Tuesday, 23 January 2018

TMST: Winter Blues

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

January 23rd: How do you beat the winter blues?

What winter blues? Winter stars in October and ends in April (of course when Baby S was born in May it snowed). At their shortest the sun is up for 4 hours. You have to make the best of it.

                                                            April hike

March. Skiing is always fun

February. Long walks can be tough

January. Brings the cold

December. You hardly make it out before the sun is gone

Cranky Baby! No Nov. Must go

October. WInter is coming

Monday, 22 January 2018

Audio: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris - Jenny Colgan

It's true that Anna Trent is a supervisor in a chocolate factory . . . but that doesn't necessarily mean she knows how to make chocolate. And when a fateful accident gives her the opportunity to work at Paris's elite chocolatier Le Chapeau Chocolat, Anna expects to be outed as a fraud. After all, there is a world of difference between chalky, mass-produced English chocolate and the gourmet confections Anna's new boss creates. But with a bit of luck and a lot of patience, Anna might learn that the sweetest things in life are always worth working for. 

Audio CD, 10h
Published January 18th 2018 by Tantor Audio (first published January 1st 2013)
Women's fic /romantic fiction
For review

My thoughts:
OH I can still hear Anna's voice in my head! She sounded so fun, and like we would have a jolly good time together.

Let us begin. Anna has an accident and spends some time at a hospital and re-connects with an old French teacher of hers. She kind of floats through life, sure working at a choco factory is fun (omg, that would be so amazing!), but what else?

The book has another POV too. A young Englishwoman in the 70s who falls for a handsome Frenchman, and well it is obvious how it connects, and kind of sad too.

I liked Anna and her new life in Paris. She has no idea what to do but she just goes for it. She truly finds something to be happy about.

I also liked the 70s story and wondered how it all would work out...

Sweet, and bittersweet. Fun and I need to go to France and eat REAL chocolate. Oh and food.

Narrator:  Beverley A Crick
Oh her Anna voice was so fun! Yes, like I said, Anna and I would be amazing friends. Her voice was just perfect. Shy, happy, confused, sad and witty.

She really made this book fun

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Carole's Sunday Post: The Lion of the South - Jessica James

Author: Jessica James

Title: The Lion of the South
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: ebook
Will Be Published: April 2018
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

One woman holds the fate of the country in her hands.
Can she let her brother to die so the Confederacy might live?

As the Civil War grinds into its second year, an audacious and mysterious figure known only as the Lion of the South emerges from the shadows to rekindle the Confederacy's spirit of defiance.

Julia Dandridge returns to the Virginia home where she was raised, only to discover that the war has changed everything—and everyone—once dear to her.

With no one to turn to and nowhere to run, Julia is caught in a tangled web of secrets and deception. The only way to save her beloved brother from the hangman's noose is to unmask the Lion. But who is he?

When she finally discovers the enigmatic hero's true identity, Julia sets off on a desperate journey to stop the vengeful plot she unknowingly helped set in motion. But time is running out. The elusive Lion is walking straight into the Yankees' trap.

Despite the danger, Julia is determined to save the two men whose lives hang in the balance—and redeem herself from the deadly mistake she has made.

Not sure where to begin really…mmmmmm

Well…let me start off with how much I adored this book! It reminded me so much of an old favorite of mine The Scarlet Pimpernel. That book started my love of spies in my history books. Can’t help but love a charming spy now.

Instead of being set during the Reign of Terror, this one is set to America’s own reign of terror known as the Civil War. The story follows Julia and Landon who were childhood friends separated by an evil mother. Things happen and years go by. The two are brought together again, but things are different. 

Landon is home from the war and is depressed because he blames himself for his brother’s death. Julia is no longer the tomboy Landon remembers. She is now a sophisticated Northern lady. Ooo Sallie, I get you wanted to bring Julia to stay with you guys, but….it is a little sensitive having “enemies” together. Landon fought against the North and bringing a Northerner into the house? Mhmmm. Not your best idea dearie.

I felt bad for Landon. He is so depressed.

