Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Review: Touch of Smoke by Karissa Laurel

Book Description

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of a supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she's the only one who believes Mina's death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina's death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen's past, the more she's torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she'll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

My Review

Rikki had left Evansville behind never expecting to come back and yet here she was, back once again. She'd left when her best friend was was murdered but she left without a backwards glance, hoping the monsters she's sure she saw wouldn't come after her next. Even though Rikki left, the nightmares stayed with her so she figured the only thing she could do to get rid of them was to come back and get some answers. 

This story gives us a lot of back story, a lot of lead up to what happened 3 years ago when her best friend, Mina was killed. The story switches from past to present as it leads up to the night of the murder and Rikki confronting Owen 3 years later. We really get to know the characters who were involved and get glimpses into what felt like the lead up to a paranormal encounter. There are small things that give away that Owen is more than what he appears. I'm sure anyone reading this will see all the different clues we are given about what or who he actually is. At least I thought I knew where this story was going. I was so wrong. I never would have guessed where this story was going but the explanation of what happened the night that Mina was killed was utterly incredible. 

This is a standalone book that gives you all the information you need to enjoy a love story, heartache, magic and a reluctant hero. Owen was definitely the hero of this story even though there's a lot more to him than we first expect. The romance between Owen and Rikki was a slow burn, but soon that fire burns so bright it engulfs everyone in the room. This was definitely a sweet romance with an incredible paranormal twist. 

Have you ever read a book that you really liked and just want to tell everyone to read and hope that they like it as much as you did? This is one of those books for me. Go read it. 

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclosure: I received this book free via NetGalley but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Happy Raturday!

*Picture courtesy of Cindy Rogers*

"You can't hold me. I have muscles, I will escape."

*Picture courtesy of Pippa and Neema*

"It's ok bro, they'll get more yogi's soon."

"Picture courtesy of Pippa and Neema*

"You make such a comfy pillow."

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Apartment Life #72

This is a new weekly blog post that I'm calling Apartment Hell  Life. I've mentioned a few times some of the crazy things that go on in and around my apartment complex in the past 20 years that we've lived here and people keep telling me I should write a book. But instead of a book, I've decided to share the crazy things that have happened in and around my apartment complex in the last 20 years here in a weekly blog post.

Our manager was having a hard time keeping the homeless crackheads that seem to mill around one particular apartment in my courtyard, out of this vacant apartment. The maintenance man had removed the air conditioner from the can and that left a big open hole in the front face of the can that 'someone' could crawl through and get in the vacant apartment. After the apartment manager found a mess in the vacant apartment from someone sleeping in there all weekend, she ordered the maintenance man to screw plywood to the openings on the can. Wouldn't it have been easier just to put another air conditioner in the can?

My daughter moved into her new apartment about a month ago. 2 weeks ago her downstairs neighbor had a fight and someone broke the door down. The police came and the guy was taken to jail. The apartment is vacant now. Last week some guy came to her door, knocked and then tried to open her door knob. Then she heard him and another guy kick the door in downstairs in the vacant apartment. She called the police but they were gone by the time they got there. Then 2 days ago the apartment manager there called the police to check that apartment and caught the two guys sleeping there there and they were arrested. I'm telling you this because I don't think it would matter if we moved from here because this kind of crazy stuff seems to happen all over here in Vegas. 

We also talked to our apartment manager and she said she got taken to court last week by the woman who's apartment had bullets come through the wall when the apartment next to hers was shot up over New years. After the bullet holes in her walls happened she asked the manager to be let out of her lease because she wanted to move. She has a small son and is pregnant but the manager said no. So this woman took her to court and the judge ordered my apartment manager to let her out of her lease with no penalties and she is so pissed off about it. She should have just let her out of the lease. I mean, c'mon! Did this dumbass really think she was gonna win this in court? The tenants apartment was shot up, of course the judge is gonna let her out of her lease. So that woman and her family are moving out this weekend and my apartment manager is telling anyone and everyone how the judge made a bad call. Are you serious? The manager thinks this complex is so dangerous that she won't even move into the manager's apartment that she would get for free! She said she won't live on this property. Not that I blame her.

So that's it for this week's Apartment Hell  Life! Be sure to come back next week for more.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Eating Blood Sausage For The First Time- My Thoughts

Ever since Marianna's Mexican Market opened up right next door to where we live, we've been trying new foods found in the store. Ken said he saw blood sausage and wanted to try it. I'm not a picky eater and will try just about anything once. So we bought a small pack of it and fried it up. It was already sliced so all I had to do was fry it for 5 minutes on each side. I Googled how long to cook it in case you're wondering. In case you don't know what it is...Blood Sausage is a sausage made with pork, dried pig's blood and suet.

