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text 2017-08-20 14:42
OT: A little trip to Tallinn, Estonia

My family and I have been on a little vacation trip to Estonia. We thought it might be fun for the twins to travel on a big ferry and it turns out we were right. Though actually it took them a very long time to realize we were on a ship. It was only when we had left our cabin and were waiting to be allowed to disembark that the children saw the ocean through the big windows in a lounge area.

 

The trip was ok, if not quite as much fun as my sister and I had hoped.

 

We took a new type of train that we'd never travelled on before. They use the same tracks as the old state monopoly's trains but the actual trains are a lot nicer. We'll definitely travel by the same trains again. On the way out, the children were on their best behavior. Unfortunately, they weren't on the way back. Maybe they were tired.

 

We had to learn how to fold up (?) the buggy several times, which was a bit tricky. The first time was on the way to the ferry terminal, the second when we had to get it inside our cabin. But everything went fine and my sister got a little practice in, in case we'll need to do it again on other trips.

 

The children loved the cabin and at least the playroom on the second ferry on the way back. The first one was too small and my son was a little scared of the slide.

 

The food, as on our previous trips to the Baltic states were delicious. Unfortunately, the beds (bunks?) in the cabin were really uncomfortable and I woke up several times a night because of back pain. On the way back, my mom let me have the least uncomfortable one, but it still hurt quite a lot.

 

The positives (other than what I've mentioned above):

 

On our way to a park where we'd be waiting until we could check into the hotel an Estonian man who didn't speak English offered my mom a seat on the bus.

 

In the park, an Estonian family who had been given three balloons for their three children gave away the one the baby had got. I think she was too young to appreciate it and my daughter really did. She watched as the two older children played with theirs and laughed out loud with delight. We still have that balloon but neither twin really cares about it now. They tire easily of everything.

 

On the ferry terminal, on the way back, a Swedish boy gave away two emoji toys to my twins. It was really cute the way this kid of about ten or so, kneeled in front of the buggy and handed over his toys. Very kind of him. His whole family seemed to enjoy seeing the twins so happy about their gifts.

 

When we got off the ferry, the bus we were going to travel on back to the city center didn't have room for our buggy, so we had to wait for the next one - but then the driver of one of the other buses from the same company offered us a ride out to an area of Stockholm where his passengers were going to get off, one where there are plenty of museums and other interesting sights to see. I only wish we could have stayed and visited a few museums, particuarly the Historic museum and the Medieval Museum.

 

On the bus back home, after we got off the train, a nice lady helped me get the buggy onto the bus and when were about to get off, a likewise nice kid of about eighteen cheerfully offered to help me get the buggy off the bus. We're not used to being treated that nicely so that was a really pleasant surprise.

 

The negatives:

 

A really unpleasant drunk woman complained about my children's messy eating. I suppose she doesn't have any children or grandchildren of her own. I got so angry I just picked up my daughter and carried her back to the cabin.

 

The internet connection was really bad pretty much everywhere. That's something new, because as I remember it from the last time I was in Estonia, there were plenty of wifi hotspots. We could barely use our phones at all.

 

The hotel was rather dull and uninspiring - an old Soviet style building with really depressing colors, at least in my opinion. The color scheme was beige and black. And the wall to wall carpet in the corridors smelled.

 

The food in the restaurant was good, but there was so little of it, it was practically like an hors d'oeuvre, not actual dinner.

 

While we were waiting in line to be allowed off the ferry, a rude man bumped into my sister with his huge backpack and almost pushed her over. She's usually very steady on her feet so that was really unpleasant.

 

Some photos:

 

Tagetes

 

Pigeons

 

A real pigeon

 

More pigeons

 

Statue

 

Advertising thing

 

View from the hotel window

 

Signs

 

Magical Portal

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/181816.html
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text 2017-08-18 11:32
Halloween Bingo 2017 | Ani's Tentative Reading List!
The Nightmare Charade (Arkwell Academy) - Mindee Arnett
Just Past Midnight - Amanda Stevens
The Dead Travel Fast - Deanna Raybourn
Saving Fish from Drowning - Amy Tan
On the Night of the Seventh Moon - Victoria Holt
Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions (Audio) - Neil Gaiman
Blue Dahlia - Nora Roberts
Black Rose - Nora Roberts
Red Lily - Nora Roberts
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin

 

Halloween Bingo 2017



So, obviously, instead of finishing up books I'm currently reading, I've spent the past two days looking for book possibilities for all of my Halloween Bingo squares.

I've already been making a tentative listing of books I'd like to read for my own customized Bingo card above, courtesy of Moonlight Reader and picmonkey!  Thanks Moonlight!

