Search This Blog

Thursday, January 31

In the GYM! - Body Beast Update


It's been a few weeks since I've updated everyone on my "In the Gym!" goals for 2019. I'm currently on week 5 of the Body Beast program, which is technically week 2 of Block 2: Bulk. There are three blocks in the program: Build, Bulk, and Beast. In Block 2, I'm doing Chest on Mondays, Legs on Tuesdays, Arms on Wednesdays, Cardio & Abs on Thursdays, Back on Fridays, and Shoulders on Saturdays. However, this week I had to switch my "rest day",which would be this Sunday, to Tuesday, as I was a bit under the weather that day. So, basically, I just moved days 2 - 6 forward a day.


Tonight, I'll be doing the "Arms" workout, which is a blend of progressive and single sets using either dumbbells or an EZ Curl Bar. The runtime for the workout is around 35 minutes and it's pretty easy to accomplish, though I'll mostly likely be a bit sore tomorrow.

During week 3, I did add 30-minutes of cycling on an exercise bike, but it was a little too much on my legs, so I had to take it off of the schedule. With all the squats and lunges I've been doing, I've been really sore. However, if I have some extra energy during week 6, I might attempt to some cycling again or some other form of cardio.

Wednesday, January 30

Horror News: Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season


Pre-order: Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy
I believe I might have mentioned a time or two that I'm a fan of AMC's The Walking Dead. Even though the series hasn't been its best for the last few seasons, I still watch it for the zombie mayhem.

Despite my fondness for the series, I was never a fan of the spinoff Fear the Walking Dead until last year, when the TWD character Morgan (played by Lennie James) crossed over. After the mid-season finale, I purchased seasons one & two on DVD and season three on Blu-ray, so I could get caught up during the break. I had watched the first season when it had originally aired on AMC, but I quickly tuned out after the second episode of season two. After rewatching those three seasons, I can now understand the outcry from many fans about two specific deaths in season four! However, personally, I do believe it was for the best as it turned out to be a really good season.

Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season will be landing on Blu-ray (plus Digital) and DVD on March 5th. Along side Lennie James, the cast also includes Alycia Debnam-Carey, Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, Garret Dillahunt, and Jenna Elfman.

In Season 4 of “Fear the Walking Dead,” we will see the world of Madison Clark (Dickens) and her family through new eyes — the eyes of Morgan Jones (James), who is joining the story from the world of “The Walking Dead.” The characters’ immediate pasts mix with an uncertain present of struggle and discovery as they meet new friends, foes, and threats. They fight for each other, against each other, and against a legion of the dead, and work to build an existence strong enough to resist the crushing pressure of lives coming apart. There will be darkness and light; terror and grace; and the heroic, mercenary, and craven, all crashing together toward a new reality for “Fear the Walking Dead.

Blu-ray and DVD Special Features include:
  • Episode 401 Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Scott Gimple, Showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg
  • Episode 405 Audio Commentary with Director Michael Satrazemis, Actors Jenna Elfman and Garret Dillahunt
  • Episode 410 Audio Commentary with Director Michael Satrazemis and Actress Alycia Debnam-Carey
  • Episode 416 Audio Commentary with Showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg

The “Fear the Walking Dead” Season 4 Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $44.99 and $39.98.

Midnight Horror Review: Halloween (2018)




A little known fact about me is that my favorite movie is the 1978 slasher classic John Carpenter's Halloween, which I first watched when I was a seven-year-old. Thanks, Grandma!

Of course, I also like all the sequels (maybe not Resurrection) and I tolerate the Rob Zombie remakes. So, naturally, I was looking forward to watching Halloween (2018), which is the third film in the franchise with that title. Did I watch it in the theatres? Sadly, no, I didn't get a chance to the see it on the big screen. My town only has a one-screen theatre that is run by volunteers and they hardly ever carry rated R movies. Instead, I had to settle on reading the novelization by John Passarella. You can read my review for it here!

Directed by David Gorden Green, the 2018 film ignores the entire Halloween franchise except for the original 1978 film, which basically means that Laurie Strode (played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis) isn't the sister of the masked serial killer Michael Myers.

Confused yet?

