Saturday, October 31, 2009

Made Some New Cards

The first card (to the right) was a goodbye card for a co-worker who's last day at the office was on Friday.

The Second Card (below) is for my neighbor/friend who's
birthday party is also tonight's Halloween party. The inside of the card scanned in a little funny but you get the idea.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

6th Target by James Patterson

Rating: 3/5 Stars

3 Plots - One confusing story...

1) A shooting on a Ferry that leads to a man chase and one of the Women's murder club hospitalized.

2) The search for a missing child abducted from a local park.

3) Violent activities are occuring in one of the Women's Murder Club member's new apartment building.

This 6th installment of the women's murder club had barely any of the women's murder club in it. Yes, the regular characters are in it, and something happens to one of them and another is affected by violence in her building. But they didn't do their usual meet ups to discuss the crimes and that's one of the things I really like about this series; The dynamics of these women working together. I also am not happy about there being three stories that aren't related in the book. I like it when there is one primary plot OR two stories converge.. otherwise the details of each get fuzzy. In fact, the details got so fuzzy for me that at the end of the book I had forgotten about the third plot. That's how unexciting the third plot was. Each of the women in the murder club were involved in some way to each of the plots, so I guess that was meant to be the connection between them, but something missed for me here.

That said, I enjoyed the book enough to give it 3 stars because I really do like the characters in this series, I just wish they would stick to one good storyline. I will continue with the series, after I take a little break as I've been reading too many of these in a row it seems.

This book fits the following Groups/Challenges:
  • PBT OCT Tag: Other

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Weekend Movie Madness

I saw several movies this weekend and they were all very enjoyable.

Paranormal Activity

Katie and Micah recently moved in together and believe they are being haunted by something paranormal. Katie thinks she is the catalyst for this haunting and it used to the seriousness of the situation but Micah is new to the experience and almost treats it like a game. Hence the premise for the movie, recording their life to try to catch these hauntings on tape, so that they can figure out what it is and how to stop it. There is a lot of downtime in this movie, I assume for character development. But the suspense is incredible and the haunting scenes are down right creepy. I thought they did an excellent job with this movie, especially for low budget and I haven't been this creeped out by a movie since the Grudge.

Law Abiding Citizen

A man's family is brutally murdered and when the DA gives one of the killers a plea bargain with a very short sentence, the man sets out to make things right with a failed justice system.

This movie was amazing, until the very last scene. I was disappointed with the ending but the rest of the movie made it worth watching. Not to mention that Gerard Butler was excellent in this film.


Sam Rockwell plays astronaut, Sam Bell, who is coming to the end of his three year assignment on the dark side of the moon to gather a resource that has been found to power the earth. GERTY, a computer system voiced by Kevin Spacey, is also there to help Sam with his work. GERTY is Sam's only personal contact, communications with earth are only available via video messages. When an accident occurs while Sam is out fixing one of the mining machines, Sam wakes up in the infirmary and doesn't remember how he got there. Soon after, things start to get a little strange for Sam and he starts to realize that maybe things are exactly what they seem.

I thought this was very well done. Sam Rockwell holds this entire film together and you don't get bored of just seeing him all the time, which says something. It's a different film, not one that everyone would like. There is not a lot of action/adventure but it is sci-fi in nature.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Grammar Rules Challenge Ends Today

Today is the last day for the GRAMMAR RULES CHALLENGE and I did not finish it

#1 A verb - N/A
#2 A personal pronoun - N/A
#3 An adjective -
Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
#4 A noun -
The 5th Horseman by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

This challenge was a lot of fun to plan for and I'd try it again another time. I had books lined up for the two categories I missed but just couldn't get through them and ended up not finishing them. To see the reviews for the books I read for this challenge follow the links.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Violets Are Blue by James Patterson

Rating: 4/5 Stars

We all know Vampires aren't real, right? So then why are people all around the United States being killed and found with bite marks and drained of their blood?

That's where detective Alex Cross comes in: In Book #7 of the Cross series, Alex delves into the underground world of the Vampire to find the truth around these killings. Cross finds a whole underworld of people living their lives as Vampires, even partaking in the drinking of blood. Meanwhile, the Mastermind is back and is harrassing Cross with phone calls and threats, and then he starts to follow through on his threats. Alex Cross has to deal with many professional and person issues in this book which could probably have been broken out into two books. The Vampire Murders and the Mastermind plots are both individually enjoyable. Together they seem to try to take your mind of who the Mastermind could be, even though it's pretty obviously early on with the not so subtle hints given by Patterson.

