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S.G. Cardin
Friday, 8 May 2009
Where has the time gone?
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Sirius XM Radio
Topic: Life

It's been a busy week. Writing wise, I'm been working hard on my edits for my WIP, "The Hungarian," a paranormal romance and I'm about 1/2 done.  I'm very pleased with the edits and as soon as I'm done I'll be ready to query. However, Jillian Hunter's Boscastle series has been a distraction.  I've really become engrossed with it.  It's a romance series, but I'm impressed with Hunter's writing. I picked up "The Wicked Games of a Gentleman" on a lark and I was hooked.  Over the course of the next couple of blog entries, I'll share my  Reviews on the series at the end of the entry.

I've also just finished putting together my next Angel Army Newsletter on WDC and my Official Newsletter.  My official newsletter has some good stuff. If you get a chance, check out BookEnds Literary Agency & Blog online.  The agents there are Jessica Faust, Jacky Sach, and Kim Lionetti and their blog is a great tool for aspiring writers who are looking to query.  Just the other day Jessica lamented that one author sent her a query on a project over 20 times from 20 different emails, after she passed on it.  Poor thing!  What amazes me is how ignorant some people can be when they are querying.  That ignorance, laced with a touch of arrogance will never get them an agent.

 http://bookendslitagency.blogspot.com/

 

As usual, we've been busy at the house. I'm looking into gymnastics programs for Joe to help channel his enegry. I'm trying to listen to Breaking Dawn on Audio book on my way to work, but it's been hard because while I think the reader embodies, Bella, the tone tends to grate on my nerves and I can only listen in doses.

I'm also a little disappointed to hear Manny Ramierz was taking HcG, a female hormone that stimulates the natural production of testorone in the male body.  You take after you come off steriods.  Steriods STOPS the natural production of testosterone in the male body so when you come off, you have to take HcG to jumpstart your body into stimulating testosterone use. It's sad, really. It can also be taken for thyroid problems, and I'd like to think that was why Manny took it, being the optimist that I am, but I need to be real here. Steroids is a problem in baseball.  Manny on steriods is not a stretch for me. I'm disappointed, but I am impressed with how Manny has handled it, taking responsibility and taking his suspension.

Just some miscellenous thoughts

LISTENING TO: Nothing really - Sirius XM Radio.
READING: Guilty as Sin by Jillian Hunter
DVD: Last one I saw was BOTTLE SHOCK
MOVIE:  Brent and I are going to movies on Monday! I think we'll see Star Trek, but we'll have to go in shifts because of the kids.  I also want to see Wolverine, but we'll have to see how that goes.
MOTHER'S DAY:  I just want to hang out and BBQ, but we'll playing it by ear.

Smiles, Steph

 

****

Book Review for “The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman”

Written by: Jillian Hunter

Ballantine Books

ISBN 0-345-48761-3340

340 pages

$6.99

4 Stars 

Hunter weaves a masterful tale of seduction and passion in “The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman.” Devon Boscastle is a rakehell who has no desire to settle down and find a wife – until he’s forced into a marriage of convenience with a young debutante, Jocelyn Lydbury. For Devon, there’s nothing as passionate or as sexy than falling in love with his own wife! 

 

The novel opens with Devon attending a social party in Essex. Several games and events are planned, and the party is scheduled to last a week. At the party he encounters a young debutante, Jocelyn Lydbury. Four years ago her father invited Devon to dinner to meet her and Devon stood her up. After all, he has no desire to get married. Devon trades barbs with Jocelyn and finds her to be enchanting. Later that night, Devon and Jocelyn each receive letters to meet in the castle’s tower – masked. While masked, they share an intimate embrace. It’s then they realize who each other, are and that they didn’t write the letters that lured them to the tower. Too late – Jocelyn’s father, a tyrant of a man, finds the couple in a compromising position and insists they marry. 

Devon does the right thing and agrees. Despite himself, Jocelyn has made a dent in his carefully constructed armor. She’s sweet and demur. His heart goes out to her when he discovers how her father has mistreated her. He also finds her inexperience appealing. Throughout the novel, Both Devon and Jocelyn are harassed by minor incidents which are meant to make them look bad, but both rise above the incidents. Devon tries to identify the culprit, but to no avail. Devon takes his new bride to his house. Their lovemaking is passionate and intense. Devon vows not to take a lover, but it’s hard for him to give up his night owl ways. He spends long hours out of the house, consorting with friends, not really getting to know his wife. Jocelyn is hurt. 