I felt bad for Julia especially learning something (will not spoil it), but I was proud of her in the end after learning the full truth.

Sallie was a silly girl, but I did like her. 

The baddie was certainly a baddie. He made my skin-crawl. 

This was a fun adventure and there is some romance, but like The Scarlet Pimpernel, it does take FOREVER for the two to get over their differences and find love again. I’m glad the romance aspect didn’t take over the plot too much.

MORE SPIES PLEASE! It took a while to get to the espionage because there was a lot of character-building and world-building that needed to be done first. I get it and in the end, I'm glad I had to wait because when it happened I was drawn more into what would happen and how everything would be fixed. But during I was aching for more action to go on! 

I want a sequel and I want the Lion of the South to go on some more raids. Sure, I know the outcome of the war, but it is fun to see the Lion get some good hits in before the finale of the war.

In the end, this was worth the read if you love spies and historical stories. It takes a bit to get to the espionage bits, but it was worth the wait to get the world-building and the character-building. So good!  I’ll give this a solid 4 stars today.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Carole's Saturday Movie: The Last Jedi

Film Title: Star Wars - The Last Jedi
Length: 2 h 32 min
Released: 2017
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci.fi
Rating: PG-13
Where I Got It: Watched at the theater


Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.



Let me get out of the way and say this first….I am not a huge Star Wars fan. Not at all. I actually found the majority of the old movies boring. This is the first Star Wars film I watched from beginning until end. All the rest I have watched pieces here and there. Normally I would walk into the room with a friend or family member watching and I would watch from wherever they were until the end. So yes, not a huge fan here…so take that into mind before reading my review. 

I really, really liked this film. This wasn’t a cut-and-paste of one of the past movies and that made me happy. I know a lot of people worried and they kept their word. Sure there were a couple similar parts scattered throughout the movie. But it felt fresh overall. 

This was for sure lighter in a lot of ways compared to a lot of the past movies. However, there were some dark moments that kept it from being light and fun. There was a nice balance between light and fun and dark and serious. I also really enjoyed the little jokes throughout the movie. They made me smile and chuckle. Heck…even serious, sad Luke got a couple good moments. 

The biggest joy I found in the movie was Kylo Ren. I know I am getting a lot of “huhs” right now…but I enjoyed this character. I didn’t like him in the movie before this, but after learning about him some more…I realized he is one complex character. I felt he was very 2D in the last film, but this one the writers really did some magic and now he is one of the most complex characters I have seen in a while. The internal conflict he is having is tearing him apart. I loved it. Well…I feel bad and I reallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly want him to come back to good side, but I enjoyed seeing him on screen battle himself, his enemies, and his feelings. Very good. On a shallower note…I think he is hot ;) 

Finn was better...Rose was a hoot and a nice edition...Rey is just Rey (a certain character is in lurve with her it makes me a hair jelly)....Holdo was annoying at first, but she turned into a badass at the end...Poe was cute and funny...Leia seems deflated and tired...Luke was annoying until the end...and the rest of the cast was just there. I did enjoy Kylo's commander because I feel like he is going to be a problem for Kylo later on. A character potential. 

The little creatures were cute. I liked the little puffin-seal things. I want one to stick by Chewie’s side. I know some people thought it was too much, but I adored all the cuteness. More darkness is always nice, but I felt there was a good balance in this one. I fear the next movie is going to get REALLY, REALLY dark so I will take this cuteness while I can. But yes...a little more blood is always good for the soul. 

There were some scenes and parts that made me sigh and roll my eyes. I can’t say WHAT precisely without giving out some spoilers. But some parts were indeed cheesy and not realistic. People will defend those parts, “BUT THE FORCE!” >_> meh is my reply to that.

I also hated the ending. Sure…I get what they did, but NO. Not cool. Well…it was cool, but the result was NOT OKAY! 

In the end, I am actually curious to watch the next film. I wouldn’t mind going to the theater to watch it again. Maybe this was the film to turn me into a super fan. Well…maybe not…I have no plans on rewatching past movies willingly. Haha. I shall give this…mhmmmm….4 stars. 


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