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Saturday, June 25

Saturday Scribbling Challenge #4

This is a fun little writing challenge that Blodeuedd and I have come up with! We each challenge each other with the selected theme. 

The second challenge is a mix of a photo and a quote. Of course, feel free to join in and share your own stories with the selected theme of the month! 

This month we chose a theme...classic art. Fun! challenge to Blodeuedd:

Mirror Mirror by Blodeuedd

"Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?"

"You Snow White, you are the fairest in the land."

She turned away with a bitter smile. She might be fair now, but 10 years of marriage, of child birth and neglect did not maken you more beautiful. She had been so fair back then, young and pretty. Happy to have met her Prince. Her prince who had kissed a seemingly dead woman. She really should have understood that something was wrong with him back then. Instead they had married, and she had suffered through their marriage and cold marriage bed. He did what he said was his duty, but as she was not dead anymore, she held no interest to him. She shivered at the thought, and how he had tried to, now she would not think of those dark times. It still gave her nightmares. It still made her throat ache, the need to take deep breaths filled her lungs and she closed her eyes. Do not think of that. She moved on.

She gave the mirror one last look. It was her curse, and she knew that one day it would say someone else. Another pretty name. And that day the bitter resentment would fill her, and fill her with a need to hunt and kill. She already felt it looking  at the young maidens coming to court. All pretty and young. Even her own daughter promised to be a beauty when growing up. All while Snow would fade. She was only 24, but felt so old, so old compared to the ones her husband favored. She was a matron. An old woman with 6 children.

She closed the door behind her and locked it. This was her chambers, her dirty secret. How she would stare into that mirror for hours.  How the longing would fill her, the longing to stay young and beautiful forever. She knew her wizard was cooking up new potions for her, to make her skin glow, her hair grow longer and darken. Her...she hurried her steps, lost in thought. She had to be fairest of them all.

Now, Blodeuedd's challenge to me:

Freedom and Green Ribbon by Carole Rae

The snow was melting as Lady Elspeth stared down at the rows and rows of soldiers forming. The sounds of metal and wood clashing disturbed the morning silence and peace. Yells of orders carried on the wind. Lady Elspeth gently placed her hand on the window ledge and the other hand on the side of the window. Her face was stone cold, but if you looked deeply in her eyes you could see the pain and despair.

Today was the day.

Today was the day she may never see her beloved husband again. The day her infant son would be raised with his father. Today was the day the war began.

Her husband’s troops trained and waited all winter for the snow to melt, so they could begin their journey to fight for freedom. Lady Elspeth wanted freedom as much as any other good Scottish woman, but at what cost? Why did freedom have to cost nonstop bloodshed? Why could freedom not be won by words of persuasion? The English King was barbaric, but the right words and the person could influence the King? However, this was a man’s world and the world was full of fighting, pride, and blood. It was a shame. If only this was a woman’s world. Maybe someday.

“Come from that window. You are letting in a chill!” Demanded Lady Elspeth’s mother-in-law, who sat bundled up in furs by the fireplace.

“In a moment, Mother.” She replied. With a sigh, she took in the winter breeze. As she was about to shut the window. A familiar man came into view on his gallant black and white horse. He walked the horse under the window.

With a strong voice he yelled up, “Elspeth! Elspeth my love! Give me your smile!”

Lady Elspeth’s stone face melted away with a glorious smile. She replied, “You are nothing but a charmer dear husband!”

He and many of the men around him laughed.

Lady Elspeth continued, “Dear husband! You best come back in tact! Here,” She took her ribbon from her hair and dropped it down to her husband, “take this piece of me. It’ll remind you to come home!”

Her husband jumped off his horse and fetched the green ribbon that held together the braid from Lady Elspeth’s hair. He inhaled the smell of her hair from it. With a smile up at her, he wrapped the ribbon around the hilt of his sword, “I fight for the freedom of not only Scotland….but of my wife and son! May they live in a world where they can be free!” Without another word, he jumped back up on his horse and led the troops forward.

Lady Elspeth’s smile hardened back to stone. She waved a last goodbye and closed the window. 

Friday, June 24

Book Review: The Irish Inheritance by MJ Lee

Author: MJ Lee
Title: The Irish Inheritance
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, & Contemporary Set
Pages: ebook
First Published: June 15th 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

June 8, 1921. Ireland. 
A British Officer is shot dead on a remote hillside south of Dublin. 

