Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Nose Piercing Incident

Pretty much everyone knows I have a nose piercing. If you don't, then that means you're blind. Surely you remember my incident detailing where I said it hurt like a bitch and I would never do it again yet I posed my picture looking like I had been crying which I swear I wasn't.

Well that was a year ago. It was healed but I had never changed the piercing stud thingie because Tammy (who has the lowest pain threshold of anyone I know) said changing hers hurt. I was content with my blue little stud. Totally fine with it.


I got it stuck on my bath towel on Saturday and it pulled totally out of my nose. Now, before you cringe I will say that I didn't even feel it come out until the very end and it didn't hurt. Swearsies. But I am not going to lie, I stood on the bath mat stark naked and freaked the fuck out.

(One thing you should know about me? Is that I don't like needles. I don't like anything that could possibly involve blood. I haven't had a tetanus shot since the 6th grade and well... I'm going to be 30 in March. My cause of death is most likely going to be Lock Jaw or something.)

So I hurried and got dressed. I had a cork screw stud so I figured (wrongly) that I could just pop that bitch back in. After 20 minutes of trying to shove it back in, angling my wrist in weird positions thinking that would help, I decide I'm not giving up. I did what any self respecting 20something does when faced with a problem. I go to the Internet! Specifically YouTube! I watch no less than 28 YouTube videos on how to put a corkscrew nose stud back in. None of them are helpful!

I start looking for more info online and I see that nose piercings can close up within 60 minutes of it not having something in it's hole. Um, fuck. Because at this point? I'm quickly approaching that 60 minutes. So I call Tammy. She of course laughs at me and tells me to keep twisting it in and just shove it through. I try, but I can't because feeling the inside of my nose being poked is making me feel like I might throw up. So I decide to call Matt. At work. And claim it was an emergency. Because, it kind of is. So he comes home. He's super good with tools and small things so I thought he'd breeze through it.

Not so, as it turns out.

So I call Tammy back and she agrees to get dressed (it's almost 10 am) and come over to help me. YAY. Except then I realize that hey- it's almost 10 am and I'm supposed to be at my friend Emily's house to go shopping at 10:30. Oh damn. Thankfully, my super smarts kicked in and I remembered that Tammy and Emily live near each other (kind of) and it would make more sense to drive to Tammy's! So I call Tammy back to tell her my plan and I get into my van and drive off with my corkscrew nose thing in a Ziploc bag. I race like a demon out of hell down the road and the fact I didn't screech going around her corner is a miracle.

After I get there she informs me that my corkscrew is not going back into my nose- it's too big and that my hole is probably closing up, if not already on the inside. Luckily, she had an extra (when you buy them they come in packs of three) and she said that would work. So we trim it, sterilize it, and I try to do it myself. NO GO.

I agree to let Tammy try, but again, NO GO. Finally, her husband Chad offers to do it. Tammy assures me he got hers in so it'll be fine. Right before he does it, they both remind me that you know, we're friends and I'm basically in their dining room on my own accord. Frightening, especially when Chad essentially re-pierces my nose at that very moment with this corkscrew stud. Then because I'm an idiot, I rubbed a Qtip full of rubbing alcohol onto my newly re-pierced nose.

Guess what? That burns. It burns a lot.

Then I left and went shopping. Without makeup. At the mall. I was in a such a state of panic that I left my house to go shopping at a mall with no makeup.

But the follow up is that my nose is still sore. And this morning in the shower, the fucking thing came out AGAIN. Again, folks. This time, I was so pissed that my nose had the fucking audacity to do such a thing that I just shoved it in on my own. And it didn't hurt. Sure, it bled a little but it's fine now. The only downside to this one is that the inside corkscrew isn't much of a corkscrew? It's more of a little hook so I constantly feel like it might fall out? So I think pretty soon I will get another one that's maybe longer? We'll see.

