Tuesday, May 30

Blodeuedd's Tuesday Review: Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

Ava doesn't believe it when the email arrives to say that her twin sister is dead. It's not grief or denial that causes her scepticism - it just feels too perfect to be anything other than Zelda's usual manipulative scheming. And Ava knows her twin.

Two years after she left, vowing never to speak to Zelda again after the ultimate betrayal, Ava must return home to retrace her errant sister's last steps. She soon finds notes that lead her on a twisted scavenger-hunt of her twin's making.

Letter by letter, Ava unearths clues to her sister's disappearance: and unveils harrowing truths of her own. A is for Ava, and Z is for Zelda, but deciphering the letters in-between is not so simple... 

My thoughts:
I enjoyed the mystery in this one, it did make it hard to out it down.

Sure, the characters all had issues, but why would I mind that. They were all alcoholics even if Ava was in denial. I like unreliable narrators. 

Ava comes back to her parent's vineyard after her sister has died...or has she? She keeps getting these emails and I could honestly not tell, was Zelda really dead? Was she hiding? Was this revenge or some sort of effed up way of messing with the sister that left? I needed to know. 
The book is about Ava finding clues and trying to figure out what is going on. All while dealing with their messy vineyard, her mother and the betrayal that made her leave in the first place. And I did like Ava, though she should stay away from the booze and pills. A vineyard was so not the best place for them to grow up with a mum like that.

And Zelda was a piece of work, she was a mess. The flashbacks of them growing up shows her calculating side.

The book was a fast read and it kept me wondering what was really going on. Oh I had some insane theories to be sure ;)

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 4th 2017 by Corvus
Thriller /Fiction
For review

Sunday, May 28

Book Review: Seventh Mark by WJ May

Author: WJ May
Title: Seventh Mark (Hidden Secrets #1)
Genre: YA, Fantasy, & Paranormal
Pages: ebook
Published: April 2013
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon Freebie)

Like most teenagers, Rouge is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to be. With little knowledge about her past, she has questions but has never tried to find the answers. Everything changes when she befriends a strangely intoxicating family. Siblings Grace and Michael, appear to have secrets which seem connected to Rouge. Her hunch is confirmed when a horrible incident occurs at an outdoor party. Rouge may be the only one who can find the answer.

An ancient journal, a Sioghra necklace and a special mark force life-altering decisions for a girl who grew up unprepared to fight for her life or others.

All secrets have a cost and Rouge’s determination to find the truth can only lead to trouble…or something even more sinister. 

I've been itching for a decent paranormal book and since this was just sitting there all free and whatnot on Amazon, I went ahead and grabbed it. 

It is a quick read and very YA in writing, so it was easy to fly by. 

Rouge is a teenage girl who is new in town. Her adoptive parents seem to be pushing her away now that she is nearly graduated from High School and they won't be able to support her if she goes to college. Kind of sad and kind of crappy of them pulling away. I think that they think she is going to peace out and never talk to them again. OR the author just wants to write the parents off so she run around unhindered by loving parents. It could go either way honestly with YA books like this. 

Right...so Rouge....new girl in school. Meets hot guy. Hot guy disappears. New girl becomes bestie with weird, but hot girl. Hot girl is the twin of the got guy. There is something weird about them and their adoptive family. Weird things happen and Rouge is dragged into this supernatural world with little to no information. 

The only really different part of this plot is that Rouge is strange and somehow fits into all of this. We don't know WHAT, but it is easy to guess. The truth will probably come out in the next book. I am super curious to see exactly what she is. I have my guesses (I am guessing some sort of werewolf), so I am curious. I am also intrigued in learning more about Michael (Hot guy) and his family. They are something strange and I want to understand them more. 

Also, I wanted to jump for joy because Hot guy Michael was not all Edward-like and Rouge was not Bella-like. Yes, yes, there was insta-lust. But there was no insta-love. They actually became friends and are acting like normal teenagers who have a crush on each other. I huzzahed at the end because Michael was not all "she is mine! I WILL DIE FOR HER!" after knowing her for like a minute. 

Interesting plot...but SO YA it hurt sometimes. The writing style was so superficial at times and the transition phases just happened. 

Out of five stars, I'll give this a three, just because it was different and had me curious to read the next one. ALSO, there was no insta-love. Huzzah! Little victories like this make me have hope for this genre. 

