Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hello World...

Hi! I'm Cae, Martha, or Bibliophile (truth is I answer to just about anything - just ask David Estes - the only person on the planet I've EVER allowed to call me M-Dizzle - feel special Snickers XD).  Things have been kinda hectic for me lately and on top of that taking public transportation home has ensured that it takes me a small (or large depending on the day) portion of FOREVER to get home.

Here is a typical outline of my weekday activity:

  • I wake up at around 3am
  • I leave the house between 330 and 345 am (415 at the latest if I'm feeling lazy)
  • I walk just over two miles between my house and the bus stop so I can catch the first bus to work.
  • I catch the bus at 512 (or a touch later depending on the driver)
  • I catch my second bus at 538 and I get off that bus at about ten minutes to 6.
  • I walk the block and a half to work. 
  • I've left the house in "normal people" clothes and have to change into my uniform. 
  • I clock in between five and ten minutes late. 
  • Work 6-8 hrs
  • Leave work at or around 2pm (210 at the absolute LATEST)
  • Change back into "normal people" clothes because BLACK POLYESTER in Florida is just a heat stroke waiting to happen.
  • Catch my first bus at about 230 (or later since school is back in session and the bus runs a little late)
  • I catch my second bus at about 254 (or later if it is running late or just simply DOES NOT SHOW UP) - 324 is the absolute latest bus I can be on if I want to make the third bus and be home in less than 3 hrs of leaving work.
  • Make any grocery stops that I need to make either before bus one or between bus number 2 and 3. 
  • Get to the stop for bus number 3.  Wait about 30-45 minutes for it to show up.
  • Get on bus number 3, and get home at just before 5pm. 
That is a typical day for me, and it usually leaves me absolutely wiped out because of the heat and humidity, the initial walk and ultimately standing on my feet in crappy shoes has me miserable (and lately I've gotten soaked coming home thank you Florida weather). 

So, that is why things have slowed down here, but I have some fantastic things in the works for all of you! I've some guest posts coming up and some interviews in the works as well.  I've also got some giveaways coming and some reviews of some of the books that I've currently read (I know I've got a review backlog, don't lynch me!).  

Reviews you can look forward to:
  • Falling Immortality by Robert Downs
  • Voulspa by Sam D. & Ray East
  • Francesca of Lost Nation by Lucinda Sue Crosby
  • Jaguar Sun by Martha Bourke
  • $ell More eBook$ - How to increase sales and Amazon rankings using Kindle Direct Publishing by Lucinda Sue Crosby
  • Don't Ask, Don't Tell by T.R. Stoddard

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bibliophile Eats: Homemade Focaccia Bread

So, the roommate and I have been browsing and were looking for bread recipes that don't require a bread machine because we are lacking one.  We'd come across a couple of them, and tried some of them out, tonight we made this one, Focaccia Bread, to go with dinner.  It turned out absolutely FANTASTIC!  This was decidedly one of the best things ever.  We even have left overs to go with dinner tomorrow night here at Casa Bibliophile.  You can find the recipe if you click on the link above, it is super simple and it takes about an hour or so, and you can cook it with your meal if you are making something in the oven, or if you want to make it early you can use it for sandwiches or whatever (will be using two pieces on Monday to make a sandwich at work, and subsequently making my coworkers jealous!).

This was after the ingredients were mixed, and the dough was kneaded and set to rise for twenty minutes in the bowl that was brushed with olive oil.  It smells absolutely stellar at this point in time and all you can really smell is the herbs and the olive oil and I also just love that fresh bread smell.

Spread out to about half an inch thick all around on the cookie sheet which has been greased or oiled (we opted for olive oil) and then sprinkled with mozzarella and parmesean cheeses.  Though, I think next time the cheese will go on about half way through baking. Either way, it turned out fantastic, and it was paired tonight with steak and onions, beef rice-a-roni with corn.  It was deliciously tasty.