 

Chloe, Devon’s sister, takes Jocelyn out to the park where several young men flirt with her. Devon watches the scene unfold, jealously flaming his disposition. When he discovers his cousin, Gabriel Boscastle, talking to Jocelyn late at night, it’s the last straw for his jealousy. He takes his wife to bed and thoroughly makes love to her. He stops going out with his friends, spending more time with Jocelyn. Still, he’s reluctant to admit to himself that he’s falling in love with her. Devon’s brother, Grayson, arranges a party for him and Jocelyn. While at the party, Jane, Grayson’s wife, deduces Jocelyn is pregnant. While Jocelyn is in the nursery, she’s kidnapped by a man who hates Devon, Matthew Thurlew. Devon leaves the party to find out who has been harassing him.  He discovers it was Thurlew who wrote the letters to him and Jocelyn luring them to the tower. Thurlew hoped the incident would disgrace Devon.  When Devon realizes Thurlew is at the party he races back to save Jocelyn. Devon shoots Thurlew. Then he takes Jocelyn home where he admits he loves her. 

 This is the fifth in the Boscastle romance series, and I’ve enjoyed all the novels so far.  I didn’t think I would like this one as much as the previous ones because Devon seems so self-absorbed in the others, but this one really highlighted the complexities of his character. Devon was very likable and romantic. The novel is fast paced and moves quickly. The plot is credible, but there were a couple of holes. Devon and Jocelyn are interesting, but I would have liked to have seen more “bonding” scenes between the couple, especially regarding how Jocelyn’s family treats her.  I was also surprised to see that Jocelyn’s father, who insisted on the wedding, wasn’t there.  The last “hole” in the plot, is making Thurlew the instigator of the harassing incidents between the couple. It would have made more sense to have Jocelyn’s brother write the notes and be the harasser of the incidents. Not only that, it would have been good fuel for more bonding scenes between Jocelyn and Devon.  The supporting cast is engaging and interesting. Hunter’s love scenes are passionate, yet tasteful; erotic and sensual. The scene where Devon makes love to Jocelyn after finding her with Gabriel is especially erotic and powerful. It’s not just a sex scene, but it’s Devon giving into the love he’s found with Jocelyn. 

 

 “The Sinful Nights of a Nobleman,” is a romance that will keep the reader turning the page.

 


Posted by sgcardin at 12:25 PM
Updated: Friday, 8 May 2009 12:26 PM
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Friday, 6 February 2009
Catching up, life, reading & writing
Topic: Life

Just thought I'd log in and catch up with you all. 
 
Well, I've been on Weight Watchers for a month now and I've lost 3 pounds.  It hasn't been easy, but it is a life style change and I have to remember that. I also  have to remember my 40 year old body just don't have the same pep as it used to.

I don't mind being on AM watch at work. (10 pm to 6 am) My hardest struggle is to stay awake a 3 am.  The work load is easy though.  I have a trainee at work, so I'm not getting much writing done. Hope to work on stuff tomorrow while my rug rats run wild around the house! haha.

Writing:  I'm working on a short genre story for the 77th Annual WD Contest.  I've got two projects pretty much done, a script/play called "War and Wine" which takes place in France in WWII and a horror one called "The Cat."  As far as my WIP, "The Hungarian," I've got some more work to do, but I've pretty much got the plot shored up and I just have to find the time to write.

Reading: Immediately: The Other Boleyn Girl. Next up: New Moon.

Music: I'm hooked on Coldplay. I hope they do well at the Grammys. I recently got Sirius Sat. Radio and I love it. I love the selections. I'm hooked on the "1st Wave" channel which focuses on the 1st Wave of alternative music.  Anyone remember Echo & The Bunnymen, OMD and Souxie Soux and the Banshees? Consider me a fan.

Movies: I haven't seen any recently. I re-watched Underworld 2 the other night. I found "Tristian and Isodole" and I'll watch that one next. Hehe. I love James Franco.