In other super fun news- please, please, PLEASE check out my Etsy shop! I have a bunch of stuff on super clearance and I've reduced prices on everything. Some stuff is more than half off! There are a bunch of things that would make cute Christmas gifts so this is a good time to get some good deals. I need to make room for new stuff coming in (I only have a small area to store finished projects) and I need money for new tires. And Halloween costumes. (Speaking of which- this year to get costumes for my kids that aren't flimsy pieces of shit since it's usually like 35 degrees on Halloween and you will freeze your ass off, I might be looking at spending $75 total. ROBBERY.)

I have some Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas cards in there too. The picture frames? $5. STEAL. So go over there and snatch up some goodies.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Legacy

And though summer is practically over... it's never too late to start building a winter reading list. And this is one I want you to add to it.

The Legacy- Katherine Webb
The Legacy: A Novel
When they were children, Erica Calcott and her sister, Beth, spent their summer holidays at Storton Manor. Now, following the death of their grandmother, they have returned to the grand, imposing house in Wiltshire, England. Unable to stem the tide of childhood memories that arise as she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate, an event that tore their family to pieces. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin’s disappearance.

But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light—one that stretches back over a century, to a beautiful society heiress in Oklahoma, a haunting, savage land across the ocean. And as past and present converge, Erica and Beth must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal . . . and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind.

So I would describe this as part historical fiction... part thriller... but mostly as a can't put it down read. Mostly because the book starts off with a young woman abandoning her baby. No kidding. I mean, as a mother I read that part and I'm thinking, "what in the world?!" and from there I couldn't put this book down. I had to know the circumstances around it and why a person would do that. What you find is a web of family history that nobody would be proud of.

But when I say I couldn't put it down? I mean it. When I learned about Caroline's story... I was totally shocked. I mean, I kind of thought that's what it was, but at the same time- the author builds drama up and delivers. You know how some books you feel it building and building and then nothing? Well that's not the case with this book at all. I also love how the story flips between a present day set of characters and then those of their ancestors. I've said it before but I really get annoyed with some books that do that because I don't feel like they sufficiently fulfill each story; however, I felt like I got closure with both stories.

I have seen other bloggers say this would make a great book club pick and I would have to agree. The book is full of characters who make life choices that would be questionable to some but perfectly sensible to others. And I would venture to say that each person would have wildly different answers as to why they would or wouldn't make the same choices.
This was a pretty great book and would make a really great fall or winter read- I suggest you add it to your list. But you know I never ask you to rely on just my opinion, I want you to check out what other bloggers are saying! And check out Katherine Webb's Facebook page for upcoming events and information!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The time Matt was a superstar. And I almost peed in a canoe.

We've all read about the time Matt and I tried to kayak together and how horribly awful it was. So it was no wonder that I put off canoeing with him for as long as I possibly could. I have canoeing on my 30/30 list and since I turn 30 in March we're pretty much in the last few weeks to canoe up in northern Wisconsin. I suppose you can go until November and December, but given how shallow the Brule River already was today.. I bet it'll freeze over in those months. So this weekend? I was pretty much faced with a "shit or get off the pot" situation.

So I obviously went because if you know me by now, once I've committed to something (no matter how stupid it is) I do it.

The fun part was that after we dropped the kids at my in-laws house and drove to the canoe rental place? The rain started. Which.. yay. It was about 50 degrees, a little windy and the rain was between a mist and a light sprinkle. But this bitch? Got her ass into a canoe while a lone fisherman was trying not to laugh at me.

 We took the short route which was about an hour and a half total? According to the map, it was 45 minutes from this starting point to the Bois Brule point, and then another 40 minutes to the Hwy 2 landing point where we were parked. So off we went.
 I got to be in the front and Matt was in the back. Which (brace yourselves) THANK GOD because Matt has canoed before and knew what he was doing. I was worried because A) I suck at anything athletic and B) I had never canoed before and C) I was incredibly tired which means I'm kind of useless but punchy.

The un-fun thing was that our little trek had several areas of rapids. Matt assures me that they were only class 1 rapids but I don't care what those fucking signs say. Rapids are rapids, yo. And since I was sitting in the front of the canoe, I'm not going to lie. I kind of panicked. Like a bunch. And I'm certain that one of the worse sets of rapids came before our half way point and not only were they scary and fast, but we got stuck on a rock. It was at that moment I almost peed myself. Thankfully, Matt told me to get my shit together and help. So I did.
 And yay! We made it to the half way point!
 And I was still dry!

