Friday, January 30, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Cool Story

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Robert Liparulo Back with Gatekeepers


Bob Liparulo wants to give away a signed 3 book set of the DreamHouse Kings books! Send an email to Bob [at] Liparulo [dot] com and put "CFBA" in the subject line. He will pick a winner next week!!!!

In the third novel of this young adult series, the mystery deepens in a house that is more than meets the eye.

The Kings have been in the creepy old place, their new home, for only a few days, but they've experienced enough terror to last a lifetime. And the mystery is growing even more baffling. Shadowy and shifting, the big house conceals doors into other worlds that blur the line between memories and dreams-and the slightest misstep can change history forever.

At least, that's if they believe the trembling old man who shows up claiming to know them. "There's a reason you're in the house," he tells them. "As gatekeepers, we must make sure only those events that are supposed to happen get through to the future."

The problem is that horrors beyond description wait on the other side of those gates. As if that weren't enough, the Kings are also menaced by sinister forces on this side-like the dark, ancient stranger Taksidian, who wants them out now.

It's hard to believe that things could have gotten worse for the King family-but they have. Dad's in handcuffs, the school bully has just found the secret portal that leads from the high school to the house, and Xander is sure he's found Mom, but they can't get back to her. Then Jesse arrives, and he seems to be a virtual Obi Wan of knowledge about the place. But is he the key they need to unlock the secrets, or just a crazy old man?

Dangers are increasing from within and without when Xander makes a startling discovery that explains why they haven't found any rooms that lead to the future. Alongside the threats, though, they're also starting to find some surprising allies.
All they have to do is get organized, get psyched, and get Mom. But that isn't nearly as easy as it sounds.

Xander, David, and Toria must venture beyond the gates to save their missing mother-and discover how truly high the stakes have become.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Gatekeepers (Dreamhouse Kings #3), go HERE

Meet Bob...he's left some crumbs at the Dregs...check out our history, and his website.

My Review:

Robert Liparulo has taken the Dreamhouse Kings to the next level. Tension keeps the pages turning. Constantly appearing bad guys keep the fingernails embedded in sore palms or clamped between the teeth. Three kids left nearly alone to figure out a mystery of a house that wants to destroy their entire family. Can they escape? Can they keep their family together?

New characters are introduced and the stakes continue to climb higher. This story series and the twists and turns are alternately unbelievable and overwhelming then cycling back to hopeful. Every chapter is soaked with adrenaline.

Adventure loving kids and adults need to look further into this series. One thing bugged me as a parent....the adults seem a little too hands off, it works, but I couldn't help struggling with the need to suspend belief in several spots.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Books to Help in the Clean Up...

So, regular readers, you know I've been doing some soul searching in the past couple of weeks. I've also done a lot of reading.

Here are two book recommendations should you find the need to do any yourself. You can get further info by clicking on the book covers.

The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss Reviewed

James Kemp has crafted a little devotional book with a substantial
amount of meat. Based on the story within beloved and not so well known Seussian characters and books Kemp shares some the basics of the Christian life and faith. Topics like ecology, racism, forgiveness, humility and faith are covered in the thirteen short lessons. Only ninety pages, this is a perfect book for small groups. Though there are no follow-up questions, a creative person could easily craft some. Teens might find the writing a little adult but the ideas could easily be adapted for a youth group.

Wild Goose Chase Reviewed

I've found myself in more than one spiritual cage. At times I've wondered why the Christian walk had to be so cumbersome and hard. Other times I've found myself looking on at someone who bubbles joy or oozes peace and wondered what I'm doing wrong. Mark Batterson reveals some powerful ideas and help in identifying spiritual malaise and doldrums. He asks hard questions and gives life altering advice.

As with all really great and meaty books written about the Christian walk. Don't think you can buy this and gather help and wisdom by osmosis. This book requires that a person rise to the challenges and absorb the truth.