Saturday, May 27

Movie Review: TED (2012)

Film Title: Ted
Length: 1 hr and 46 Mins
Released: 2012
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R
Where I Got It: Rent copy

John Bennett, a man whose childhood wish of bringing his teddy bear to life came true, now must decide between keeping the relationship with the bear or his girlfriend, Lori.


Finally I have been able to sit down and watch this from beginning to end. I've watched bits and pieces randomly throughout the years, but I haven't had a chance to actually watch it.

This is classic Seth Macfarlene work. Funny, inappropriate, and just goofy fun. It takes a certain humor to enjoy this film and his other works. I happen to love it, but this movie is on a whole different level. I still liked it, but it was extremely cheesy. For sure not a movie for kiddos under 14. 

I did laugh a lot, but I also rolled my eyes and yelled at the screen. John was a blooming idiot and Lori was a fool for sticking around so long. You can't completely blame Ted...John needed to step up and be an adult. Ted is a teddy bear and doesn't have the same level of responsibility, so yeah...he can lay around all day and party all night. 

I really do think the added baddie with his spoiled brat was not necessary...I felt like it didn't need to be in the film. And I say that even though I LOVE that actor who played the baddie...it just took away from the film in my opinion. They should've just focused on the drama and maybe just have the baddie just be a weird creeper only. 

The ending was stupid easy. I was so annoyed, but how easy everything was fixed. Gah.

In the end, this was a funny movie for sure. The plot was questionable in some spots, it was cheesy, and makes me glad my stuffed teddy didn't come to life. I do recommend this if you need something silly to watch and get a good life. Just be warned...there are lots of adult jokes and situations that some people might be easily offended by. I shall give this 3 stars. 

Thursday, May 25

Book Review: Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

Author: Charles Frazier
Title: Thirteen Moons
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 422
Published: Jan 2006
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Used Book Store)

At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and is sent on a journey through the uncharted wilderness of the Cherokee Nation. Will is a bound boy, obliged to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills his lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Will’s character. All the while, his love of Claire, the enigmatic and captivating charge of volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Will’s heart. In a voice filled with both humor and yearning, Will tells of a lifelong search for home, the hunger for fortune and adventure, the rebuilding of a trampled culture, and above all an enduring pursuit of passion.

Literally, this book has been sitting on my shelf since forever. I bought this shortly after reading Cold Mountain which is this author's most popular book and one of my favorite tales. I'm not sure why I avoided this book for so long....but I decided to blow off the dust and finally give it ago.

The author is for sure talented and does have a way with words and sharing a tale. However...sadly...this did not capture me like the first book I had read. 

Yes, the story was interesting and I was curious about what was going to happen next. BUT I was utterly bored and it felt like a book one would be forced to read for a literature class. There were some good parts that make you think, feel, and wonder about. A few good quotes, but overall, I was bored to tears. 

The characters were intriguing but as 2D as they come especially Will's girlfriend. Man...I wanted to give her a swift kick in the face. Will was pretty dynamic in some ways, but still pretty flat. I wish this tale had been told in a different POV...maybe that would've made it better. 

The idea of this novel was good, but the execution was missing the sparkle and magic of the last book. I do want to read more and hopefully, it is better. Out of five stars, I'll give this 2 stars. 

Monday, May 22

B's Monday Review: It Happened on Love Street

Pepper Knight moved to Everland, Georgia, as step one in her plan for a successful legal career. But after this big-city gal's plans go awry, going home with her tail between her legs isn't an option. So when the town vet-and her sexy new neighbor-offers Pepper a temporary dog-walking job, she jumps at the chance. No one needs to know that man's best friend is her worst nightmare . . . or that Everland's hot animal whisperer leaves her panting.

The last thing Rhett Valentine wants is to be the center of small-town gossip. After his first love left him at the altar, he's been there, done that. These days, life is simple, just the way he likes it. But sultry southern nights get complicated once sparks fly between him and the knockout next door. When she proposes a sexy, secret fling-all the deliciousness and none of the prying neighbors-it seems too good to be true. And it is. Because Pepper's determined to leave Love Street, and when she goes, she just might take his heart with her . . . 

My thoughts:
I chose it because of the cover..what?! It's cute :D I make too many NG decisions based on cuteness when it comes to contemporary romance.

