Red Series

Monday, 25 July 2016

Cliche Book Tag

Note: I thought this might be my first book tag but I actually did a Civil War one back in May.

Francina Simone alerted me to this by doing her own Cliche Book Tag on Youtube.  After watching hers I said I would do my own one day and that day has arrived.

Question One: Actions Speak Louder than Words. A book that wasn't or couldn't be better than the movie.

Folks, that book for me has to be The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This book. I will never like it. It was so un-enjoyable to me I couldn't even look at the movie for more than a couple of minutes because I kept thinking of that damn book. Barely was able to read it. Don't care who likes it. NO.

Question Two: The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side. A rags to riches or riches to rags story.

1. The Selection Series by Kiera Cass - I love this series. Don't care who says it's fluff. I love it as is.

The Selection Series Set: The Selection, The Elite, The One by  Kiera Cass

2. Princess Academy Series by Shannon Hale - A good series but I barely started book one and stopped. I plan to read it and the writing is really good. The story itself didn't grab me as well as the premise. Still I'd recommend it but read a sample first and see how it grabs you.

Question Three: The Apple does not fall Far from the Tree. A parent child relationship that you love.

 The Weasley family from The Harry Potter Series. Don't know why? Go read it? Already read it and still unsure? Then go read it again.

Question Four: You Can't Judge a Book by it's Cover. A great book that needs a better cover.

Now let me look for the cover of an author I don't know or do social media with.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Yeah dude your book cover was not too interesting so I got the movie tie in cover and even that has lost it's glow. Still a cute couple but no. So yeah. Not even a great book or anything in my opinion but that's what I'm willing to name since I don't give a 'page'.

The Fault in Our Stars by [Green, John]                                   

Question Five: You Can't Please Everyone. A book you hate that everyone loves.

Um, guess that's The Road by Cormac Mc...I just don't care. Moving on. Nope won't do the cover.

Question Six: What Doesn't Kill you Makes you Stronger. What's a book that made you a better person for having read it.

1. Number the Stars - I was so touched by the story and bravery of multiple characters. I can't say how it made me better exactly but it showed me courage comes in all forms in a realistic period piece setting. Jews went through so much back then. Sad but we should never forget.

2. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews - Pretty sure some eyebrows flew up reading this book on the list. But this book helped reaffirm for me that evil comes in all forms and never trust a pretty (or any type) face if you don't believe in anything else about that person. Also monsters come in all sizes and ages. God this was a freaky book. Yet sadly this stuff does really happen to people in various forms.

P.S.: Damn the covers for this book these days are unimaginative and ugly.

3. The Bible - Don't ask me to explain. God gave me life and I'm a proud Christian.

4. The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling - This series was just special and not only turned me into a fantasy and YA girl but also showed touching stories and characters that I'll never forget and love forever. Reading is good for the soul people. The soul!

Question Seven: Love is Blind. A book with a disabled character or actual blind love.

The Hunger Games Series: Peeta's love for Katniss. Come on people if you saw the movies or read the books, you know what I am saying. This guy was so determined to be with her he was willing to let her choose then do everything that makes it hard for a girl to say no. Plus Katniss did fall in love with him over time so he got lucky. Katniss was way less love blind in book one at least. Gale never stood a chance once Peeta strutted...stumbled into the arena. Oops.

Question Eight: Ignorance is Bliss. A book that is bad but you just don't want to admit it.

Soldier by Julia Kagawa (Talon Series #3) - For a while I refused to accept this to the point I didn't do book reviews again until recently. I finally gave the book two stars last week. It was just bad. Why?

Question Nine: There is No Time Like the Present. What is your favorite contemporary book?

I guess I'm between V.C. Andrews and Sweet Valley High series. I was very contemporary when I was younger so those books stand out. Pretty sure I've read better but these stand out in memory. I'm a fantasy girl now. Times change man.