Wild Goose Chase will spark a bit of controversy in the usual circles that struggle with different ideas. The only negative I had was the occasional NCC commercial that seemed to run throughout the book. But then again, he was using his life as examples and NCC is a big part of his life.

This little book is packed with helpful thoughts and suggestions, Biblical examples and personal stories. I would recommend it to small groups as a great study. Or to individuals as a possible life changing adventure.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Failure in the Hands of the Living God

On this fine, snowy Monday I need to confess something to you.

I'm a failure.

Some of you may not be surprised. A few of you may be slapping your foreheads and screaming, “She finally got it!” But for those of you who may be shaken by this news let me continue in the vein which I just opened.

I am far too rich in humanity and far too anemic in the divine. As a teacher, as a mother and as a wife I feel like I should be a shiny, undented vessel for the Holy Spirit.

Alas, I am not.

Last week I hit a little emotional wall. Not that I've never done that before -- and I have the bruises and scars to prove it. But this one was a little harder than the rest. I had to face the fact that what a very good friend said to me was true and that I needed to climb out of the tide-pool of self-pity and anger.

Our family has changed. A situation has reared it's ugly head and we are in all-out spiritual and emotional upheaval. And I don't have the luxury of soaking in my feelings and letting them become rooted in the hard-packed ground of bitterness.

I've taken this to God and I feel like I need to say it out loud. Or at least with the click-clack of the keyboard.

I've failed someone I love. A someone that I love with all my heart. As much as I wanted to be the woman she needed me to be I was unable to fill the voids, smooth the wrinkles, ease the hurts and shelter her from life's painful blows. Looking back on my decisions and my choices, I don't feel like I would've have been able to do things much differently, really. The decisions I made in our relationship were ones that were needed. But in knowing this, admitting this, I've still struggled with playing “what if” and “if only” and I had begun to replay the drama over and over again. Like the aching tooth that only stopped throbbing when a tongue was pushed up against it causing a white-hot flash of pain followed by a split-second reprieve before the next throb, I was reliving pages and pages of emotion and hours and hours of time.

Peace was withering and grace along with it. Finally, resentment had taken hold and I was left with little good to offer anyone who crossed my path.

I had to give my mess back to God where it belongs and allow Him to take over again. He is the only one who can bring healing to my relationship. He is the only one who had any business being the void filler, the wrinkle smoother, the hurt easer and the life shelter. I took my eyes off of Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith (and yours) and put them on circumstances and feelings which are as shaky and changing as pounding waves.

So, I'm a dented, unkempt failure in the hands of the Almighty God. I can live with that.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Oy Vey. Click With Caution

If you have plans to go out on the town this weekend and you either want to avoid the "I can't believe I ate the whole thing." guilt or want to make the healthiest choice possible, click here.

However, if you are prone to cheesy, greasy or breaded and don't want to know how bad it is...then avoid clicking at all costs.

The worst of the worst is listed in black and white and living color. Fortunately, there is a healthier alternative provided, too. Nearly every type of restaurants' worst and best.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Me-D

I encountered 3-Dimensional glimpses of me today.

While heading around a corner in a creepy hospital stairway I stumbled upon another skittering woman. We both startled, squealed and jumped back. The hallway isn't that creepy. But it always reminds me of every movie or novel wherein something goes wrong in a stairwell or in the morgue. There is a reason I don't know where the hospital morgue is. I don't want to, I will not ask. I know where the psych ward is or was and you have to take three elevators and walk down seven abandoned halls to get to it. I couldn't find it if I needed to.

But, as usual, I digress. So after this poor frightened lady and I nervously twittered we headed our separate ways until she rammed into the wall. Bam. After making sure she was okay, I continued on. That is such a me thing to do. Wonder if I'm contagious?

Later on, one of our 90-year-old patients came in for a routine check-up. It was her annual visit so she got to see me today. If I live to be 90, I want to be like her. She laughed the whole time. She laughed at everything I said. I was apparently "on" today. She laughed as she mentioned a bad shoulder and a bum foot. She laughed because she couldn't quite get herself out of the chair the first time or up on the table without assistance. She may have had trouble on both counts because she was laughing.