3/4 of the film is more or less a rehash of the now-forgotten sequels, where Michael escapes a prison bus transfer, steals back his original mask, and returns to Haddonfield, Illinois to do some trick-or-treating with a butcher's knife. Sounds familiar, right?


On his path of destruction, Michael accidentally runs into Laurie's granddaughter Allyson Nelson (played by Andi Matichak), which leads to a weird situation with his current shrink, Dr. Ranbir Sartain. Seriously, what the hell were the writers thinking with this part? Since they're wanting to do sequels, why kill off the mad doctor?

The last 30-minutes is the so-called "final confrontation" between Laurie and Michael, as well as Allyson and her mother, Karen (played by Judy Greer). Why did the writers rename the daughter? They should have kept the name as Jamie Lloyd and brought back Danielle Harris from Halloween 4 & 5. (Yes, I'm well aware the actress who played Jamie also played a different part in the Rob Zombie films.)

Final Thoughts

Tuesday, January 29

Horror News: The Purge: Season One


AMAZON (DVD, Blu-ray)
For those of you who don't already know, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment released The Purge: Season One to DVD and Blu-ray earlier this month.

The Purge TV series is a spinoff of the popular Blumhouse produced film franchise. Created by James DeMonaco, the series aired on USA last year and starred Gabriel Chavarria, Hannah Emily Anderson, Jessica Garza, Lili Simmons, Amanda Warren, Colin Woodell, and Lee Tergesen.

The series is set in a world where the government lets crimes occur for a 12-hour period once a year, which is called "The "Purge." While many people board up their windows, lock their doors, and hide, others take advantage of the night and go on killing sprees.

I didn't get a chance to watch the The Purge: Season One when it aired on USA last year, but since the series is now available to own on DVD & Blu-ray, I will be reviewing it soon.

Monday, January 28

Winter Reads: The Silhouette Girl by V.C. Andrews


Amazon; Barnes & Noble
Being released tomorrow from Gallery Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) is the thriller The Silhouette Girl by V.C. Andrews ($14.99; 362 pages).

Wait a minute, please let me correct that. The novel is written by the ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman, the author who took over the task of writing under V.C. Andrews's name after her death in 1986.

The Silhouette Girl is told from two different point-of-views. One is told through the eyes of Pru Dunning and the other is told from the POV of Scarletta Barnaby. Pru is a twenty-something nurse who has a normal adult life, well, except for the little fact that she's possibly being stalked by a former patient, Douglas Thomas, and she keeps receiving weird phone messages from a woman named Scarletta.

Scarletta is a teenager who's mother had recently packed her bags and disappeared with an unknown boyfriend; leaving Scarletta's father devastated. While the girl tries to live like a normal teenager, a family dark secret attempts to destroy her life.

Like almost every other V.C. Andrews' title (well, the ghostwriter's), there's a wicked twist that intertwines the two character's lives.

Final Thoughts

Sunday, January 27

Sunday Post / It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @  Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.


Good Afternoon, Morning!


Wow! I'm actually going to get my Sunday Post posted actually on a Sunday morning for once! For now on, I'm going to include this post as my It's Monday! What Are You Reading? weekly post as well.

Besides for having a sore throat and a head cold, I'm doing alright this morning. My insomnia issue still comes and goes each week, though if I read a printed book for an hour or so before bedtime, I am able to fall asleep. 

Here's a little update on my grandmother. Her doctor put her on some kind of medicine (I don't know what it's called.) for dementia and she seems to be back to her normal self. However, there were a few incidents where she got up from bed by herself without using the call button. She's upset with the nurses because they told her she needs to be more "responsible" and use the call button. My mom has had a conversation about her staying in the nursing home. If her walking improves in six-months, a year, or more, then maybe she can live on her own again. Until then, we've gotten rid of her phone and cable services in her apartment. We're looking into getting a storage unit, so we can move all of her belongings out of her apartment next month. Once her insurance will no longer pay for her stay at the nursing home, then she'll move in permanently. Then we can figure out what furniture can fit into her room. Just in case she can live on her own in the near future, we're going to keep all of her other stuff in storage.