Question Ten: Better Safe than Sorry. A book you don't want to read in case it's bad.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas - I started but then kind of lost interest but really just conveniently have not picked back up. I actually hate the Fae and see them as the stuck up fairies of the magical world with delusions of grandeur shoved up their asses. Other than loving the author and a cool cover there was no reason to get this book. Worse I bought the sequel without batting an eye. What the hell is wrong me? Just stick to the Throne of Glass series by the same author that you actually like!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by [Maas, Sarah J.]

Thanks for coming and yes that's it. Bye and enjoy your day.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Movie Love: The Secret Life of Pets

Movie Love

The Secret Life of Pets poster.jpg

July has not been a big movie month for me. But that has been by choice. I have work to do, stuff to buy and I really want to send more money to my parents (which means my mom). Which has been done and I'm very proud of myself. No one wants to be the bum kid. Not even at 31.

The Secret Life of Pets from Illumination Entertainment follows Max (dog, terrier) who is taken care of by his owner Katie and focuses his life around her coming and going. He has his own animal friends though including a tabby cat Chloe and dog Gigit. However when Katie brings home Duke from the pound life changes in an instant and Max doesn't want to share. As things get worse between the two dogs Duke tries to abandon Max deep into the cit. But the plan backfires when their collars are stolen and Animal Control catches them. Their escape is facilitated by Snowball and his gang which call themselves The Flushed Pets. Animals who were abandoned by their human owners and swear revenge with plans of murdering humans. They even have a shrine to one of their own who supposedly killed multiple people. Duke and Max pretend to be killers but when discovered to be fake everything takes a turn for the worse and the duo end up not just running off on their own to get home but for their very lives.

I have to tell you guys, I LOVE this movie. More than Deadpool and it is now my third favorite movie behind Civil War and Zootopia. Not better than Jungle Book or even Deadpool in quality but man this movie goes off the wall when it comes to animation fun and toeing the line with what's appropriate for kids. Illumination Entertainment loves to push boundaries on what is meant to be in animation. Despicable Me had villains among us, one of whom becomes a dad. Minions had lovable creatures whose only purpose were to become villain assistants and help take over the world. I mean we all know Scarlet did not want to hug those minions when they accidentally ruined her dream. Now with The Secret Life of Pets you have pets who want to murder humans and parade their doctrine. Some reviews have called this movie straight slapstick, a Toy Story rip-off (oh yeah Pixar makes movies exactly like Illumination, just be quiet), mean spirited and get this, too kid like for adults. That last one makes me laugh because clearly that person was not watching the same movie. This one actually has stakes and some of the animals in The Flushed Pets were actually abused. I mean who really tattoos a pig all over it's body then abandons it? No one is adopting that for their kid. PETA needed to get on that. Personally I connected with the pig and respected that character. Also for anyone who complains that this movie is too much yet are just fine with kids watching Batman v Superman, get the hell out. Animation is no longer the medium of just Mickey Mouse. There can be kid movies with an adult edge to it. Like Batman v Superman (more like rabid animal, our heroes killed folks in that thing. Not even Marvel colorful all self defense kills either. Just saying DC went DARK). So I applaud Illumination for toeing the line and perhaps even overstepping it.

Also this movie goes with several themes. Family and safety, homelessness, death, love, friendship and many more. There is even representation for the elderly and disabled in a basset hound named Pops. Let's not kid ourselves, in quite a number of cases dog owners would have put him down. But Pops owner decides to instead take care of his elderly paralyzed dog who is equipped to wheel himself around and helps Gidget and company go out searching for Max. Gidget while yes a love sick dog is also loyal and independent. She recruits a vicious chicken hawk named Tiberius, almost losing her life in the process. Showing that sometimes life experience can make someone hard but willingness to show kindness and friendship can profoundly have an impact. Really touching. Unrealistic (with that chicken hawk) but touching all the same.