As a little girl, I learned that it's very difficult to pour milk correctly while laughing. As a matter of fact I revisited that little lesson earlier this week. I lifted a gallon of milk to pour and just as when I was a child, I got the giggles and couldn't move forward. Really. Who'd have thought that milk could be funny?

I'm going to remember exactly how funny it is when I'm 90. When I'm an old lady I shant wear purple and red since that has long ago lost it's charm. I shall laugh.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Kaye Dacus

As promised. Kaye's answers to the Dregs.

Scroll down a bit to read my review of Kaye Dacus' Stand-In-Groom and for a look see at the first chapter.

Fiction character you would most like to be or most identify with and why?

If I could be a character in a book, I would want to be Anne Elliot from Jane Austen's Persuasion---because Frederick Wentworth is my favorite of all the Austen heroes, and I fall in love with him a little more each time I read the book or watch the film (the 1995 version, anyway).

Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.

This isn't a ritual so much, but an addiction. I'm addicted to Post-it Notes. As I write this, I currently have nine of them stuck around the perimeter of my computer screen, and more than a dozen more stuck to the wall over the desk. I have a dispenser on my nightstand by my bed, on the end-table beside my chair in the living room, a pad of small ones in the top drawer of the entertainment center, and several different sizes of them on the table in my office where I do my editing work. I can't work (write or edit) if I don't have a Post-it pad within easy reaching distance.

If you could change something in any novel, what would you change about it and why?

In Jane Austen's Emma, I would find someone better for Knightley. As Jane herself said, Emma was a heroine only she could like. It's my least favorite of the six major novels, as I've always thought Knightley deserved someone of much better character than Emma.

What crayon in the box describes you on a good day? Bad day? Which one do you aspire to be?

I'll have to admit, I had to get onto Wikipedia and look up the new names of the crayons---it's been a very long time since I've had any! On a good day, I'd have to say I'm "Purple Heart"; on a bad day, it would be "Blue Bell." I would love to be more environmentally friendly, so I'd say I aspire to "Ultra Green."

Pick one…..Pink iguana, purple cow, periwinkle giraffe. Which one and why? Can be negative or positive.

Purple Cow, for a couple of reasons: first, purple is my favorite color; second, I love beef (prime rib especially); third, I love cheese and ice cream. Of course, if we're talking beverages, I think I'd have to go with the Pink Iguana, because I much prefer the sound of cranberry juice and lime to grape juice and milk mixed together!

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

"Good stuff, Maynard." From a Malt-o-Meal commercial from the late 1970s. My sister and I started using this phrase since elementary school, and it's been a regular part of my repertoire ever since.

What period of history intrigues you the most?

As someone who grew up in the "Old" West and who also went on to minor in history in college, I can't narrow it down to just one, so I'll give you three: (1) the late Georgian/Regency era of England (because of my love of Jane Austen), (2) the American Civil War (the era of history I specialized in with my minor), and (3) late 19th Century New Mexico (because of my childhood in N.M.).

What makes you feel alive?

The first rainfall after a long, hot, dry summer. Writing the hook ending of a chapter. Laughter with friends. Singing, especially old, beloved hymns. Watching my favorite teams play football. Learning something new.

Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip.

Book: The Complete Jane Austen
Music: Dean Martin
Person: My parents, or my friends Lori C. and Ruth
Food: Popcorn, fruit, nuts, dry cereal, and sparkling water

Where would you most like to travel ----- moon, north pole, deep seas, deserted island, the holy land or back to a place from your childhood, somewhere else? – and why.

I would love to take at least a fortnight's visit to Britain, especially the southern/Hampshire/Portsmouth region and Scotland---for research purposes as well as family history (I'm a McLellan on my mother's side of the family). I would also love to spend some time in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria (from my years of studying the German language and cultures of those countries).