So we paddled even more. We saw two eagles, one of them was just chilling in a tree. We saw a duck. We saw a turkey on the road on the way there. We did not see any bears.

The really great thing? Is that though I'm still grossly uncoordinated with a paddle or oar, whatever the damn thing is called, I had a good time. Matt steered our canoe better than he steers a vehicle and for that I was thankful.
 Because I made it to the end completely dry! And I have to say? That he was a canoe rock star. He really was. I was so happy to be in the front because I couldn't see him laughing at me when I freaked out like a girl when I saw a rock or a log. I didn't even get mad when he steered us into a tree and I hit my head. Or when a bunch of branches slapped me in my mouth. I also appreciated the fact he didn't tell me that our canoe was thisclose to tipping over until we were out of the rapids. I'm sure he knew I would panic and flail and probably clear the woods of anything still alive. And tip us over in the mean time.
But all in all? I would do it again. Granted, I would prefer it to be on a sunny summer day while wearing flip flops and a bathing suit, but I would do it again. Especially if Matt was steering because he was awesome at it.

I think this was a good exercise for us in communication anyways since the kayak trip only highlighted how bad we are at it. I also think it's kind of cool to think how we've grown as a couple since that trip to now.

Before I sign off for the night, if you missed Day one of the KY Intimacy Experiment, you need to go HERE to catch up.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fatal Incident

Raise your hand if you thought that this is me talking about killing Matt. Be honest. And it's OK because we know that I've come close.

But instead.. I'm reviewing a book called Fatal Incident by Jim Proebstle.

Fatal Incident
Minnesotan Nick Morgan overcomes the hardships of life during the Depression with the thrill of flying. The rush he shares with his soon-to-be wife, Martha, as they barnstorm small Midwestern towns offering plane rides for a dollar, forges a love for each other and a sense of freedom to last a lifetime. But in 1943, Nick must leave Martha, now pregnant, to become a WWII pilot in Alaska for the army's newly formed Air Transport Command. In this uncharted and inaccessible landscape, Nick joins U.S. forces, who have set up a strategic defense position against Japan, and an Lend-Lease supply program that trains Soviet pilots with U.S. aircraft for their war with Germany.

The remoteness of Alaska also draws the attention of Manhattan Project scientists in New Mexico as a possible site for atomic bomb testing. When Nick Morgan and his Okie crop-duster copilot, Red, are tapped by the Manhattan Project for classified flying duty over the isolated Yukon Flats region, they have no idea that they will be caught up in a Soviet plot aimed at stealing top-secret bomb and test site development documents. After Nick's plane goes down in a botched hijacking attempt by a Russian agent, all three crew members and eighteen military passengers are presumed dead by the U.S. military.

A much-delayed recovery effort, however, reveals there to be at least one survivor, with many bodies missing from the crash site. This sparks a massive search to find the person who escaped with the documents, but a CIA cover-up to conceal the potentially disastrous breach in national security blocks all communication with survivor families in their need for information. Inspired by the true events of an Air Transport Command aircraft disaster in Alaska in 1944, Fatal Incident will attract any reader interested in conspiracy, espionage, and stories of love during wartime.

First off, super great book. I was never really a fan of American History growing up (which is why I passed with a C and high-fived myself on report card day), but as I got older and could appreciate what our history as a country meant, I am more interested. Which is why I pretty much loved this book. It's based on true events, and that's good and bad.

It's good because I feel like it's probably a really accurate description of war time but bad because... innocent people are made to be pawns and I get that's how life is... but it certainly doesn't seem fair.

I also have to say... you know I've mentioned it before but character development is a big thing with me. The author does such a fantastic job creating these characters and really giving you enough information to really picture them in real life. And most books would never play out well in a movie, but I think this one actually would.