So yes I love this movie. Do I recommend it. Yes but it also depends. With the varied reactions I'd have to advise that if you want the next Zootopia, don't go see this. These animals are animated but are still animals. They are not creating cities or changing the world. They just want to live life and help their friends. Oh and some want to murder humans. Of course you need to love animation, have an appreciation for well used slap stick and not think Toy Story is the first movie to have toys come to life. Sorry but as a huge Pixar fan I need to inform those people if they think SLOP is a rip off then so is Toy Story from many other ideas that came before it. Toy Story is just really well executed and a gem in computer animation. Toys coming to life is nothing new and SLOP having animals that can do more than real life animals is no new either. But the execution of each gives us animation that we can enjoy if the stories touch and entertain us. Both of these did and while Toy Story is superior in my opinion. SLOP is also amazing in it's own way. Illumination is not trying to be Pixar or Disney. They are paving their own path and adults are strongly invited. A grown animated fan like myself not only loves that but respects it as well. If you want to see it, then go. Right now. Go. And yes kids can see it. Especially if they were allowed to see B v S. Enjoy your weekend and see you on Monday.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Book Review: Soldier


Summary: The thrilling next story in the The Talon Saga, the incredible new YA fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Julie Kagawa. When forced to choose between the sinister Talon organisation and being hunted by her own kind, dragon-human hybrid Ember fled. Even if it meant losing Garret, the dragon-slaying soldier she shares a deep bond with. Now Garret has uncovered secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragon-slayers alike. Can the danger reunite them?

Source: Purchased from The Book Depository

Book Review

This review was a long time coming and not an easy one to write. I adored book one of this series and enjoyed book two despite a few hiccups. But this one. Oh man. I don't know what is up with beloved series and I of late. This has to be my unhappiest review since City of Fallen Angels back in February. What really gets my goat here is that the faults were obvious. Why do YA authors keep falling into the trap of eye grabbing scenes over flow, pacing and story? At first when I finished this book. I was in a daze, a funk. One of the reasons why I haven't been reviewing for a while if at all was this book. Yeah the drop was that real. I'm not going to go into all the faults but will say scenes that were supposed to grab you were written in boring ways, flashbacks were actually better than the current story, minor characters outshone the main ones in the worst way (no lie, a character came for one chapter and literally was better than most of the book), damn idiotic love triangle and just shoddy writing. At the end of the day this is what happens when you decide to write a story with little substance, a bit of action, romance and frigging love triangle galore. There was a love triangle throughout all the books but there was always a bigger picture. In this book however it was made clear that no matter the obstacles and real story built from the previous books, the love triangle was king and not even a well done one at that. I mean I knew the gut punch ending for the book less than half way because of how ham fisted this romantic entanglement was shoved down our throats.

My final word is this that writers need to remember that appealing to the lowest levels of fandom is not good storytelling. I love fandom, but I hate when it is taken to the lowest denominator then turned into a book. That's all. I don't recommend this book unless you just love the parings or read Kagawa's books no matter what. I intend to get the fourth book because I have love for what transpired before this...creation. But if Legion next year is anything like this? I'm out.

Rating: 2 Stars

Still can't believe this book is the one after Rogue (book 2). I gave that 4 Stars man! Bye, I'm off.

Friday, 15 July 2016

#BlackLivesMatter, #BlueLivesMatter and #AllLivesMatter

Update: Please note that I will not be posting on Monday July 18. Instead I'll post on Tuesday July 19 and as of next week Tuesdays are back on this blog except for IWSG week or otherwise stated. Thank you for understanding.

I am a black woman. But first I am always a human being. Though I am all the way over in Jamaica, news from the United States have saddened my heart. Deaths potentially caused because of the colour of someone's skin is never okay and a black man in America today do have good reason to be concerned. Black women and children as well. The loss of a human life is always a tragedy but that is made worse when it can be prevented. I believe a black doctor who helped to treat the injured police officers said it best. He respected and loved the police but feared for his life due to the disparity of police shootings among black males. #BlackLivesMatter