Favorite season and why?

Fall is my favorite season, and summer is my least favorite. Most people get depressed when the leaves start falling, the days get shorter, and the weather gets colder—but it invigorates me. I’m lethargic and feel house-bound during the summer because I get very easily overheated and dehydrated, which gives me rip-roaring migraines. I’ll take autumn allergies over heat any day! When the weather starts turning cooler, to me it’s the fulfillment of the promise that the nastiness that is summer-weather doesn’t last forever. I just wish fall (and winter—at least, the kind of winters we get here) lasted a little longer around here.

Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

The comment that gave me the greatest encouragement came in my 12th grade Creative Writing class. On the first piece of fiction I'd ever let anyone read, a short story assignment, my teacher wrote, "I think you've found what you're meant to do." It took almost exactly twenty years between receiving that comment and holding my first published novel in my hands, but I've never forgotten it. (And of course, I sent him a signed copy!)

Favorite chore

Are people supposed to have favorite chores? I don't have a favorite, but the one I don't mind doing as much as anything else is laundry. I love the smell of the fabric softener when it releases in the spin cycle. My house is so small that it freshens every room.

Grammatical pet peeve…sound off.

Let's see . . . would it be people mixing up Me, Myself, and I? saying TRY AND instead of TRY TO? adding TATE to oriented and disoriented? using an apostrophe to make a word plural? using plural pronouns with singular antecedents? (Um, I'm a copy editor by trade, if you can't tell!)

Societal pet peeve…sound off.

Pants hanging off the rear-end! I don't wanna see your underwear! Also, girls wearing shirts that don't reach the waist band of their pants, while wearing pants that are so tight they get a "muffin-top" effect. Facial piercings, belly rings, and tongue-piercings bother me, too. Oh--and the biggest one of them all---PEOPLE USING THEIR CELL-PHONES IN THE MOVIE THEATER. Can't you sit for two hours without texting someone? And, even worse, DON'T ANSWER A CALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOST DRAMATIC SCENE OF THE FILM!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ The Hair From the Back of a House Fly?

"I think I inhaled her." Ha. Yeah. And I have issues with NOT throwing beads and tools across the room, or hacking at puzzle pieces to make them fit. This is so amazing. If it wasn't for ol Charlie, I might still not believe it.

Needle Sized Art

Monday, January 19, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Stand-In-Groom / Kaye Dacus

Book Synopsis:

When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman?

George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancee when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role
has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Stand-In Groom, go HERE

My Review:

Stand-in Groom is a unique story that is full of humor, angst and Southern flair.

Kaye Dacus has thrown a proper Englishman into the heart of Louisiana with a wedding planner, her large family, and her very bruised heart. Wedding details, delicious scents, and a healthy serving of Dino and Frank fill the book, too.

If you love stories that throw obstacles at the couple you know should be together, and you love the idea of weddings and details involved in weddings, or delight in Southern fiction, romance or Englishmen then check out Stand-In-Groom.

Come back Wednesday. Kaye has sent her answers to the Dregged questions and you won't want to miss them. In the meantime, go check out the first chapter. And, if you are curious, Kaye has an inspiring blog....Fabulous by Forty...pretty cool.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Have You Ever...

...wished you could change an ending to a book?

Well, now you can. Kind of.

You can help determine a verdict/ending to Randy Singer's upcoming book.

Click on the cover or here.

You can watch a bit of the "trial" and cast your vote.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ Renew Your Resolution

After years of failed diet attempts, Chantel Hobbs discovered the missing ingredient to permanent weight loss: to change your life, you first have to change the way you think.

She developed a balanced plan for exercise and nutrition and lost two hundred pounds. Now, through writing, speaking, and her work as a personal trainer, she inspires others to achieve far more than they thought possible.