November 22, 2015. United Kingdom. 
Former police detective, Jayne Sinclair, now working as a genealogical investigator, receives a phone call from an adopted American billionaire asking her to discover the identity of his real father. 
How are the two events linked? 
Jayne Sinclair has only three clues to help her: a photocopied birth certificate, a stolen book and an old photograph. And it soon becomes apparent somebody else is on the trail of the mystery. A killer who will stop at nothing to prevent Jayne discovering the secret hidden in the past 
The Irish Inheritance takes us through the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence, combining a search for the truth of the past with all the tension of a modern-day thriller. 
It is the first in a series of novels featuring Jayne Sinclair, genealogical detective.

My first thought when I finished the book……… My second thought…………….Yayy! Should I elaborate more? Sighs…if I must.

This book was SO fun. It was certainly original and had me hooked since page one. I couldn’t get enough. The blend of history, mystery, drama, and action was perfect. The characters certainly made the story come to life.

It would be so cool to pay someone like Jayne to find uncover the mystery of who my mom's birth parents were. We know some small tidbits (more so the mom), so it would be neat. If I had money to spend like that I totally would track down someone to do that for me and my mom. 

At first I was worried and scared. I wanted this to work, but I had a horrible feeling it would not be interesting. However, I was wrong…OH so wrong. Everything flowed well and even the research aspects had me curious. I really wanted to figure out who was poor John’s real father. I figured out who the real dad was pretty quickly, but the actual “how is that possible” was the real question. The how and the why were the real mysteries.

AND THAT TWIST AT THE END. HOLY COW! *applauds* It was good. I didn’t see it coming.

Ooooh that main baddie was a snot. I wanted to kick him.

I hated Paul, Jayne’s hubbie. He was a real big jerk. I mean…Jayne is not innocent in the fall of their marriage, but C’MON! It may be a silly job to him, but at least the chit is making money. For realz. Especially for this job. The client, John, is paying a crap ton of money for her to find his real Dad. My BF would push me and help me for that money. Haha.

My one and only compliant was the loose end. Why did the IRA try and kidnap her? Maybe I missed the connection….but I didn’t really understand the connection to the story and why was it important? Were they trying to help keep John’s real dad’s ID a secret? Will it be explained in the next book? Mhmmmmmm


I shall stop my ramblings now…..

In the end, this was super fun and addicting. The characters and the story had me hooked. There was one loose end that is stumping me, but there really is nothing else to complain about. I do recommend this for those that like a blend of history, mystery, drama, and action. It is a good one. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 5.

Thursday, June 23

Movie Review: The Angry Birds Movie (2016)

Length: 97 Mins
Released: May 20, 2016
Genre:   Animation, Action, Comedy
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Seen at the theaters


Find out why the birds are so angry. When an island populated by happy, flightless birds is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to three unlikely outcasts - Red, Chuck and Bomb - to figure out what the pigs are up to.


My guilty, but not so guilty pleasure….Angry Birds. I have loved Angry Birds since the moment the first game out. I have played the vast majority of the Angry Bird games. They are so fun! I still will go back and play some when I am super bored. I own some of the stuffies and my car’s floor mats are the black bird. And yes…I have even watched the kiddie show since it is on Netflix *sticks nose up at those judging me* LOL. So this….this movie has been what I have been waiting for.

I was weird and didn’t want to watch it opening night like I originally planned because I didn’t want BF and me to be the only weird adults with no kids watching the film. Parents scare me 0_0. But when we went and seen it, we were the only ones in the theater. YAAASSSSSSS. SO much fun being the only one there watching.

This was utterly cute. I really enjoyed it. It had that Disney charm, but it’s not a Disney film sadly. It appeals to children, but has a lot of adult humor mixed in as well. I certainly loved the scene were the white bird is reviewing the file on the Big Red Bird to see what he had done to get into anger management classes. The mix of her wide-eyes, his smirking, and the scary music playing was PRICELESS. I couldn’t stop laughing….I’m even chuckling to myself as I type this and remember the scene. Favorite scene for sure.

Ooooh those baby birdies were SOOOOOO cute. I can't get over it. Cutiesssss!

Super funny, cheesy, but funny still. The characters certainly matched the little birds from the games. I do approve. My only bummer is that the blue birds had such a small role in the film. They do hint at another movie, so maybe they’ll have a bigger role? I may be biased, because they are my favorite out of all the birds, but I feel they deserved a bigger role.
I have mixed feelings about the end. I liked it, but I didn’t. Maybe, because it felt like a cliff-hanger, but it really wasn’t? It was weird and it felt rushed like they were not sure what to really do. Yes, it was sweet and cute, but it felt like it was missing something. Hard to explain.