Tentatively, this is what I'm planning on reading, four books of which are from my 2017 Reading Assignment list, and most of the other books are pre-owned TBR, and seriously just need to be read.

Please excuse my drawn out ramblings.


Magical Realism:  Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan
-- I have had this book for a very, very long time and have never read it.  As I read through the summary, it struck me that this particular book could count as magical realism.  I had considered reading this book for the Diverse Voices square, as well, so if it doesn't seem at all like magical realism, I might shuffle it off onto some other square.

Other possibilities:  Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen; The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker


Classic Noir:  Undecided
-- I've never read books in this genre before, but am open to trying something new.  Also, keeping this square allows me to cut out some of the 'horror' squares, and I'm more partial to mystery anyway.  The first group read for September will hopefully find me a nice book I can read for this square!


Ghost:  Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts
-- There are a lot of possibilities for this broad category, but I have recently acquired a lot of Nora Roberts books and would like to get through them.  I read something by Nora Roberts for last year's Halloween Bingo (Dark Witch), so it wouldn't hurt to read another something (or three somethings) for this year's bingo.

Other possibilities:  Devil May Ride by Wendy Roberts; Haunted by Heather Graham; An Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St. James; This House is Haunted by John Boyne


Supernatural:  The Nightmare Charade by Mindee Arnett
-- The Nightmare Charade is a book off of my Reading Assignment list, and this, unfortunately, is the only square it will fit on the card (unless I use the Free Space, of course).  And yes, I DO want to have it read, as I've been planning to read it in either September or October for the longest time now.  Otherwise, there are many other possibilities to pick from.


Diverse Voices:  The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin
-- This was the next book I thought about after the Amy Tan book listed above.  In fact, if Saving Fish From Drowning does not actually work for Magical Realism, then I may just shuffle it back down here.  But, in the meantime, I AM quite interested in reading The Lotus Palace, a book written by an Asian author, that takes place in historical China, and is a mystery novel as well!

Other possibilities:  Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan


Cozy Mystery:  Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
-- Oh, the possibilities for this game square!  There are any number of cozy mysteries that I am quite interested in, so the above may not be my final choice.  It is just the first book that popped into my mind when I thought of cozy mysteries.

Other possibilities:  Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris; Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio; The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde; Frozen Stiff by Annelise Ryan; Shadowland by Meg Cabot


Witches:  Undecided
-- I am not a hundred percent familiar with witch books, but I think I should be able to find something.  If all else fails, I think Nora Roberts has a few books about witches.  There are two books in particular that I own that have a witch, so I may just pick one of them.

Possibilities:  Jaxson by Alisa Woods; Protecting His Witch by Zoe Forward; Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman


Vampires:  The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
-- I'm not big on vampire books, so I had considered doing a Dracula reread via the full-cast audio that I own.  Then, while I was going through my shelves, I stumbled upon this little gem by Deanna Raybourn, of which I had just purchased with an Audible credit not long ago.  The book takes place in Transylvania, and there is talk of creepy castles and charming vampires.  I'm totally reading this one for this square!  And to think, I almost decided to exclude it from my choices!


Country House Mystery:  Undecided
-- The truth is, I'm not sure I know what a 'Country House Mystery' is, but I'm willing to find out.  Recommendations are welcome!  Though one of the books I found that was listed as a popular country house mystery was Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles.  I'd been meaning to get some more of Dame Agatha's work read.  What does everyone else think?


Haunted House:  Black Rose by Nora Roberts
-- Once again, the possibilities are endless.  But I'm starting a trilogy, and I'll be damned if I leave another series unfinished for a long time.  Black Rose continues the the trilogy, In the Garden by Nora Roberts, following behind Blue Dahlia, and there is talk of a ghost being present in the setting of the book's house for over a hundred years.  I'd call that a haunted house!

Other possibilities:  This House is Haunted by John Boyne; Ghost Horse by Patricia Rosemoor; Haunted by Heather Graham


Aliens:  Undecided
-- I don't know why I kept this square, however, I DO have one book that will definitely fit, if nothing else will.  For the meantime, I'm going to keep my options open, but chances are, I'm going to read my one and only possibility for this game square so far:  The Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya by Nagaru Tanigawa.  You wouldn't think that this book would fit, but one of the characters is an alien, even if not the creepy weird aliens of space invaders and horror.


Genre: Horror:  Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
-- Halloween wouldn't be complete without a book by Neil Gaiman.  Smoke and Mirrors is a short story collection that is tagged as 'horror,' so I'm going to go with that.  The summary gives a great description that comes off kind of horror-like anyway.  Again, this is a tentative pick, I might change my mind later if I stumble upon something else.  But I own this in audio, so the chances of me changing my mind is a bit slim.


