Down Home Zombie Blues

June 10th, 2009
Down Home Zombie Blues by Linnea Sinclair, published in 2007 by Bantam Books

This book was a very fun read. Linnea’s books were first published as Science Fiction, but her publisher reclassed her works as Romance, issued new covers to appeal to a new audience. Zombie Blues has action, adventure, and the expected relationship, but I was pleased that it didn’t overshadow the story.

Jorie Mikkalah is a Guardian Force commander who is chasing zombies, which lead her to Earth. Theo Petrakos is a Florida homicide detective who finds one of Jorie’s team mates—now a mummified corpse. Who knew that Florida has been infested with biomechanical organisms who are deadly to anything humanoid?

The characters are believable and likeable. I loved that Jolie was strong without making Theo weak or wishy-washy. The technology that Jorie and her team mates use are cool and worthy of wishful thinking for our current times. The zombies (not what you would normally think of as zombies) are tough enemies to beat. There is a lot of humor and the secondary characters are well-fleshed out and loyal.

The ending of this story is quite satisfactory; even though it leaves things a little open, the natural progression is obvious. There is quite an opening left for a sequel, and I found myself wanting one very much. Even the ‘bad’ character redeems himself in the end. Watching the team try to fit into the 21st century culture was quite amusing as well.

The book was hard to put down, and my enjoyment of it made me do something I’d never done before. I sent the author an email expressing my pleasure and we exchanged several notes. I also read the rest of her novels, and loved them as well.

Another very cool aspect of this novel is that it has it’s very own theme song that can be found on the internet.   I recommend this one if you don’t mind a little romance with your science fiction.

The Edge of The World

June 10th, 2009
The Edge of the World
By Kevin J Anderson
We were promised an adventure……     And Anderson delivered. I’m ready for the next one! The characters in the first book in the Terra Incognita series are rich and real, and you grow with them over their years. You feel their pain and desperation, wonder and awe. The world that Anderson built is incredibly rich and detailed, and the images are easy to come as you read. There were times when I was overwhelmed with all the different characters and settings, but the confusion didn’t last long and the rewards were many. Anderson shows us religious conflict and belief, wars and slaves, mysterious sea creatures and the promise of a world unexplored. I encourage anyone who loves epic fantasy to check out this well-written novel.

Magic Strikes (review) by Ilona Andrews

June 9th, 2009
Magic Strikes
By Ilona Andrews

The third installment in the Kate Daniels saga continues to get better than the previous tales, which is saying somehting major.  Kate is quite the loner who enjoys her solitude, but has suddenly found herself getting attached to a few others, including Julie, who we met in the second book.  Julie is an orphan who doesn’t fit in any more than Kate does.  Kate also has befriended Derek, a werewolf.  Kate fights her attraction to Curran, the leader of the local pack, but it’s clear that she won’t be fighting him off forever.

Kate and her friends live in Atlanta, which has periods where magic hits, making all technology fail.  Kate is part of an organization that cleans up the messes left/made when the magic hits.  Her friend Derek is injured and Kate has to make a deal with the devil to rescue him, only to find that he has been infected by something she has never heard of.  She enters a set of illegal games in a bid to save his life.  We learn a lot about Kate’s past, quite a bit more about Curran, and get to enjoy several other characters who complete Kate’s growing circle of supporters.

I enjoyed this story, and encourage people to read the first two novels before reading this one, but do read them!!!

Been away for a while…….

June 9th, 2009

Just haven’t had a chance to do much on the blog lately, but hoping to change that.  Been looking for a job, no permanent success (yet), but have done some temp stuff.  If anyone hears of an HR/Benefits position, let me know.

More soon.  gonna post a few reviews first.

This and That

October 1st, 2008

Tonight we went to a signing for Kevin J. Anderson, who is well known for writing Star Wars books, the new Dune books (with Brian Herbert) and many more.  He also writes with his wife, Rebecca Moesta, who has written 32 novels herself.  They had many giveaways, including the first novel in their newest series, Crystal Doors–they were giving these out for free to anyone who wanted one.  We had the pleasure of meeting Kevin and Rebecca at World Con in August, and it was sure a pleasure to see them again.

Along for the ride were members of the 501st, with 4 Storm Troopers and of course, Darth Vader. As we sat there listening to Kevin, I was distracted by Darth’s breathing.  I seriously considered offering him a puff on my asthma inhaler since it sounded so much like an asthma attack.  Perhaps if the Empire had properly diagnosed his chronic condition early on, he might have had a much easier time of it.  It must have been difficult, killing people and having to take a few minutes to recover each time an attack hit.  Poor man.

