Stay Alive | Lipstick Voodoo by Kristi Charish

Title: Lipstick Voodoo
By: Kristi Charish
Genre: Paranormal
Pages: 384
Release Date: January 8th, 2019
Publisher: Vintage Canada

Summary from Goodreads: Kincaid Strange, not your average voodoo practitioner, is back in the freshly imagined and hugely entertaining second installment of Kristi Charish's urban fantasy series.

Kincaid Strange cannot catch a break. After dealing with a spate of paranormal murders, there's barely time to recuperate—let alone sleep in—before there's a new problem in Kincaid's world of paranormal activity. When her roommate, Nathan Cade—the ghost of a grunge-rocker with a pathological lack of self-control—comes home bound to a dead body, it's up to Kincaid to figure out how to free him. Ideally before her new mentor, Gideon, a powerful sorcerer's ghost, discovers that Nate is trapped in the body he'd coveted for himself.
When Aaron, a Seattle cop on the afterlife beat—and Kincaid's ex—calls her in to help out with a cold case, she takes the chance to mend fences with the police department. The problem: they want to interview Nate's ghost, which she can't produce. Then people from Nate's past start showing up dead, and what's killing them doesn't seem to be human. And the way it's killing them is especially brutal.
Nate's hiding something, but he's Kincaid's friend and she wants to help him. But she also wants to stay alive.... 

Review: This was a fantastic unique story that is a wonderful addition to this series. The author does a wonderful job pulling you into the book with the paranormal elements and mystery of the story. We follow the main character Kincaid Strange, who can raise the dead, temporally or permanently. I don't think I've read a book like this before, and it was nice change in scenery. If you are looking for something new, this would be a great addition to your library.  

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #285

I think Monday comes to soon. It would be nice if there was another day that I could add to my weekend to give me more time to get everything done. Especially since two of my children were super sick and even though they slept most the time, I found myself cuddling with them instead of actually using that quiet time to do something constructive around the house. I guess that's how it goes. They would rather I was there anyway. Yesterday I sat on the love seat while the little ones were resting on the couch, and the next thing I knew, they had gravitated over to the little couch and were cuddling with me anyway. Even though they were really sick, all they wanted was mom, and I gladly gave them what they needed. Its hard seeing them so sick and I wish I could do more, but the only thing I am able to give them is the cuddles they need.

This week I've already started this wonderful book, The Devil's Revolver by V.S. McGrath. So far, its really interesting. A wild west theme with magic and intrigue. I can't wait to get into it more. Make sure you stay tuned for the review to come.

Lets get on to the weekly menu. Enjoy!







Leftovers Night

Broker the Peace | Binti By Nnedi Okorafor

Title: Binti: The Complete Trilogy
By: Nnedi Okorafor
Genre: Scifi
Pages: 368
Release Date: February 5th, 2019
Publisher: DAW

Summary from Goodreads: Collected for the first time in an omnibus edition, the Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning Binti trilogy, the story of one extraordinary girl's journey from her home to distant Oomza University.

In her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella, Nnedi Okorafor introduced us to Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despite her family's concerns, Binti's talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey.

But everything changes when the jellyfish-like Medusae attack Binti's spaceship, leaving her the only survivor. Now, Binti must fend for herself, alone on a ship full of the beings who murdered her crew, with five days until she reaches her destination.

There is more to the history of the Medusae--and their war with the Khoush--than first meets the eye. If Binti is to survive this voyage and save the inhabitants of the unsuspecting planet that houses Oomza Uni, it will take all of her knowledge and talents to broker the peace.

Collected now for the first time in omnibus form, follow Binti's story in this groundbreaking sci-fi trilogy.

Review: OK, I really wanted to like this book. The premise seemed right up my alley. I had a hard time becoming invested in the story. The world building was deep and at times heavy. Its really hard to find the right balance between too much world building and not enough, especially in the scifi genre. There can be a lot that needs to be painted since the writer is essentially creating a whole new world. I'm not sure about the characters. They were there, but were they special. I'm not sure yet. 