Also the lives of the officers lost because a monster decided to use frustration as an excuse to kill those who take on the mantle to protect people. I don't care what his name is, when you decide to go out and murder people, you are always in the wrong. The officers who where injured and worse those who died had families who now have to live on without them. That is awful and while I am unhappy with the death of black people who fall under question in officer involved shootings. I will never okay violence or blatant disrespect of the police force. Protesting is fine but throwing stones, threats and trying to verbally or physically intimidate officers is not okay. #BlueLivesMatter

Now I know just shouting everyone matters during a time when black Americans are trying to express their fears and concerns is not respectful or fair. #BlackLivesMatter is supposed to be about expressing that the colour of our skin should not be a mark against us. Still I do stand by everyone no matter their race and believe everyone does matter while agreeing that circumstances have made it necessary for African Americans to sound a cry for respect and equality under the law. #AllLivesMatter

Thanks for reading my post and I'll be sending prayers for all. I think this picture below says it best. Just love each other.

Source: Maggie

Monday, 11 July 2016

Cover Reveal: The End of Oz

Morning everyone. Today I'm sharing a cover reveal that had the internet buzzing. The Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige has been taking YA by storm. When it was announced that the series would have one more book before it ended, readers went nuts. Well now the cover for the fourth and very likely final book in the series was revealed recently. Danielle even told us on the twitterverse that it was coming.

Ready to view the treat that is the cover for a 2017 beauty? Behold!

I love it! The green is perfect for Oz a.k.a. The Emerald City. It also is neat that the design was not just some picture of a castle from the real world digitized to look more fantastical. Just true artistic vision and yellow font is also really good. Even a little graffiti-ish which would go with the rebellious element which is Dorothy. Am I right? Thanks for stopping by let me know your thoughts. Pretty sure Dani is going to wow us!

Friday, 8 July 2016

TMI Bloghop: My Turn

At first I thought about posting a book review but at the last minute decided to go do a hop I have been meaning to do sing I saw it on Yolanda's blog. The TMI Hop was apparently made to find out everyone's business. Kidding, Kidding. But seriously this is not for those who get anxious about sharing stuff. For more on how to take part through July 13 visit Yolanda's TMI post where I found out about this cool up and she has the sign up linky at the bottom.

I'm lazy so I just copied the questions off her page. But I wrote in my own answers. It's late people. I want to go to bed by 1 a.m. or so. Enjoy.

A: Age 

 31. I'm fine with saying it. Though sometimes on social media I feel a little old. But that's fine and I know I'm still young. This is not the Dark Ages.

B: Biggest fear

Losing my joy, becoming a bad person, not being able to help someone in danger. Oh and driving a car. Sorry but when you imagine a car blowing up every time you try to drive it. You just don't. Yes folks I have never turned the ignition on a vehicle. Now I know it must be some type of anxiety. In my teens I just decided to never drive.

C: Current time

12:10 a.m. - Enjoying a couple episodes of Netflix's Dragons: Race to the Edge - Season 3. They brought this too fast! I can only watch two or three every couple of days. I'm not a binger by nature. Doing that with Daredevil Season 2 almost blew my brain. The Season was great mind.

D: Drink you last had

Water. What? Water is life.

E: Every day starts with

Waking up. If you're stuck in your dreams, there might be a problem.

F: Favorite Song

Oh! A new favorite is Ghost Town by Adam Lambert. I love it, especially that tone and the whistling. Plus the great soulful sad lyrics. This song is what Adele would sing as a man.

G: Ghosts, are they real?

Yes. I had an experience. Well more than one but they exist. And once I was with my cousin. I will not visit haunted houses.

H: Hometown

For me it will always be Patrick City in the parish of St. Andrew. Moved to Greater Portmore when I was in third grade but P.C. was something special. Oh and I'm from Jamaica in case you're wondering where the hell these places are. Hi!

I: In love with

Life? What, it's awesome. Oh and reading, people in proper doses and writing!

J: Jealous of?

I don't really get jealous. I read once in a book that it's a form of theft and I agree. But if you're talking about that tiny five second jealousy that can come from seeing awesome book collections or turning on the television when I'm hungry and seeing someone eating food I wished I had at the moment. Very temporary.

K: Killed someone?