In Never Say Diet, now available in trade paperback, Chantel provides everything readers need to lose weight for good, including:

* Simple, step-by-step workout routines that fit into a normal weekday schedule
* A realistic approach to nutrition that helps people break their bondage to food
* Strategies for staying motivated when life takes unexpected turns
* Keys to dealing with discouragement by relying on God’s strength
* The secret to moving beyond past failures and getting over old excuses

Chantel helps readers make the five commitments that are necessary for changing their lives. Her high-energy, no-nonsense approach inspires readers to achieve results that last in body, mind, and spirit.

Personal Trainer: Her newest book, The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Coach, now allows readers to have Chantel show up each week to inspire, encourage, and energize them on the journey to a healthy life that centers on body, mind, and spirit.

This fitness guide helps readers set new weight-loss goals and create an exercise schedule that works in the midst of life’s constant demands. Readers will be inspired with Scripture, and they will welcome Chantel’s healthy eating plan with simple, energy-and-nutrition-packed recipes. Weekly checklists and personal evaluations direct readers in reaching their goals. Plus, Chantel’s personal and entertaining stories provide the motivation needed to get through even the most frustrating days.

With Never Say Diet and The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Coach readers will establish new fitness habits that burn off excess weight, increase strength, and establish a new, healthy way of living.

My Review:

I'm convinced that any weight loss program can work. But, and it's a big but (no pun intended), most of them won't work for most people. As individual as folks are, and for as many reasons as people overeat, or eat junk, or refuse to exercise, there is need for different stories, scenarios, or different motivation.

I was a little put off by the cover of Chantel Hobbs' Never Say Diet. Which of us who are in need of self-discipline and diet wants to be confronted by the picture of a blonde Barbie Doll look alike? Can she be trusted? Did she really have a weight problem or was she just a little out of shape?

Once I started the book I quickly began rethinking my first opinion. Chantel, in all her blonde bodacious beauty has been in the trenches of self-hatred and humiliation. As I read her story, I identified with her and her wisdom, teaching and enthusiasm. I don't know if Chantel's journey will change your life. It's up to you. Her advice is wise, difficult and challenging, and full of common sense and overall simplicity. Her cheerleading is designed to spur. If nothing else, her book is cheaper than signing up with yet another weight loss clinic. If you are ready, if you want to change how you think and how you live, you should really consider looking into Never Say Diet.

The companion "The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer" is a journal with a little more motivation tossed in. You'll need "Never Say Diet" the book to use it. It's valuable if you plan to follow the program, but not necessary. If you have to make a choice between journal and book, buy the book.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ A Kiss Continued ~ From Erin Healy's Lips

Erin Healy, co-author of Ted Dekker's latest thriller, Kiss, dropped in with some fabulous answers to the Dreaded Dregs questions.

Thanks, Erin. Scroll down to catch part one where you can get a sneak peek at the first chapter of Kiss.

If you could change something in any novel, what would you change about it and why?

Old Dan and Little Ann would not die in Where the Red Fern Grows … because when my daughter gets around to reading that book, she’s going to be inconsolable for days.

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles. –Miracle Max, The
Princess Bride

What period of history intrigues you the most?

Early American, because the first novels I read as an elementary schooler
that captivated me were set in the period, and because Sarah Vowell has a… uh … perspective on that era like no other.

What would you write if there were no rules or barriers?

I probably wouldn’t write! I’m needy that way. I need rules like a need a
map. They give me a place to start, a direction, and more openness to
being surprised along the way.

What makes you feel alive?

Three diet Pepsis before nine in the morning.

Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip?

We’re going to Ireland, right? With a name like Erin McMahan Healy I
really need to go to Ireland … My Kindle. (I’m such a cheater, I know. But ONE book?) Loreena McKennitt. My sister. Power bars.

Favorite season and why?

Winter, because curling up in a blanket next to the fireplace with a book
and a stainless travel mug full of coffee is most uncomfortable in summer. I love the snow. The rain. Sigh. I really need to go to Ireland.

What would you do if you had only one week to live?