Also, we had to buy her another cell phone. We've gotten her two pre-paid cells in the last two years and she never could figure out how to use them. This time, I purchased a cheap flip-phone at a Dollar General Store, as I didn't believe she would actually use it. To my surprise, she has used the phone three times this week. The only problem is that we'll have to buy more minutes for her phone, though "other relatives" claim they will send her money for it. We'll have to see what happens.


What Am I Currently Reading?

I pushed myself to finish reading Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin, which was 700+ pages. You can find my review link for it down below in this post. Yesterday, I finished reading The Silhouette Girl by V.C. Andrews (a.k.a. - the ghostwriter). I'll be writing my review for it sometime today and it'll be posted tomorrow.

I have my bookmark placed inside the massive science fiction/horror novel The Passage and I'll be begin reading it today. Additionally, I've already been reading the anthology Flight or Fright: 17 Turbulent Tales. I guess you can say I'm going to be multitask-reading (Is that a word?) this week, as I'm also going to read the eBook The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jamie Jo Wright.

 

Last Week's Reviews


Dog Diaries: A Middle School Story
(Winter Reads)

Fire & Blood
(Winter Reads)

Mind Games
(Winter Reads)

Robin Hood Origins
(DVD Review)

The Oath
(DVD Review)


In the Mail


Saturday, January 26

4K Ultra Blu-ray Review: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms


Walmart; Target
Arriving on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital form Disney Home Entertainment on January 29th is fantasy adventure The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PG; 99 minutes).

Directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, the film stars Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard E. Grant, Misty Copeland, with Helen Mirren, and Morgan Freeman.

Based on the short story"The Nutcracker and the Mouse King"by E. T. A. Hoffmann and the play "The Nutcracker" by Marius Petipa, the film centers around Clara Stahlbaum receiving a locked handcrafted egg-shaped box as a Christmas gift from her late mother. (Actually, Clara's father gave it her, but her mother had gave him instructions to do so before she died.) Her mother also left behind a note, which stated the egg is all she would ever need.

While attending a Christmas Eve ball, Clara visits her godfather, Drosselmeyer, who happens to be an engineer. She learns Drosselmeyer had made the egg many years ago and had given it to her mother as a gift. After having a brief argument with her father, Clara finds a string with her name on it. She follows the string into the forest which takes her to a parallel world where she locates the egg's key. However, before she can grab the key, a mouse snatches it away.

Within minutes of losing the key, Clara meets Captain Philip Hoffman the Nutcracker, Sugar Plum Fairy of the Land of Sweets, Shivers of the Land of Snowflakes, and Hawthorne of the Land of Flowers, who are all at war with the Land of Amusements, otherwise known as "the Fourth Realm."

To recover the lost key that will unlock her mother's gift, Clara must battle an army of  life-size toy soldiers and somehow restore peace to the Realms.


Blu-ray Special Features are:
  • On Pointe: Misty Copeland - Copeland shares the thrill of portraying one of her favorite characters in a whole new way.
  • Unwrapping The Nutcracker and the Four Realms - Dive into the production design, sets, costumes and more that helped transform a beloved ballet into an adventurous movie.
  • Deleted Scenes
    • The Stahlbaums Arrive- As the Stahlbaums enter the Christmas Eve ball, the butler attempts to announce them to the assembled guests.
    • Follow Your Ribbon- Drosselmeyer encourages a reluctant Clara to go find her gift.
    • Deleted Scene: Clara Asks About Her Mother - Sugar Plum gives Clara a tour of her mother’s bedroom.
    • Left, Left, Left, Left, Left - Wandering lost in the forest, palace guards Cavalier and Harlequin quarrel about which way to go.
    • Out with the Old- Sugar Plum makes sweeping changes to the palace decor.
  • Music Videos
    • “Fall on Me” Performed by Andrea Bocelli Featuring Matteo Bocelli - Experience superstar tenor Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo Bocelli performing their first duet together in this uplifting song.
    • “The Nutcracker Suite” Performed by Lang Lang - Get swept up in a series of images from the movie, set to Tchaikovsky’s music and featuring world-renowned pianist Lang Lang.
Exclusive Digital Bonus Feature:
  • Unwrapped: The Visuals Effects of The Nutcracker and the Four Realms - Get swept up in a series of images from the movie, set to Tchaikovsky’s music and featuring world-renowned pianist Lang Lang. 


