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text 2018-12-05 22:16
24 Festive Tasks, Door 15 - St Nicholas Day
A Perfect Holiday Fling (Moments in Maplesville) - Farrah Rochon
Gaijin: American Prisoner of War - Matt Faulkner
Anya's Ghost - Vera Brosgol
The Soldier's Secrets - Naomi Rawlings

Sinterklaas / St. Nicholas Day

 

Book: I will read A Perfect Holiday Fling (Moments in Maplesville #1) by Farrah Rochon.

 

Task #2

1. For myself - the appliances in the In Death series. An Autochef would top the list, along with a drying tube and a car that can go "vertical" and bypass traffic. A computer that can run searches for me while I go to sleep would come in handy when grad school starts.

 

2. For my community - in this case, I claim the military veteran community for this wish. I want a competent, science and advance medical Veteran Affairs system, from the administrative and the medical sides. The system is broken and has been before this current administration took over, but three schmucks running the agency from Mar-Largo is not helping. A completely overhauled agency that not only takes care of OEF/OIF veterans, but the veterans of the humanitarian missions, the Gulf War veterans (especially those affected by Gulf War Syndrome, which needs more research!), and one that takes military sexual assault seriously. 

 

Sorry that was a downer, but it's frustrating to deal with this ass backward agency.

 

3. For the world - Every C-suite executive at Facebook goes to jail/is somehow punished for the shit that has been going in in global politics since 2015/16. Punitive fines would go to libraries to fund their digital citizenship/digital literacy programs for all ages. Also Net Neutrality laws in every country, even the good old USA, and regulate it as an utility.

 

Task #4

I tend to avoid kids in my reading unless I am reading a MG level book because I don't like to read about kids in peril. However, this year I read three great books that had this trope:

 

1. Gaijin: American Prisoner of War by Matt Faulkner

2. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

3. The Soldier's Secrets (Belanger Family #2) by Naomi Rawlings

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text 2018-11-28 00:21
Funny and sad, sometimes dark, but it really exposes the character's traits.
Nine Perfect Strangers - Liane Moriarty

Nine perfect strangers, Liane Moriarty, author; Caroline Lee, narrator A Russian immigrant, Masha, has a near death experience which changes her life. The man she believes saved her life, Yao, becomes her partner and they establish a health retreat called Tranquillum House. She transforms from an overweight, corporate executive to a stunning worshiper of yoga and health food. She trains her partner to become more mindful and he now practices yoga and concentrates on wellness. His background, as an EMT is medical. Hers is business. Together they lead health seminars and other programs at the resort. When nine people head off to a health retreat, to be transformed in some way, they wind up getting a lot more than they bargained for when they made their reservation. There is one couple, one family and four single people of various backgrounds. At first they size each other up and are not too happy with what they find. Soon, however, they find that first impressions are often incorrect. They all question some of the demands of the resort, but soon all willingly participate in the odd requests of the staff and management. As each goes through their individually designed healthcare program, they complain but also have revelations which, surprisingly, enlighten them and give them insights they had not thought of before. Will each of them be transformed which is Masha’s hope? Each of the guests has brought their own personal baggage with them and it is a diverse list from marriage problems to menopause, from drug issues to suicide issues, from ego issues to money issues. Some suffer from feelings of guilt, some from shame, some from grief, and some from a lack of confidence and/or self esteem. Some are simply searching for alternative ways to solve their problems. As each reveals their innermost secrets, as each reveals they are suffering in some way, it becomes apparent that Moriarty has a talent for understanding what motivates and frightens her characters. The drug theme is front and center. Is illegal and/or legal drug use beneficial? In some cases, the legal use of drugs seems far more dangerous than its counterpart. Because a doctor prescribes a drug, often its dangerous side effects are ignored and the consequences are as lethal as it is for those who overuse illegal drugs. Drug induced states produce odd interchanges and reactions. Some see more clearly, some become more anxious, some are euphoric, some have a bad trip. Are these results good or bad, when carefully monitored, even when illegal? Can a drug be harmful even when it is being monitored by a doctor and or parents? Do we, when following a doctor’s advice, make ourselves fully aware of the dangers of the side-effects of the drugs given to us or simply trust the “higher” authority? The theme of twinship and its bonds was particularly emotional for me since I lost a twin brother and so did one of the characters. I, personally, am aware of the effect of losing a sibling with whom you shared everything from the very beginning of time. The interpretation of the relationship and the loss was insightful. The feelings of the surviving twin were genuine. The theme of madness is dissected and the reader witnesses the different levels it ascends and descends to through the interactions of the characters. What drives people to thrive and achieve success as well as what drives people to fail is also examined very well by the author as she presents her characters and their responses to life’s dangers and moments of joy. Some bear the strain and some crack under it. The theme of relationships is very diverse. The relationship between a man and his dog, a man and wife, same sex couples, and parents and children are very minutely explored and the reader is witness to the complexities in each situation that is revealed. They share grief, loss, blame, guilt, along with the praise and pride that interplay in each of the character’s lives. The theme of loss seems to be in everyone’s life, to some degree or another, and the type of loss and how each character deals with it is really illuminative. Everyone, in the beginning, sees something else in each other’s personality, and often the first impressions made are incorrect and are based on faulty assumptions. Getting to know more about each other, changes the perceptions. The theme of stress and its effect on the lives of each of the characters veered off into many different directions, some common and some unusual, as they are in real life. The consequences were mental and physical, emotional, and painful. They were authentic in interpretation and explanation. The mounting stress made the guests begin to wonder if they were being manipulated and why. Their feelings were soon on high alert. My favorite character is Frances who is a naive woman who writes romance novels. She interprets most everything at face value, rarely looking too deeply into the problem. Her solutions are often simple. She may jump to conclusions, but she readily alters them. She tries to look at the bright side, in the face of darkness. She gave several of the characters humorous nicknames to define their qualities. Some of the dialogue was indeed chuckle inducing and I often even laughed out loud. But then, the novel also briefly took a dark turn which unsettled me. The author played both emotions well. Arrogance and fame are explored along with the effects of great wealth and success. My least favorite character was Masha, the obsessed woman who ran the wellness facility. Although her methods were extraordinarily unconventional, in most ways, the results she achieved were often positive, encouraging the characters to get more in touch with their feelings and to understand each other more completely. So, although there was a strange, mad dichotomy between the means and the ends, they did work. The characters, for the better part of the book, are authentic, and although the life of each character is followed until all the loose ends are tied up neatly, the conclusion seemed to fall a bit short. It teetered on the theme of believability. As each character is forced to experience their sorrow, their joy, their fear and their relief in different ways, intuitively, imaginatively and in reality, each comes out changed in some way that was beneficial. Each learns to control their emotions and reactions in ways that are helpful to them. They learn to accept themselves more positively and to be more open and honest in relationships. The reader is fabulous, using alternate accents and expressions which clearly define each character and scene. The book was made more enjoyable by her presentation. It made me laugh, and it made me cry, but it also made me think.