I feel like I can't really speak about parts of the book without giving away key pieces of the story because there are certain characters I feel very strongly about (Cricket), some I'm disappointed in (Nick), etc. There are also some parts of the story that made me tear up because it is sad. Not going to lie.

Overall? I think if you like a really good and compelling mystery- this is your book. If you like anything about American history- this is your book. I had a hard time putting this book down because the entire time I felt like it was going to come to a terrible end, and while it isn't the ending I expected at all- it was great. I also want to mention I love, love, LOVE the "Author Notes" section because it gives you real information that was used in this book and is just fascinating on it's own to read.

I highly recommend this book to curl up with this winter when it's cold. This would also make for a really great gift for a reader you know.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Here is an unexpectedly wonderful book that I will be buying for people for birthdays and such. Mostly because although it had some low spots, the greater piece that I took away is the thought, what if?

Q by Evan Mandery
Q: A Novel
“You must not marry Q.” This is the fateful and heartbreaking message delivered to the protagonist by someone who knows him very, very well, and it comes deep into a sweet courtship all around New York City. Yet Q is the love of his life and they are engaged to be wed. But for clear and painful reasons, he knows that for her sake, he can’t go through with it. And so his journey begins, and he must find a way to spare Q any pain and embark on any new path possible to happiness—or any semblance thereof. He loses himself in his writing and in research of historical figures, notably Freud and his own unhappiness, and he is also given regular updates on how to live life by the same well-meaning but disturbing friend.

Evan Mandery takes the traditional love story and turns it on its head, in the sweetest and most thoughtful way, with humor and angst in equal measure, and gives a totally surprising ending that will melt the darkest heart.

Throughout this book there are humorous bits that I found myself thinking I wish I had married a guy this great but this quirky. Evan Mandery did such a great job crafting the character of the unknown man who falls in love with Q and then follows the advice of his older self telling him what he absolutely must do in his life to prevent bad things from potentially happening. But what I love about this character is that I can completely identify with him because he cares so much for those around him that I think he often forgets about himself in the mix.

I wanted to share a fun passage with you that I felt like kind of highlighted the type of guy he was. One you can identify with, find funny, but paints a picture of him. (This is in reference to tipping the coat check person and how he never knows really what to give.)

"I feel this way about many services. I do not mind paying a black smith or a gastroenerologist because I cannot make horseshoes or perform colonoscopies myself. I am, however, perfectly capable of draping my jacket over the back of a chair. I am highly capable, too, of parking my car in a lot. I do not need someone to drive it from the front door to a spot fifty feet away, at a cost of two or three dollars. Nor do I need someone to wash my clubs with a towel after a round of golf--setting me back five dollars for two minutes work on his part.

I am particularly uncomfortable with the concept of the bathroom attendant. This person provides no direct assistance, of course, and it makes me uncomfortable to have someone squirt soap in my hands and offer me a towel. I do not use any of the sundries spread across the counters of upscale bathrooms. I do not use cologne, I do not groom myself in public bathrooms and thus do not require aftershave lotion or styling gel, and I would never consider, not even for a second, taking a sucking candy or a stick of gum from a tray near a row of urinals."

But what makes this more humourous is that while he can be so indignant having to tip for a multitude of services since it is a socially accepted thing to do, he is spending money all over the place catering to his future self. Expensive lunches and dinners at high end and hard to get into restaurant, or my favorite, the unrefundable ticket to Nepal later on. It just makes me giggle because again, while it isn't very good for him (well... now but the future self is benefitting) he's doing it to cater to someone else even though it goes against his better judgement.

Overall, this book was pretty fascinating as a concept and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I will admit to there being some slow parts that seem tedious at the time but in after thought since the story is being told through this character's voice, it makes me think those would be a logical rambling tangent that a person would do while telling a story. So in hindsight... maybe those parts are needed to make the story feel more like a buddy is telling you his life story in a bar in a few years.

But it also leaves you with the question- if you knew that marrying a person would ultimately lead to tremendous heartache because of the loss of a child... would you still marry that person? Keep in mind that both of you would want children but genetically.. it would be a mistake to do so. What would YOU do?

