Book Review: Finding Fraser By kc dyer

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Sometimes searching for true love can be a little…Outlandish.

“I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it. ”

At 29, Emma Sheridan’s life is a disaster and she’s tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There’s only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser?

Title: Finding Fraser
Author: kc dyer
Publisher: Lion’s Mountain Literary
Copyright: 2005
Format Read: Kindle
My Rating: 4/5
Goodreads

My thoughts:

Sometimes, after a run of reading classics and “really need to concentrate here” books, you just want something light hearted to get you out of a potential book slump. This book did the trick for me! First of all, much like the author – I too met Jamie Fraser when I was 19, and have loved him ever since. I also, am in awe of Herself,  and would absolutely die if I had the chance to meet her. I digress…

I’ve just come off of a bit of a classics/heavy reads stint, and wanted something not so demanding to read through, and came across this book on my kindle. Really, I was in the mood to read Outlander (my comfort book), but seeing as how I have leant out my copy (and even if I DID read that, it would be self-mandatory to re-read the entire 8 book series), this was the next best thing.

And it turned out it really was. Right away I feel for, and can see a lot of myself in the main character Emma Sheridan. We’ve both known unlucky love, both are accident prone, the free spirited ones of the family (nice way of saying slack-ass), have a desire to run away from it all, love all things Outlander, and have pretty much held up every guy to Jamie-level standards. Although some of the supporting characters were a little just-this-side of real, the main characters were definitely believable, and real feeling. Aside from Emma herself, my favorite would probably be Morag, the gruff lady who takes Emma in  when she finds herself without a home (mostly because sometimes I wish I was a Scottish farmer).

 The author has a voice that is humorous and engaging. The format of switching back and forth between the ‘actual’ story and the blog posts, gave an interesting contrast,  and leant a fast pace which left me having trouble putting it the story down when responsibilities called. The majority of the plot points (except having to do with The Ghost), I could guess pretty easily, which was a little disappointing, but as I was looking for a light read, it was still thoroughly enjoyable!

I look forward to checking out more by this author!

And now I need to go find who I leant Outlander to damnit ….

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Hello Again

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It’s has been a hot minute since I’ve posted here. Life, as always has been kind of crazy and my creative life has been a little neglected. Cleaning up this blog, and updating some of the pages, is a step in the right direction. My goal is to get back into the book world a bit more, and start doing some book blogging. At the beginning of this year, my friend Laura and I decided to do the Rory Gilmore reading challenge – and I am falling behind dreadfully! I’ve been trying to make reading more of a priority, so expect much more bookish content ahead.

There is also some other big life changes ahead – and expect to hear more about that as well!

Anywho, those of you who have hung with me – thank you for doing so!

Some thoughts that have been on my heart about the current state of our country

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I never really have thought of myself as a political activist before. I’ve always been just kind of a liberal/green leaning Christian, who happens to be bi-sexual, who stands on the side of compassion, equality and social justice.

This past year, I did the caucasus thing for the first time, as a Bernie supporter (#feelthebernforever). When he conceded I backed Hillary because I feared what would happen if Trump won.

And of course, he did.

I know as a President he only has SO MUCH power, but “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is one of my all time favorite films, and I also know what a political machine with the right backers can do.

A lot of people (mostly Trump supporters) have said to “Give him a chance” and that “Even though you didn’t vote for him, you need to respect him as the Commander in Chief.” Well, I come from a place where respect isn’t just handed out, it is something you earn. So far with the “chance” Trump has been given; the actions of his first 2 weeks alone, are enough to scare the ever living hell out of me.

As an American I was raised to believe that in my country we are all born equal and free. Every person apart from the Native Americans are immigrants. We are a country of immigrants, where people pull together and make the best of the situations that life hands out. “Hitch your Wagon to a Star” or “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

For goodness sake, just read the Pre-amble again, if you haven’t read it since the 7th Grade:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America…

Everything I love, care about and stand for right now is being threatened. My rights as a women are threatened, people I love and care about feel unsafe, our earth is being threatened, and things that make life lovely (ie the arts/humanities) are even being threatened. The leader of the ‘free world’ is a man of corruption, hate and everything that I stand against.

So, as I watched the PBS News Hour coverage of the inauguration, and watched as every person I respect shake their heads in disbelief, I asked myself – what can be done? One too many conversations around our dinner table have focused on this question.

As an American citizen – I still do have some rights, but I also have some responsibilities. One of these are to make sure I do everything in my power to, do my part in protecting the Constitution, to be aware, and to take action where I can. I know that as1 person, I may not be able to effect much, but if I don’t try, I’m not effecting anything at all.

So here, is what I’ve decided to do:

First I took an oath to do my part. https://www.wall-of-us.org/taketheoath

Each week this organization helps you to be aware what is going on, and where you can take actions, to help the causes you feel passionate about.

Secondly, I started making phone calls. 

https://5calls.org/#issue/recyPsxELi8VZaixw

Just remember these Senators and members of government are our representatives. If they don’t know how the people they represent feel, then they can’t accurately represent them. (Obviously this seems to be working because as of tonight Sen. Patty Murray’s vm box is full).

