the status quo. Written in 1935 about Carol Ryrie Brink's grandmother's childhood, the adventures of Caddie and her brothers are still exciting over 60 years later. With each chapter comes another ever-more exciting adventure: a midnight gallop on her horse across a frozen river to warn her American Indian friends of the white men's plan to attack; a prairie fire approaching the school house; and a letter from England that may change the family's life forever. This Newbery Medal-winning book bursts at the seams with Caddie's irrepressible spirit. In spite of her mother's misgivings, Caddie is a perfect role model for any girl--or boy, for that matter. She's big-hearted, she's brave, and she's mechanically inclined! (Ages 9 to 12)      

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sweet Confections Giveaway & Review

Sweet Confections Blog Tour

Sweet Confections (Indulgence Row series, #1) by Danyelle Ferguson 

Book Blurb
According to Rachel Marconi chocolate heals all wounds. That and throwing darts at pictures of her ex-boyfriend. Burned by yet another bad relationship, Rachel decides to reprioritize her life, putting her dream to compete on a Food Network Challenge on the top of her list and dating at the bottom crossed out in red sharpie. But what's a girl to do when a certain sexy guy keeps asking her out?

Cue in Graydon Green, a former pro hockey player turned restaurant owner. After a lot of persistent and humorous teasing, he finally convinces Rachel to commit to a date. Just when things begin to warm up, threatening notes directed at Rachel arrive. When her bakery is vandalized, Graydon's protective streak goes on red alert. Is it her obsessive ex-boyfriend stalking her? Or maybe a challenger trying to sabotage the competition?

Either way, Rachel is definitely going to need more chocolate - perhaps drizzled over ice cream and devil's food cake.

Purchase Links
Also available on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBookstore.

About the Author
Danyelle Ferguson discovered her love for the written word in elementary school. Her first article was published when she was in 6th grade. Since then, she’s won several awards and her work has been published world-wide in newspapers, magazines and books.

Danyelle grew up surrounded by Pennsylvania’s beautiful Allegheny Mountains. Then she lived for ten years among the majestic Wasatch Mountains. She is currently experiencing mountain-withdrawal while living in Kansas with her husband and family. She enjoys reading, writing, dancing and singing in
the kitchen, and the occasional long bubble bath to relax from the everyday stress of being “Mommy.”


Here's a romance to sweep you off your feet, into Rachel's world, and then right into Graydon's arms.

This is sassy classy writing at it's finest. The story grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. Rachel and Kristen are exactly the kind of women you want to be friends with and hope you are like. Fun, feisty, independent, creative, smart, beautiful, caring. You get the idea. Lots of funny mix-ups as Rachel and Graydon meet. But don't get too comfortable as there is a suspense element to this romance.

Ms. Ferguson's writing is solid, well crafted, and spunky. I look forward to reading more of her work. This is her debut fiction novel and I'm hoping to see more romance novels with her name under the title. She's been published in other genres already.

If you like clean romance where you can get lost in the characters' world, then pick up a copy of Sweet Confections pronto. Not to mention there's a lot of dessert going on. Time to get in the kitchen and get your baking on!

Giveaway Details
The giveaway goes live on April 8th and ends Tuesday April 23rd.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Above Rubies

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

An orphaned teen being beat up by a gang gets rescued in every way by a rodeo champion.

That's this story in a nutshell.

But there is so much more to it than that.

It takes place in the scenic mountains of Wyoming on a ranch of the most amazing family. I loved the family, especially Naomi. I'd like to be that kind of mom. Kit is in good hands and she and Rossen both nearly lose their minds over one another. Lots of twists and turns all the way through. I wasn't always totally sure where the book was going other than a hope of a 'happily ever after' ending.

This is a character driven book. Raw emotion and thought pours all over the pages through the solid writing. Good clean writing. There's very little kissing.

This is my first read in the Rockland series. I'll be reading the rest.

Would you pick Rossen or Nick?


His chivalry was strangling her.
He thought he was helping her—and in truth, he was. She was in desperate straits. But as honorable as he was, he was also breaking her heart.
Her attraction was drowning him.
When World Champion rodeo cowboy Rossen Rockland and his friends rescue a young runaway who has been abused by her foster father and take her home to his parents’ ranch, he expects her to turn out to be a pain in the neck. And sometimes she is.
It doesn’t take him long to figure out that she has way more than her allotment of troubles—and far more than her share of gifts. Lovely, talented, and ravingly brilliant, Kit Star is too young, unbelievably humble, and oh, so loveable. Knowing that she needs his protection and time to grow into her potential, Rossen also figures out that what she really is, is a pain in the heart.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Austenland the Film

I watched this with a crew of women at Girls Night Out/In. Half had seen it, half had not. I fell into the latter category.

It was a hoot!

They changed some things from the book, although, I couldn't see the benefit of what they changed, but it all worked out.

Hilarious watching these women act. And the men weren't far behind. The attempts at British accents and phrases is priceless.

Thoroughly enjoyed Kerri Russell.

Worth a view? Yes.

Worth a buy? No. I'd rather read the book again.

Great for a GNO!

Have you read Midnight in Austenland? Should they make that a film?