Here's my book review on "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer. Thanks for hanging out with me.
*****
 

Book Review for “Twilight”.

Written by: Stephenie Meyer

Hachette Book Group.

ISBN: 0-316-03838-5.

498 pages.

$10.99

4 Stars.


 

At “Twilight” those paranormal forces beyond our control come out, and Isabella Swan (Bella) must suspend all reasonable belief to accept those forces exist – and to fall in love. Meyer’s writing is brisk, easy to read, and readers will discover they’ve turned over more pages then they’ve realized..

.. ..

The story actually starts a bit slowly as seventeen-year-old Bella moves to Forks, Washington, to live with her father. As she establishes her routines, she notices a strange family of teenagers, the Cullens. They are all beautiful with pale skin and chameleon-like eyes. They also tend to stick to themselves. Bella is surprised by Edward’s initial cold treatment of her. She doesn’t know what to make of it – or him. It’s only when he saves her life with his lightening quick reflexes and unexpected strength does she begin to think there might be something unusual with him. When her Indian friend, Jacob, tells her about the “cold ones,” his story inspires her to do some research. With all the evidence in front of her, Bella concludes Edward is a vampire.

.. ..

When Bella confronts him, he admits it. He’s fallen in love with her and tried to push her away, but he can’t fight the attraction anymore. Edward gives into his love for her and Bella gives into her love for him as well. There’s no physical consummation of their love, it’s a love cultivated through feelings and emotions which provides an intense high for both.

.. ..

Edward discusses some myths and truths about the vampire world with Bella. He tells her how Carlisle created him during the Flu outbreak in 1917. Carlisle, Edward, and the vampires who live with them have learned to curb their blood lust for human blood, but some vampire covens and families haven’t. To that end, Edward’s family meets three vampire strangers while playing a game of baseball and one, James, decides to track Bella. Edward and his family try their best to protect her, but James tracks Bella to Phoenix, Arizona. James does bite Bella, but Edward draws the venom out of her. The book ends with Edward taking Bella to the prom. Bella asks for the bite of immortality from Edward who refuses to give it.


 

The book is written in the first person from Bella’s perspective. Meyer does a great job staying in perspective, but there are times when Bella’s determination crosses the line to irritating whininess, and it’s hard to understand how Edward finds this trait of hers attractive.

Edward is “tempted” over and over again to taste Bella’s blood and he does an admirable job holding his temptation in check. In that regard, that aspect of his character wrestling with temptation seemed a non-issue since temptation really wasn’t an issue.


 

The book is geared for a young adult audience. The plot comes together well. It’s easy to read and a page-turner. While there are some suspenseful elements, especially with James on the hunt for Bella, toward the end they are overshadowed by the melodrama teen angst that emotes throughout. Meyer does create an original world and gives her vampires twists and nuances of their own. “Twilight” is an interesting read just to devour Meyer’s creative spin on the vampire world. 


Posted by sgcardin at 7:27 PM
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Friday, 9 January 2009
Losing Weght is a life style change...
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Bangles, Different Light
Topic: Life
Well, the cards all fell into place with my schedule and child care so I was able to go back to Weight watchers this week. Mind you, I wasn't looking forward to it, but I knew it had to be done. I had gained 5 pounds over the holidays and it was time to reign in the intake.

As usual, the new year is a time to jumpstart something like this so I motivated myself to go. I need to go. While I've taken off 15 since Joe's birth, I've got another 25 to go and weight watchers works for me. Why? Because I've discovered for me, no pill can help.  A balanced lifestyle change when it comes to eating is the most effective way for me to lose weight.  The biggest thing weight loss requires though is patience and in today's "I want it now" world, patience is hard to come by - especially with weight loss.  However I have learned the value of patience has paid off with my writing so I must take that and apply it to my weight loss as well. It's not easy patient, let me tell you, but it is something I have to buckle down with and just do.

There have been a lot of factors in play this time around regarding my weight loss. The weight loss after Andrew was easy. I think my body's metabolism was different since I was younger (33) and I could find someone to watch Andrew - Brent - while I went.

This time around there are more demands on me. Work, writing, balancing two children, it hasn't been easy and my weight loss suffered for it. My metabolism is slower - I'm 40 now. Those are my obstacles.