Free Space:  Red Lily by Nora Roberts
-- I can't find another spot to place this book so that I can finish off the trilogy.  So it will go here unless I can find a different place for it that I don't already have another book lined up for.


Monsters:  Undecided
-- Okay... this is another square I'm not entirely sure why I kept.  I thought I'd be able to find something to fit, but I can't come up with anything outside of dragons (mythological creatures), which there are plenty of books for.  Do random animal shifters count?  Feline shifters?  Bear shifters?  Unknown animal, possible monster shifter?  I suppose I could always read something about Bigfoot...

One possibility:  His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik -- because, dragons.
Another possibility:  The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett -- because giant turtles, and dragons.
Last possibility (that I can think of):  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
-- because, fantastic beasts and mythical/magical creatures... which probably include dragons.


In the Dark, Dark Woods:  On the Night of the Seventh Moon by Victoria Holt
-- I picked up about three Victoria Holt books from a library sale a long time ago and have been looking for a chance to introduce myself.  Ever since my first Gothic romance, I've been paying more attention to author names that come up in connection with the genre.  On the Night of the Seventh Moon's summary mentions something about the significance of a forest.  I'm going to go with that.


Amateur Sleuth:  Just Past Midnight by Amanda Stevens
-- I have a feeling that this category was created probably for a cozy mystery of some sort, where the protagonist is often times NOT in law enforcement.  But as the description isn't entirely restrictive, I decided to go with another Reading Assignment selection, wherein there is a mystery, there is a murder, and the protagonist is a psychologist.


Werewolves:  Undecided
-- I probably have the same love for werewolf books as I do vampire books, but if I were honest, I'd be more likely to pick up a werewolf book than a vampire book.  So this square remained in my choices, and now I'm trying to figure out which of my wolf shifter books I want to read... if wolf shifter = werewolf, that is.

Possibilities:  In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler; Jaxson by Alisa Woods


Gothic:  The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
-- There are a number of books that I'm considering reading for this space, if only because I'd recently been drawn to Gothic romance and the genre appeals to me.  I've been shuffling around possible books by Mary Stewart, Susanna Kearsley, Simone St. James, and maybe even Kate Morton.  On the other hand, I DID pick up three Victoria Holt books at a library sale, and having already chosen one for one of my game spaces (see Dark, Dark Woods), I have two more I could try.  So this is a tentative selection.

Other possibilities:  Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart; Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels; The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley; The Visitor by Amanda Stevens; Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt; The Black Opal by Victoria Holt; An Inquiry into Love and Death by Simone St. James; The Secret Garden by Kate Morton


Romantic Suspense:  Hit and Run by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin
-- Frankly, this is a 'Free Space' for me since romantic suspense is my go-to genre.  I have so many possible picks that I my biggest problem is figuring out which book I want to read for this category.  So, to make life easier on myself, I went and chose one more Reading Assignment book, one of the books that I kept telling myself I wanted to read during the summer, but because of REASONS, I never got to it.  I'm not even going to give myself other possible reads, because I'd just end up becoming wishy-washy in my choices.

How much we want to bet that I'll end up changing my mind and reading something else anyway?


Darkest London:  Undecided
-- I had a few books I was interested in reading for this space until I realized that the books I'd been choosing were set in England, but not in London.  Well, that ended up being a problem I figured I could easily remedy, so another search had to be done.

And would you look at that?  Goodreads has a nifty list I decided to peruse:  Books Set in London.
However, since that list has anything from contemporary romance to Paddington Bear, I decided to do a more narrowed search of 'mysteries set in London' and came up with this list:  Best London Mysteries.

Possibilities:  Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick; Mistress by Amanda Quick; What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris; The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle; London Falling by Paul Cornell; And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander; The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry; A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas


Murder Most Foul:  Every Secret Thing by Emma Cole (a.k.a. Susanna Kearsley)
-- So I'm not entirely certain if this book fits--the summary mentions a murder, the book is tagged 'mystery.'  I really DO want to read this book (or rather, listen to it since I have it on audio).  But I'm not entirely sure that this is a murder mystery, per se, because some parts of the summary hint that this is a death that occurred in history.  Nonetheless, I obviously have a lot of books to choose from considering how broad a category this one is, requiring only that we read a murder mystery, any murder mystery.  So I might just include a few alternate options.

Other Possibilities:  Hit and Run by Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin; Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant; The Prey by Allison Brennan; In the Woods by Tana French; Midnight Exposure by Melinda Leigh; The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin; The Jade Temptress by Jeannie Lin; The First Victim by J.B. Lynn; A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas


Serial/Spree Killer:  Dear Maggie by Brenda Novak
-- Another category that has a lot of possible books I could read.  But to keep things simple, I'm inserting another Reading Assignment book on this space.  Dear Maggie's summary mentions the presence of a serial killer--that's good enough for me.