Finished product.  Fresh, homemade focaccica bread, all sorts of herbs and cheese and delicious steak and rice.  That was dinner tonight.  Enjoy.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shelving Choices: Do Not Read & Did Not Finish

Books come in all shapes and sizes. Good stories, bad stories, and in between stories. We’ve read them on our own, we’ve had to read them for school or various other reasons. Some we will read again, others we will never come near again unless we are desperate for something to read (and even then we may consider other sources before touching these books). I’ve noticed a trend of some people starting what is essentially called a Do-Not-Read list, and I was currently browsing a shelf with this particular title on a goodread user’s profile and several of the books on this shelf are on my to-read shelf and I’ve no intention of removing them from my to-read shelf (and I will read them eventually).

Beyond that, I do not understand why some of these books are on there. They are good books, they are best sellers and look very, very interesting. I have actually seen an author’s entire collection of stories on this shelf and it disturbs me to think that someone would slight an entire author for whatever reason. There is some drama with a NYT bestselling author over her husband calling a reviewer a psycho on an review, and the various atomic bomb size fall out and drama that came with that, but other authors I don’t understand. Someone explain to me why you would blacklist all of an author’s work without any reason that I can think of?

Difference in opinion aside, what would make you shelve a book “Do Not Read” or “Did Not Finish”, or would you simply not do such a thing? I’ve one book that I’ve shelved “did not finish” or “abandoned” simply because I couldn’t get past some of the issues with it and my review reflected that. Beyond that, I’ve finished everything else I’ve been given to read, and ultimately I will not shelf a book “do not read” or “did not finish” unless there is a lot of problematic errors and issues with the writing style that I simply cannot get past. If your book drives me crazy (and not in an “OMG I LOVE THIS” type of way) it will be made known in my review, and ultimately in various shelving choices when I choose my options on goodreads.

Do you have books like this? Are they all in a specific genre or by a specific author? Inquiring blogger wants to know!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Dark Passage by Griffin Hayes

This is the second work I've read by Griffin Hayes and I fall in love with the twisted thrillers all the more.  This story, about a man named Tyson Barrett, who is tortured by nightmares of his traumatic childhood, receives a miracle cure for his insomnia.  However, as we've learned, if it sounds too good to be true it usually is.  That is the case with this so called "miracle cure" that Tyson hopes will not only solve his medical problems but his personal ones as well (considering he has become estranged from his wife and young son) and his business is on the verge of collapse.

However, this miracle cure is not without its dark side.  Tyson still dreams, however, when he wakes, something returns with him.  Something spawned from the deepest, darkest depths of his psyche, however there is something bigger, something more evil than what has already come through.  However, this evil isn't after Tyson - it wants his son.

This book is a fantastic lesson that not all dreams were meant to come true.  This book had me on the edge of my seat most of the time, and more often than not I would only read it during day light hours because I've read Stephen King before bed, and Griffin Hayes has managed to have a Stephen King like effect on me with his thrillers.  My dreams are not a safe place when I read his thrillers, so I highly recommend not reading this before a nap, before bed...broad daylight, outside, where you stand no chance of falling asleep is definitely good!

Vividly descriptive characters weave a web of horror and mystery that will keep you intrigued until the very end.  It will keep you on the edge of your seat and ultimately is one that I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of horror or if you occasionally like to indulge in the "darker" type of this one!  The pace is perfect and the story won't feel rushed at all.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.  Thank you Griffin Hayes for the opportunity to read yet another one of your fantastic thrillers. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Into the Confessional: Natasha McNeely

Today's trip into the Confessional we have author Natasha McNeely, who is an epic author and a friend of mine! I adore her and was so glad that she sat down to answer some questions for me and take a trip inside the Confessional here at CoaB :)  Also, look out for her guest post coming soon, along with a give away of her book.

