Still Iced Over

We had a second round of ice come through. Thankfully neither one was bad enough to cause the kind of damage that previous storms have caused. This time it was just enough to keep the kids home from school and Hubby working from home. Even then, it isn’t going to last long as we are already starting to melt. I’m glad I got out and got my photos taken when I did or I would have missed out. Continue reading “Still Iced Over”

And We Have Ice

It always amuses me that Mother Nature likes to contradict the forecasters so thoroughly. They said we really wouldn’t get much, but we ended up with enough to close schools and coat pretty much everything. At least it stopped before it got bad enough to bring down power lines.

Sadly, my battery died on my camera before I got all I wanted to get.  Between that and trying damn hard to get frostbite on my fingers and nose, I had to come in for a while. BG (did I mention my girl is starting to get into photography?) and I will both be going back out once we warm back up and my battery is charged again . So many pretties to capture!

Heartsick and Angry

When will America love their children more than their guns?

I avoided posting yesterday because I knew if I tried, I wouldn’t be able to avoid the vitriolic post that would come out of how I was feeling. The above quote is one that expresses a portion of what I feel in fewer words. While I’ve worked through much of that, it is far from gone so if you want to avoid the spillage that remains, feel free to move on.

Continue reading “Heartsick and Angry”

When I’m Gone: Emily Bleeker

When I'm Gone
When I’m Gone

Author: Emily Bleeker
Book Name: When I’m Gone
Series: *
Order: *
Genre: Literature/Family Drama
Rating:  Okay

3+stars

 

 

 

Blurb:

Dear Luke,
First let me say—I love you…I didn’t want to leave you…

Luke Richardson has returned home after burying Natalie, his beloved wife of sixteen years, ready to face the hard job of raising their three children alone. But there’s something he’s not prepared for—a blue envelope with his name scrawled across the front in Natalie’s handwriting, waiting for him on the floor of their suburban Michigan home.

The letter inside, written on the first day of Natalie’s cancer treatment a year ago, turns out to be the first of many. Luke is convinced they’re genuine, but who is delivering them? As his obsession with the letters grows, Luke uncovers long-buried secrets that make him question everything he knew about his wife and their family. But the revelations also point the way toward a future where love goes on—in written words, in memories, and in the promises it’s never too late to keep.

Once again, I’m struggling to write a review because a book has left me torn between good writing and a story I just wasn’t fond of.

I expected more of this story to focus on how Luke deals with his loss, raising his kids alone and moving on. Instead you get what starts as a kind of endearing story that moves as expected and slowly turns into this weird, crazy blend of going too far with too many unbelievable twists and kind of ridiculous secrets. Top that off with what amounts to really a non-ending and you kind of have a mess.

This wasn’t horrible, but it was only okay because it just became too much and didn’t offer anything to balance that out in the end. I find that sad because I really thought I was going to like this one.

Drifting

But, sadly… not here. At least not this year. I haven’t seen snow like that since I took this picture seven years ago. Unless we get something major before spring, we will have been lucky to have gotten even a tiny fraction of that amount all season. I like winter, but it better come with snow otherwise the cold just isn’t worth the effort.

Halve Some Cherries

Again, I was denied my fun and my cake skills as BG requested a super simple box mix with store bought icing cake with no theme. No fun for me, but it was her birthday and is what she wanted, so it is what she got.

The upside is that I didn’t have to spend days working on it like I usually do when I’ve been given a challenge. I pretty much had this one baked and decorated in an evening. It has been a while since I’ve done one this simple. I will use box mixes, but almost never use anything other than homemade icing unless it is for my cream cheese cupcakes, so doing this one was really strange for me.

Cherry Chip Cake
Cherry Chip Cake

Cherry chip cake with cherry icing. It was stupidly sweet, but she was thrilled and that is all that mattered.

The older they get, the less fun they allow me to have. I think I’m just going to say screw it and come up with a cake idea I like and just make it for the hell of it just so I can play.

Cherry Chip Cake - Lit
Cherry Chip Cake – Lit – Photo credit goes to MC as I was doing the lighting.

 

Cast in Deception: Chronicles of Elantra, Book 13

Cast in Deception
Cast in Deception

Author: Michelle Sagara
Book Name: Cast in Deception
Series: Chronicles of Elantra
Order: #13
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: Really Good

4+stars

 

 

 

Blurb: WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?

Private Kaylin Neya thought her home couldn’t possibly get more crowded. But when one of her housemates, Annarion, decides to undertake the Barrani Test of Name, his friends refuse to let him face his task alone—and Kaylin’s sentient home, Helen, is the only structure capable of shielding the rest of Elantra from the magnitude of their power.

Annarion and Mandoran almost caused the destruction of the High Halls once already. Add nine of their closest friends, and the danger is astronomically higher—especially since these guests are at the heart of a political firestorm. Imprisoned almost a millennium ago, their recent freedom threatens the rulership of several prominent Barrani families, and the machinations of those Lords make it almost impossible to tell friend from foe.

As political tensions ramp up, the shadows beneath the High Halls are seeking a freedom that has never been possible before. Kaylin must find a way to keep those shadows from escaping, or that freedom will destroy her city, the empire and everything she holds dear.

If I had to compare this to any of the others in the series, it is probably most like Cast in Peril. That said, I think this is the most different of all of the books so far. It is probably my second least favorite of the series.

Even though I still really enjoyed this, it felt like I was missing much of my favorite characters because the focus was almost entirely on the extended group of the cohort than on any of the established existing characters. It is obvious that Kaylin is bringing them into her sphere of people she considers hers, but I’m not as much of a fan of this group as I have been of every other character that has been brought in.

It was also missing a bit of what I’d consider classic Kaylin. Her personality is absolutely still there. She is still growing and maturing, but there was very little of her innate abilities displayed in this book so it almost felt as if even she were somewhat missing from this story.

This was a much lower key book, with the focus on the politics and intrigue of the Barrani court. If it follows a pattern being much like Cast in Peril (feeling sort of like a gap book to bridge major story arcs), then the next book will be much fuller in the sense of action and progress.