Well, I can't do anything about my metabolism except eat right which is what I plan to do. Weight watchers has never been a diet to me, just a life style change.

Since I'm working 10 pm to 6 am now, I've got plenty of time during the day to make a meeting. Brent watched the boys when I went to a Weds. meeting at 6 pm.  I watched Joe after work this morning so he could go.  The new schedule, while inconvenient, is working.  I'm getting enough sleep through power naps and a long nap after work. During the day, Brent and I are home (on his days off) and we were able to knock out a lot of chores that needed to be done this week - like take down Christmas. With my new laptop, I'm able to do some more writing than I would normally without it, so that's nice too. I'm hoping to work on my official newsletter and post the winners of my poetry contest this upcoming week.

Anyway, back to weight watchers - I'm doing good on program so far. The proof will be in next week's pudding.  I'm sticking to water, which I don't mind, coffee to keep me going, and I'm trying to cook as much as I can. The 0 point veggie soup helps. I made a Tortellini salad out of their "best eats" cook book last week that was really tasty.  That's what surprises me - weight watcher's food isn't blah.  It's very tasty. You just have to find the TIME to cook it and time with me is always at a premium with my busy life.

Anyone else doing weight watchers?  Got any tips? Comments, Suggestions?  Share. hehe
Smiles,
Steph


Posted by sgcardin at 5:03 PM
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Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Keeping up with life...
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: Life
Well, I thought I'd drop a line about how busy I've been.  Let's face it - the holidays are always a hectic time.

24 DEC
Well I had this brianchild idea that I could get the family together and cook perogri's. (a Polish kind of ravioli) with a dough outside and a potato/cheese filling.  I wanted to make tons of them and spend the afternoon cooking them.  Well, it got off to a good start, but I failed to realize that not everyone wanted to cook them like I did. Needless to say, my husband wiped out a few comments that made me feel bad about even involving him. I was in a sad, foul, hurt mood until we had it out on Christmas.  Other than that the Christmas Eve dinner went well and Joseph and Andrew had a blast exchanging ornaments.

25 DEC
I was still stewing over my husband's insensitive comments and we had it out.  I was a "bitch" and got a half ass "I'm sorry" from him.  I just sucks that I can't get my point across without being a bitch.  I related my tale of sorrow to my friends back home who gave me some great coping tips for the next time it happens. And there will be a next time.  I fear after 17 years of marriage my husband is a bit too complacent and I'm an enabler because I have no stomach for verbal altercations.

Other than that we had a great time at my SIL's Kristi's. The food was awesome and Joseph played real well. The only unfortunate thing was my fight w/my husband took away from my joy of getting a laptop.

INBETWEEN
I've been working.  I can't complain.  I am working.  Sadly, my reading and writing are lacking because I have a trainee at work.  However, I move to AM watch starting on 4 JAN.  I'll be working from 10 at night until 6 in the morning so I should have plenty of time to read and write.  (I hope!) My husband has promised to pick up the slack and take Joe to his therapies and I hope he does.  I need to sleep from 7 am to at least 4 pm.  It will be interesting to see if this schedule really works out or is my own private hell for the next 3 months until I can change watches.

THE WRITING WORLD
I haven't had a chance to troll the boards lately.  I did get some great feedback on my opening chapter of THE WOLF'S KISS which I'm going to retitle THE HUNGARIAN.  Now, if only I can find time to write...

Smiles,
Steph

Posted by sgcardin at 1:22 PM
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Monday, 22 December 2008
Honest Scrap Award
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Life

  I got the "Honest Scrap" award from WDC member Vivian Gilbert Zabel.

You can visit her blog at:http://vivianzabel.blogspot.com/

 

 
Scrap means left overs, fragments, discarded material, and many times truth and honesty is discarded material, considered fragments and left over. So, we need to tell it like it is, and let the scraps fall where they will.

The guidelines for winning this award include the following:

1. List 10 honest things about yourself (make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep)
2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers

My 10 Picks:

#1 - I was married in Denmark, in a city called Nykobig. A Justice of the Peace married us. I'm still married 17 years later to the same guy.

#2 - My mother was abusive toward me when I was a teenager. That's why I joined the army.