Last week, our club (the USS Pioneer ( held the monthly Book/Media discussion group meeting.  We talk about what we’re reading and watching.  The DVD Ironman came up, and of course, everyone loved the movie–several times.  One of the couples, however, had a unique way of expressing their admiration–holding conversations to the tune of ‘Ironman’ by Black Sabbath.  We tried it.  David is pretty good, but I need work.  Jennifer is a natural.  Kinda scary, now that I think of it.

We got one of the 2 tuner DVRs through Dish.  Awesome so far, but it’s pretty intimidating to know that 150 hours are available….. how long can we keep it from getting full?  Since I don’t have a magic 8 ball, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Facebook is my new obsession.  I LOVE Facebook.  If you’re on, look me up.  I have a few games I play, I have a virtual kitten and puppy, and lots of friends.  Check it out.  I love it.

I worked the Obama campaign today again.  I talked to some people who were amazing.  When someone tells you that they aren’t voting for Obama because he’s BLACK.  What???  Are you kidding?  Luckily I didn’t talk to very many people that have that attitude.  I really thought that this country was past that–are we going to elect a leader who is NOT the right choice simply because the right candidate is not white?  Get serious.  One funny call I had today–after I introduced myself, the lady of the house hurridly said, “I promise we’ll vote for him, if you promise not to give us the big speech!”

We’ve got our vacation coming up in a couple of weeks.  On Oct 12th, we’re heading to Cabo San Lucas.  Hopefully, the hurricanes will avoid Baja this time.  Reading up on activities again, and seeing what’s new.  Looking forward to it.  I’m planning to get my hair cornrowed again, even let my bangs grow out so they can be included this time.  I start my new job the morning after we return.  Should be a lot of fun.

Well, that’s enough rambling for the evening.  Time for bed.  If anyone reads this, let me know, would you?

Review-The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey

September 23rd, 2008

Lackey has a series called the 500 Kingdoms that has turned the traditional fairy tale type story on its ear.  Taking those same fairy tales and twisting them through the Tradition.

The Snow Queen is a tale of a lonely fairy Godmother who lives with Brownies and a spoiled young man she is trying to redeem.  She helps those in her kingdom to avoid the bad ends they could be destined to meet.  She watches her charges work through their own difficulties, and find herself actually involved in the tale when someone is posing as her and killing entire villages.  She heads off to stop the imposter and meets her charges face to face.

The novel was a lot of fun, a good read, and the cover is beautiful.  While I enjoyed the book and all the wonderful fairy tale elements, I think I enjoyed a couple of the other books in the series more.  There is one element in the others that is missing in this one–the romance that slowly builds in the other books with people growing towards each other.

I will continue to read the series, but with this one being my least favorite.

3 out of 5 stars.  Gotta love the cover, though…..

Review–Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

September 23rd, 2008

I just finished this novel, second in a series.  The first book is Magic Bites.  The third one will be out in March 2009.  Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife team who are extremely talented.  Magic Bites was their debut novel, and quite enjoyable.  Kate Daniels, the heroine of the tale is a strong willed, do right kind of warrior living in a magic stricken Atlanta.

Magic Bites was good, but Magic Burns was even better.  Kate is hitting her stride, having to work out things in her life a whole lot harder than any of us face.  Along the way, she picks up a teenage charge, keeps running into an arrow shooting pest who turns out to be charming and has a good heart.  Throw in her ex-boyfriend and his new fiancee needing her help to get the blessing of the leader of the pack, Curran, who is powerful and dangerous, not to mention sexy.

This novel isn’t for those who are looking for a little story with their romance.  The romance is subtle, and the action outstanding.  Kate is a heroine who isn’t a goody-two shoes, but does what she thinks is right.  And she wasn’t born all powerful, she actually has learned and practiced to be as good as she is.  And she still gets her tail kicked every now and again.  She hides very powerful secrets, and I’m very excited that we don’t know them all already.  The clues we’re seeing just lead us down path after path, looking for the next one.  Who IS Kate Daniels?

Andrews has done much research into mythology and legends.  The players who show up in this series are well-written, scary and imaginative.  While Urban Fantasy is a hot genre currently, the author has taken a few liberties with familiar creatures and changed them up, much to our enjoyment.

There were many times when I had to ‘ewwww,’ or laugh outloud.  I can hardly wait for the next one.  This series rocks so far.  Much kudos to Ilona Andrews.

I’d have to rate this one a 4 and a half out of 5.

Stargate Atlantis-What a bummer!!

September 5th, 2008

Atlantis is just coming on, and I have to express my sadness at the upcoming cancellation of this show.  Guess they’ve decided to have movies come out, like they did with SG1.  And they’ll  bring out one more show, in which one of our characters will be seen.  not fair.  They could have both at the same time.