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review 2018-11-19 01:25
Not my favorite
Bullseye: Perfect Game (2010) #1 (of 2) - Charlie Huston,Shawn Martinbrough,Tim Bradstreet

Wasn't the worst comic I've read, but I had a hard time getting into this.   I probably won't get the second issue, as I got this free from Comixology and wanted to try.   Bullseye is usually a pretty brutal read, but this just didn't delve into that as much as I'd hoped.

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review 2018-11-18 16:26
The Perfect Liar
The Perfect Liar - Thomas Christopher Greene

Susannah is a young widow and single mother when she marries Max. Max is a charismatic artist and popular speaker whose career has taken their family to a quiet Vermont town. Susannah believes her life is going to be perfect, but instead she finds a note taped to their door - I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Max thinks it's a prank. But after one of the couples in the neighbourhood comes to dinner, the husband dies in an accident while on a run with Max. Then another note is found on the door - DID YOU GET AWAY WITH IT? Both Susannah and Max are keeping secrets and someone else seems to know about them.

I'm sorry to say I ended up hating this book. There are no chapters and it makes for a long, drawn out story. I'm always wondering 'should I stop now?' And I didn't always know who was talking at first as there was no clear indication - I hope this is only in the ARC. It was so boring. None of it held my interest. I didn't like the characters. I was hoping it'd pick up. At 44% one of our unlikable main characters goes for a walk at night, picks up a dead fox and carries him home and begins slicing him up in great detail (or I think in great detail, I skipped the huge paragraph) After I skipped that paragraph, we went onto dead rabbits and that's when I decided I was done with the book. I love animals, I don't eat them, and I don't enjoy reading about them being hurt/killed/eaten in great detail. Nothing redeeming about the ending - it was anticlimactic and weird and I'm so happy I skipped all the shit in the middle, but disappointed I didn't start skipping earlier.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC.

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review 2018-11-05 14:30
Review: Picture Perfect Cowboy by Tiffany Reisz
Picture Perfect Cowboy - Tiffany Reisz

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Jason “Still” Waters is a retired champion bull rider who lives a quiet life on his horse farm in Kentucky. At least it’s a quiet life until he has to sub in for a friend and pose naked for a charity calendar. Jason’s already out of his comfort zone when he meets gorgeous photographer Simone Levine, but then she knocks him for a loop by bringing out the secret that he’s long been trying to hide. Jason’s a dominant, but his ultra conservative upbringing makes him ashamed and afraid to act on his fantasies. But with a little help from Simone, a professional submissive, Jason may just find the courage to embrace his kinky side.

Picture Perfect Cowboy is utterly divine! It’s sexy, sweet, and oh-so-much fun to read. Jason just about melted my heart. He’s not just a drop-dead sexy cowboy (though that doesn’t hurt), he’s kind, sweet, and polite enough to make you swoon. He’s also a man at war with himself. To call his upbringing strict would be an understatement and it isn’t easy for him to overcome that and accept that (1) he’s a dominant and (2) there’s absolutely nothing wrong or bad about what he enjoys. I loved watching Simone help him come into his own, to overcome what was drilled into his head and find joy with someone whose kinks complement his own.

As for Simone, she’s a delight. She’s bright, funny, generous, and open. She’s a vibrant heroine who lit up the page and I adored her from the very first. Simone loves Jason’s brand of dominance and she’s patient, honest, and open with him. She’s a wonderfully sweet and bubbly heroine who has a spine of steel. I loved watching her and Jason explore a master/slave relationship. They’re hot as hell together, but what’s more, they click on every level. They fall in love fast and hard and it’s easy to see why – these two are made for each other.

Picture Perfect Cowboy is part of Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners world, but it easily stands alone. But never fear: Søren and Nora do appear and they are a wonderful addition to this story whether you’re an old fan or are just diving into the Original Sinners. Every book I’ve read by Tiffany Reisz has been nearly impossible to put down and this book continues that streak. Her characters are always compelling and the pages of her books seem to fly by. If you love sexy cowboys, vivacious heroines, and a sweet but kinky romance, Picture Perfect Cowboy is the book for you!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/11/review-picture-perfect-cowboy-by.html
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