I would cry and ask God for more time. If he said no, I’d write letters to
my husband and children telling them my love and hopes for them, then I’d turn off the computer, walk away, and spend the rest of my waking moments holding their hands and listening, touching, talking.

What is your favorite word?


Superhero you most admire and why?

Mr. Incredible. Because it’s never too late to be who you were made to be.

Grammatical pet peeve:

I’m an editor. I have a lot of them. Most irritating, though, is when
writers announce they “just don’t like” a grammar rule and so claim the
right to ignore it. It’s not creative license. It’s stubbornness.

Pick one of the “story starters” below and give us a sample of your voice.

A crack broke the stillness as Terry tugged on the frozen door.

The editor half of me, whom I try to lock away in a broom closet while I
write, is talking loudly and demanding to know what motivation anyone can have for depositing a door in a meat locker.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Serials and Scenarios ~ A Kiss is But a Kiss....Really

Ted Dekker is back. This time he's brought along a friend. Erin Healy joins him and adds an extra dimension to his work.

Here's a bit about the book, the link to the first chapter and my review. Erin will be back on Wednesday to share her thoughts when encountering the Dregs questions.

Book Description:

Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.
I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend-how could I have forgotten him?-my uncle and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true-can it?

I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy.

And even worse, I think they want to kill me.

But who? And for what? Is dying for the truth really better than living with a lie?

Sometimes dying with the truth is better than living with a lie.

After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion.

Her estranged father, a senator bidding on the White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged. Leaning on Wayne Spade, a forgotten but hopeful lover who stays by her side, Shauna tries to sort out what happened that night by jarring her memory to life. Instead, she acquires a mysterious mental ability that will either lead her to truth or get her killed by the people trying to hide it.

In this blind game of cat and mouse that stares even the darkest memories in the face, Shauna is sure of only one thing: if she remembers, she dies.

Would you like to read the first chapter of KISS? Then click here.

My Review:

Kiss is an interesting blend of what-if and humanity at it's worst, at it's most resilient.

Full of paranoia, back-stabbing intrigue and political posturing, Kiss delivers a page-turning read.

More cat and mouse than outright adrenaline, Kiss, also asks some deep questions about the human condition. Healy has added softness to Dekker's usual black and white evil vs truth scenarios. But this isn't a purely girl read by any stretch. Not totally believable, like Dekker ever falls into that category, but conceivable and that's where Dekker seems to reside. Like I said, the land of what if, well done.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Super Cinema Saturday ~Meet Dave

My Review:

This film is far more entertaining than I expected.

Depending on the movie I either like Eddie Murphy or can barely tolerate him. This is one of his keepers. With near perfect comedic physical humor, Murphy plays a believable space ship and ship captain. Some of the dialog is comedy gold. Murphy's robotic awakenings and learning curve are laugh out loud hilarious.

Amazingly clean with the exception of a few party scenes where the crew reacts to new stimuli including mojitos and salsa dancing. A number of crew members (the weapons expert is exposed to the Rockettes and is never the same, the tech guy finds MySpace) play out some stereotypes that tend to get annoying, but do add a bit to the story. Plenty of bodily function humor. The mostly family friendly storyline makes for some predictability.

Fans of Murphy's Daddy Day Care and Dr Doolittle, and fans of Galaxy Quest should find much to like.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ The Path You Don't Want to Take...Through My Random Thoughts.

Oooh. So I need to update this here blog.

Should I perhaps say something profound?

Great idea.

Hmmm. Okay. I have one.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Except what if someone who hates lemons reads this. No, that will never do.

Four-Score and -- pass.

e=mc2 -- yeah, right. Y'all know I borrowed that one. I wouldn't know an e from an o. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you secretly replaced the letters?


Maybe I should go for clever.

Nah. Not working for me.

Fun-funny? Nope.

Oh, I know. Good night, Gracie!

And don't let the bedbugs bite.

Monday, January 05, 2009

My Best of 2008 List.....

