The Harvesting Book 1–Melanie Karsak

The Harvesting Book 1Melanie Karsak

Layla Petrovich has spent her whole life running away from her hometown of Hamletville. Raised by the town’s medium, and dubbed the “weird” girl for her fascination with swords, the last thing Layla wants is to go home.
But when she receives a desperate call to return just as a mysterious outbreak sweeps the country, Layla’s instincts urge her to go. Good thing, because the dead are rising.
Layla, however, isn’t entirely on her own. With her psychic powers growing, surely everything will turn out okay, right?
Not so fast. Just when Layla believes she might survive the apocalypse, a sinister and ancient force rises from the shadows to finish mankind for good.

-Taken from Goodreads 

When Layla got a call from her psychic Russian grandmother telling her to come home, she dropped everything and drove the 500 miles to her hometown hours before a killer virus sweeps the country. When the dead start walking and Layla is forced to mercy her beloved grandmother. When the small town starts to fall, Layla took charge and with the help of her ex-boyfriend and his brother. The town is safe, bordered by a lake and forest, the residences start to feel secure, until two men show up in a boat one night. Then everything really does go to hell.

This is a zombie novel with a twist, a mystic twist, and it makes for a very different sort of narrative. As if zombies weren’t bad enough, the writer has so much more in store for her readers, she threw in vampires, emerging psychic powers and a mystic labyrinth just to make it even more exciting.  It’s a book that never lets a dull moment sneak into its pages, from start to finish you don’t know what is going to happen next.

Well written, with a quick pace. this is a book not to be missed, I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Happy Reading

9/10

Musing Monday on a Tuesday

Ok I know that doesn’t make sense but, remember, I am writing this from the future, well ok not really the future but New Zealand is the first to see the new day so Tuesday to us is Monday night to you in the Northern parts of the world.

Anyway all that aside, Musing Monday is brought to you by the lovely people at Purple Booker, a fab book blog I have just started following and its a really cool idea so of course I had to follow it, even if it means its Musing Tuesday which really doesn’t sound nearly as cool. Basically you pick one of the questions below and write about it, also there is a random weekly question you can write about also.

 

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEKS RANDOM QUESTION: Do you try out genres you have not liked in the past once in a while just to see if your taste changed?

So I am going to pick Up next I think I’ll read…mainly because I finished my latest book today, The Harvesting: Book 1 by Melanie Karsak which I will be reviewing later in the week. So tonight I will be reading, newly downloaded from Net Galley , Moon Chosen by PC Cast.  I have read most of the House of Night series but that was a while back. I want to say I really enjoyed it but I can’t really remember. I do remember hunting my local library for more of her books in my pre-kindle days, which means it was over four years ago, btw my local library didn’t have them because, they suck! lol, just kidding I love libraries even if I don’t tend to read paper books that much any more, its the smell, know what I mean? But I do like the way PC Cast writes, that much I do remember so this will be interesting. I have no clue what its about but if its fantasy its got my name written all over it.

I have had a pretty steady diet of zombie novels lately so its time to bust out (though I will admit to binge reading the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Meads while I was sick last week, can’t help myself Dimitri is like my dream book boyfriend, well if he was like 20 years older because panting over someone the same age as your son…yeah that’s just not right.) Ok distracted…again, blame the meds and move on.

Next question please – Do you try out genres you have not liked in the past once in a while just to see if your taste changed?

I do do this, not often but occasional I will read something out of my bookiverse but in most cases I crash and burn before I get halfway through. I recently got a romance sent to me to pre-read before it was released and honestly, the book was well written but romances bore the hell out of me (Unless they involve tall sexy hot dhampir Russians that can kick ass lol) I am fussy about what I read, if it isn’t well written then it will go into my throw away pile pretty quick, no matter the genre.  I don’t like chick lit at all, I do enjoy the occasional mystery or literary classic but mostly I prefer my reading list populated with books oozing blood. I was going through my kindle the other day and realized that my reading list had got very dark indeed so I went and found some YA to lighten it up a bit, not a lot but more dark grey than black now lol

.

Anyway loves that’s it for me tonight, I am still getting over the major health meltdown I had over the weekend and need an early night. I will be posting a review later this week but in the meantime happy reading, and don’t forget to let me know you’re thoughts. Tell me your favorite genre, what’s in your bookiverse?