#3 - I was an MP in the army from 1986-1997.

#4 - My first published poem was in my high school's literary magazine. The poem was called, "It Didn't Hurt Too Much."

#5 - I grew up drawing superhero comics.

#6 - In 1995 I received the "Outstanding Evening College Student" award from California Baptist Universary. I graduated with Honors with a BS in Political Science.

#7 - I was 33 when my first son was born.

#8 - My youngest son, Joseph, who is two, has developmental delays, specifically speech. It's very demanding and hard work to get him to his therapies, but I manage. They are working. Joe now has a vocabulary of at least ten words and it's expanding everyday.

#9 - My short story, "Spontaneous Decision," scored 8th in the Mainstream/Literary category in the recent Writer's Digest Annual Competition.

#10 - My novel, "Destination:Berlin," was inspired by my own visit to Berlin on the Berlin Orientation Tour in 1988.

Steph's 7 Honest Scrapers:

Kelly's Journal: http://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1016769

Niki's Journal: http://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1214476

Debi's Journal:  http://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1369145

Maggie's Journal: http://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1011455

Jennifer Jackson, Literary Agent Journal: http://arcaedia.livejournal.com/

Nathan Bransford, Literary Agent, Journal: http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/

Lorraine's Blog

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=30504353&blogID=457781826

 


Posted by sgcardin at 1:01 PM
Updated: Monday, 22 December 2008 1:03 PM
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Saturday, 29 November 2008
Thanksgiving Thoughts & A Book Review
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: The Bangles, Doll Revolution
Topic: Life
It's been a couple of days and I just wanted to touch bases with you all.  We celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday.  My son, who is in first grade, came home about two weeks ago and told me Thanksgiving was "lame." Well, I couldn't have that. I got him involved.  First we planned a menu and compromised a little.  We had "White Castles" on it and Turkey of course.  I also whipped some banana smoothies for him which he enjoyed.  We baked cookies, cake, and a blueberry pie.  And I got us some matching Turkey Day aprons. Soon, Thanksgiving wasn't lame anymore, but cool.  I had him help decorate the dining room and we went to the candle store and sniffed candles, picking "spiced pumpkins" from Yankee Candle. It was a little extra effort on my part to get him involved but it was well worth it. He had a great time on Thanksgiving but it was because of the prep work.  

The moral of my story:  A little effort and quality time w/your kids go along way.


Yesterday, we took advantage of Knott's Berry Farm's Police/Fire salute and took the family.  All Fire/Police got in free and brought in a guest for free. Andrew, my 6 year old, rode the log flume and liked it. He's a bit conservative in what kind of rides he picks so I was glad he was a little daring with the Log Flume. Joseph traveled, rarely any fuss until he passed out toward the end of the day.  We saw the Knott's Berry Farm parade. It was kind of busy yesterday - heck, I thought more people would be at the stores shopping for sales.

That said, my husband Brent was actually at Target when it opened at 6 am! I couldn't believe he was game to go, but he was.  He didn't get anything we talked about though.  He didn't want to wait in line for the Wii accessories, he couldn't find the Wii pajamas we wanted to get Andrew and play tent we wanted to get Joseph was sold out. He sent me a text message from Target "It's a zoo."  No kidding, Sweetie. You had to expect that.  We'll look for that stuff a little later on in the week. It just might be work paying the few extra bucks for our shopping sanity.

Anyone have any good Black Friday tales they want to share?
And now...a review. Enjoy.
Steph

*******

Book Review for: “Fangs for the Memories”
Written by: Kathy Love
285 pages
Kensington Publishing Corp.
ISBN: 0-7582-1131-7
$14.00
4.5 Stars


Kathy Love enters the realm of paranormal romance with her first book in the Young series, “Fangs for the Memories.” Love paints wonderfully romantic yet surreal scenes in this juicy offering which fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.

    Rhys Young is a brooding, moody vampire trapped in a human world. Filled with compassion, he rarely feeds from humans, preferring to get his blood in other ways. It’s not as satisfying, but it serves his conscious. He owns part of a nightclub with his brothers, Christian and Sebastian, and has chosen to seclude himself from the world due to his nocturnal nature. Part of his decision is due to his personality, and part of it is due to his background, having been an English viscount over 200 years ago.

