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 202017
 

Chaos (Scarpetta #24)
by Patricia Cornwell
ISBN: 0062436724
URL: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062436726/chaos

Summary

#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns with the remarkable twenty-fourth thriller in her popular high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, twenty-six-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning—except the weather is perfectly clear with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center’s director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God.

Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta’s conclusions, the threatening messages don’t stop. When the tenth poem arrives exactly twenty-four hours after Elisa’s death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner Pete Marino and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.

She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta’s surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece. Also, Lucy can’t explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information. To make matters worse, a venomous media is whipping the public into a frenzy, questioning the seasoned forensics chief’s judgment and “a quack cause of death on a par with spontaneous combustion.”

My Review

I absolutely LOVE Cornwell and the Scarpetta series, however this wasn’t the best in the series. There was a lot of buildup to a fairly fast ending. The book is entirely narrated by Kay Scarpetta and talks about her family and the past and things that anyone who has read the majority of this series would already know. That said, its a GREAT book for someone who is new to Cornwell and the Scarpetta series! It wasn’t as big of a page-turner as other Scarpetta novels, but it was still good and a book I will keep on my shelves to read again!

I did feel like I have missed the last book previous to this because there were some major life changes for one of the main characters, but it was explained enough to understand and to be honest, I don’t know if it would be in a prior book. I will certainly find out when I see the book I am missing!

About Patricia Cornwell

#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns with the remarkable twenty-fourth thriller in her popular high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, twenty-six-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning—except the weather is perfectly clear with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center’s director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God.

Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta’s conclusions, the threatening messages don’t stop. When the tenth poem arrives exactly twenty-four hours after Elisa’s death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner Pete Marino and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.

She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta’s surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece. Also, Lucy can’t explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information. To make matters worse, a venomous media is whipping the public into a frenzy, questioning the seasoned forensics chief’s judgment and “a quack cause of death on a par with spontaneous combustion.”

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
Mar 102016
 

About 30 days or so ago, I received my very first Influenster Voxbox in the mail. Influenster is a fun website where you can review products of all sorts, from beauty to dog food and cleaning supplies and snacks. It’s pretty much all there waiting for you to share your opinion on it and since I started out as a book reviewer/blogger I thought it could be fun. Then, I got an email saying my FREE Voxbox was in the mail and that I had been selected to try out the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expertise shampoo, conditioner and leave in treatment called Total Repair 5, in exchange for my honest review.

I did make a YouTube video (or two) about the products and how much I love them. Because I REALLY DO. Which I did NOT expect at all. You see, I have fine, limp, easily damaged, long hair that is not color treated. In the past year I have used OgX Coconut Water shampoo and I have used Mane and Tail shampoo. Conditioners were just weighing my hair down so I was at a point where I just wasn’t bothering and my split ends showed the damage.

The Total Repair 5 claimed that after 15 washes I would have hair that was pretty much damage free. Which is a HUGE claim to make.

I washed my hair and after the very first wash I saw fewer split ends, less damage and my hair did NOT feel weighed down. My scalp also didn’t go into freak out mode and cause extra oils or anything like that which I had fully expected since I was changing all my hair products at once. As my hair dried I realized the brassiness was gone and that my natural color was corrected.

My 13-year-old DD saw the change in my hair and before I could even get in my second try she was using the products too. She has been a die-hard Herbal Essences fan forever. She has extremely easily matted hair that is super thick and almost course. She doesn’t color treat her hair either but it was going from her natural blond to a darker shade that she didn’t like and she was beginning to discuss the possibility of having it brightened with dye at a salon because she was not happy with her dirty color.

After ONE USE she had her blond hair back. So much so that my brother asked if she dyed it. She also hasn’t had more than a few small knots and can run a brush through her hair in a few seconds without shedding tears in the first time in her life.

I wasn’t going to blog about these products because I had already done a first impression review on YouTube and I had posted my review on the Influenster site, but seriously, when it changes your child’s life it is worth speaking about.

I braid her hair each night before bed so she has wavy/curls without the heat and after her first wash we were actually worried that her hair was too soft and wouldn’t hold a curl. WRONG! Her hair the next day was perfectly curled and had no flat spots, was full of body, shine and her natural high and low lights were awesome. She looked like she had spent hours on her hair when really all she did was use the L’Oréal Total Repair system while in the shower.

SOOO, if you aren’t happy with your current hair, have tangles or you are considering color correction, this may be the line for you!

I love the Mane and Tail shampoo I was using before but not having to cut out split ends every single day has been amazing.

 

Instant smoothing and nourishing oil serum.
$20.00 USD
Jan 052016
 

Calling all of my natural, clean eating, no dyes or preservatives, make your own detergent, and use #essentialoils {CRUNCHY} blogging reader friends who won’t touch Plexus with a 10 foot pole because you think it’s not safe!
J

Read this! I think you’ll be able to appreciate it!

Kim Wallar shares~~

“If you came to my house right now, you would see that we use coconut oil for everything, we eat paleo, I love my essential oils, we don’t do food dyes or artifical sweeteners and we haven’t been to the doctor in years (except our naturopath.) I am painting a picture for you of the way we view our bodies and what we put into them. Why does this matter?? We are a Plexus family and their products line up with our family’s decisions about health. Plexus Slim is a natural product for the masses that doesn’t artificially make you feel good from caffeine and stimulants. It is sweetened with stevia and is gluten and GMO free. Do I wish we could get all of our nutrients from food? Yes!! But the reality is that we need supplements to fill in the missing spaces of our diet. Sometimes diet and exercise aren’t enough. I tried it for years, and still struggled with gut issues and exhaustion.
I do not advocate quick fixes or diets…I advocate taking control of your health, resetting the body and balancing blood sugar. This is my 24th month using Plexus products and my body has never been healthier.”

Check Out Plexus!

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