There was a time when I had some really bad thoughts in a situation. Walked away. Killing people is not exactly my thing.

L: Last time you cried?

I think last month when something really upset me. People can be jackasses.

M: Middle name

Angela. Just remembered there was this song...

Angela, Angela
oooooh, let the music play...

I don't remember anything else. But it's awesome this hop made me remember that song. 

N: Number of siblings

Two: (1) brother, (1) sister 

O: One wish

To vacation in Japan or visit my writer pals in Utah. It's a travel wish. So? Teleportation!

P: Person you last called?


Q: Question you're always asked

How can someone as sweet as you write murder mysteries. (Insert maniacal laugh here)

R: Reason to smile

Life is beautiful.

S: Sounds that annoy you

Arguing, plastic bags rustling on the clothesline, etc.

T: Time you woke up

A little after 7 a.m.

U: Underwear color
Let me peek! Red print. I guessed right! Why did I guess red, right? 

V: Vacation destination

Books and my imagination are great vacation spots. Also Japan! Really want to go.

W: Worst habit

Procrastination and hyper vigilance. 

X: X-Rays you've had


Y: Your favorite food

Curry chicken and rice and peas. Fave drink in the world: Orange juice! 

Z: Zodiac sign


Yes I finished this at 12:30 a.m. Less than half hour. Thanks for hanging with me guys and see you on Monday. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

IWSG: Moving Forward

On Monday I did my monthly Getting Personal post sharing my current feelings and got a variety of responses. In life every action has an impact and people react to you in various ways. I'm happy to say readers have been supportive and I thank them for that.

Today I'll be answering the new question of the month.

What's the best thing someone has said about your writing?

The nicest thing was not so much words but actions. In high school there was a girl who loved what I wrote so much she would meet me after school asking if I had written a new chapter to my mini-novel. Which now I know to be a novella. It was a simple little thing back then partly inspired by the Sweet Valley High books I loved so much and some small paperback teen romances that I don't recall the series for. But I remember the name of the staring character, Nichelle Harper. After being cheated on she got a new lease of life and went through social ups and downs and had a bit of a misadventure. Still have the notebook with the story to this day and remember that in High School I had my very first super fan. Take that internet! People can walk and look for you with their eyes. Wish I could remember my dear fan's name but we were not friends or anything like that. She just really loved what I wrote. A sign for the future? Who knows.

Thanks for stopping by and a shout out to Alex and his co-hosts.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Getting Personal: The Beat Goes On

First off a quick Happy July 4th to all my peeps celebrating that special day. For me it's Monday.

Hi, yes it's me. Back in the best scenario. It's funny that we writers want to write yet when that pile up happens we just want to do anything but. Not an option in freelance writing when people have paid for you to get up off your ass and work. So here I am having regular work. My least money woes summer. Yet I'm tired and somewhat miserable. The work load was unexpected because a few customers do make big orders that I just had not expected. Yes it is good for the pocket but not anything else. Plus I have the health stuff and another confirmed flu bout late last week...I'm stressed.

Yet I named my post today 'The Beat Goes On'. Why you might ask. Because life will not stop because I have a bad day, week or year. Everything will go on no matter how my view point whirls. So that means one thing in my humble opinion. I need to pull up my boot straps, re-organize my time so that I can better manage my work load, not alert wayward customers who only drop orders when they feel like it and not when they are supposed to, get more sleep and keep a positive attitude. Yup I'm staying positive because no matter what there is good here. I get to write more which will strengthen my writing and increase my speed, more money means a lot of good things and I am writing full-time without going broke as soon as expenses come in! That's amazing!

So even with the stress I have right now I'm grateful for all the advantages I have received. Never let anything overwhelm the good things in your life. There is always a positive spin or light at the end of the tunnel. Glad to be blogging again and hanging with my people on the internet. Blogs Rule!

Waiting on Wednesday: Reconnected

Please Note: The final WOW on this blog as I take my final bow this month. I want to thank all readers of this post and all my blogging. I r...