Pepper comes to a small town as a step in becoming a lawyer, but something goes wrong and she must stay in this small town. It's a cute town, a friendly gossiping town. Oh and the neighbour is a hottie. As for Pepper herself, she felt this need to take care of everyone, she was afraid to look like a failure and she is driven. She needs to chill.

Rhett the vet. Awww, I like a man who loves animals. He is hounded by the grannies of town to find a girlfriend ;) Haha, poor guy. He is a sweet guy.

They meet, they become friendly, they fall in lust. There is some drama in town. There are dogs. Treasure hunts and a good romance. Her sister shows up too and will find love in the next book, that will be interesting.

A nice romance


Kindle Edition, 368
Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Forever
Everland #1
Contemporary romance

Saturday, May 20

Book Review: Surrendered Love by Sondra Grey

Author: Sondra Grey
Title: Surrendered Love (Rogue Highlander #2)
Genre: Historical Romance & Short Stories
Pages: ebook
Published: May 2017
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Amazon Freebie)

Isla MacLeay was forced to flee from her village and into the arms of the notorious Wolf of Dundur, Calum the Black. 

While captured by him, Isla falls in love but is rejected after a torrid and forbidden night together. 

Calum won't marry her and make things right, so Isla is forced to flee once more to find her long lost family and the love she so desperately craves. 

I found this randomly on Amazon a couple of days ago. It was a freebie. Now...I didn't realize that this was a sequel, so I was confused. I went back and read a little bit on the first book, so that got me track. Reading the first book or at least the summary is essential to fully understand the characters and the situation. 

The story follows Isla and Calum. Isla went through some crappy stuff with losing her parents, getting called a witch, running away, being seduced by Calum, and then rejected. After ALL that she finally goes to her aunt and uncle to live. And of course she is preggo, so her uncle demands Calum marry her. Calum does, but it is not a happy marriage at first.

Calum is a total asshat. I wanted to kick him. Isla deserves better, but she is stuck with him because she is all preggo. Yes, yes, Calum has some reasons for having to reject Isla, because he thought she was just a villager. And yes...Isla lied to him, so he is all pissy. He does get a wee bit better at the end.

I am glad it took FOREVER for them to get their HEA, because they had a lot of stuff to sort through. 

I did want more from this. I felt like there was something missing from the story and characters. However, it was pretty good. 

I'll stamp this with 4 stars. A quick read, decent characters, good plot, but there was something missing. 

Friday, May 19

Movie Review: CHOKE (2008)

Film Title: Choke
Length: 1 hr and 32 Mins
Released: 2008
Genre: Comedy & Drama
Rating: R
Where I Got It: Borrowed movie from Friend

A sex-addicted con-man pays for his mother's hospital bills by playing on the sympathies of those who rescue him from choking to death.


I read the book a while ago and I had liked it. It took a while to get myself to actually watch the movie. Not sure why, but I avoided this for a while....well...let me kick myself for that.

This was really good. I loved the cast...I felt they all did a good job bringing the characters to life. I was especially fond of the mom and Victor. They were so funny, but oh so tragic at the same time. 

Honestly, I think that is the whole overall feel of the movie.Funny, but tragic. This whole story really does make you think. I may not have a lot in common with any of the characters but I did connect with them especially with Victor a little not. No - no - not the whole sex addict part, but how he wants to be loved. I think we all can relate to that. Sure, none of us pretend to choke on food to make someone save us. 

FYI there is a lot of nudity and sex in this movie. However, how it was portrayed and filmed in a way that is not awkward or over-the-top. Sure it could offend some people, but what can you do?

I do wish that this had had a bigger budget because it is a unique story and it deserved more attention then it got. Also, I wish it had been longer. I feel there were some important scenes that should've been included especially near the end. The ending felt a little rushed. Good overall, but rushed. 

In the end, a part of me really liked this more than the book. The book was good, but this was great. My only issue was how I felt the ending was a little rushed. The characters were done well. Even with a lower budget, it was filmed and presented well. I do encourage watching this, but I do suggest reading the book first. Out of five stars, I'll give this 5 stars.