This was pork blood sausage. I don't know if there are other varieties but that's what this one was. When I started frying it, some of the sliced sausages kind of exploded from their outer casing and looked more like a meat crumble. So I only took a picture of the sausages that stayed together. 

I don't know what I was expecting when I took that first bite but it's very crumbly and mushy but it had a spicy meaty flavor. Mixed with the crumbly bits are also chunky, chewy bits of something. I'm guessing it was some part of the pig but who knows what parts it was. I was expecting to really hate it but it wasn't awful but because it had a slightly liver flavor to me and I don't like liver it wasn't great to me.

I would suggest taking the casing off after frying because the casing *whatever that was made from* was super chewy. 

So while it wasn't awful, the mushy texture and slight liver flavor made it so I wouldn't buy it again. 

Have you ever tried blood sausage?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a "Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things. So I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.

  You can find links to great samples at Hey It's Free and Freebie Shark.

This week I received:

A sample of Garnier Whole Blends Hair Repairing Mask.
Persil Proclean Laundry Detergent.
One Ultrafeel Condom.
Stevia Sweetener Sample in a re-closable baggie.
I won a signed copy of Wolf Tales 9 by Kate Douglas.

Let's for a moment go back to that Stevia sample... it's in a re-closeable baggie. I don't think I've ever received a sample in this manner before. I hardly think this is sterile, safe or hygienic. I threw this away without ever opening or using it. Ken said that there was no way to know for sure what was in that baggie and he's right. That was just not a very smart way of sending out samples. And it came in an envelope. What if the baggie had broke open during transport and someone had called in the FBI for a white powder? Hey, maybe I'm a little paranoid but it's happened before. Not smart at all. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Review: Daily Goodie Box

The Daily Goodie Box has been around since about July of 2016. I signed up for an account right after I heard about them. They are 100% free, you don't even have to pay for shipping. And for a free box it's a nice sampler box of products.

What did I receive?

Avitae - Caffeinated Sparkling Water- I don't usually like sparkling water but this one had a great taste to it.

Fyve - Coconut Lime Lip Balm- I have lip balm's in every room of my apartment. My lips dry out easily here in Las Vegas for some reason. Maybe because it's so dry here. I just want to point out how good this smells. And it works good too.

GLEEN - Electronic Cloth- This is an electronics cleaning cloth. I used it on my laptop and it does what it says it will. It's a good cleaning cloth.

Greenshield Organic - Lavender Organic Laundry Detergent- I used it in one load of laundry and it smells really good. My towels smells great! They're jut as clean as as if I'd used my other detergent.

Hubs - Virginia Salted Peanuts- I like making my own trail mix to snack on when my blood sugar gets low and peanuts are a big part of that. I liked these, they had a great taste to them.

Jessica’s - All Natural Gluten-Free Granola- Granola is something else that I add to my homemade trail mix and this has a great taste to it. I really liked it. It was maple vanilla flavor which was so good.

Prince & Spring - Jackpot Popcorn- Several people including myself enjoy popcorn so this was liked by all of us. It has a great taste to it.

Natralia - Eczema Moisturizing Lotion- While I don't have Eczema, I do have Diabetes and use a lot of lotion on my skin. This is a good lotion.

All they ask you to do is try the products and leave reviews for the products you got in order to be eligible for more Free Goodie Boxes. As you guys already know, I'm a fan of all these types of boxes. I love all the different subscription boxes and it's really nice to be able to try new to me products for free. This is a great box to try for.

 Oh and one more thing, if you visit their FB Page, they give away Goodie Boxes to people who interact with their posts. So if you've tried before and weren't able to get a Goodie Box, there's even more ways to get one now.

I'm a fan of subscription boxes and love trying new products for free so this was a huge hit with me. New products+free box = Fabulous!

Have you signed up? Have you received one of these boxes?

Disclosure: This box was given to me for free in exchange for a blog review but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Favorite Picture of the Week

This is on the path that I walk Falcor. I don't think that I've ever pointed out just how close the freeway is to where I walk. I've know I've talked about the wall that separates the freeway from where I walk but just to give you an idea I took this picture. The sound wall is all the way on the right and because the walkway has a curve in it right here, they stopped the wall, put in a fence, moved the wall over to the left and started the wall up again. You can see the freeway through the fence and there's just a little padlock stopping someone from walking onto the freeway right there.