Seems like every time we get hooked on a show, they cancel it.  I still think about the Dresden Files, Invisible Man, the Chronicle, Witchblade, Prey, Enterprise, The Heights, Home Front and more.  What’s up with that?

Vegas Part 2

September 5th, 2008

To continue……

The Klingon ride, as always, made me a little sick.  I tried to sit in the middle, but was one seat off.  Honestly, I guess it’s just my luck to have the motion sickness on certain rides.  We went on and did the Borg ride, and as always it was great.  After we took a small break to shop and take stuff back to the rooms, we headed to the back stage tour to await our turn.  The shops were so picked over, and the once big store was closed off.  There was hardly anything left.  I didn’t pick up anything, and David picked up a few hats.  The back stage tour was different from the last one we did, and our guide, Melvin, did a great job.  I can’t give you details since we had to sign a non-disclosure contract!!!

Quarks was really busy and some of us had to go see Penn and Teller, so we went back to the room for a few to get ready.  David, Arty, Audi, Ed and I took the monorail to Bally’s and walked to Paris where we had a bite to eat before going out and catching the shuttle to the Rio.  Once at the Rio, we went to the Penn and Teller theatre, and bought a few drinks.  Since it was David’s birthday, he had to have a few, of course…..  Penn and Teller were EXCELLENT.  I loved them. They were amazing, and my only regret is that we weren’t a little closer to see the details of their magic.  I’d see them again.  After the performance, there was a period where P & T were signing autographs and posing for pictures.  We got photos with Riker Bear and JT, and got their autographs, too.

I had to play a little bit to keep points on a card, so all of us went to the Show in the Sky to wait for the show and play a little bit.  I lost my money, but Ed won something like 13000 nickels!!  How cool!  We headed back to the hotel, saw the water show at the Bellagio, and then we played the Star Trek game for a few minutes.  It was a good day.

Sunday we all got up at 7 am, and printed our boarding passes and set up our shuttle pick up for that evening.  We met at 11:45 for our pictures on the bridge–lots of fun.  For our group shot, there was a guy named Daniel watching us, and we invited him into the picture.  Ed looked like he was beaming out!  We got the pictures on CD, and then did lunch at Quarks.  My cheeseburger was over done, but okay.  I also had a Deanna Troi’s Chocolate Obsession.  It was so yummy.  After lunch, a few of us went to the Stratasphere, and we all met back up at the Hilton to catch our shuttle.

It was sad going home.  Knowing that we wouldn’t be seeing the experience ever again the way it was.  What a drag….  The flight home was fine, and we got back to Ed’s truck okay.  It took us a few days to recoup…..   Just in time to get ready for our next weekend camping.

Back From Vegas, part 1

August 25th, 2008

Wow, we just spent three days and two nights in Vegas.  No, it wasn’t to do some timeshare presentation, we were going out to say goodbye to the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton.  It was wild!  Very sad and a bit frustrating.  We had a group of 8, and we were so excited getting into town.  Friday we flew in on Southwest, and got checked into the hotel, got unpacked, and then walked to the strip and checked out the tickets available at the tix2night place.  There were options, but we needed to figure out what to do.  So we spent the next two hours hanging out at the Peppermill, where Kathy took very good care of us.  I had barbeque chicken that ROCKED!!! All the food was good.  We decided to hit the Rat Pack show at the Plaza that night, since we could get great tickets at a discount.  Everyone went their own way for the next few hours, and while Ed and Charlie went hotel hopping, Arty, David and I went back to the hotel and played the new Star Trek slot machine for a while.  very fun!!!  And then David and I took a nap.

I think Audi, Kathryn and Nancy took a cab back to the hotel and rested until it was time to go that night.  The Rat Pack show was great!  The performers were really good at their jobs, and we all enjoyed it so much.  And the jokes?  We were laughing so hard…..  Anyway, we went to eat at Binions, good food.  David, Ed and I hung out downtown for a little while-Ed finally had found some machines where he could put in the quarters he’d brought from home.

Saturday, we had breakfast at the Paradise Cafe, and then Ed, Arty and David went to get tickets from the half price place—Penn and Teller— while the rest of us hung out near the experience. The doors opened at 11:30, and the line began to move, finally.  Charlie stayed in line while we waited for the guys to get back (that’s another story in itself) and I was gathering information on the packages.  They only had a couple of packages left, the Latinum package and the Captain’s package.  We had coupons, too.  While the guys kept trying to get back, I bought tickets for the latinum package for Arty, Ed, David and myself.  The rest of the gang were right behind me, and they got their own tickets.  The guys showed up at that point.  We got into the 4:30 backstage show (barely) and then went to hit the museum and do our first ride, which was the Klingon ride.

I’ll finish this up later tonight with part 2.