All in all, I loved being back in the world of Alex Cross - I read Roses are Read early this year after being away from the series for some time and I was a little disappointed by the ending. Having read many Patterson novels over the years, including ones he's written with other authors, I have to say there is nothing like a PURE James Patterson novel. I am convinced that when he writes with other authors its mostly the other authors work and he put very little input in, and coming back to the old days when it was just him writing I am even more convinced. Patterson knows how to write a story that creates suspense and excitement that you can't wait to read on until the last page is read. Although I knew early who the Mastermind was, I did not know who did the Vampire killings and I was thoroughly entertained throughout the story. I really like when the Mastermind is reveiled they relive some of the old cases where the Mastermind was intertwined in that we didn't necessarily know about originally... I thought this aspect was pretty cool. I feel bad for the women he loves as they have all been attacked and/or killed because of their affiliation with Cross.. he's certainly not lucky with the ladies.

This book fits the following Groups/Challenges:
  • Fall Winter Mystery Challenge - Paranormal or gothic mystery for Halloween
  • PBT OCT Tag: Contemporary Fiction

Monday, October 19, 2009

Movie of the Week: Sunshine Cleaning

Amy Adams plays a single mother, Rose, with a history of bad life choices who was also responsible for her little sister Norah, played by Emily Blunt, after her mother killed herself when they were little girls. Add to this a son who acts out and needs special attention and a father, played by Alan Arkin, who comes up with some crazy schemes to make money and you have yourself an entertaining dark comedy.

Rose has a turning point her life when she finds herself cleaning houses for her high school friends. She decides that in order to make something of her life that she'll start a business cleaning up after crime scenes, which is very lucrative. Rose enlists her sister Norah , who was fired from her waitressing job to help with the business and they begin a journey that they never expected.

I really liked the character development of this movie and thought it was really well done.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009-40: Tools of the Trade

Being new to the blogging world I am finding lots of great sites and helpful information. This week I found Weekly Geeks... What a very cool site! They have all types of fun ideas to discuss on your blog and I've decided to join in this week and hopefully each week have some fun things to post on my blog.

This week's topic is Tools of the Trade and here is Ruth's Post to Weekly Geeks:

Book blogging, as a concept, is essentially pretty simple: If you have Internet access and an opinion about a book, you can be a book blogger. However, actually maintaining a book blog is much more complicated -- our blogs are labors of love that require a lot of time, energy and devotion. For this edition of Weekly Geeks, I want to focus on the little things that make your blogging and/or reading life a bit easier. Do you use sites like GoodReads, LibraryThing or Shelfari to organize your books? Do you swear by Book Darts? Couldn't live without your Book Buddy? Love connecting with other bloggers on sites such as Twitter? Tell us about what makes your blog tick. Is there something specific that keeps you organized or inspired?
For me, I haven't learned that many tools of the blogging trade as I haven't even been up a month on my blog. But one thing I can't live without is Shelfari. I've used Shelfari for quite some time and it is a timesaver, not to mention it's just fun to use, I could not live without Shelfari. I also love the Labels that Blogspot has on each post, so that you can easily find a related story if they are labelled correctly.

I am however very curious to see what other bloggers post as their tools to learn and expand my blogging experience so I will be checking other bloggers answers to this question.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Miri and her friends who live on the mountain hear word that the prince will choose a bride from their village. All the girls of certain ages must go to the Princess Academy and learn to be a princess where in a year the prince will come and choose his bride. While at the academy the girls get into all sorts of things and overcome many obstacles and challenges.

Miri is a strong female character and I think she is a very good role model for girls, as are the others in the group. I found this book to be perfect for a parent/daughter reading. I thought it was really cute and was well written. It's definitely children's fiction made for the Pre-teen girl. I would have loved this at that age and I'm glad I read it now. It was alot of fun. I only rated it 3 stars because it's not my genre and it was a little immaturl for my tastes. For what it was though (Children's fiction) I thought it was well done.

This book fits into the following Groups/Challenges:

  • PBT Oct Tag: Other
  • Booktivity Halloween Theme (Princess is a common costume)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New ARC: Fallen by Lauren Kate

I received a new ARC today in the mail from Delacorte Press: Fallen by Lauren Kate.