    The story opens with Rhys coming to the aid of a young woman, Jane, who is being assaulted in an alley. Jane’s attacker gets away, but not after pistol whipping Rhys. Jane stays by his side and helps Rhys to his apartment with the assistance of his brothers. When Rhys comes to, he’s suffering from a bout of amnesia. Rhys mistakes Jane for his “intended,” and wraps her in an intimate embrace. Jane guilty enjoys Rhys’s advances, but assures him they aren’t engaged. It’s Sebastian who realizes that for the first time in his brother’s life, Rhys has unlocked the gate around his cool heart. Sebastian encourages Rhys to win Jane’s affections. Jane, who has lived a lonely life and was looking for a little direction is vulnerable to Rhys’s charms.

    Jane finds Rhys’s accent and old style mannerisms enchanting, but she has concerns over his habits. She notes how he only goes out at night and doesn’t care for mirrors. The chemistry between them is undeniable and Rhys’s hot kisses soon lead to nights of sinful passion.

    Jane and Christian soon notice the puncture wounds Rhys has left on her body. Christian, who has always harbored a deep seated resentment against his brother, conspires to keep Rhys and Jane apart. It soon comes down to the fact that Jane is dying from Rhys’s bites, bites he’s been unaware of because of his amnesia. The only way to save Jane is to make her a vampire. After Christian’s deception is revealed, and Rhys regains his memory, both he and Jane have tough choices to make. To save her life, will Jane allow Rhys to take the ultimate bite? The ending will satisfy those enjoy the paranormal romance genre.

    Love’s storytelling easily engages her readers. Her characters are interesting and dynamic. Love does write in a “Lonesome Dove” perspective, which switches point of view with no clear divisions or line breaks. This might be disconcerting to the reader. There’s a good blend of dialogue and narration.  Her love scenes are erotic and tender. “Fangs for the Memories,” is a story that allows the reader to deliciously escape in its romantic fantasy.

Posted by sgcardin at 8:11 AM
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Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Catching up! Yikes it's been a while 2X
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Pink, "I'm Not Dead"
Topic: Life
Well, forgive. It's been two months plus and too long. I'll try and catch you all up.

Life in General - Joe

Once Joe started going to his therapies, my time on the net got even more limited. Joe has developmental delays and goes to therapies for Occupational, speech, and receives child development therapies as well. He goes 1 hour Tues-Fri. It's been about 3 months and he's really thriving.  Just this last weekend, he really became imitative with saying words. We got him to say E.T. cook, and eat. I'm just really pleased with his progress. I feel like we're catching up with some of the delays but he won't get another eval until Feb or March.  Right now he's 26 months.

Last Friday we all went to JC Penny to take our Christmas pictures.  Joe was a lot better behaved than last year and we actually got a few pictures with him. We we were thrilled. Even said "Cheese" for the camera lady. He was also a kissing bug, just passing out all kinds of kisses to everyone.

That evening, we got a babysitter to watch the boys and we went to our favorite French restaurant, Le Chene which is out in the hills of Canyon Country. We had a nice low key dinner and it was good to get out on a "date."  We've been married 17 years now. Can you believe it?  17 years ago we got married in Nykobig, Denmark.  It was drizzling, not the world's greatest day. We took a taxi to the courthouse and a Justice of Peace married us. It was 500 doner(sp?) Danish money for the marriage certificate which at the time w $100. Our marriage certificate is in five different languages.

I don't want to get long winded and I need material for later on in the week, so I'll go into one of my latest books reviews for now.

Book Reviews

.

Book Review for "Case of the Missing Coach"

 

Written by: V. Gilbert Zabel

4RV Publishing, LLC

ISBN: 978-0-9797513-1-8

143 Pages

4 Stars

 

Zabel's youth filled adventure/mystery novel, "Case of the Missing Coach," challengers readers to solve the case right along with the main character, Ryan. It's fun, harrowing at times, but the reader can't deny Ryan's – or Zabel's – love of baseball which shines through the novel. It's a solid, youth story that all can enjoy.