Final Thoughts

Friday, January 25

Book Blogger Hop: January 25th - 31st





Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop! 


If you want to schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

The Book Blogger Hop now has its own Facebook Group! Please join the group to get all the newest Book Blogger Hop updates. Also, you can communicate with your fellow book bloggers in the group.

What To Do

1. Post on your blog answering this question:


This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews.

2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below. Please enter your Name/Nickname @ Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Here's an example: Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading a few posts and possible become a new follower. The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

The Friday 56: The Silhouette Girl




Rules

Grab a book, any book.
Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it).
Post it.
 Add your (url) post below in the Linky at: www.fredasvoice.com
Add the post url, not your blog url.


My Father was fond of quoting Dante Gabriel Rossetti after my mother died. "Beauty without the beloved is like a sword through the heart." I thought of it at his funeral. It eased my pain to think he would no longer suffer a sword through his heart.

page 56, The Silhouette Girl by V.C. Andrews

  My Thoughts

Thursday, January 24

Winter Reads: Dog Diaires: A Middle School Story


AMAZON; Barnes & Noble
One of the most popular book series for middle graders in recent years is the Middle School series by James Patterson, which centers around a character named Rafe Khatchadorian. Of course when a series becomes extremely popular spinoffs are eventually released, such as the I Funny series. Now there is a new spinoff called Dog Diaries: A Middle School Story (Jimmy Patterson; $9.99; 208 pages) that focuses on Rafe's dog, Junior!

Co-written with Steven Butler and featuring illustrations by Richard Watson, Dog Diaries chronicles the early life of Junior; starting from his days at the Hills Village dog shelter to winning a big "prize" for losing a "Best in Show" dog competition.

Life of a dog can be great when your best friend "Ruff" (a.k.a. - Rafe) always has your back. However, being a dog does has its obstacles, such as running away from the vacuum cleaner, staying on the good side of Mom-Lady (Rafe's mother), protecting the yard from monsters (birds, raccoons, and squirrels), and staying clear of the evil Jawjaw (Rafe's little sister).

Final Thoughts

Wednesday, January 23

Reading in Your Later Years


Ever since we were little kids, we have been encouraged to read on our own, as it helps us to learn how to spell, develop a rich vocabulary, enhances our imaginations, improve our writing skills,  and encourages us to do better in our school work. However, as we grow older, we make excuses not to read and become distracted by television, phones, tablets, and laptops. This isn't a good thing! While we might not be as young as we used to be, we still can receive great benefits from reading!

Reading Reduces Stress

Reading a good book can help you unwind after a stressful day.

As an adult, we have to deal with paying bills, family emergencies, relationships problems, raising kids, running countless errands, and so on & so on... With all the chaos of our day-to-day lives, our stress levels can go through the roof, which can lead to high blood pressure, insomnia, and even depression. Taking the time out to read for fifteen minutes or more per day can help you relax.

Alex from TrustedCare agrees, "reading in later years is great for the mind. From stimulating reads to page turners, reading can improve memory, reduce stress and improve focus and concentration. With local libraries and book clubs running, it can be a great avenue to increase social interaction."

Reading Improves Memory

One of the many downsides about getting older is that we will eventually forget things. It could be because of old age in general or you could have dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Reading is one of the best neurologically activities. It's a great brain challenging exercise that will help stock up your neurons, which can delay Alzheimer's from destroying them. So keep your brain active by reading an entertaining book, which will help prevent memory loss.

Reading Can Help You Sleep Better

Winter Reads: Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin


AMAZON; Barnes & Noble
What I hate about living in small town is that my local Walmart has an extremely small book section. However, the store does normally get in the novels by popular authors, so I had my hopes that the massive book Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin would be there. Well, I was disappointed when the book didn't come in stock last November. Due to the holidays and a family emergency, I had completely forgotten about the novel until I stumbled upon it at the local library.

Fire & Blood is volume one of two in the History of the Targaryen Kings of Westeros, which is set 300 years before A Game of Thrones (a.k.a. - A Song of Ice and Fire series).