The Description on Shelfari is the following:

Seventeen-Year-Old Luce is a new student at Sword & Cross, an unwelcoming boarding/reform school in Savannah, Georgia. Luce’s boyfriend died under suspicious circumstances, and now she carries the guilt over his death with her as she navigates the unfriendly halls at Sword & Cross, where every student seems to have an unpleasant—even evil—history. It’s only when she sees Daniel, a gorgeous fellow student, that Luce feels there’s a reason to be here—though she doesn’t know what it is. And Daniel’s frosty cold demeanor toward her? It’s really a protective device that he’s used again . . . and again. For Daniel is a fallen angel, doomed to fall in love with the same girl every 17 years . . . and watch her die. And Luce is a fellow immortal, cursed to be reincarnated again and again as a mortal girl who has no idea of who she really is.

This looks promising to me and it looks like it's going to be a series! This title is set to be released on December 8, 2009. To learn more about this book go to

When I read the book, which I have a new rule for myself of reading ARC's and reviewing them within 60 days of receiving them, I will post the review here on my blog.. keep an eye out for it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Hey Nostradamus! is narrated by 4 different characters. It starts out from the perspective of Cheryl Amway who, pregnant and secretly married to Jason, is killed in a Columbine-like school massacre in 1988. Cheryl tells us of her life leading up to and during the killings. A very intriguing story where you yearn to learn more of Cheryl and Jason . The next Narrator turns out to be Jason himself 10 years after the school massacre and the story just keeps getting better. Jason discusses his life pretty much before, during and after the killings into his current life. This is where I am really interested in the book and think that this piece of work is absolutely incredible. I fully expected that Coupland would explore the killers and the killed and dive deeper into this world but he doesn't and I am happy about that. Coupland takes things away from this aspect and into the individual worlds of Cheryl and Jason and the people they knew, were affected by and loved which makes this book more about the people and less about the events.

Just when I really start to enjoy the story, it switches to the voice of Heather who is now Jason's girlfriend, several years after Jason's story completes. Heather fills us in on the years in between and I started to get bored with her story and her and Jason's relationship. The final voice is of Jason's father Reg. I think that this was an important voice to hear since much of Jason's life was controlled by his relationship with his father. But still I was losing interest. By the end of the book I honestly just couldn't wait for it to be over. The first half of the book I'd rate a 4/5, the second half a 2/5.. which is why I rated it a 3/5. Im a little disappointed that I didn't love this like others have. I enjoyed most of the story but Heather's part just really felt like a waste to me.

This book fills the following groups/challenges:
  • PBT Oct Tag - Contemporary Fiction

Monday, October 12, 2009

Random Reading Challenge

August 1, 2009 – July 31, 2010
I was poking around on Caribousmom's Blog and found this Reading Challenge. I don't really need another challenge but I loved the idea and happy to see it goes until July of next year. For this challenge, readers will be choosing books randomly from their TBR stacks. You may select one of three levels of participation:

Level I:
You are just a tad compulsive about your reading – you love your lists and schedules. Being spontaneous is not something that comes naturally to you. To complete the challenge, force yourself out of your rut and read just six books.
Level II:
You really want to break away from all those lists, but you do still have a responsibility to your
reading groups, other challenges and all those review books. Six books is too little, but twelve is too much. Stretch a little and read nine books for the challenge.
Level III:
Throw away the lists, don’t look at your schedule, bring on the joy that comes with the freedom to chose books randomly. Read twelve books for the challenge.
Here are the Rules :
  • NO lists allowed. Books for the challenge are chosen one at a time when the mood strikes.
  • Books are selected one at a time using the following procedure:
  • Randomly select any number of books from either your physical OR your
    virtual TBR pile
  • Assign a number to each book based on how many books you selected
  • Go to THIS SITE and use the TRUE RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR located in the upper right hand corner of the page to randomly select the book you will read. NO CHEATING – whatever the random number generator generates is the book you must read!
  • Each time you select a book for the challenge, you will use this procedure. You many select different books each time, choose a different amount of books each time, etc…have fun, mix it up, keep it random.

I'll be using my shelfari tbr pile as my virtual pile and ordering it by author like my home shelves (which has all the same books - approx 200 books) so keep an eye out for my up to date list on the right hand side of my blog, I'll put the random number chosen and the book that corresponds.

I currently have a list of books to read for October so I'll be starting this challenge as soon as this list is complete.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Baby Congratulations Card

I have decided to make a bunch of cards to give to my mother and grandmother as a Christmas gifts. I'll be giving one of them the Happy Fall card I previously posted. I made this Baby card to put in. I'll be making Christmas, Birthday, Mother's Day, Easter, and so on. She always asks for boxed cards and I think it would be nice to give her a bunch of homemade ones. If I start now, I should be able to have a bunch of them made for her and my grandmother and it will be something that I think they would appreciate. It's always hard to buy for them and I think this will help alot.