Please don't just take my word for it, check out the other tour stops for this great book HERE and of course, stop by Evan's website HERE.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

...the girl at the rock show...

Oh yes. I bet some of you noticed I wasn't here last night and that's because I am awesome and was at yet another concert. And it kicked my ass because I didn't get home until 2:30 am, couldn't fall asleep because I was overtired but dozed off around 4:30 am only to wake up a 6. Got the kids up, Olivia to school, Jack to my mom's and then I was off to work.

Muther fracking rockstar.

Anyways. So Kate and I went to see the Honda Civic Tour when it came to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota and the headliners were Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance. The bonus was that we had Matt & Kim as the opener band it was their first night on the tour in addition to being their first show in an arena setting.

Admittedly, I only know a few Matt & Kim songs but from what I have heard I can say I'm interested. But after seeing them pretty much kill it live? More than interested. They were lively, they were fun and they obviously enjoy what they do.
 Highly energetic live show isn't really giving it due justice.
 After Matt & Kim came My Chemical Romance fresh from the firing of their drummer a few days ago and off of their own tour this Spring. I will say I am very glad that my first MCR concert was in April at First Avenue (despite it being so incredibly fucking hot in there that I thought I was going to pass out from exhaustion and dehydration) because they were amazing at that show. They played an almost two hour set after having fantastic openers, they did an insane justice to their already great music and it solidified me as a fan.
 This show was good... but it was lacking. None of the band members were energetic and it felt like they limped through this performance which was only an hour long. They mostly played songs off their latest CD but of their entire set, only two of the songs really kicked ass. One was most definitely "Planetary (GO!)" because it was fast and loud, the crowd was into it, and it felt like that was going to be the momentum they need to get the show moving. Sadly, it wouldn't happen and the other song that was the highlight of their set was Gerard's solo of "Cancer" which is just a great song anyways for his voice, but to have it as the last of their set was kind of great.

I was super disappointed to not hear "Mama" because it's probably my favorite song of theirs. But they of course did "Black Parade" but I thought they could have kicked ass more on that. Also- I don't know if there was a delay between the sound and the screens, but at a few times I wondered if Gerard was really singing live or if they were using backing vocals.
 After MCR there was quite a bit of time until Blink 182, the headliners, came on. We made friends with our friends in the row before. Cameron on the left and Sons of Anarchy dude on the right.
 They were awesome and I'll be emailing them pictures because their phones were being useless whores.
 And you know I can't go anywhere without trouble. This show I was seated to a rather heavy man and his scary looking girlfriend. Nothing really spectacular there other than the fact they both smelled so incredibly horrid that I felt like my lungs were going to burst. I had to keep turning towards Kate to huff in oxygen because this man's body odor was depriving me of it. And he was dripping with sweat. Every time he would move his head it would feel like a sprinkler was getting me. It was disgusting. I'm not a fan of disgusting people. So here's a picture Kate took of me and my disgusting friend.
 But then YAY Blink182 came on. No lie, Blink 182 makes me feel like I am 16 again riding the god damn city bus to Dairy Queen for work. Or sitting in front of my locker waiting for the home room bell listening to my Discman. Fucking old school yo.
 I love Tom. FYI. I would do dirty things to that guy. MMMMM.

But they played an amazing set. If you lived under a rock and had no idea they have been on hiatus for awhile doing their own projects for a few years.... you would never know it. They sounded great, they had great stage chemistry still and despite obviously gaining a bit of weight and looking their age.. they are all still incredibly swoon worthy.
They played a few new songs but mostly killed all of the fan favorites from pretty much every album.