 

The Jonesville Chargers are a youth baseball team from Texas. As the story opens, they are competing in a regional tournament. There's a core group of players, known as the "base stealers club," and Ryan is not only instrumental to the team, but his father is also the coach. After winning the regionals, the team starts to receive threatening notes and messages. Ryan and his friends decide to do an informal investigation to find out who is behind the threats. The team travels to Washington D.C. to play in the national championships. Security is tight, but the threats come true when one of the coaches is kidnapped. The team rallies together on and off the field. Ignoring the threats, the team advances to the finals. The air around the team gets tense as they struggle to keep up their morale. The FBI along with Ryan and his friends finally figure out where their missing coach is being held, but is it too late for the team to win the national championship?

 

Zabel's writing is deliberate. She intricately laces her clues into the plot with a deft touch that easily can sneak past the reader. The plot moves at a moderate pace, and doesn't linger. The action is immediate, fluidly moving from one scene to the other. The characters are likable, each with their own personality and Ryan, is infused with a curiosity the reader shares.

 

The author uses black and white pictures of boys playing baseball to frame the chapters which was appealing. The pictures also helped set the scene and tone of the story. Zabel also included a list of coaches and players in the beginning which was helpful as it tended to get confusing at times.

 

The story is told in the third person and the point of view is tight, switching with chapters. There's a good blend of dialogue and narration that allows the story to move forward at a good clip. Zabel's story is a nice "feel good" young adult romp that will have the reader rooting for the Chargers from start to end.


Posted by sgcardin at 11:02 AM
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Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Our Day at Disney & some Weight Watchers Thoughts
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Life

Well, we left at 8 in the morning and managed to beat out rush hour traffic which was nice.  Our trip didn't take long to get there - about 1 hr. 15-20 mins.  The weather was actually nice. It wasn't scorching hot.  We met my mother-in-law & Richard when we got there and they got there just a couple of minutes before we did. We rode "Pirates" with Joseph and then went to eat at "Zocalo" (the Mexican place) because we thought it was weight watchers friendly. Joe was a good egg, not too fussy. Then Brent & I rode Big Thunder mountain which was nice. Carmy & Richard watched the boys for us. We hadn't ridden the same ride together in years. haha. 

We took the boys to fanstayland and Andrew rode dumbo while we took Joseph on the carousel. Joseph really liked it, but he was tired. Andrew & I did the teacups and then we went to tomorrowland. Brent and I did Space Mountain.  We got some souveniors. Joseph finally passed out around 3:30 and slept for about an hour.  Andrew & I did the Jungle cruise and someone gave Brent fast passes for Indiana Jones. Brent and I hadn't gone before but I didn't think the ride was all that. It was okay. It was like an amp'd up "Star Tours." Andrew & I did the Mark Twain riverboat and then we took a ride on the train that went around the park.  We had a bite to eat at the Plaza Inn. It was AC'd which was nice and gave us all a chance to cool down. Brent took Andrew to Star Tours and I took Joe to the carousel.

At dinner Joe kept saying, "milka, milka, milka." I gave him his bottle and started slurping up his milk.  When he really wants something it's amazing how expressive he can be. Joe for the most part was pretty quite, just looking around and taking things in.  Joe and I posed for a picture with Woody but Joe, like Andrew back when he was Joe's age, was shy and tucked his head into my shoulder.  Finally, around 8, we departed. I wanted to stay for fireworks, and I'm sure the boys would have been good about it, but Brent, like a poop, wanted to leave.   It was a fun day. 

Weight watcher-wise I thought I did good. I got a lot of walking in and I tried to make better food choices, but I think Brent made a little bit better choices than I.  I stayed the same when I weighed myself so I was happy about that.  Today, I'm going to try to go to the gym and get some weights in before we go to Catalina tomorrow.  My weight goal during Catalina is to 1 make good choices, 2 portion control 3 continue to get some physical activity in, focusing on cardio since that would be the easiest.  Can't get to weight watchers this week unless they have a meeting in Catalina, which I doubt so I'm going to have to stay tough for an extra week. haha. Wish me luck!

FYI - I posted some Disney pics of us in my photo album if you get a chance to check them out.

((hugs))
Steph

 

Hopefully, soon, when I catch up on my emails & my Writing.com contests, I'll be able to get back to some of my writing. 


Posted by sgcardin at 3:28 AM
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