I've been looking for a photo editor to use for my pictures before I post them. I downloaded Google Picasa today and used it for the Baby Photo attached to this post. Check out the before picture compared to the after above. It was very easy to use and I think the finished picture speaks for itself, especially for a free product.

I also made another Welcome Baby card for my girlfriend who is having a baby... but I won't be posting a picture here until after I give her the card in November when she has the baby because she knows about this blog and I want it to be a surprise (Sorry Patty ;-) , but I hope you like the card I made for you, I know I love it.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Rating: 5/5 Stars - Favorite

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox was in a tragic accident over a year ago and was in a coma for most of that time. She has lost her memory and cannot remember anything from before the accident; Not even her favorite color or who her friends were. As memories start to flood back one by one and she learns the circumstances around her accident, she learns about who she was and who she has become and a little more than she ever could have imagined. This book is about what lengths a parent would go to to save their child and what about us really makes us human but it is so much more.

This is such a beautifully written story that really surprised me in the details. This book should not be limited to the Young Adult label, as it will be loved by all age groups. I don't want to say too much about the story because telling any of the good pieces of the story will give away what makes it so wonderful. I think it's better to read it for yourself and see, you will not be disappointed.

I would absolutely recommend this book and I will be telling all of my friends to read it.

Favorite Quote: "Where we are going, I don't know. It doesn't seem to be the place that is important but the steps in between."

This book fits into the following Groups/Challenges:
  • PBT Oct Tag: Other

Zombieland: Nut Up or Shut Up

In a Post-Apocolyptic world, where Mad Cow has morphed into Mad People (Zombies), there are only a hand-full of living people left in the United States, maybe the world.
As the actors meet up in this film, they don't go by names but are known by their intended destinations. This allows them to keep at a distance, in case someone turns into a zombie.
The cast is :
Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee
Jesse Eisenberg as Columbus
Emma Stone as Wichita
Abigail Breslin as Little Rock
Columbus is the narrator of the story and keeps a list of how to survive in Z-land:
  • 01.Cardio
  • 02. Double tap
  • 03. Beware of bathrooms
  • 04. Seatbelts
  • 07. Travel light
  • 17. (Don't) Be a hero
  • 18. Limber up
  • 22. When in doubt know your way out
  • 31. Check the back seat
  • 32. Enjoy the little things
Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee is the absolute best part of this movie. On his quest for Twinkies and killing Zombies, he is just absolutely hilarious. Jesse Eisenberg also did a very good job as Columbus, his awkwardness makes you wonder how he's survived all this time but his list tells the story. There is also a cameo by a well known actor that makes for some fun scenes, but I don't want to spoil it. Jesse Stone and Abigail Breslin also did good jobs in this movie as sisters who stick together and trust no one else. They didn't stand out as much as Harrelson and Eisenberg, but they definitely added to the movie.
I would definitely recommend this movie for a witty and fun, highly entertaining, shoot-em up Zombie movie.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Library Book Sale Haul

I went to the library tonight for the monthly face to face discussion group. This month we discussed The Shack by William P. Young. It was really interesting for me to see so many people love the book when I disliked it so much. All in all another great book group discussion, I don't have to agree with them to enjoy the discussion. Next month is The Glass Castle By Jeanette Walls - which I've previously read and LOVED.

As I was leaving I see the sale table and hit the jackpot. I picked up the following books - all for .90 - I actually had to stop myself from grabbing books because I couldn't carry any more.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Rating: 4/5 Stars

A coming of age story about a boy named Charlie, who is a teenager starting High School. Charlie is a little on the geeky side and has trouble making friends and participating in things. The main theme of this book seems to be that we should be actively participating in our own lives, not just standing by watching it happen.

I am on the fence with how I felt about this book. One one hand I felt for this kid who is obviously awkward and when he meets the right people is able to bloom. I could relate to this character and it did bring back some of the angst of highschool and being a teenager. I loved some of the vivid scenes, like the Rocky Horror Picture show events. On the other hand I think about this kid going to parties, drinking, doing drugs and yet still able to get straight A's in school, this does seem somewhat unrealistic. The repressed memory seemed unnecessary to me, he seemed very much like a normal awkward teenager and there didn't necessarily need to be a reason for it.