After Everyone Died–Sean Little

After Everyone Died–Sean Little

The Flu, that’s what everyone called it, culled the primate population of the planet. It struck hard and fast, wiping out the whole of humanity. For reasons he can’t understand, Twist is left alive to face the apocalypse alone. Well, not entirely alone-his neighbor’s gassy Labrador, Rowdy, tags along for the ride. Twist and Rowdy are forced to face the new post-apocalypse world together, holing up in the local library and scavenging supplies to outlast a long, cold Wisconsin winter. Twist has to adapt to the emptiness and isolation of an empty world and come to terms with the fact that he might be the only person left alive in the entire world. In a world where boredom and loneliness are the greatest threat, Twist must survive, keeping the hope that others might be alive, as well.

Taken from Goodreads

 A touching story of a young man finding his way in an empty world. Twist is almost 18 when he loses everyone he has ever known, alone and grieving, he soon realizes that the only one that can help him is himself. The hard Wisconsin winter is coming and he knows if he doesn’t prepare now he won’t survive.

It is amazing how strong someone can become when they have no choice. This novel is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Told through Twist’s journal, we get, not only his actions, but his emotions, the suffering of a person truly alone.  We take the journey with him while he searches for other survivors and prepares for the long winter ahead with just an elderly dog for company. The story is well written, the character growth very realistic, and the fact that the author hasn’t down played  the physical and mental affect of an apocalypse would have on a person makes for an engrossing story. A lot of writers don’t venture into the emotional damage losing everyone you love would cause, but Sean Little has jumped into it with both feet, not holding back on the feelings of lose or the suicidal thoughts that Twist is forced to deal with. He has told an amazing story of a boy thrust into manhood, with everything he has ever known striped away.

I read this book in just a few days, it was such an intriguing storyline it captured my imagination.

9/10

Planner week 4

I know, I’m 2 says late but I have a good excuse, I’ve been sick…again sigh. I am lying on my bed, trying to not move, moving hurts. I can move my fingers, for a change they don’t hurt to much.

I did manage to get this weeks planner layout done on Saturday only to wake up on sunday feeling like I had been hit by a bus. 

So without futher ado, here it is.

This weeks stickers are from Bling Bling Planner, honestly some of the prettiest stickers I have come across.

I add some quote stickers from the new Rosies Studio sticker book I got the other day from The Warehouse. I also picked up the adorable jandle (thats flip flops to the rest of the world) paperclips. I included  3 different washi tapes, well really the top one is Tim Holtz tissue tape, I have added more since I took the photo, narrow gold down each side. And the finally the wee girl at the bottow, shes a magnetic book mark I got off EBay. I just love her.

So all my plans for this week have gone down the drain, replaced with doctors appointments and painkillers. Oh the joys of auto immune dieases. Think positive thoughts for me, at least I will get a bit of reading done. 

Laters

All That Remains–Al Barrera

 

All That RemainsAl Barrera

The old world is dead, and humanity struggles to survive in the shadows of the new one. Kyle, Sara, and Tim are scavengers, hiding in the remains of human civilization from the hungry things that destroyed it. Living on the few items that haven’t rotted in the thirteen years since civilization was wiped out.
But something has shown itself: A terrible creature that betrays an intelligence in the madness of the creatures that rule the planet.
When the group finds Kaylee, a little girl who claims to know of a safe haven somewhere in Tennessee, they embark on a desperate journey to find it. Memory and loss, depravity and salvation— their last run will put them face to face with horrors of both man and monsters the likes of which they’ve never seen. (taken from
Goodreads.com).

My Thoughts

It just starts, no chance to catch your breath or find out what is going on, no back story of how the end came about, All That Remains just hits the ground running and demands that you keep up. Some of the backstory comes in dribs and drabs throughout the book, in between running from monsters, avoiding death, protecting each other, and saving little girls, but there is still a lot more needed for a full understanding of what has happened to the world.

The end of humanity is a scary place to be and the author does nothing to soften the fear. He has written his characters very well, given them personalities that are realistic and believable. The landscape they lived in was also well written, 13 years after the fall of man it is easy to imagine buildings falling into disrepair and nature coming back to claim the world once more. Though with the monsters there came more, some kind of terraforming that was never really explained. As with the monsters, some where described but most where left up to the readers imagination.

It’s all the unanswered questions that stopped me enjoying the book as much as I would have if I had of known the backstory completely. It may just be me, but I like to know where things start, otherwise I feel like I have missed something. I did try and find a book one that I may have missed but there doesn’t seem to be one. I got the book from Net Galley and it is the first time I have read a book from there so maybe this is an incomplete version.