Thursday, May 18

Book Review: The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith

Author: Tom Rob Smith
Title: The Secret Speech (Leo Demidov #2)
Genre: Historical Fiction. Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 416
Published: April 2009
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Used Bookstore)

he Soviet Union 1956: after Stalin's death, a violent regime is beginning to fracture. It leaves behind a society where the police are the criminals, and the criminals are innocent. Stalin's successor Khrushchev pledges reform. But there are forces at work that are unable to forgive or forget the past.

Leo Demidov, former MGB officer, is facing his own turmoil. The two young girls he and his wife Raisa adopted have yet to forgive him for his part in the brutal murder of their parents. They are not alone. Leo, Raisa and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge against Leo. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance. Leo's desperate, personal mission to save his family will take him from the harsh Siberian Gulags, to the depths of the criminal underworld, to the centre of the Hungarian uprising—and into a hell where redemption is as brittle as glass

This is a sequel and I do believe you need to read the first book or at least had seen the movie adaptation. There is a lot of references and character developments that need to be read and understood to fully grasp this story. 

This book follows Leo and his family three years after the events of the last book. He and his wife, Raisa, are struggling to raise the two girls they had adopted. The youngest has forgiven Leo for the part he played in the deaths of their parents, but the oldest daughter is a dang psychopath. She hates Leo and blames him for her parent's death EVEN though he tried to intervene AND he saved her and her sister from a life of misery in an orphanage. Leo and Raisa have a lot more patience then I would. 

At the same time of Leo trying to hold his little family together and do well in his secret department that no one can know about. The government realized that someone needs to investigate and take care of any homicides that happen, but the public can't know that Stalin's Kingdom is flawed. 

Things happen and Leo's world is thrown upside down. Poor guy cannot catch a break. All he wants his a happy family and a decent job. 

This was enjoyable, but it took awhile for me to be hooked. The beginning was a little confusing and I had NO idea how the new characters would play a role. I feel like the structure of the beginning needed some major work. I GET what the author was doing, but it just made me confused about who was who and how it all played a part in the story. IT DID make sense once the story got to a certain point though. 

I enjoyed the action and the mystery. However, it did feel melodramatic and not realistic. I'm sorry, but Leo should have died 50 times over the course of the book. I love Leo, but even Jason Bourne would've died along the way...too much "lucky" breaks for him. Also, I questioned his sanity and motives. I get WHY, but really? After everything, you are still willing to jump into Hell and save someone who doesn't want to be saved? Mmmm. 

Also, the main baddie confused me at a certain point. I get the want of revenge and all....but really? *SPOILER ALERT* You are going to work for the government to just get revenge on Leo who was ordered to arrest you BY the government? Wouldn't the main aim be to kill as many government officials as possible? Maybe unite with Leo to bring down Stalin? *END OF SPOILER* Doesn't make sense to me. Silly. 

Honestly, the character developments did intrigue me, especially at the end. I am excited to see what the next book holds for Leo and Raisa. 

In the end, this was pretty okay. The first book was WAY better, but I still enjoyed this. There were some confusing parts and character motivations that left me scratching my head. It was more action-y and melodramatic. Overall, though, I do recommend reading the first book and then reading this one. Out of five stars, I'll give it three.  

Wednesday, May 17

Wednesday Writing Prompt #4

Happy Wednesday everyone! It's been a while since I've shared some of my writings from this writing prompt book. I'm really liking it. I highly recommend it. :) There is a 500 one that I bought for my friend...seems a little much for me...hard enough to do these 300. 

1) Complete this thought: "I wish I had paid more attention when..."
I wish I had paid more attention when my grandpa  was alive. He told me so many stories. I remember many of them. However, when I got to my pre-teen years I didn't pay him as much attention as I would now. Talk about guilt.

2) What do you look forward to every week?
The weekend/days off are what I look forward to every week. It is the only thing that gets me through the working week. I know, I know typical answer. 

3) Were you born to shine in one special way? What makes you really stand out?
Born to shine in one special way? I'm not sure. I think I'm too young to know this really. Does anyone really know what they are born to do? Does anyone know how they stand out in a good way. I know a lot of ways that I stand out negatively. I can't really answer this question. Maybe my desire to help people is what I was born to do and my compassion is what makes me shine brighter then the other candles in the row. 

4) What stupid question have you heard someone ask (or asked yourself)?
I like to believe there is never a "stupid questions". BUT there are dumb questions adults should never ask and I have been asked before: 
-What is a type-writer?
- Reading is dumb, why do you do that?
- What year is it?
- Why bother learning history?