The freeway is right there through the fence. I see kids climbing that fence and playing right there all the time.

Here's a close up through the fence. As you can see, the only thing beyond the fence is a concrete barrier. 

People routinely leave bags on clothes on this fence for the homeless that live in the area. There used to be 3 tents set up right on the other side of the fence but the police made the homeless people move. 

One more thing...

Yesterday I was a guest reviewer over at I Smell Sheep where I reviewed Toxic Game by Christine Feehan. I hope you'll pop over and let me know what you think of my review. 


On a rescue mission in the heart of the Indonesian jungle, Dr. Draden Freeman and his GhostWalker team need to extract the wounded as quickly as possible—or risk spreading a deadly virus unleashed by a terrorist cell. When Draden gets infected, he forces his team to leave him behind. He won’t risk exposing anyone else. He intends to find the ones responsible and go out in a blaze of glory....

Shylah Cosmos’s mission is to track the virus and remain unseen. Her enhanced senses tell her that the gorgeous man eradicating the terrorists one by one is a GhostWalker—and his lethal precision takes her breath away. When he’s hit by a lucky shot, she can’t stop herself from stepping in, not knowing that by saving his life she’s exposed herself to the virus.

There’s no telling how much time Draden and Shylah have left. Racing to find a cure, they quickly realize that they’ve found their perfect partner just in time to lose everything. But even as the virus threatens to consume their bodies, they’ve never felt more alive.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Review: Drakon's Promise by N.J. Walters

Book Description

Darius Varkas is a drakon. He's neither human nor dragon.

He's both.

He's also the target of an ancient order who want to capture all drakons for their blood. When fresh, a drakon's blood can cure any illness and prolong a human's life, and the Knights will stop at nothing to get it.

When librarian Sarah Anderson stumbles across a rare book belonging to the Knights of the Dragon, she's quickly thrust into a dangerous world of secrets and shifters and things she never would have believed possible. When the Knights realize Sarah has a secret of her own, she becomes just as much a target as Darius. Her scary dragon shifter just might be her best chance at survival.

My Review

Drakon's are half human, half dragon. Their blood can cure any illness so the crazy Knights want as much of the Drakon blood as they can get and will stop at nothing to capture them. 

Darius is around 4000 years old as are his brothers. The Dragon Knights organization have been around for just about as long and have been after the Drakon's blood so Darius and his brothers have been in hiding most of that time trying to keep themselves safe from the Knights. 

Sarah finds a book that might belong to the Knights which puts her right in the path of danger. But she risks her life to save a man she's never met and Darius finds himself very attracted to her when they meet. Now that they're both in danger from the Knights of the Dragon, they go on the run and try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys that are after them. 

They are running for their lives and getting help from Darius's brothers but are also getting to know one another and getting really close. I really liked these two together and how much of an alpha male Darius is. We get quite a lot of world building as well as back story as to how the Drakon's came about and I liked that. 

This is the first book in a 6 book series with what I'm guessing will be a continuing plot line that will probably follow throughout the series since this one ended with a glimpse of what will happen in the next book. This book ended on a cliffhanger and with them still on the run from the Knights. I didn't like that aspect of the book but for the most part the book did wrap up the rest of their story. I liked this first book so I'm willing to look past this cliffhanger and read the next book, hoping that the next one does not leave a lot of holes open in the end. 

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Happy Raturday!

*Picture courtesy of martymousehouse.com*

*Picture courtesy of marymousehouse.com*

*Picture courtesy of Anisah Grace Hanna*

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Apartment Life #71

This is a new weekly blog post that I'm calling Apartment Hell  Life. I've mentioned a few times some of the crazy things that go on in and around my apartment complex in the past 20 years that we've lived here and people keep telling me I should write a book. But instead of a book, I've decided to share the crazy things that have happened in and around my apartment complex in the last 20 years here in a weekly blog post.

I was sitting on my couch and heard these two talking about the marijuana strains they are growing. Yes, it's legal to grow a few pot plants for yourself but the guy with the cigarette hanging out his mouth went in his apartment, brought out a jar and gave the other guy something from it. They kept smelling the jar and talking about marijuana so I assume he wanted this guy to try the stuff he was growing. lol 

I can't even sit on my own couch without seeing some sort of drug deal go down. LOL

So that's it for this week's Apartment Hell  Life! Be sure to come back next week for more.