At over 700 pages, Fire & Blood is written like a history book with George R.R. Martin telling us about all the past Targaryen kings and queens, as well as all the dragons that once ruled across the lands. It begins with Aegon the Conqueror, the creator of the Iron Throne and takes you to the Dance of the Dragons.

The book features gorgeous illustrations by Doug Wheatley!

Final Thoughts

Tuesday, January 22

Winter Reads: Mind Games by Nancy Mehl


AMAZON; Barnes & Noble
Last month was a little chaotic for me. If you've been following this blog as of lately, then you would know I had a family emergency recently; which has resulted in me being slightly late with a couple of reviews. I had read Mind Games by Nancy Mehl back in early December, but with everything that was going on with my grandmother, I had completely forgot about writing the actual review for it!

Mind Games ($15.99; Bethany House Publishers; 396 pages) is the first book in the all-new Kaely Quinn Profiler series. It centers around FBI Behavioral Analyst Kaely Quinn, a woman who made it her mission to track down serial killers after a childhood "event" changed her life forever. She has tried her best to put her past in the past, but she can no longer do so after a reporter unveils the truth about her: She is the daughter of a serial killer.

Demoted and transferred to St. Louis, Missouri, Kaely once again tries to move forward with her life; well, until the same reporter reenters her life, claiming he received an anonymous poem predicting a series of murders.

Along with her new partner, Special Agent Noah Hunter, Kaely investigates a murder that fits the exact details that was in the poem. Now she must race against the clock to stop the killer before he or she strikes again.

Final Thoughts

DVD Review: Robin Hood Origins: 5 Classic Films


Mill Creek Entertainment; Amazon
Come on! I know everyone has heard of Robin Hood, the heroic outlaw from the English folklore who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. The character has appeared in countless novels, comic books, plays, television series, and feature films!

Speaking of feature films, Mill Creek Entertainment just released Robin Hood Origins ($14.98), which features 5 classic movies, though only four involve Robin Hood. (All explain more of that later!). The five films are split up on two discs, so don't expect excellent film quality. There are no special features or bonus extras.

The fives films are:

The Bandit of Sherwood Forest (1946; 87 minutes) - Based on the novel Son of Robin Hood by Paul A. Castleton, the film centers on Robin Hood's son (played by Cornel Wilde) leading the Merry Men to rescue the King of England, who happens to be a kid.

The Prince of Thieves (1948; 72 minutes) - Based on Le Prince des voleurs by Alexandre Dumas, the film centers on Robin Hood (played by John Hall) teaming up with Sir Allan Claire and  Lady Marian Claire to rescue Sir Allan's bride-to-be, Lady Christabel, who is being forced by her father to marry someone else.

The Black Arrow (1947; 76 minutes) - Based on the novel of the same name by Robert Louis Stevenson, the film centers around Richmond Shelton (played by Louis Hayward) returning home after fighting in the War of the Roses. Upon arriving at his family's home, he learns the estate has been claimed by his uncle, Sir Daniel Brackley (played by George Macready), who just happens to be his father's murderer. Shelton ends up leading a small army against his uncle and his minions.

Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950; 80 minutes) - Directed by Gordon Douglas, the film centers on Robin, Earl of Huntington (played by John Derek), a.k.a - the son of Robin Hood, taking over his father's legacy by leading the Merry Men against King John.

Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960; 80 minutes) - Produced by Hammer Film Productions, the film has Richard Greene reprising his role as Robin Hood from 1955 - 1959 British television series The Adventures of Robin Hood, though none of other cast-members return for the movie. Robin and his Merry Men try to expose the Sheriff of Nottingham's (played by Peter Cushing) wicked plot of attempting to kill the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Final Thoughts

Monday, January 21

DVD Review: The Oath


AMAZON

Released this month to DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment is the dark-comedy The Oath (Rated R; 93 minutes).

Ike Barinholtz wrote, produced, and directed the movie, as well as starring a the main character. The film also stars Tiffany Haddish, Nora Dunn, Chris Ellis, Jon Barinholtz, Meredith Hagner, Carrie Brownstein, Billy Magnussen, and John Cho.

Set in a way-too-realistic future, the plot involves the United States President making the citizens sign a “The Patriot’s Oath," which means you have to vow to stay loyal to the President, no matter what he does. Despite objections, almost everyone citizen has signs the oath; well, except for Chris and Kai (played by Barinholts and Haddish), a suburban couple.

While hosting Thanksgiving dinner for their family, two government agents (played by Cho and Magnussen) arrive at their home to bully them into singing the oath. The deadline for the "The Patriot's Oath" is the very next day, Black Friday, and the agents are there to make sure they sign the oath! However, things don't go as planned, which results in Chris and family taking the agents hostage.

Special Features include:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • 2 Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
    • "Fake News or Facts"
    • "Turkey Day Trauma"
  • Photo Gallary
  • Theatrical Trailer


Final Thoughts

Sunday Post / It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @  Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.


Good Afternoon, Everyone!


I had planned on having my Sunday Post published yesterday, but my internet (a.k.a. Mediacom) was having a lot of issues  and I couldn't sign into my blog until this morning.

My maternal grandmother had hip surgery for a second time (Same hip!) last Monday. She was released from the hospital and sent back to the nursing home for "skilled nursing" on Thursday. The nurses couldn't figure out why the hospital released her so soon. It probably had something to so with the "big" snowstorm that we were supposed to have gotten. However, the snowstorm never occurred here!


What Am I Currently Reading?

I'm finally getting around to reading Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin! As I am writing this, I'm on page 504, which means I have about 200 pages left to read. I'll attempt to finish reading it today.


Last Week's Reviews

Ashes in the Snow
(Winter Reads)

Who I Am With You
(Winter Reads)


In the Mail

Friday, January 18

Book Blogger Hop: January 18th - 24th





Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop! 


If you want to schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

The Book Blogger Hop now has its own Facebook Group! Please join the group to get all the newest Book Blogger Hop updates. Also, you can communicate with your fellow book bloggers in the group.

What To Do


1. Post on your blog answering this question:


This week's question is submitted by C. Lee @ cleemckenziebooks.
.

2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below. Please enter your Name/Nickname @ Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Here's an example: Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading a few posts and possible become a new follower. The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

The Friday 56: Fire & Blood by George RR Martin




Rules

Grab a book, any book.
Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it).
Post it.
 Add your (url) post below in the Linky at: www.fredasvoice.com
Add the post url, not your blog url.


Queen Alyssa wanted her daughter attended by suitable companions of her own age and station, no doubt, but that was not her sole motivation in sending these ladies to Dragonstone.

page 156, Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin


  My Thoughts

Thursday, January 17

Winter Reads: Ashes in the Snow by Ruta Sepetys


AMAZON; Barnes & Noble
As many of you probably already know, my least favorite historical setting to read about is WWII. I don't really have a reason why; I just don't like reading books set in this era. It just doesn't interest me, though I do like watching WWII movies and documentaries.

Over the last few days, I have been reading Ashes in the Snow by Ruta Sepetys, a WWII drama about the the genocide of Baltic people in 1941. The book was originally published as Between Shades of Grey, but was retitled to tie-in with the film adaptation that was just released to limited theatres and VOD on January 11th!

The novel centers around Lina Vilkas, a fifteen-year-old girl who, along with her mother, Elena, and her 10-year-old brother, Jonas, are removed from their home in Kaunas, Lithuania on June 14, 1941 by the NKVD (Soviet officers). Lina's family has been put on a list of citizens (teachers, scholars, lawyers, doctors, etc.) who are threat to Russia's leadership (a.k.a. - Joseph Stalin). Separated from her father (a professor), Lina, Jonas, and their mother are forced into a train car with many other innocent people who are deemed as criminals.

Given barely little food, Lina and her family survive the extremely long train ride, though many of the other people didn't survive the journey. They are taken to a work camp in Siberia, where they are all treated cruelly by the NKVD. Lina befriends Andrius Arvydas, a teenager boy who she met on the train. Their relationship grows throughout the years. And, yes, I mean years, as Lina and many others were imprisoned for twelve years.


Final Thoughts

Winter Reads: Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher


AMAZON; Barnes & Noble
I spent yesterday morning sipping on a cup of coffee while reading the newest romance from bestselling author Robin Lee Hatcher, titled Who I Am With You, which is book one in "A Legacy of Faith" series.

Set in Hope Springs, Idaho, the novel centers around pregnant Jessica Mason, who had lost her husband and daughter in a car accident five months ago. Now her Grandma Frani has passed away. To deal with all this grief, as well as learning about her husband's betrayal, she turns to great-grandfather's Bible for guidance through this troubling time.

Since this is a romance, there has to be a leading male character, which happens to be Ridley Chesterfield, who finds himself hiding from the media in Hope Springs after a political scandal. The last thing on his mind is romance, but that's exactly what he is thinking about after he befriends his neighbor, Jessica.

The book is split up into two different timelines - one set in the present day with Jessica and Ridley and the other set in the 1930s centering around Jessica's great-grandfather, Andrew Henning. Inside the Bible, Andrew had marked specific verses and scribbled words in the margins, which mysteriously connects to what Jessica is currently going through emotionally.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Final Thoughts

Sunday, January 13

Sunday Post / It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @  Caffeinated Book Reviewer!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.


Good Morning, Everyone!

 

I was hoping 2019 would be better than 2018, so far it hasn't been that great. On December 31st, I decided to start working out again, which has involved 6 days of lifting weights. I've been doing these workouts at night, but I've been wanting to move them to the mornings, so I can add a 30-minute cardio routine afterwards. However, within a few days of exercising, "insomnia" sneaked into my life. I thought the cause might have been from my extra cup of coffee in the afternoons, so I eliminated it. Well, it didn't help a bit, so I've switched to decaffeinated coffee. That didn't work either! I still have insomnia throughout the night! I believe it has something to do with my workouts being at night, which is increasing my cortisol levels (a.k.a. - the stress hormone). Today is "legs day," so I'm going to do my workout as soon as I finish this post.

My grandmother was moved to the "skilled nursing" at the local nursing home. She can be there up to 69 days. Then we have to make a decision whether or not to put in here in the nursing home permanently or let her go back home. Last night, she fell while trying to get to the bathroom while using her walker. She seemed to be fine after the fall. However, she fell again this morning while trying to reach for a brush. Instead of pushing the call button for help, which she has been told to do, she thought she could do it herself. She broke her right hip again!! She's been sent to Liberty Hospital, where she's going to have to have surgery today or tomorrow. 

My parents and me are the only ones that really takes care of my grandmother. My aunt, who is only six years older than me, her husband, and her brother (who I've disowned years ago) only visited my grandmother once in the hospital after she had hip surgery the first time last month. They didn't even send her a Christmas card! My other aunt lives three to four hours south of here and she has visited my grandmother a few times. However, my cousins who live in the next county made no attempt to visit.

The weather is really bad here with nearly 10 inches of snow on the ground. Here's a little unknown fact about - I don't drive!! Unless, I hitch a ride with somebody else to the city, I'm not going to the hospital. My parents are headed to the hospital as I'm writing this. They'll text me when the know something. My mom hates driving in bad weather (especially on the highway) and my dad can't ask for any more days off from work. Either my aunt and uncle has to step up and help out or my grandmother will have to be by herself in the hospital this week.

I'm hoping the doctors runs tests to see if my grandmother has Alzheimers. I know she has dementia that's getting worse. It was recommended that we take her to a neurologist once she was on back on her feet. However, she's never going to be her old herself. At the rate she's going, she'll end up in a wheelchair. Also, she's very stubborn. She doesn't listen to the physical therapists. They try to teach her the proper way of grabbing for things while using her walker, but she believes they are wrong. She does things her way and ends up back in the hospital. 

Worrying about my grandmother is probably another cause of my insomnia.


What Am I Currently Reading?

My original intention was to read Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin last week, but that didn't happen. I didn't have very much free time to read; though I should have gotten up and read the book at night instead of tossing and turning when I couldn't sleep. I was sent a copy of Ashes in the Snow by Ruta Sepetys and I read 108 pages yesterday. I'm determined to finish reading it today! Then I'm going to read Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher, as my review for it is due on the 17th! After I get done with those two books, then I'll put my full attention on Fire & Blood, which I really do want to read!


Last Week's Reviews


Hell Fest
(Midnight Horror Review)

The Sinner
(Winter Reads)

In the Mail