For all the questions I have, I did really enjoy the storyline and the well written characters and how they grow during the narrative. There was a lot to keep a reader going in the story. There is suspense and enough fear and excitement to make it worthwhile reading but I still am left with a feeling of a book incomplete.

Check it out yourself and let me know your thoughts. Happy reading

5/10

I am a spoonie

I live with two autoimmune diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, I was diagnosed with RA when I was 37 and Fibro when I was 40. My life since then has changed dramatically in some ways, in others its still the same. When I was diagnosed I as a single, widow mum of  two teenage boys and a 10 month old daughter, these days my son’s have long since grown and left home, one is now a baker and a father, the other is at university working on his masters, my daughter is a tween with an attitude, she also is mild autistic and incredibly clever but that’s a whole different story.

We all have journeys in life, and we all have expectations in life. I never expected that I would lead a life with limitations. 10 years has taught me a lot about myself. I found out how strong I can really be, I also found out that no matter how bad things are, someone is always worse off than you. Be thankful to the little things and treasure the good moments, and try not to be to grumpy in the bad ones.

I have also found out how impatient people are and how judgmental they can be. Because what I have is called an invisible illnesses, the effects aren’t obvious to outsiders, I have been called lazy, useless and allsorts of things, and that’s just by my own family. My auntie also has RA, a milder form than me, and until recently she worked full time, my cousin’s husband told me that there was no reason why I couldn’t be working if she could and that I was just making it up. He went on to say that fibromyalgia was a made up disease and it was all in my head, this was at a family gathering with all my family around me and the only one to defend me was my mother. He is a (I want to say dick but this blog is suppose to be family friendly.) an idiot (and that’s way too mild.) but the fact that a person can even think that just makes my life that much harder.

Over the years I have got to know a lot of people with RA and Fibro and they all have one thing in common, people simply don’t understand how someone can be so sick yet nothing shows. Sometimes I wish I could scream at them, “Google in!” in fact I suggested that to my sister in law when she asked and her whole attitude toward me changed after that, she finally understood what it was like.

The best way I have ever seen the effects of an invisible illnesses described is called the spoon theory, which was written by Christine Miserandino at ButYouDontLookSick.com. read this and please leave me a comment below on your thoughts.

The Spoon theory

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

Cartoon image of Christine Miserandino holding a spoon
As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?

I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.

As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.

I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.

I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.

We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.

When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.

I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”

Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.

After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”

Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.

I know that was a long read but I believe everyone should read it. Take a walk in a spoonies shoes, it will be slow, you may limp or have sore feet, it may feel like your feet are breaking and your knees are 30 years old than you are, but you will walk a way with a better understanding that those of us that are autoimmune super heroes are fighting our own quiet battle every day.

Come back on Friday for another book review.  I have a couple of good ones I have just finished that I am dying to share.

take care and keep smiling.

Planner Layout Jan wk3

This month is sliding by, heading rapidly toward my birthday on Thursday…21 for the 27th time lol. My layout this week is a bit of a hodge podge, I used a lot of different stickers because I couldn’t decide on which one I wanted to use.

IMG_3381

  • The Oh Snap sticker set is from Victoria Thatcher 
  • Unicorns from Lovely Planner (I love them and use them a lot.)
  • The crown and bottom washi are called EmojiFun and also from Victoria Thatcher (she has the biggest and coolest collection of freebie planner stickers I have come across.)
  • The cute wee sloth is another from Lovely Planner (I love that she includes a Silhouette cut file, making it so much easier to cut her stickers out.)
  • the rest are from various other places, if anyone recognizes them please let me know, some I have had for months and can’t remember where I got them but I want to be able to give credit where it is due.
  • I have used another sidebar from Mambi, I like the ‘currently’ sidebars, helps me keep track of what I was doing and liking that week.
  • and finally the “60’s” card came from Studio Calico, I included it since I was a 60’s baby, only just though lol 
  • I used a lot of washi tape this week, my stash has grown with all the new ones I have brought from Ebay lately. The only one I wouldn’t recommend is Little B 3mm tape, I don’t know about any of their other washi but the one I got doesn’t stay stuck, I ended up pulling most of it off and replacing it with something else
  • This weeks quote says, “If you can’t get ride of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best take it out and teach it to dance – George Bernard Shaw. It seemed suitable since the skeleton in my closet has been knocking on the door a lot lately.

So now I need to fill in the to do’s this week, which I shall do while watching the rest of the Supernatural season one I have been binging all weekend lol. Have a great week one and all.