All in all, I enjoyed the book and gave it 4 stars because it made me think about things and the author did a good job with making you feel like it was written by a teenager. I cared about the characters and what happened to them, and I think that makes for a good story when you can care about the characters. There was alot crammed into this book but it was a pleasurable read.
Favorite Quote: "We accept the love we think we deserve"

This book fits into the following groups and/or challenges:

  • PBT Oct Tag: Contemporary Fiction

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Just Received This ARC

How to catch and keep a vampire by Diana Laurence

I just received this book as an ARC request and Im excited to get to reading it. The package it came in was a nice little package from Sellers Publishing. There was nice letter from the publisher as well as other features: A promo sheet, Publishers Weekly listing from August 31, 2009, a publishers weekly article on the book from Sept 14, 2009, a Jazma Online article about the book from September 10th, a Fall Book catalog, a press release and a backgrounder on the publisher.

I've received many ARCs but never have I received a package like this, it was a nice touch and I hope the book does well for them. Also, I'd like to mention that when I requested the ARC, I received a very nice personal email response from them and it was a very nice gesture.

That said.. I will be posting my review when as soon as read it - Sometime this month.

Here's the Synopsis from

Discover the Secret of the Red Satin Ribbon . . .In How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-by-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful, author Diana Laurence explores the romantic fascination we mortals have for the undead. Why do perfectly normal people fall for such sinister beings? And more importantly, what should we do about it when we do? Diana Laurence knows. With loads of personal experience to draw upon, Laurence does everything from explaining the attraction to blood-drinkers, to sharing what red satin signifies to them. In this book, she has created a road map to show readers how a vampire relationship can be achieved and conducted in harmony with everyday existence.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Happy Fall Note Card

I made this over the weekend from an example in a magazine. Took about an hour to cut out the tree and the leaves and put it all together so Im not sure how many of these I'll make, but I wanted to try it. The stamp says "happy fall" at the bottom. I must learn to take better pictures! (Picture re-touched up with Google Picasa on 10/11)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger

Rating: 5 / 5 Stars

Life is all about the choices we make and our response to the choices that others make. Ridley Jones has had a good life, that is until she saves a boys life and her face is splattered all over the papers and news. Her life is turned upside down when she receives a mysterious note with a picture, taken in the 1970s, of a women who looks eerily a lot like her.

Ridley's life is quickly unveiled as a web of beautiful lies and she must find out the truth, but who does she trust? Her Parents? Her ex-fiance Zack? Her new neighbor Jake? As her life as she knows it is unfolded there is no going back to the life that she once knew - there is only going deeper into the mystery to learn the truth.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and was so happy to see the end actually saying, "The Beginning..." I cannot wait to read more of Ridley Jones' story and see what her future holds. The book had great character development and some good twists and turns.

Favorite quote: "The universe doesn't like secrets. It conspires to reveal the truth, to lead you to it."

This book fills the following challenges:

  • PBT Oct Debut
  • Grammar Rules Challenge #3 Adjective (Beautiful)
  • Fall Winter Mystery Challenge (resolutions/new begininngs related mystery)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

My Neices Birthday Card

I just finished the birthday card for my neice and I think it turned out pretty good. Had trouble getting the picture to take just right since it's got a lot of shine on it. Either turns out too dark or too bright. This was the best one I took.

I think she'll love it.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The 5th Horseman By James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Healthy People are dying at an alarming rate at a San Francisco hospital. These people are about to be released when they suddenly die before they are released. At the same time the hospital is being sued for malpractice. When something happens to a loved one of the Women's murder club it's time for Lindsey to step up the investigation.

This fifth installment of the Women's murder club isn't as good as the first four but it is still very well done. There are several plot threads in this one, I assume to throw the reader off but it started out a little confusing to me. All in all I wasn't disappointed in the book, just was hoping for the same level as the last book in the series. I will definitely read on as I know what Patterson is capable of and I am excited to see where the women's murder club will go from here.

This book fits into the following Challenges for me:
  • Booktivity Halloween challenge (Horseman relates to the Headless Horseman.)
  • Grammar Rules Challenge as a Horseman is a noun.
  • PBT Contemporary Fiction Tag

Thursday, October 01, 2009


This is my first blog post... How exciting!

I am currently reading Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger and enjoying it immensely. I am also listening to The 5th Horseman by James Patterson.

Just a little introduction to what this blog will be for me. I found I needed a place to gather all my book stuff, the books I've read and reviewed, the challenges Im participating in, etc. I plan on posting mostly about the books that I am reading currently and posting reviews when I've finished with them as long as stating what challenge they fit into and anything else book related that I feel like discussing.

I also love to do crafts and make handmade cards, so as I make them I'll be posting the pictures here to save them.

If you are reading this.. thanks for that! Im just excited to be a blogger... Look at me now!