The list author says:

"I scaled back on reading this year and still managed to read and review 94 books. I also watched 42 movies (six were so bad I couldn't write a positive review).

Several categories of books, two for films:

None-Fiction that Enriched My Life or Greatly Entertained Me.
Movies that Twisted my Brain.
Movies I Loved.
New Authors (to Me) I'm Going to Stalk.
New Authors I Recommend.
Books That Made Me Think.
Not Your Mama's Christian Fiction
Downright Fun
Tried and Still True Authors"

Hancock (Single-Disc Rated Edition)
1. Hancock (Single-Disc Rated Edition) DVD ~ Will Smith
The list author says:

"Charming story. Lots of fun. One of my top guilty, just-for-fun '08 movie favorites."

Iron Man (Single-Disc Edition)
2. Iron Man (Single-Disc Edition) DVD ~ Robert Downey Jr.
The list author says:

"Gotta love a sarcastic anti-hero. One of my top '08 movie picks."

3. Fireproof DVD ~ Kirk Cameron
The list author says:

"A touch of cheesy, but overall impressive. There are way worse movies to invest your time in. This one could really make you stop and think. A favorite 2008 brain-twist movie."

Lars and the Real Girl
4. Lars and the Real Girl DVD ~ Patricia Clarkson
The list author says:

"This may be the sweetest movie I've ever seen. Bizarre and touching. Loved it. Top movie of '08 pick."

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
5. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed DVD ~ Ben Stein
The list author says:

"Want your undies in a bunch? Look no further. Possibly the most controversial movie I've ever seen. One of my favorite Mind-Twister films of 2008."

Sicko (Special Edition)
6. Sicko (Special Edition) DVD ~ Michael Moore
The list author says:

"Not a new release, but it was a fascinating watch none-the-less. One of my favorite Mind-Twister films of 2008."

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals
7. The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals by Missy Chase Lapine
The list author says:

"Great ideas when you want to make some positive changes. One of my best Non-Fiction that Enriched My Life picks."

Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight: Fifty-Two Amazing Ways to Master the Art of Personal Change
8. Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight: Fifty-Two Amazing Ways to Master the Art of Personal Change by Karen Scalf Linamen
The list author says:

"Funny advice that covers all sorts of life changes you might want to make. One of my best Non-Fiction that Enriched My Life picks."

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis, 2nd Edition
9. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Handwriting Analysis, 2nd Edition by Sheila Lowe
The list author says:

"Not a new release, but fascinating. One of my best Non-Fiction that Enriched My Life picks."

Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds--or More!
10. Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds--or More! by David Zinczenko
The list author says:

"This will mess with you. Really eye-opening. One of my best Non-Fiction that Enriched My Life picks."

Try Darkness (Ty Buchanan Series, Book 2)
11. Try Darkness (Ty Buchanan Series, Book 2) by James Scott Bell
The list author says:

"Bell just keeps getting better. Loved this. Better than book one. Fun, sweet, twisty.
Solidly in Tried and Still True Authors category."

Wind River
12. Wind River by Tom, Morrisey
The list author says:

"Nobody writes an outdoor adventure like Tom Morrisey. Tight and beautiful with tension that makes a story twang.
Tried and Still True Author of '08. Looking forward to any '09 release."

Par for the Course: A Novel (Faith Words)
13. Par for the Course: A Novel (Faith Words) by Ray Blackston
The list author says:

"Ray cracks me up. Quirky. I don't even like golf. But I loved Par. He's a Tried and Still True Author and Par lands in the Downright Fun category as well."

Havah: The Story of Eve
14. Havah: The Story of Eve by Tosca Lee
The list author says:

"Tried and True Author. It takes tremendous talent to write tales told by a demon and the mother of all humanity. Powerful books by a very gifted author. Havah also landed in the Books That Made Me Think long after I put it down and Not Your Mama's Christian Fiction categories."

The Shape of Mercy: A Novel
15. The Shape of Mercy: A Novel by Susan Meissner
The list author says:

"Susan Meissner writes tales that transport. I recommend everything she's written. A Tried and Still True Author."