 They played for an hour and a half I believe, so it was a really full set. The encore though? Best encore I have seen in quite sometime. I don't care what anyone says but I doubt many would disagree with me, but Travis Barker is the best drummer our generation has. Hands down, no question. So during the encore when him and his drum kit literally went above the crowd? The entire arena went insane. I am loving this picture because you can see the drum sticks as only a blur.
 Confetti! The disadvantage to having ample boobs is that confetti gets stuck in your boobs and you don't know it until you try to shower.
 It was such a great show and I am so glad I got to go. It already makes me itch for my next concert and though I had hoped to see Foo Fighters next week it's just not going to happen. *sad face*

What isn't sad is being away from disgusting guy and his girlfriend. Oh, I should mention they both fucking fell asleep during Blink's set and I can't even believe that. So I obviously got a picture of them sleeping. Seriously. I had been up since 4:30 that morning and this was taken around 11 pm, so don't tell me about being tired.
So yes. Good show.
Kate and I had a lovely time and despite being sisters in law, we're a great date. I even let her touch my ass though she swears it was an accident. *suuuuuure it was, Kate*

So. Tomorrow is my Dear Sara post so if you have questions of any kind for me, email me at sarastrand9438(at)hotmail(dot)com. No questions are off limits (as someone emailed to ask that) so fire away bitches. Also, if you want to see other pictures from this concert, friend me on Facebook. Or be a loser.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Blue Light Project and GIVEAWAY

You know, if I am remembered for nothing else I hope I am remembered by how I encourage people to read. I think everyone should be a reader and to not be leaves you ignorant and without imagination. So although this isn't a book that fits with what I considered to be my favorites, it doesn't mean you will feel the same. So I am encouraging you to enter the giveaway, because it's a free book that might end up on YOUR favorites list.

The Blue Light Project - Timothy Taylor
The Blue Light Project: A Novel
When an armed man seizes a television studio in the center of town, Thom Pegg, a former investigative journalist turned tabloid reporter, is as surprised as anyone to learn that he is the only person to whom the hostage taker will speak, bringing him inside the studio and in contact with the frightening truth.

From outside, meanwhile, the drama of the enthralled and horrified city is revealed through the eyes of two characters who meet in the early stages of the crisis and who bond to one another instinctively. Eve is a former Olympic gold medalist and much loved local daughter. Rabbit is a secretive street artist who has just completed a massive street art project involving mysterious installations at the tops of hundreds of buildings through the city.

It’s a time of fear, a time when people have grave doubts about the future, and each other. Yet, when events collide, and Rabbit’s installation is activated, people are shocked into seeing the power of beauty in the world, and the real possibility of hope.

I will say that I think I didn't connect with this book as much as others because I am not so familiar with the art of Banksy, Willima Herzog films or novelist Don Delillo, which are all things kind of reminiscent of this book. So it's probably my age that did me in. But this book would be really great for a person who knows these reference points or likes a novel that makes them think. While this book is a thriller, it's not a thriller in the traditional sense I guess. And it is a thriller that makes you think, that's for sure.

So I am challenging you to read this and tell me your thoughts. Luckily, one of you will get the opportunity to read it for free! Simply leave me a comment on this post with your email and I'll randomly draw a name on Friday for the winner. Easy and cheesy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Six years.

WINNER of the Prenatal Pilates DVD is: (using it said #6. This would be..... Kattrina!! I have her mailing information since we're pen pals through another blog!)

It's been six years since she went from this:

 to this:
 Today Olivia is officially six. You can read about her birth story here. It's true when they say you never forget the details of your pregnancy, labor or delivery, or the exact feelings of overwhelming love you feel when you first see the child you made. Though I struggled with post partum depression for her first year, I still look at pictures and my heart aches for all of the times I would pick her up and just admire the fact that I made this little person.
 And every time she hit a milestone I was so proud of her that I could barely keep it to myself. I looked forward to playing with her every day and hearing her squeal when she was over the moon happy and of course, her non stop giggle when I would bite her little toes.
 And god knows I've had my fair share of tantrums and parenting melt downs when she would refuse to poop for no reason. I've stayed up at night worrying if I was doing a good enough job or stressing about a decision I had to make for her.
 And as she has gotten older my heart hurts because I realize that all of the times I had said, "I can't wait until she's older so we could do ______ together" I should have been enjoying those moments at the time. They go so quick and sometimes I wonder where the hell the time actually went.
 I look back at pictures of times that brought me the most joy or the times that I felt so unprepared for motherhood and all of the memories come flooding back. When I brought her home I distinctly remember Green Days "Wake Me Up (when September ends)" was on the radio and it was a gorgeous fall day. I remember coming home thinking- all I have to do is keep her alive. And oh how I struggled.
But we're six years into it. I feel much more confident in myself as a parent and I at least feel like I'm doing a good job. Olivia has turned into such a smart, beautiful, caring, funny little girl and I can't imagine what my life would be like without her.
 She's losing the "baby" features and now when I look at her I'm taken aback by how big she looks. She is my little crafting buddy who likes to sing and tell me jokes. She's super smart and is anxious to get even smarter. She's a girly girl all the way and she is everything I had hoped for when I knew I was going to have a daughter. And quite honestly, even realizing I'm a parent to two kids shocks even myself because I don't really see myself as being old enough to have two kids. But I do and they are the best.
So happy birthday, Olivia. You light up my world in ways I didn't know a person could. You make me want to be a better mom and I enjoy the time we have together. I love you to the moon and back and even past Neptune my little Sunshine.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Red Right Return and GIVEAWAY!