I gave the book three stars because it had a lot of potential, but I couldn't get into the story.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Leave No Trace | Movie Review

Title: Leave No Trace

Genre: Drama
Release Date: June 29th, 2018
Rating: 7.2/10 IMDB

Summary from IMDB: A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.

Review: I jut finished watching this very interesting movie about a father and his daughter who live completely off the grid in Forest Park in my own home state of Oregon. Did I mention this movie is based on a true story. 

Now, I've been to Forest Park several times and it is huge. It's no wonder these two were able to hide for so long before they were accidentally discovered. 

The story is super slow, and I kept waiting for something extraordinary to happen, but sadly, nothing ever did. What I did get was a truly touching story about a father who came home from the war with PTSD and his struggle to cope all while trying to take care of his 12 year old daughter. Its touching and heart warming the way the two take are of each other. 

The whole hour and a half that I was watching, I was hoping that the father would finally find what he was looking for and the ending would finally bring him closure. I warn you, don't read on if you don't want me to spoil the movie for you.... Here we go... the last 10 minutes of the movie, the daughter struggled with staying in a place that she feels she could call home and going back into the forest with her father. She decided to stay and the two part ways in an emotional goodbye, but that is all you get. Do they ever see each other again? What happens to the father? 

Upon my research into the true story, it turns out that after the actual pair were released from state custody, they disappeared again and no one has heard from them since. Way to leave me hanging... again...

Both the true story and the movie were a let down. I like a nice neat box, all wrapped up into one neat package and this movie wasn't that. I would encourage you though to watch it. The story is a wonderful love filled bond that everyone with a heart should see.

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #284

Happy Monday! Sorry this is a little late. Yesterday was a busy day and I was pressed for time and didn't get to finish my post. I have an awesome menu for you this week and a book you won't want to miss. So make sure you read on.

I've been doing a lot of genealogy lately. Every once and a  while I get the bug and log in to my ancestry account to do more research. This time it was because I was watching one of those shows on tv that researches famous peoples history and a lot of them talk about the civil war. I wanted to know if I had any family that fought in the civil war since I know for a fact that we were here at that time frame. I did find a few that might be good candidates, but its going to take some more digging to find out their stories.

The book that I'm going to dive into this week is Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan. I love the concept of this book and I can't wait to immerse myself into the world. I mean, a girl who can speak to god, that sounds fantastic. I'll let you know how this one goes.

Anyway, lets get on to what you really came here for... The food. Enjoy! 







Leftovers Night

The Masked Singer Predictions | Who I think is behind the mask

I'm going to admit, I'm obsessed with The Masked Singer. Its ridiculous and the dumbest thing I've ever seen, but I can't help but watch it and try to figure out who the singers are. I've decided to share some of my predictions on a few of the singers that I actually have an opinion on. Some of the singers I have no idea yet. 

If you haven't seen the latest episode of the Masked Singer, stop reading now. There is a spoiler coming up of someone who was unmasked.   

Here we go!!!

The Peacock - I'm thinking this is McCauley Culkin. His first performance he had mentioned that he was friends with Michael Jackson and I know Culkin can sing, I googled him. He made it sound like he was performing/acting from a very young age and that he did some dramas. So McCauley Culkin is my guess for Peacock.  

The Unicorn - Something that the Unicorn had said during her second performance about losing her Sheen made me think immediately Denise Richards. I know the judges were also throwing that out there, but then they veered off in a different direction. I'm holding steady with Denise Richards.  

The Deer - I just wanted to say that I was totally wrong about who this was. I was writing this prediction as I was watching the latest episode, so of course I thought it was Payton Manning. The clues in the second performance made me think that he is good at throwing things (quarterback) he's done some television commercials (nationwide commercial) and the twang in his voice when he sang was a good indication of Payton Manning... but it wasn't... It was Terry Bradshaw. I should have known by the way he walked down the stairs. Makes sense now, but I was close and I wasn't the only one. 

The Bee - I am 95% certain this is Tina Turner. The voice and the body language really gave it away. Even the clue of her starting her carrier in the 50's, the dance moves screamed Tina. It just makes sense. I hope I'm not wrong, that would be embarrassing.

