• It’s fall y’all!

    I love fall. It’s my favorite time of year, and to celebrate, let’s do a fun poll! Don’t like any of the choices? Tell me your favorite pie in the comments.

    Which pie is your favorite?
    • Apple Pie
    • Apple Pie a la Mode
    • Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese
    • Pumpkin Pie
  • Book Fight Update

    Both of these were good, but Love & Curse Making won because it was light, fun, and hot. It does end with a lot of loose ends, but I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger.

    I felt lost through much of Woman of Blood & Bone, only to find out later that it’s a spinoff series. Anderson does an okay job of catching up new readers, but there are enough references to things I assume happened in earlier books for me to feel a bit left out on the joke.

    I can’t believe this is how this one turned out, and if you’d asked I would have told you Seanan would wipe the floor with any opponent, but here we are. Sparrow Hill Road is not bad in any way, shape, or form, but it wasn’t the right time for me to read a collection of serials about a ghostly young woman dealing with some pretty heavy issues. It’s brilliant, but too cerebral for me right now.

    In complete contrast, Wolf Gone Wild is a romp that I devoured and quickly downloaded the sequel. Mateo and Alpha are the heroes I needed, even if Alpha reminds me of Tom Hardy’s Venom. Another one whose sequel I quickly downloaded.

    This also completed my first second tier bracket, and it was hard to choose between Wolf Gone Wild and Artificial Condition. I gave a slight edge to Wolf Gone Wild, simply because it’s a longer work and I never feel like I get enough time with Murderbot. Honestly, it could have gone either way.

    book fight full 7-30-22

    To get a blank bracket PDF and see the full list of books included in mine, see this blog post.

  • SAMR – The Gray Man

    gray man
    How stupid is this action movie?

    It’s standard super-spy stupid. People do things that probably aren’t possible (fighting with serious injuries) but it’s all pretty standard action movie fare.

    Would I let the little’un and the big’un watch it?

    Hmm. The level of violence is John Wick-ish even though it’s rated PG13. My kiddos are used to me watching stupid action movies so are probably a bit numb to it. They wandered through a few times for snacks in the kitchen, but weren’t interested in watching. There’s a torture scene that squicked Jason out. The level of cursing is surprisingly low given the number of injuries sustained, and there are on screen deaths. I’d probably let them watch if they wanted, but at the same time I’m glad they didn’t.

    What I liked:
    • I had no idea what the movie was about when Jason put it on. After the initial sequence I said it was promising and if there were explosions I’d love it. The next scene was fireworks exploding.
    • The fight scenes were well choreographed and I enjoyed the car chases also.
    • Ana de Armas was excellent, as was Julia Butters.
    What I didn’t like:
    • The end fight. Sure, it was fun to watch, but a professional would have just shot him and been done with it.
    • The obvious sequel bait of not revealing the identity of the string puller. I’ve since read there is going to be a cinematic universe around this, so okay, I get it. Still salty they left such a huge plot hole.
    • Billy Bob Thornton’s character arc. I understand why they did it, but I liked him as the guy in the chair.
    Overall impression:

    I enjoyed it. Fun, good story, Chris Evans as a bad guy is a snack and a half. I never saw Ryan Gosling as an action dude, but he works it. I’m glad they’re making a sequel and spinoff, and I’ll watch them.

    How to watch:


    Too stupid even for me.


    It was fun.

    I’d watch it again.

    I own it.

  • Book Fight Update

    It’s going to be very, very hard to beat out Murderbot. In the second installment, Artificial Condition, we get a bit more characterization and a whole new cast of characters. I need to remember to re-read the series before starting book three, since it took me a bit to catch up. The stories end abruptly, but the next volume picks up where the last left off.

    I enjoyed Three Mages and a Margarita, but the anxiety riddled murderous robot wins this round.

    That brings me to five completed brackets. I need to get a move on if I’m going to finish this year.

    book fight 7-9-22 full

    To get a blank bracket PDF and see the full list of books included in mine, see this blog post.

  • Book Fight Update

    For some reason I had it in my head that The Love Hypothesis was up against Get A Life, Chloe Brown so I read both of those and only realized my mistake when I went to update my brackets. So I’m a bit out of order here, but that’s okay. Spoiler Alert is on hold at my library, so I read Carved in Cherry.

    Both of these stories are good, but The Love Hypothesis won this match. It was exactly what I needed right now with everything going to hell in a hand bucket in the world right now. Easy, low angst, high steam, funny, relatable and all around swoon worthy.

    Hopefully Spoiler Alert will be available soon and I’ll get that bracket done.

    I also finished The Brightest Fell and People We Meet on Vacation. This was an unfair fight. I’ve been a Seanan McGuire fan for ages and this is the first book by Emily Henry I’ve read.  It just didn’t stand a chance being paired with such a juggarnaught.

    This brings me to four completed brackets.

    book fight 3-6-22 full

    To get a blank bracket PDF and see the full list of books included in mine, see this blog post.

  • Book elimination tournament!