Other Possibilities:  Chasing Evil by Kylie Brant; The Hunt by Allison Brennan;


Classic Horror:  Undecided
I don't know what to pick.  Maybe a reread of Dracula, although, the truth is, I'm sort of waiting out for the October group read and will probably just use it to fill this square since the group reads are wild cards.


Terrifying Women:  Undecided
-- Amanda Stevens has written a book that I recall being tagged as 'horror.'  Then again, I can always pick up another Shirley Jackson book, or maybe something by Barbara Michaels... Daphne du Maurier...

Possibilities:  The Lottery by Shirley Jackson; Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels; The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart; The Devil's Footprints by Amanda Stevens


Locked Room Mystery:  Undecided
-- I've only done a cursory search of the books that would fit this category and narrowed my choices down to a few, though I'm not entirely sure what I want to read.  All of these titles I found at the Goodreads Locked Room Mystery list.

Possibilities:  The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux; The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle; The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins; The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie;  Cover Her Face by P.D. James; The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/08/halloween-bingo-2017-anis-tentative.html
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review 2017-08-11 08:58
Hold On
Pipe Dreams (A Brooklyn Bruisers Novel) - Sarina Bowen

This is book # 3, in the Brooklyn Bruisers series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this great series in order.

 

Lauren loves her job.  Today, she hates her job.  She has to come in contact with her past and the only man she has ever loved.  There might not be enough to drink in the world.

 

Mike knows he messed up big time.  Every single time he and Lauren are in the same room together the old pain is back.  He wants to help her heal, but he wants her to himself.

 

This story tore me apart.  I felt all the emotions.  These characters are already so real to me  Great addition to the series.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

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text 2017-08-07 13:55
Warning from Cathay Dupont: Travel Awards Not a Ticket to Work in Japan

Warning from Cathay Dupont: Travel Awards Not a Ticket to Work in Japan

If you win a travel spree, you may think of Japan as one of your desired destinations. However, will a travel award be able to help you have a trouble-free vacation?

Nowadays, travelling has become easier. If you already have the funds, booking an agent can ease the process for necessary documents and stuff needed for travel. If you are lucky enough, you may also win travel awards from contests, organization, or other means.

Awkward award

Then get too excited in case you received a message that you have won a travel award. There were people who filed a complaint against fraud companies that fooled them by giving thousands worth of travel spree.

Free travel—it’s a good thing to hear without knowing the conditions. But the culprit behind the scam isn’t really there to give a chance for people to go on a journey for free. Some people who have received the award thought it was their key to working in Japan or overseas.

People who receive such grant must review the terms and conditions first before complying. There may be irregularities in the offer which can lead to fraud activities or transactions.

What to do?

It is important to read and review the fine print. It is a way to check the legitimacy of the travel grant you may have won or received. Travel schedule, itinerary, flight details, and other information must be in detail. The breakdown of the expenses must also be present.

If you decided to claim and comply with the requirements of travel grant you received, make sure to get the invoice and other necessary documents. It is one of the important documents that you need in case problems arise before or during your trip.

Travel awards may not be recommended for individuals planning to get a chance to work in Japan. The Japanese embassy is strict with their rules and requirements. Passport is not enough. Without any visa, foreigners will have a hard time to fly to Tokyo, Osaka, or other parts of the country.

Work in Japan

The Japanese working class puts a great effort in their work. A lot of Japanese companies are hiring foreign nationals to be a part of their firm. It is better to apply for a company that will help in easing the process of getting a working visa.

Foreigners who want to go to Japan needs to submit necessary documents for Visa. The Japanese embassy requires the people to submit the requirements for Visa processing—may it be for travel or job opportunity. The individual must have his visa approved before getting the chance to go to the country.

Cathay DupontCathay Dupont Warning

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text 2017-08-04 17:15
Reading progress update: I've read 42%.
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation - Damian Duffy,John Jennings,Octavia E. Butler

I love Kindred by Octavia Butler. I chose it for World Book Day, when the U. S.  was participating, and everyone that I followed up with enjoyed it. So, when I heard that there was going to be a graphic novel of the book I was very hesitant to give it a try. I saw pics of the drawing on Instagram and wasn't impressed. Just like movie adaptations, I didn't want the graphic novel to taint my love and disappoint.

 

To my surprise, I'm really enjoying it! I have a few issues, but so far so good. I thought reading it would be a nuisance on a Kindle, but it working out great on my Fire 8.

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