Beach Reading

Beach Reading
Beach Reading

Friday, September 28, 2012

Remember Me
By Brian L. MacLearn

While mowing his lawn, Andrew Johnson is pulled back through time by a strange storm that leaves a black hole in its wake.  Andrew leaves behind his new wife and the life he always dreamed of, and with no way back, he tries to create a life in the year 1985.  The technology in his cell phone promises to make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, but a brief encounter with his ex-wife causes a ripple effect that erases his daughter from existence.

Now Andrew must try and survive the next 25 years in the hopes the black hole will reappear so he can travel back once more and save his daughter -- and himself.  But making it 25 years is starting to seem less likely as he is plagued by bad luck.  Is bad luck all it is?  Or is time trying to punish him for meddling in the past?

~ My thoughts~
This book is a great read.  The premise is alot like the movie Back to the Future, but with a twist.  Andrew is alot older than Marty McFly was, and he tries to prevent some of the bad things that happened in his past from happening (i.e. - the Challenger tragedy and 9/11).  He also uses his knowledge of sports to make bets on games that win him lots of money.  He enlists the help of his parents and his sister until he is able to make it on his own, and then he leaves his parents to live their lives in relative normalcy while his sister assists him in building a business that brings the technology of his cell phone into play earlier than it had in his past.  I would really like to see this book made into a movie.  The only thing that I could find to complain about is the fact that there are quite a few grammatical errors throughout the book.  This book will definitely remain in my personal library and I know I will read it again.  I have already underlined some parts of it that touched me, and I will share it with friends and family.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is the New Fifty
By Tracey Jackson

As she approached her fiftieth birthday, Tracey Jackson found herself bombarded by a catchphrase on everyone's lips: "Fifty is the new thirty."  With a comedy writer's training and a screenwriter's eye for detail, Jackson skewers that particular myth with a hilarious, bare-knuckled, and ultimately practical appraisal of what middle age really means today.  Jackson not only faces the elephant in the room, she puts it under a (very large) microscope, confronting the truth about death, work, and sex in what the French call the "third age."

While investigating her own life, Jackson takes us through the many twists and turns on the roller coaster of aging.  She is not afraid to tackle the topics the years may bring.  She makes us laugh hard and think hard as well, and offers ways to lighten the speed bumps along the way.

~My thoughts~
I will be facing my fiftieth birthday next year (still can't believe it) and found this book a pleasure to read.  Ms. Jackson was spot on about how the dating scene is more difficult at this age as well as how we seem to lose more people our age as we get older.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Watch Where You Step: Going to the Dogs
By Jenepher Field

"You have to retire to something, not retire from something."

Jenepher had lost count of the number of times she'd heard this mantra from her energetic and ambitious husband, Louis.  But she didn't imagine that upon Louis's retirement from his orthopedic surgery practice, he would charm her into starting a business they knew nothing about, building a new house and a pet boarding kennel in the beautiful countryside of Washington State.  Swept along by the current of his drive and enthusiasm, as she has been many times before, Jenepher starts to learn about boarding and caring for dogs and cats.  Watch Where You Step is the story of their struggles and success, and of the ways in which they evolve and grow, finding both new points of friction and new appreciation for one another as they cope with issues they didn't plan for, including septic system logistics, flash floods, unreliable employees, irrational pet owners, and pets who could teach Harry Houdini a thing or two about the art of escape.  Rich threads of humor and love run through their lives as they come to realize they have invested in a business that is full of heart as well as full of mayhem.  Join Jenepher and Louis on the wonderful adventure of a lifetime!

~My thoughts~
I've often wondered what I might do in my retirement years.  I know I'm not the type to just sit around the house and be bored.  I love animals, and after reading this book, I may look into opening a pet boarding kennel somewhere.  The author shares with us some of the ups and downs that she and her husband experienced through the years.  I'm sure not every single one was mentioned, but it made for very interesting reading.

Tasty Thursday ~ Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I found this in the blog, Closet Cooking, and it is delish!!!!

A buttery and toasty grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with cool and creamy guacamole, crispy bacon and melted jack and cheddar cheese.  The crunchy crumbled tortilla chips in this grilled cheese pay tribute to the classic combination of tortilla chips and guacamole dip.

Servings: Makes 1 sandwich

Prep Time:  5 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time:  15 Minutes

2 slices bacon
2 slices sour dough bread
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1/2 cup jack and cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons guacamole, room temperature
1 tablespoon tortilla chips, crumbled (optional)

1.  Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain.
2.  Butter one side of each slice of bread, sprinkle half of the cheese onto the unbuttered side of one slice
     bread followed by the guacamole, bacon, tortilla chips, the remaining cheese and finally top with the
     remaining slice of bread with the buttered side up.
3.  Grill over medium heat until golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Music Monday Debut

I want to start out with Little River Band, Reminiscing, the year 1978.  Enjoy!!!