    A friend of mine did this and I thought, what a great way to get new book recommendations and get through some of my TBR list, so I stole the idea and ran with it. Matchups were made using random.org. I’m reviewing the 5* reads on my Goodreads account, and will update here when I finish a pair. I also made a blank bracket if you’d like to do this which you can download here:

    And here is a list of the book matchups:

    Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
    Three Mages and a Margherita by Annette Marie

    Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire
    Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cros

    Fool by Christopher Moore
    The Witch’s Wolves by Ellie Mae MacGregor

    Love & Curse Making by Kelly St Clare
    Woman of Blood & Bone (Rogue Ethereal #1) by Annie Anderson

    A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane
    Pushing Up Posies (Grim Dating #1) by Eve Langlais

    A House for Keeping by Matteson Wynn
    Paladin’s Grace by T Kingfisher

    Wolf Girl (Wolf Girl, #1) by Leia Stone
    Radio Silence (Off the Grid, #1) by Alyssa Cole

    Spoiler Alert by Olvia Dade
    Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

    Priest by Sierra Simone
    A Deal with the Elf King (Married to Magic) by Elise Kova

    Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
    Carved in Cherry by Elizabeth Kirke

    Bite Somebody by Sara Dobie Bauer
    Black Hat, White Witch by Hailey Edwards

    Gray Card (The Department of Homeworld Security #1) by Cassandra Chandler
    Polaris Rising (Consortium Rebellion, #1) by Jessie Mihalik

    A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T Kingfisher
    The Nine Muses by Aisha Urooj

    People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
    The Brightest Fell (October Daye, #11) by Seanan McGuire

    Girls Weekend by CM Nascosta
    Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1) by R.L. Mathewson

    The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers
    Bond (Stargazer Alien Mail Order Brides, #1) by Tasha Black

    Just because a book doesn’t win it’s matchup doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. It just means I didn’t like it as much as the book it was paired against.

  • SAMR – Godzilla vs Kong

    How stupid is this action movie?

    There are several groan-worthy moments, and you’ll need to check your science, logic, time, and spatial awareness at the door. It’s not as bad in this regard as the first in this trilogy where Ford must have teleportation powers to be at the center of every major event whether it’s in Japan or on a train in the US midwest or a boat in the Pacific, but there’s definitely some Santa’s sleigh level travel going on in this one.

    Would I let the little’un and the big’un watch it?

    Yep. There are a couple of mild curse words (shit is the only one I can recall right now). The fight sequences are solidly action, with very little blood. Both Godzilla and Kong are damaged, but aside from some gross moments that are more silly than anything else (like Godzilla eating one of Ghidora’s heads at the end of King of Monsters) the only thing that might bother some younger kiddos is the large amount of faceless/nameless characters who are cannon fodder. A couple of main characters do die, but the camera cuts after the set up, so the actual death isn’t on screen.

    What I liked:
    • The big reveal. I may have squee’d a little.
    • The fight sequences between Godzilla and Kong. I especially liked that their moves were consistent with past movies and they fought like animals rather than men in suits.
    • The boss fight was believably tough. Even if you know how it’ll all turn out, it’s possible not everyone is getting out alive.
    • Jia (played by Kaylee Hottle). She made me believe.
    What I didn’t like:
    • I’m gonna get slammed for this, but Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown). I wasn’t super fond of her character in King, but she’s even flatter in this one. She’s there solely to up the stakes, and it’s obvious and unnecessary.
    • Likewise Julian Dennison (Josh Valentine). His character was completely unnecessary.
    • The glossing over of quite a few plot points. There were a lot of moments where you just had to accept things existed and/or worked the way they did because… reasons.
    Overall impression:

    Super fun, mindless entertainment. It feels a bit on the long side, but there’s plenty of action once it gets going. The ending is satisfying, the rivalry works, the CGI is impressive and the overall atmosphere of the movie is nice. Suspend your disbelief hard and it’s a fun way to spend almost two hours.

    3.5 Stupid Action Movie Stars

    Too stupid even for me.


    It was fun.

    I’d watch it again.

    I own it.

  • I’m curious…

    Which of my work-in-progress stories are you most looking forward to?
  • Name an alien pet – it’s poll time!

    Zoranna and the three pups

    I received so many awesome submissions in my call to help me name Zoranna’s alien pets, I’m really glad I’m not the one having to choose! Thank you all so much.

    Please choose your three favorite names in the poll below. Winning names will be used in DROSCAL: KA’ATARI WARRIORS book 3 and the person(s) who submitted those names will get a shout out at the front of the book.

    I’ve randomized the list of names and the submitters will be kept anonymous. This isn’t a popularity contest, but if you want to point friends and family here to vote, there aren’t any restrictions on who can submit their choices.

    I’m not worried about the names being gender conforming so don’t let that influence you. I provided the genders of the pups to my newsletter just to help with brainstorming.

    Poll closes at 5pm EST (UTC -5) on Wednesday Nov. 4th.

    The poll is closed!

    The winning names will be announced shortly.

  • The End of the Beginning

    {Just a small bit of writing I did quite a while ago that I thought I’d share.}

    The end came very near the beginning. No one seemed to notice when it began, so the end still seemed rather far off. Perhaps that’s why everyone seemed to think it ended so quickly. By the time one realized it had begun, it was over. There aren’t many things that can slip by your consciousness like a stealthy beginning. And one rarely fails to notice an end. Of course, the beginning and the end are both rather arbitrary and it’s really the middle that plays the lead. No one talks about the middle though, preferring to simply let it happen naturally. The beginning and the end often overshadow the middle, but people tend to crave those sorts of bookends.

    So the beginning was rather nebulous, but begin it did. And shortly thereafter we came to the end.