I love reviewing books but I love it even more when I get to give a copy away to one of my readers.

Red Right Return- John H. Cunningham
Red Right Return

Buck Reilly wants only three things out of life: A plane to fly, a treasure to find, and a beautiful woman to rescue. He’ll get his chance at all three in the first of John H. Cunningham’s new thriller series, RED RIGHT RETURN. Set against the stunning scenery and freaky fabulousness of the Florida Keys, Cunningham joins the ranks of Carl Hiaasen, Randy Wayne White and Papa himself in a rich new series for thrill seekers everywhere.

But Buck Reilly’s no ordinary hero. A product of his times and ours, too, he’s laying low and trying to fly under the radar in the aftermath of economic catastrophe. Back in his bad old days on Wall Street, Buck ran e-Antiquity, plundering the world’s treasures, (and a few of his investors’ pockets) for some pretty handsome profit. He wasn’t a bad guy back then; he just didn’t know any better. But life turned ugly when the market crashed, the company cratered and the FBI investigated the bankruptcy. When his marriage ended and his parents were killed in a car crash, Buck found out for certain that business wasn’t just business anymore.

These days, Buck’s a lot like the rest of us—trying to make ends meet and hoping for better times. He operates The Last Resort Charter and Salvage Company, flying a 1946 amphibious Grumman WidgeonSantero priests, the underbelly of the Havana underworld and a pissed-off FBI agent, Buck has nothing but ingenuity, guts and his ancient flying boat to save his skin, and the lives he put in peril.

Super good book. It's a short read at only 280 pages that I basically zipped right through because I read a lot faster than I already do on my Nook. This book is also one you can't put down because for this being Cunningham's first novel, it is full of twists and turns that you would expect out of a thriller mystery. A few of the things I absolutely loved about the book- the setting. I'm a fan of Florida and I've always wanted to get to Key West. Buck. At times I wanted to be annoyed with Buck but I just couldn't. He's written as an every day guy who's made some bad decisions but would like to just move on with life and hope for the best. How he keeps getting himself more and more tangled into the web of Santeria, Cuba, and a failed missionary trip is beyond me. But it was enjoyable to read because just when you think he's figured it out, there are a few more curveballs that don't make any sense. Though I suspected who the bad guy was in the end, I was nowhere CLOSE as to why. And that was kind of fun because that doesn't happen so often. The only thing I felt disappointed about was the ending. I understand why it was ended at that moment, it totally opens it up for a sequel, but I wish that I had more closure as a reader. No doubt this author will come up with an equally good book the next time around, that's for sure. It's really refreshing to read an author who actually knows the information because you can feel the difference when you read it next to an author who's only simply researched it.

So overall, it was a good book and a fast read. If you like a mystery/thriller then this would definitely be for you. And I'm lucky enough to give one of my readers an ebook version of Red Right Return AND a $10 Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ibooks/itunes giftcard. Couly you BE any luckier?

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with your email on this post. AND be a member of my blog through GFC. I will draw a winner on Tuesday, September 7!

Good luck!