Thirdly, as part of the plan to be aware, I aim to keep an eye on what Bernie and the Obama’s are working on and I plan to keep aware of the house and Senate schedule to see what is being voted on if I need to make MORE phone calls.

I’m not hating on anyone, and it’s not my place to pose judgment on anyone. My job is to show mercy to those who are oppressed, and to do what I can to be a light in the world. I will not add to the darkness, and hate but I will bring light to the causes I feel are important.

Who knows if any of this will help anything, but as people in my family fought for their country, I can do this little part to fight for mine.

Back in Biz

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Okay I’ve been gone for forever and I’m trying to get some life stuff back on track here.

What kind of challenges are going on in the new year?

Topics include writing, fitness and weight-loss/weight watchers!Thank you for the head’s up!

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As for today, I feel like yuck.

Thank you ladytime.

My eating has been okay this week, even if the gym plan hasn’t gone as well.

Just wishing for less pain and more energy.

Also I had a holiday flat white and it tasted liquid potpourri so that was fun.

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Back to my skinny soy cinnamon dolce thanks.

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Also craving haystacks like it’s my friggin JOB.

Book Review: The Lost Continent By Bill Bryson

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Book Review: The Lost Continent

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By, Bill Bryson

(C) 1989/2001 Harper / Perennial

4/5 *

Travel writing has always been an interest of mine, and also anything to do with through hiking / long journeys. Recently I saw the “Walk in the Woods” movie which was based off of Bill Bryson’s book about the Appalachian Trail. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the move it’s self, but it did make me intrigued enough for me to want to read some of Bill Bryson’s work. Because I of the freshness of the movie, I didn’t want to start with his book on the Appalachian Trail. While browsing through HPB’s travelogue section I managed to find this book, “The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America.” For those who know me, I’m also fond of small towns.

I picked this book up excitedly, and immediately fell in love with Bill Bryson’s writing. This book basically chronicles his journey to re-visit the seemingly endless road-trips that his father had taken the family on in his youth. He starts in his hometown of Des Moines IA, and travels through 38 states – mostly in middle America, the south and New England. I did enjoy his family stories of his youth and previous visits to various places. I could really relate to his getting lost all of the time – though following seemingly simple road signs. I also enjoyed his wit, though it did sometimes trend toward cynical. The only thing I didn’t enjoy quite as much (that kept it from going to 5 stars) was that there was a lot of repetition regarding bad hotel rooms located in strip mall style areas. My thought was, if you don’t like them – stay somewhere else. Nearly every town he came to, the hotel was bad (road side motel), the food was bad (truck stop style dining) and it was in a terrible strip mall style place.

Over all I really enjoyed the read, and do look forward to reading more of his in the future

Book Review: The Pilgrimage

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Book Review: The Pilgrimage

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by, Paulo Coelho

original copy right 1987

3/5

 

Paulo Coelho’s book is the 3rd of my Caminio De Santiago theme’d reads of this year.
A blurb on the back calls it a “dazzling tale of the road traveled by ordinary people”, but really I didn’t find it much. The writing is beautiful, and I do have (& am looking forward to reading )”The Alchemist”. However, I think I went into this book with different expectations. The synopsis says this is Paulo Coelho’s writing of his personal journey on the Camino. If it was indeed, his true experience – then I find it a little hard to believe. To me it seems more of a novelization, than a true telling. Shirley MacLaine’s book was more believable to me.
That being said, I am not one of the Knights Templars, and I know nothing of their society’s, “magic” or quests. The book was still an interesting read, and I will be picking up more of Mr. Coelho’s books in the future.

Book Review: I’m Off Then

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Book Review: I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino De Santiago

By, Hape Kerkeling (Translated from German by Shelley Frisch)

(c) 2009 Simon & Schuster

5/5

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This is the second of my 3 books on the Camino De Santiago experience. I received this book as birthday gift this past October, and just finished my second read through on it. I’m sure there will be many more readings! I absolutely love this book!

Chris got this tale as an audio in it’s original German, and it was the first thing that sparked his interest in doing the Camino. That being said, of course I needed to read it!

Hape Kerkeling is a German Comedian/Entertainer, who does the Camino to (re)find God, and his place in the world. The book is a daily account of his 38 day journey, and  it is read journal style. During his daily accounts, Hape is completely upfront about his triumphs and struggles. He explores both the challenges in both his physical, as well as his spiritual body, and takes us along for the ride.

I appreciate that he does not shy away from  showing his weaknesses, instead injecting them with a humor I am very familiar with. No matter what the he has gone through, he always ends each entry with a positive “thought for the day.”I can relate to Hape a lot in this book, and see a lot of my self in his anecdotes. I too love to sit around drinking numerous lattes, seem to always be looking for ways to get closer to God, am doing this as a person who is normally a couch potato, and can find myself both very much annoyed and endeared by the people of the world.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in doing the Camino, anyone who reads Bill Bryson’s books, or liked Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”