1.       You’ve lived in the Netherlands and Germany, have these places had an influence on your writing?
They have had an influence on my writing, but not directly. Living in different countries spurred my love for culture and languages, so I’ve focused on studying both of those more, in and outside of my education. Because of that, culture and different languages often find their way into my writing, so my cast of characters is often diverse and from all over the world.
2.       Making the jump from the USA to the Netherlands at such an early age, what sort of impact did this have on your life? Was it more like an adventure since you were only seven?
To be fair, I don’t remember much about what I thought about it at the time. I do remember that when we moved to the Netherlands, I knew only two words in Dutch. No and grandma; nee and oma, respectively.
Once we were there, I immediately started at a Dutch school without any help of extra courses to improve my language skills. Six months later, I spoke it fluently and aced more Dutch tests than my Dutch classmates! In that respect, moving at such a young age was less of an adventure and more a way to learn things I never would before.
3.       Your first self-published book, A Glimpse of the Dark, is a collection of short stories. Why did you choose to go with this collection as a first publication piece?
I felt that it would be a good way for readers to see a broader variety of the stories I write in a compact and easy-to-read form. I could have started with a full-length novel, but as I am also working on being published traditionally, I want to save any major novels for that.
“Worst” case scenario, they’ll be joining my self-published collection.
4.       From your blog, I see that you have two works currently in progress, can you give us a glimpse into how you get your writing done?
I tend to focus on one project at a time, even if my blog states multiple projects. The Forbidden Series is a series that consists of four novels. The first is finished. Werewolf’s Lair is the first book in The Hunted Trilogy and is currently underway. It is my main project and, once the first book is completed, depending on where my inspiration takes me, I will work on book two of one of the two series.
More on that when I finish Werewolf’s Lair; its deadline is set for August 31st.
5.       Do you have any quirks that somehow find their way into your writing?
Oddly enough, I’ve never considered this question before. Quirks. I tend to run my hand through my hair, or tuck strands of hair behind my ears a lot. Now that I think about it, I’ve been struggling to limit the amount of my characters who do that. It’s a habit of sorts for me. Having long hair just calls for it to happen, especially since I always wear my hair down.
That aside, I have a habit of making my main characters fond of books. I should change that, even if it is a habit that everyone should have.
6.       What are some sources you draw inspiration from for your writing?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Books, music, television shows, movies – even things as simple as snippets of conversations that I catch when I’m walking down the street, or getting groceries.
Music is wonderful as inspiration. The melody and the lyrics paint a picture and we all know that a picture’s worth a thousand words. Video game soundtracks in particular are my favorite songs to listen to while writing. No lyrics. Just the music to guide me through whatever scene I’m writing.
Books talk for themselves. Not only are they a great source of inspiration, but reading also shows writers different ways to write – different perspectives, tenses, and so many other things. The more you read, the more you can write.
7.       Now, for a fun question, if you could meet one historical figure who would it be and what one question would you ask them?
My choice is a bit peculiar, but I would choose to use my question for Amenhotep IV, also known as Akhenaten, former pharaoh of Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty.
Ancient Egyptian mythology is easily my favorite mythology that I have studied so far, with so many gods and goddesses, each representing a different aspect of nature and of life. I would ask him: Why did you, in vain, turn Egypt’s religion into monotheism?

I love the old Egyptian religion with all its gods and all its myths. He changed it so there was only one god: Aten. When the pharaoh died, Tutankhaten, his son, changed his name to one we are all more familiar with: Tutankhamun.
This was an act of defiance against the monotheistic religion, rejecting the god Aten and instead restoring power to the old god, Amun, and all other gods. He returned the polytheistic religion to Egypt.

In the end, I want to know what Akhenaten’s thoughts were and what the reasoning behind his decision was.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A day off

Today I had a day off and it is being spent running errands. A Dr appointment for Shawn, then a trip to walmart for some groceries then home. I have an interview with Natasha McNeely to share with you when I get home. Also I am working on another interview with Robert Downs the author of Falling Immortality, which is an awesome book.

My current reading list is:
Francesca of Lost Nation
The Moon Dwellers
The Legacy of the Wolf - Cheysuli omnibus 2

Beyond that I have quite a few reviews to get done for you all.

Alright, more when I get home.

Lots of love,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Making Connections Blog Stop: The End Begins: The Nine By Jeffrey Zewig II

Kinda fell off on this one (then again had some issues that kept me otherwise occupied :( so this is late - forgive me Tana!!)

Excerpt of The End Begins: The Nine: