Oct 052017
 

The Sinner

Author: Petra Hammesfahr
ISBN: 9780143132851
Publisher: Penguin

Summary

On a sunny summer afternoon by the lake, Cora Bender stabs a man to death. Why? What would cause this quiet, kind young mother to stab a complete stranger in the throat over and over again, in full view of her family and friends? For the local police, it’s an open-and-shut case. Cora quickly confesses and there’s no shortage of witnesses, but those questions remain unanswered. Haunted by the case, the police commissioner refuses to close the file and begins his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into a woman’s private hell. A dark, spellbinding novel, where the truth is to be questioned at every turn.

About the Author

Hailed as Germany’s Patricia Highsmith, Petra Hammesfahr has written more than twenty crime and suspense novels, and also writes scripts for film and television. She has won numerous literary prizes, including the Crime Prize of Wiesbaden and the Rhineland Literary Prize. Her breakthrough novel, The Sinner, was a major critical and commercial success internationally, including in Germany, where it stayed on the bestseller list for more than fifteen months. The Sinner has been adapted for television as a limited series on USA starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman.

My Review

I decided to purchase this book after being completely enamored with the limited series on USA. It was an amazing show, if you haven’t watched it, go binge those 8 episodes -you won’t regret it!!

As for the book, it is equally amazing. It does follow the show fairly closely but we do see a lot more of the abuse that Cora has gone through as she grew up and the way she came to be. I feel like the show was more about someone else inquiring into Cora’s actions that day on the beach, but the book explains to us how Cora was raised and really answers everything amazingly well. The show did too and I honestly can’t compare them as far as quality goes.

Normally, a show is either better or worse than the book, and while I would love to say that the show was better simply because the English wasn’t the greatest for the book as it was translated from German, the story itself is equally as compelling and forces you to keep turning the page. If you love one you will love the other.

I am looking forward to reading other books by Hammesfahr that are translated to English.

The basis for the “instantly gripping” (Washington Post) limited series on USA starring Jessica Biel, The Sinner is an internationally bestselling psychological thriller surrounding an unexplained murder

On a sunny summer afternoon by the lake, Cora Bender stabs a complete stranger to death. Why? What would cause this quiet, kind young mother to commit such a startling act of violence in front of her family and friends?

Cora quickly confesses and it seems like an open-and-shut case. But the police commissioner, haunted by these unaswered questions, refuses to close the file and begins his own maverick investigation. So begins the slow unraveling of Cora’s past, a harrowing descent into the depths of her own psyche and the violent secrets buried within.

A dark, spellbinding novel where the truth is to be questioned at every turn, The Sinner is now a smash summer hit, with the TV series hailed as one of the best new shows of summer.

“As I read [the novel], I kept going, ‘I know where this is going—there’s no way this could be interesting.’ And then it would just take a com­pletely different direction.” —Jessica Biel

“The Sinner is unnerving and weird and guaranteed to stick with you weeks later.” —Sarah Weinman, editor of Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives and Women Crime Writers

“Hauntingly insightful and sensitive.” —The Guardian

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Feb 012017
 

G&L Guitars at M F are absolutely beautiful and come in soooo many colors! I personally love the traditional wood but the greens and blood reds are absolutely amazing and beautiful and unique choices!

These guitars are definitely investment pieces that will be cherished for generations.

My dad’s old electric guitar he worked his butt off to purchase as a teen was well loved by him, then me, my brother and now my own children and it is still going strong! It’s amazing how the quality was back then and I am certain you will get that same built-to-last experience from these beautiful pieces!

Feb 012017
 

Timbales is a word used in Cuba for kettledrums which were brought into the country in the early 1900’s! They are often used in part of wind orchestras.

Now, Guitar center is carrying a variety of these percussion instruments for you to create with all on your own, whether you want to use Timbales in a traditional sense or you want to use them for your own musical vibe, Guitar Center has your back!

I am going to make a big assumption and say that these are likely used in school orchestras and bands which would make these a wonderful gift for your child as we have just met the halfway mark in the school year. Perhaps they would love to practice at home and now they can!

Looking for another instrument? Guitar Center probably has that for you too! Check out http://www.guitarcenter.com/Timbales.gc and let me know what you think about their variety!

Nov 262016
 

Like millions of people I have spent the better part of a year waiting on Gilmore Girls to be revived. I counted down days over the past month knowing that while all my friends south of the border would be doing Black Friday shopping that I would be sitting at home watching this show I have anticipated for YEARS. So, now that I have watched all four “seasons” – Winter, spring, summer and fall, I have some thoughts.


The first thing I noticed was they seemed to make Lauren Graham or Lorelai, look older than she is in real life or on the show at times which made me feel a bit sad, because she looks amazing and through all the seasons of this show even at her most disheveled she never looked so not-pulled together. Perhaps this was her getting back into the swing of a fast talking, fast moving show with so much crammed into each hour and twenty-minute episode?

The next was that they made Rory a relatable character and while she was never nonrelatable in the original series, she was gifted and as the show ended she had taken a position with the Obama campaign trail as he ran for his presidency and now she is a “30 something” without a job, money, or any real direction. I do appreciate that they took her to writing the story of her and her mother, but that’s a far cry from the New York Times or being a modern journalist. While I am sure they mentioned what types of work she had been doing over the last several years, I can’t recall, so maybe her dreams of being a NYT journalist did work for awhile?

gallery-1476795808-gilmoregirls-1sht-spring-ukPaul Anka, the dog, is still alive and well. I can’t recall how old he was off hand when Lorelai rescued him or in which season, but he wasn’t a puppy. With an 8-9-year hiatus, this dog must be ancient! I excepted from the previews that he would be Paul Anka the 3rd or 4th. I have no clue if this actor was the original or not since I don’t know his actual age when he first appeared on the show.

There were some minor slip ups in the script. Perhaps this goes to me having watched so many darned mystery type shows where details matter, but let’s face it details really matter! At one point, they say that the fire hydrants will remain red until they can get approval for colorful ones but the fire hydrants in the town are yellow. Again, a very small detail but one that I noticed just the same!

It seemed like there were a lot of filler moments during this reboot. From elaborate town plays to Rory babysitting, and the awkward poolside moments with boys holding parasols over Lorelai and Rory, and of course while Emily is grieving her role really seemed to be there just for the sake of her being there, which was unfortunate because she wasn’t the Emily Gilmore we had all known and loved/hated.

Coffee, there really wasn’t enough coffee, it was joked about a lot and seemed to be ordered but there was more alcohol then there was coffee drinking and for many of us coffee was something we could relate to!

I really appreciated the voice overs and images of Richard. That was a beautiful homage to a man who died too young and wasn’t able to return to a show that helped raise so many of us!

Rory being Logan’s mistress while he was engaged and then living with his fiancé seemed so out of character for this good girl and the beautiful young lady she was when the show ended. Yes, I know years change a person, but she was 16 when the show started and that good girl who was career and education focused surely couldn’t have vanished after all those years? This reboot in a lot of ways felt like the rut she had when she quit Yale and Lorelai had to perform her own version of tough love.

Finally, and I think the saddest part of the entire reboot is Lorelai’s relationship with Luke. They still weren’t married and after YEARS upon YEARS of torturing us we finally see them get married. Only, the fanciful gown that Rory would have worn was replaced with what looked like Lula Roe leggings and a tunic, and Lorelai said “I do” in a simple black dress. The entire wedding from proposal to finished took about a half hour and I can’t help but feel let down, especially with how big of a fuss was being made when Lorelai and Luke had planned their wedding in the past. I don’t even think Emily showed up, even after the HUGE show she had put on about Lorelai and Christopher getting married in Paris in the original series. This was a storyline generations of us have been asking and wondering about since the series ended and we were given such a lackluster finale where the bride and groom didn’t even really leave together.

Overall, it was worth watching and I will likely watch again. However, I really wish the show would have put more emphasis on the relationships that its focus was on all those years before.

It was nice to see so much of the original cast and sets that really made the show feel like home. I am excited and hopeful that they will do another year in the life in the (near) future so we can get caught up and hopefully see our beloved characters more often.

And then, the last four words are said…

Rory: “Mom?”
Lorelai: “Yeah.”
Rory: “I’m pregnant.”

Questions I would love to see answered in the future:

Do Lorelai and Luke pursue another child now that they are married? Did they honeymoon?

How does Rory’s book go? Does she land a job being a journalist or maybe start a successful lifestyle blog?

Does Emily remarry and does she decide Nantucket is where she really wants to be?

Does Logan marry that girl or come to his senses and realize he and Rory are end-game?

Who is Rory’s babies father? Logan, Wookie, Paul?

I am sure I missed a ton of things in my little recap, but I didn’t take notes and I’m working off memory. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on something and to let me know how you feel about this reboot! I would love to know your favorite moments and what you think will happen next!

Check out this devotional by Mary Carver inspired by her love for Gilmore Girls!

Gilmore Girls was a TV show known (and loved) for its fast-talking, pop culture-referencing, coffee-chugging characters, but it was also a show devoted to love of family and community. These themes – as well as topics like forgiveness, kindness, and gratitude – partner well with lessons from the Bible. Christians who loved this show will be encouraged and inspired to follow this “season” of daily devotions, reminiscing about their favorite Gilmore Girls scenes and perhaps seeing them from a whole new perspective. When life makes you say, “Oy with the poodles already!” grab your mug of coffee and settle in for a conversation that will warm your heart and feed your soul.
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

And, don’t miss out on Lauren Graham’s autobiography!

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

$28.00 USD
Oct 202016
 

I am so excited that Guitar Center has clothing including this awesome flame shirt! Living in a world where music is mostly bought digitally it is hard to find these types of items in stores now to reflect our favorite bands, genres and overall music personality. With the holidays just around the corner, why not look into some fun clothing that you likely can’t find at your local big box store and make your gifts personal and useful!?

It really is such a fun time to be shopping and checking out new websites and of course trusted ones like this! Having soooo many musicians in my life this is definitely a website I genuinely get excited about!

Oct 112016
 

Author and Farmers Wife, Ann Voskamp, has written a whole book on giving thanks. The hard eucharisteo, and for me her words flowing off the pages was absolutely life changing. I think they were for a lot of people given that One Thousand Gifts was a New York Times Number 1 bestseller for some 60+ weeks.

As someone who reviews books I have an idea of how many are published every single day so earning that spot is insane, earning it and keeping it for over a year is unheard of, or at least it was.

My journals filled each year and put into the box in the closet filled with the blessings of the year, the good and the bad. The unspoken-broken that needed to be acknowledged.

Now, I see that this fellow Canadian who is used to waking long before the sun does, who collects eggs in the snowy minus 40 has written another book, The Broken Way, and while I have yet to read it I also completely understand how broken life can be, how in order to experience wholeness I must first experience a shattering of the soul so that God can place me back together.

I am excited for this book. Even the trailer speaks to my soul-holes and brightens the shadowed spots with the One that is the Light. And, we could all use a little more God, stronger faith, more Light.

As the days shorten my faith grows long.

Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long–and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!
$18.99 USD

New York Times best-selling author of One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp sits at the edge of her life and all of her own unspoken brokenness and asks: What if you really want to live abundantly before it’s too late? What do you do if you really want to know abundant wholeness? This is the one begging question that’s behind every single aspect of our lives — and one that The Broken Way – also a New York Times bestseller – rises up to explore in the most unexpected ways.  

This one’s for the lovers and the sufferers. For those whose hopes and dreams and love grew so large it broke their willing hearts. This one’s for the busted ones who are ready to bust free, the ones ready to break molds, break chains, break measuring sticks, and break all this bad brokenness with an unlikely good brokenness.  You could be one of the Beloved who is broken — and still lets yourself be loved. 

You could be one of them, one who believes freedom can be found not only beyond the fear and pain, but actually  within it.

You could discover and trust this broken way — the way to not be afraid of broken things.

X

$22.99 USD
Apr 062016
 

It is spring which means it is wedding season and while you are finishing up on planning your wedding you may still be wondering which rings to get, we all get it, the little things that are really the BIG things get pushed to the back, especially when it comes to time and money. But this little thing is your wedding band, a symbol of your love and devotion for all of your days. Maybe that sounds a bit scary, but think of Grandma and Grandpa celebrating their 50 and 60 year wedding anniversary… The ring, it has to hold up and last and be timeless just like your love for one another

Joy Jewelers platinum wedding band offers amazing styles to suit any theme, style, budget, and need! How exciting is it to know that it’s not too late to choose the band that you will wear for the rest of your days and to know you have chosen well?

Platinum is the new gold. It is a stronger type of metal so it won’t wear thing and fall off, it won’t easily succumb to scratches or damages and it is both modern and classic. And yes, those wedding rings that you wear day after day, that wash babies and do dishes wish do wear down, they wear right through sometimes because unlike our clothes it doesn’t get changed with the seasons, or even with the days, many never remove theirs.

If you are getting married this year I am soooo excited for you!! I see quite a few engaged couples hanging around on the internet whether it’s Youtube, Twitter or on blogs just like mine. Pinterest boards filled with the perfect wedding images as a lady plans out a dream she has had since she was a little girl.

Make your dreams come true; make her dreams come true.

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