Photo Blogging #Challenge August 2015 theme: Rule of Thirds #photoblog

August’s theme for the photo blogging challenge hosted by http://hoohaablog.com was Rule of Thirds. I am not sure what “Rule of Thirds” was supposed to mean, so my pictures are really abstract in relation to the theme.

Picture 1

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hard cider rules

I went to hear music at one of my favorite places- a creperie and craft beer locale called Natty’s. I ordered a flight with my uncle. Since he is a light weight when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages, he drank one and I drank the other 3. I ordered their variety of their on tap hard ciders because I do not care for beer.

Picture 2

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fancy fish

During the same visit with my uncle, we went to the Riverbanks zoo in Columbia SC (Fun fact: this zoo is top rated on Tripadvisor). I always enjoy visiting the aquarium and watching the fish. There is something very calming about watching fish swim around with not a care in the world. This picture was included because it looks to me like the fish has three fins.

Picture 3

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Montague’s Blacken Salmon

No month is complete without a my requisite food picture. LOL :D Once again I went to Montague’s. I chose this picture because there are 3 components to this plate: blackened salmon, mashed potatoes, and root vegetables. Added bonus is that there are three types of root veggies: carrots, red and yellow beets. It was delicious! I love salmon but rarely order it. The mashed potatoes were true comfort food. The root veggies were healthy but tasty. I decided when this is the weekly feature again, I definitely will be ordering it.

Picture 4

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reading for days

I am reaching as I explain “thirds” for this picture. This is a picture of my third e-reader. It is a Paperwhite Kindle. I used to use my Kindle Fire and my iPad as e-readers. I started to get headaches because of eye strain. After investigating, I decided to buy the Paperwhite. I am happy to say that my eyes and head do not hurt any more after I have been reading for long periods of time.

Picture 5

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chocolate fountain

I went to a business mixer last week and they had a 3-tiered chocolate fountain. When I saw this, I thought it would be perfect to include in the topic of “Thirds”.

Check A ‘lil HooHaa blog tomorrow to see what the theme for September will be. Beginner, expert, and anywhere in between photographers welcomes to participate in the fun.

Defining Destiny can lead to love triangles #definingdestiny

Defining Destiny (Destiny, Book 1): New Adult Romance

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Synopsis

This story is set in a reality where everyone has one true soul mate. With that person, everything they do together is better.

Lucy’s soulmate is Caden. When they sing, it is a magical connection that moves people on an emotional level. However, Caden is also selfish and conniving which is why Lucy leaves him.

Seth lost his soulmate in a car accident. He is an artist and she was his inspiration. He is attracted to Lucy but is uncertain where it will lead.

Opinion

The story is told from the POV of Lucy and Seth. In this reality, soulmate just means there is a strong connection between two people but it does not confirm monogamy.

Caden was a complete douche. For example, he lied and manipulated many times to keep Lucy close. I was annoyed with Lucy for being as nice as she was to him.

While I thought this was supposed to be a story about Lucy and Seth, I felt like I was reading more about Lucy and Caden. As a result, I had a difficult time connecting with the characters.

Since Caden was self-seeking and egotistical, it was easy to root for Seth. But then he was emo so much of the time, that I wondered if Lucy would just be better off without either one. Then I would think, “Should I get emotionally vested in a Lucy-Seth match if there is a chance she could toss that to go back to jerk #1 Caden?” In a way it was kind of like a love triangle but not really.

I finished the story and all I can say is that there was a satisfying but missing something end.

Should you buy? If you want a book that is infuriating and set in an alternate reality where everything you know as logical may or may not be true, then read Defining Destiny. If you do not want to have to think that hard, then pass.

Details from Goodreads

ebook, 266 pages
Published by Bayou Moon Publishing, LLC (first published February 20th 2014)
series Defining Destiny #1

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Would you rather #BookTag

Book Tag: Would you Rather

I am doing this because I was inspired by one of my fave bloggers Romance 4 the Beach

Feel free to be inspired and share your answers in the comments or link to your blog post with the same tag.

Would you rather only read trilogies or only read stand-alones?

Stand-alones. I hate with a passion trilogies where each book ends with a humongous cliffhanger to make you want to buy the next book. It is like the author is trying to strong arm you into buying 2 additional books.

Would you rather only read male or female authors?

Female authors. I read a lot of romance and I have not seen many male romance authors.

Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon?

Amazon. Since I love my Kindle (just got a paperwhite YAY), I buy most of my books from Amazon already.

Would you rather books were made into TV shows or movies?

I would like to say neither because I do not think either do the book justice. But if I have to choose – Movies. The TV shows are more likely go off script when there are more seasons than books. I am a purist with this sort of thing.

Would you rather read only 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

5 books per week! Reading 5 pages per day seems like water torture.

Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?

Professional reviewer. That would be how I am now, but I would be able to support myself financially too. That’s like a dream come true.

Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

Librarian. I love libraries. Funny story: Growing up, I was complaining that I did not have enough money to buy more books. My mom told me that she knew of a place where I could read all the books I wanted for free.

“Where is this magical place?” I asked excitedly. 

The library.”

Would you rather read only your favorite genre, or every other genre but your favorite?

What kind of question is this? My favorite genre, OF COURSE! All day, every day. Only a masochist would choose otherwise.

Would you rather only read ebooks or physical books?

This is difficult but I guess I would have to choose ebooks. I have close to 1,000 ebooks in my Kindle library now. With unlimited storage in the cloud…Let’s just say that makes me very happy to think of all my books. To infinity and beyond.