Symphony of Secrets: A Novel
16. Symphony of Secrets: A Novel by Sharon, Hinck
The list author says:

"Sharon Hinck has a very distinctive and pleasant voice. She is solidly Tried and Still True."

17. Gallimore by Michelle Griep
The list author says:

"A solid, engaging and fabulous debut novel. Minnesota has given us some great writers, Griep is not an exception. I can't wait to see where she goes from here. A New Author I Recommend."

Fallen: A Novel
18. Fallen: A Novel by Matthew Raley
The list author says:

"Not only is Raley a New Author I Recommend, he's written a Book That Made Me Think...long after I finished. A very twisted story about church politics and humanity within the sacred realm."

Road to Nowhere
19. Road to Nowhere by Paul, Robertson
The list author says:

"I can't believe I love a book about a road. But I do. The story still hovers months after I finished it. A Twelve Angry Men kind of story that is haunted with prejudice, selfishness and greed."

My Visit to Hell
20. My Visit to Hell by Paul Thigpen
The list author says:

"Not amazing writing but the story is spooky and haunting. A Book That Made Me Think -- and still does."

My Name Is Russell Fink

21. My Name Is Russell Fink
by Michael Snyder
The list author says:

"A book that charmed me from page one. And one that not only is Downright also Made Me Think."

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After
22. He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After by Trish Ryan
The list author says:

"A Memoir that entertained and challenged me. A Book That Made Me Think and was Downright Fun in the process."

Wounded: A Love Story
23. Wounded: A Love Story by Claudia Mair Burney
The list author says:

"Claudia Mair Burney is an author who is Tried and Still True, writes books That Make Me Think and writes Not Your Mama's Christian Fiction.
If you haven't read Christian Fiction in awhile and you always thought it was pablum. Pick up a Ms. Burney title. Dare ya."

Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White
24. Zora and Nicky: A Novel in Black and White by Claudia Mair Burney
The list author says:

"Another Claudia Mair Burney turn you upside-down and shake-you novel. Everything I said about Wounded...ditto."

Embrace Me
25. Embrace Me by Lisa Samson
The list author says:

"Lisa Samson has proven once again to be Tried and True. She's authored a Book That Made Me Think, and she writes Not Your Mama's Christian Fiction. Powerful book. Not pretty, but beautiful."

An August Adams Adventure: House of Wolves
26. An August Adams Adventure: House of Wolves by Matt Bronleewe
The list author says:

"Crazy story. So much fun. Downright Fun."

Less than Dead (Bug Man Series #4)
27. Less than Dead (Bug Man Series #4) by Tim Downs
The list author says:

"I am going to Stalk Tim Downs. Not in a creepy way, but as in "How have I missed this guy?" I loved the Bug Man. Downright Fun in a creepy, fascinating forensic snark-fest. Sarcasm, humor, yuck. My kind of book."

It's Not About Me (Second Glances Series #1)
28. It's Not About Me (Second Glances Series #1) by Michelle Sutton
The list author says:

"Michelle Sutton has written a gritty, real, "oh my" book that is full of hope and honesty."

The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips: A Novel (Faithwords)

29. The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips: A Novel (Faithwords)
by Stephen Baldwin
The list author says:

"Not Your Mama's Christian Fiction for sure."

The Rook (The Patrick Bowers Files, Book 2)
30. The Rook (The Patrick Bowers Files, Book 2) by Steven, James
The list author says:

"Another New to Me Author I'm Going to Stalk. Great suspense, great story, great characters. Glad I stumbled across him."

Crazy Fool Kills Five: A Fifi Cutter Mystery
31. Crazy Fool Kills Five: A Fifi Cutter Mystery by Gwen Freeman
The list author says:

"New Author (to Me) I'm Going to Stalk. Or at least watch for new reads by Gwen Freeman. Chick-lit with a baseball bat upside the head."