Monday, May 15

Blodeuedd's Review: Nine Folds Make A Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan

At the start of the twentieth century, a young girl and her family emigrate from Lithuania in search of a better life in America, only to land on the Emerald Isle instead. In 1958, a mute Jewish boy locked away in a mental institution outside of Dublin forms an unlikely friendship with a man consumed by the story of the love he lost nearly two decades earlier. And in present-day London, an Irish journalist is forced to confront her conflicting notions of identity and family when her Jewish boyfriend asks her to make a true leap of faith. These three arcs, which span generations and intertwine in revelatory ways, come together to tell the haunting story of Ireland’s all-but-forgotten Jewish community. Ruth Gilligan’s beautiful and heartbreaking Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan explores the question of just how far we will go to understand who we really are, and to feel at home in the world. 

My thoughts:
There are 3 POVs in this book. Ruth's family was on their way to America, escaping Lithuania, but ended up in Ireland. She grows up there, makes a life there. I would have wished more of her story, Ireland changing and all that, instead it moved pretty past and we got tidbits here and there.

The second POV was my least fav, a boy in a mental institution, he has stopped talking and well, he just there.

The third POV was my favorite. Ashling loves her boyfriend but he wants to marry a Jewish girl, and she is wondering if she should convert.

But honestly, I wish the book had been longer, or one narrator could have been skipped so the other stories could have gotten more time. I wanted more flesh on the bones. I wanted to get to know them more. It made it confusing at time too when a new chapter started, but whose was it? Someone just started talking. It could have done with some header or something.

Why am I thinking of Joyce now...it was not like that, but they all did think a lot. We did not really see things around them. Things that were happening, it really was a character novel instead and we were in their heads.

Jewish lives in Ireland. Different generations and interwoven stories.

Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: April 6th 2017 by Atlantic Books
Historical fiction / Fiction
For review

Saturday, May 13

Movie Reviews: Homeward Bound (1993) & Cats and Dogs (2001)

Film Title: Homeward Bound - The Incredible Journey
Length: 1 hr and 24 Mins
Released: 1993
Genre: Adventure, Drama, & Comedy
Rating: G
Where I Got It: Netflix

Three pets escape from a California ranch to find their owners in San Francisco.


One of my childhood favorites!! It has been years since I have actually watched this from beginning to end, so when this popped up on Netflix I had no choice but to watch it. 

Oooo memories. I love those three babies. The sassy cat, the old dog, and the scarred pup. I didn't realize how scarred Chance really was. Poor pup. :( I can see why he didn't warm up to his human family right away. 

The cast was good. I loved the animals they used and how they made it seem they were "talking". The kids were cute and the adults were okay too. I do wish that they had mainly focused on the animals and no show the humans POV. I wanted to be confused with the animals on why they were left behind. Well...let's be honest, I was kinda confused as to why they went on vacation but they weren't vacationing? The kids had to go to school and the dad was working? Doesn't make a lick of sense. Maybe it was a 90s thing? Mmmm...silly. 

This was very funny and heart warming all at the same time. Every kid should watch this movie even though it has been 24 years since it was released. Do not watch the second film, just this one. :P

A must watch for everyone of all ages. I will give this 4 stars. 


Film Title: Cats & Dogs
Length: 1 hr and 27 Mins
Released: 2001
Genre: Comedy & Action
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Netflix

A look at the top-secret, high-tech espionage war going on between cats and dogs, which their human owners are blissfully unaware of.


Another childhood favorite of mine that popped up on Netflix. I watched this directly after the last animal movie. I guess I was in the "animal talking" mood. LOL. 

Now, this one was more action-y. It was also a different type of funny. This had more antics and cheesy jokes. I especially loved the main baddie. He killed me! Probably the funniest character in the movie. 

The effects were a hair cheesy, but it was early 2000s...soooo what do you really expect? But yes...I think it could've worked on better.  

I would love for them to remake this or some sort of sequel were Lou is the now the senior agent. That would be fun. 

There were some good messages in here...mainly about how work is not everything and you need to give time for those you love. I do wish that the ending was expanded or explained more. It seemed really cut off and left open-ended. 

This is a good one for older kids, not the the wee ones. But I do recommend it. I'll give this 3 stars. Good, but lacking.