Ours to Save: ES Siren 9 – Shona Husk #ScifiRomance #netgalley

I received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ours to Save: ES Siren 9 by Shona Husk

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Synopsis
Micah and his daughter Sadie are on the ship Siren travelling to a planet that is going to be colonized. Since he has experience in agriculture, his skill set is seen as a benefit to the new settlers.

Felicity is imprisoned for her involvement as a radical Gaia Movement . As an explosives expert, she knows a lot of bomb making. Because of severity of her crimes, she is in a maximum security prison. She does not want her daughter to be stigmatized by the fact that her mother is a criminal, so Micah and Felicity keep their relationship secret.

Despite their best efforts, someone found out about their close ties and looks to leverage this information for their own nefarious plans. Threatening harm to the important people in her life was not a wise move. Felicity will do whatever she needs to do to ensure her family’s safety.

Opinion
At first this was difficult for me to get in to because it was not what I expected. I knew it was part of a series but I thought that it would still be okay to read as a standalone story. Logically I know this is book #9 of the series, but I was optimistic.

Once I was able to understand what this world was about, I was able to focus more on the plot. That being said, I think you are better off if you read some of the earlier books to get background for the story.

From Goodreads, here is the series in a nutshell

As a small fleet of ships makes their way toward a new colony the people on board find love and lust.

~~~Back to story~~~
Micah and Felicity were already in love when they were on their way to the new colony. For most of the story, I felt tense at the situation Micah and Felicity found themselves. Felicity’s feeling that Micah was too good for her and could possibly leave at any time, stressed me out. She loved him and could not understand why he was giving up a better life to love her back.

I felt sorry for Micah and Felicity. This is one of those screwed up situations where they cannot show in any kind of emotion that might prove how much they love each other for fear of someone trying to exploit the situation. Then someone did that any way.

Overall, I think that because the story picks up in the middle of their relationship timeline, there was not a lot of character development. I did not see this as steamy or sweet. It was raw in the sense that it deals with the realities of loving a person who is imprisoned. If a person likes that type of romance, they will love this book. I, on the other hand, prefer less stressful, more fanciful romances.

Ours to Save: ES Siren 9 Product Details
Print Length: 95 pages
Publisher: Momentum (July 23, 2015)
Publication Date: July 23, 2015

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Black Hills by Nora Roberts #review #romance

Black Hills

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Synopsis

Cooper (Coop) and Lillian (Lil) meet as children when Coop goes to visit his grandparents for the summer in South Dakota. They keep in touch over the years and eventually fall in love with one another. They are both in their early 20’s at this point.

Coop is nowhere near having his life together. On the other hand, Lil has her career path laid out. Feeling as if he does not deserve her, he breaks up with her.

Years later, he is back in South Dakota to help out his grandparents and decides that now he is worthy of being with Lil. Meanwhile, there is a psychopath serial killer that is obsessed with Lil.

Opinion

Since this is a Nora Roberts romance, I really wanted to like this book. I do not think you can fully understand my desire to want to like this book. I was so excited to find it in a used book store and was looking forward to curling up and reading this, having warm fuzzy feelings, and re-reading again and again. Since most of my books these days are on my kindle, I was going to treasure holding a book in my hand and adding this one to my bookshelf collection.

The good

(1) I like the demonstrations of love between Lil’s parents and Coop’s grandparents. It is evident that these two couples have been in love for decades.

(2) Lil’s mother pragmatic approach to Lil’s hang ups is probably what helped her to get over herself and give Coop a second chance.

The bad

(1) The story seemed to drag on and on. I do not mind 400 pages if the book is interesting enough to keep my interest

There was so much detail about wildlife preserve and the big cats (cougars, jaguars, etc) held there that I began to feel overwhelmed with the details. Maybe that would have been more interesting to me if I already knew more about it. If it was not for the fact that I wanted to find out how the showdown between Lil and psychopath went, I probably would have stopped reading.

(2) Coop’s attitude of “I’m going to stay here until you want to make love to me” would have grated my nerves more if I was not already perturbed with Lil. He was clueless when he thought that they amicably broke up. But for him to think years later that they would pick up where they left off was laughable.

(3) Despite the fact that there was a psychopath on the loose, it seems that the authorities did little to notify the public of the danger he posed. Why were there not posters of his face everywhere? The news outlets should have been warning people. Why did people not lock their doors? He should not have been able walk in public or talk to anyone without an alarm being sounded.

The ugly

(1) Lil’s you-broke-my-heart attitude was exasperating. OKAY! We get it. He broke you heart 10 years ago.

Stop sleeping with him. It sends mixed messages. Did you forgive him or not? It seemed irrational that she would “trust him with her life” but at the same time be worried that he would leave her.

(2) Both are so wrapped up in their own feelings that they do not recognize how their actions affected the other. Granted, I think that Coop eventually understood how his misguided attempt to ensure Lil’s happiness backfired. But I do not think that Lil really fully appreciated the intent of Coop’s actions. Whether she wanted to admit it or not, he was partially right. He would have been an anchor on her boat to success, weighing her down and probably preventing her from achieving much of what she accomplished. The fact that she could not admit even a little that his thought process had some merit is what disappointed me most about Lil’s character. It is as if she discounted all that he was dealing with at the time because it caused her discomfort.

In the end, I was confused. I never experienced these types of negative emotions with a Nora Roberts’ book.

Should you buy? I cannot really recommend Black Hills, but if you are a die hard Nora Roberts fan, you might want to read just to say you have read all her books. Then again, if you like whiny heroines, you will like this book.

Book Details from Goodreads
Hardcover, 472 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Putnam (first published 2009)
Setting Black Hills, South Dakota, 2009 (United States)
Available on Amazon

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