Diversity is the Spice of Life!!

I have decided to expand on my blog.  I will now start giving my views on anything and everything that comes to my  mind.  Years ago, I was a disc jockey;  I love music and have a somewhat eclectic taste in music, so I will start to share some of that with you on Mondays.  On Tuesdays, I have decided to talk about my favorite television shows from the past and those that are on now. On Thursdays I will share recipes that I like.  I may even give reviews of food products and such that I have tried and liked. I am working on getting this stuff together, so it won't all happen right away, but stay tuned.  I hope to keep you entertained.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Breastplate: A Civil War Adventure
By Shirley McCracken

The Civil War brought them together and it would tear them apart!  Beautiful Kitty Claiborne, the pampered daughter of a wealthy senator, fell deeply in love with Lt. William Benson, attache to President Lincoln.  However, she had no idea her life would change so dramatically after they were married.  Could her love endure the hardships of life in a remote cabin when, during the war, Will was given an assignment in East Tennessee?  And why didn't her husband tell her his mission when he left her alone for weeks at a time?  Was he one of the mysterious Phantom Warriors everyone was talking about?  When he was carried home, badly wounded, by a group of strangers, would she be able to smuggle them all through enemy checkpoints to safety?  And why did she bury her husband's breastplate, from his uniform, deep in the soil on their little farm?  The Breastplate is the story of the lives and families torn apart by the Civil War, and the courage of one woman as she struggles to keep her love and family intact during such turbulent times.

This book is Historical Fiction available in paperback and e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at Outskirts Press.

Shirley McCracken is a freelance writer and poet.  Always interested in the Civil War, she was intrigued when her husband found a relic from the war on their farm.  The relic, a Union breastplate, lay undisturbed for years, but when the 150th anniversary of the war approached, she decided to write its story.  She is a registered nurse, a wife, mother of two sons, and has two young grandsons who call her "Purple."   She enjoys being outdoors and had hiked, rafted, swam, scuba-dived, cross-country skied, even dog sledded.  A horseman since her youth, she has ridden many miles on her Tennessee walking horses, Jazz and Jubilee.

~My thoughts~
I have always been interested in reading about the Civil War, fact or fiction.  This book kept me interested in the lives of the families being written about.  There were a few grammatical errors in the book, but it did not take anything away from the book itself.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blues in the Wind-ReVisited
By Whitney J. LeBlanc

Whitney J. LeBlanc has written the saga of a Creole family from Estilette Louisiana, against the backdrop of the birth of the blues.  In the 1930s, Phillip Fergerson's marriage to Martha, the beautiful Creole woman of his dreams turns into nightmares.  Instead of becoming the doctor he promised to be, he becomes a high school teacher, and events of murder, lynching, voodoo and sexual abuse by a priest, set in motion the disintegration of the family.  Martha's brother, Lightfoot, performs blues music in the juke-joints as he witnesses the beginning of the blues as an art form.  We follow the early blues legends from Robert Johnson, to Bessie Smith to Leadbelly to Lightnin' Hopkins and BB King as they sing their way through the Delta.  Martha, a proud and devoted Catholic, looks on in horror as one by one of her family falls under the influence of the devil's gut-bucket music.  With his marriage falling apart, Phillip finds himself in the arms of a woman from his past.  Each of the four children go their separate ways and Martha blames it all on the influence of the sinful music.  She takes her revenge.  It is a story filled with love, lust, murder, voodoo and adventure.

This is a historical fiction book available in Ebook edition, paperback and hardback.  It is a revision.  According to the author, in the front of this book he explains, "This the result of what is called an unfortunate, or rather fortunate, decision by the publisher, who in 2011 decided not to do a second printing of my novel Blues in the Wind and subsequently returned all rights to me, the author"

"I decided to begin this saga during the birth of the blues that took place in the 1930s.  All of the action in the lives of my characters was influenced by the actual historical events of the time in which they lived.  All of the blues makers mentioned actually toured that part of the country during the time period they are mentioned in the story....I restructured the story as the "prequel" for the novels Shadows of the Blues and Bodacious Blues."

~My thoughts~
I enjoyed this book.  The characters were realistic and the story line was interesting.  This book confirmed my suspicions that every race has some kind of prejudice towards the poor of the same race they are.  It is a sad fact of life that not everyone accepts others just the way they are.