These are my predictions. Who are you rooting for and who's under the mask. Leave your comments below.  

Everything to Lose | Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

Title: Bright Burning Stars
By: A.K. Small
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 304
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Summary from Goodreads: Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

Review: I am always a fan of ballet stories and they must be good to live up to my high expectations. This book kept me involved from the first page to the last... Even though the plot was flimsy... I feel like you really need to have a dancer's background to really understand a lot of the terminology of this book, but I'm sure someone who has never put on a pair of point shoes can understand just well. 

What I loved about this book was the explanation of the dances and how deep it went into the dancer's world. Its something that I love and am deeply passionate about. 

The bad stuff was the dark nature of the ballet company and how the whole plot revolved around how depressing the dancer's life is. There was sex that meant nothing, oops a pregnancy and drugs passed out as long as you twirled in your birthday suite.  

Even with all the sad truths plastered on the page for all to see, I was still really interested in the story. I guess it's like a train wreck, horrific, but you can't stop looking. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #283

Hahaha, its Monday. How did this happen? It seems like we are stuck in this big circle. It's terrifying. What a week. I'm sorry I haven't been around a lot lately or read many books. This new year has really kicked my butt. Last weekend, we took a trip to the mountain for a little sledding. The boys loved it. My oldest is a little snow bunny. I think the quiet nature of the snow covered hills helps his anxiety from autism. Its a wonder to see.

The next day we drove the opposite way and saw the ocean and the Tillamook Creamery. Its a family favorite. They have the best cheese curd ever, but you can only get it there, which means I really only get it maybe once a year. Turns out they now have the white cheddar cheese curd... Which is delicious!!! I must have more...

I was able to read this week and finally finish some of the books I've been working on. This means I have some awesome reviews coming your way so make sure you stop by later this week for those.

The book I'm reading this week is Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor. It sounds really interesting and the cover is cool looking. We shall see how this little ditty turns out.

Lets get on to this weeks menu. It looks delicious!







Leftovers Night

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #282

Happy Monday! Wow, we had a fantastic weekend. Took the boys up to the mountain for a little snow day. They did some sledding and had a lot of fun. Posted some video and pictures to my instagram, so go check it out @Exballerina.

I was able to read several books this week and I have to say. I'm not a fan of Stephen King. I know he is a great writer, but its not my cup of tea. I'm going to stick with my Fantasy and Scifi novels.

This weeks read is going to be Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small. Its a story about ballerinas and if you've read the name of my blog, you should be able to put two and two together and realize that I love ballet. This book better be a lot of fun, I'm just going to say it now.

Well, enjoy this weeks menu. I know I will.







Leftovers Night

December 2018 Wrap up

This is the last wrap up of 2018. Can you believe it? Its 2019 and there are so many new books coming out this year. Also, don't forget to read all of those books on your TBR list. I have over 500 that need my attention, but I know that I will only get to about 300 this year and most of them will be new releases. I know what you are thinking, 300 that's way too many. I know, I really know. I think I have a problem. How many books are on your TBR pile?

Lest get to the books of December and find out what was good and what wasn't.

Free From the Curse | The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross

Title: The Beast's Heart
By: Leife Shallcross
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 304
Release Date: May 3rd, 2018
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Summary from Goodreads: A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France--and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . .

Review: There is always a special place in my heart for beauty and the beast. A childhood memory that always brings love, joy and danger to a wonderful story. This beast was a pure gentleman. A man... or beast of his word. He is only looking for someone who will love him for who he is, but aren't we all? There is something wonderful about a story like this. It really shows the good in people, something that is rare these days. This is what I loved about this book.

There were two things I didn't like, pretty big things. The beginning was a little flimsy. The beast let the father go and told him to bring his daughter back to live with him for a year. The father could have left and never returned since the beast had nothing that the father needed, but of course the father brought his daughter back to live with the beast. 

The second thing that bothered me was the slow nature of the story. I was hoping something would happen, but it never did. Nothing really happened until the last 10% of the book and it made for a long read. 

All together, this was still a good book. A wonderful twist on the childhood story that we all love. Read it and make up your own mind.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.