Overall, I approve of this film. They did the games and characters justice. My only issue was the ending and the small role the blue birds played. I do want another movie! I would for sure go see it. I do recommend this movie if you are looking for a funny and different animation. It certainly was refreshing and a good tribute to the popular Angry Birds. I shall stamp this with…..4.

Re-watch: Yesssss!

Tuesday, June 21

2-in-1 Short Story Review: Highland Secret and Thief in the Light

Author: Payton Hart
Titles: Highland Secret
Genre: Historical Romance & Short Stories
Pages: ebook
First Published: August 12th 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)

A betrayal. A revenge. Their passion. A secret. 
Kallie's entire world is burnt to the ground. Gone are her family, her friends, her home; all that is left is the revenge that she would like to take on the man who is responsible. Pushed to the coast for living, Kallie starts working and saving to take the trip back.  

Before she does, she meets Liam, a quiet and handsome man with a very large secret. The secret? One that could destroy any hope Kallie may have for a happy future. 

This is one of those short stories that I wish had been longer. Not because I wanted more out of the story, but because I think it needed more to be better. There was a lot of potential for the story and the characters. However, things happened so quickly and I wasn’t sure why these things happened. 

I wanted more backstory about Kallie and about Liam. I wanted to know more how they knew each other before the tragedy. Why were they friends? Weren’t they from different circles of society? Their relationship seemed not possible without the backstory. 

I will admit the secret was good. However, it would have been a deal breaker for me. I’m not sure how I would handle it if I was Kallie…

This needed more. It was decent. Just meh without the backstory. I’ll give this 2.

Author: Payton Hart
Titles: Thief in the Light
Genre: Romance & Short Stories
Pages: ebook
First Published: May 11th 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon Freebie)

Jenny Hunter was only about to turn thirty-one, and yet she has already begun to realize her dream of become a passionate dance instructor. If that wasn’t wonderful enough, Jenny has a loving four-year relationship with the boyishly handsome Elliott Wilkes. Both avid adventurers, they share a common love of hiking and exploring; taking frequent, romantic weekend getaways to the beautiful lakes and forests of New York. Elliott, a successful comic book artist, is blissfully in love with Jenny. His endearing, childlike sense of wonder never seems to get old, and he’s always bringing out Jenny’s energetic, youthful side. 

But there is trouble in paradise, and the couple finds out that no relationship is easy. His irresponsible nature is difficult for the logical and sensible Jenny to cope with. Often struggling to communicate with one another, their arguments have begun to spiral into dysfunction. Despite that, they often talk about spending the rest of their lives together, and Jenny couldn’t imagine her life without Elliott. 

It isn’t until she meets the complex and wildly alluring Johnny Harlowe, that Jenny’s heart is plunged into an unfamiliar, burning desire. Johnny, a travelling dance coach, is hired for her studio’s upcoming showcase, and immediately feels a connection to the strange and radiant Jenny. Torn between her life with Elliot and her fascination with Johnny’s entrancing demeanor, Jenny fights to secure control of her heart. But Jenny soon discovers that security is not what she is yearning for.

Honestly…I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this or not. Seemed like a total meh when reading the summary, but I decided to give it a go since it was a freebie and attached to the back of the previous short story. Why not?

In the end, I really liked it! It was quick, but it was good. It was long enough to get the story out and develop the characters. The romance was a little far-fetched and cheesy, but hell…it worked for them. Normally cheesy romances like this bug me, but even as insta-love as this was they had their issues.

Quite honestly, it made me happy that the dancer lover is not a perfect dude (I can't remember is name - is it Johnny? Jackie? I'm not 100% and I don't really care) that I thought he going to be. He can be a total jerk! He calls himself a "perfectionist", but he was a total jerk. 

Sadly, I am team Elliot. I wasn't a huge fan of the dancer lover. Maybe its because I prefer stability and not a hot romance that will more than likely be snuffed out in like 5 years?

I totally felt bad for Elliot. He truly loved Jenny….but I get why she left him. She wanted marriage and a family and he didn’t want that. After she left him, poor Elliot realized he wanted to be with her and have babies with her, so he went and begged to have her back, but she gave a big N-O and decided to be with her dancer lover. Poor Elliot. 

I don’t understand the title? It doesn’t seem to match the story. Is the dancer lover stealing away Elliot’s light away from him (don’t mind me I am biased)? Is Jenny stealing the love and attention away from the dancer lover’s obsession of dancing? I’m not sure. Confused. 
This was a pretty good short story. I liked the characters even if the love story was a wee bit cheesy it worked. Out of five, I stamp this with 4.