Oct 19, 2016

RECAP: Supernatural Season 12, Episode 1

It’s alright Cass, computers scare us too.

When Supernatural’s first episode aired in 2014, the goal was to get through one season. Then it was three and finally five seasons, where Eric Kripke’s vision for the brother’s story was realized.

So when the show aired its 12th season premiere last Thursday, it needed a way to keep it fresh.

Supernatural delivered by bringing back a long dead character – Mom.

We knew Mary would be back because of the devious cliffhanger from last season, but three months might not have prepared us for all the emotions when Dean and Mary were finally reunited, even if she did knock him to the ground first. No one messes with Mama Winchester.

Mary and Dean’s scenes were some of the most poignant and humorous of the episode. Dean recapped her life with John to prove who he was. Mary was saddened when she learned her sons were both hunters – the one thing she didn’t want for her children. I could have watched an entire episode of Dean and Mary talking while sitting on a park bench because we got to see what Dean always wanted. Remember, all the way back in Season 2 in “What Is and What Should Never Be” when the djinn granted Dean his greatest wish it was that his mother was still alive.

But we couldn’t just sit on the bench all day because Sam is out there and has no idea that Dean and his mother are both alive. The two make it back to the bunker and find Sam’s blood. Sam has been shot at the end of last season, but luckily it hit him in the leg and doesn’t seem to too disastrous. Castiel shows up after being banished and now they are on the hunt to find Sam, but not before taking a trip down memory lane.

Mary sees ‘Baby,’ the 1967 Chevy Impala that Dean inherited from his father, and gets all happy as she stares at the back seat. Dean smiles back and nods his head before realizing this is not the memory he wants burned into his brain. He was probably conceived in the back of that vehicle – and kids everywhere were grossed out for Dean.  

As Mary tries to grasp this new world filled with smartphones and angels, she should provide some interesting moments in future episodes. Although the same may not be said for the British division of the Men of Letters storyline. Sam had been shot in the leg, cleaned up by a veterinarian, and tortured for information. But seeing as how Sam has been tortured by Lucifer himself, there wasn’t anything that Lady Toni could do that would break him.

In fact, he nearly escapes, but the episode ends with Sam still stuck in the basement of an old house with Lady Toni looking as though she has no idea what she got herself into. It’s been reported that the Men of Letters will be enemies and allies throughout the season, but so far the storyline dragged as the intent of the Men of Letters isn’t clear just yet.

We know they are smart. They are bad asses. They also have really cool toys. But they also weren’t interested in helping before. So why now?

It would have made more sense to reach out much sooner and give assistance to Dean and Sam to make America as demon-safe of England. Since the last demon-related death occurred in 1965, it would have been nice to offer some help. Ah, but then we wouldn’t have a season 12.

The tough part for Sam is he thinks Dean is still dead and doesn’t know someone is out there looking for him. And we will be a gooey mess when Dean and Sam are reunited again.

Those weren’t the only storylines in the season premiere. Lucifer is still free and leaving a slew of bodies in his wake as he searches for a vessel. Crowley is on the case looking for the Big Bad Man.

Quote of the episode:
Mary: “Is that a computer?”
Castiel: “Yes. I don’t trust them.”

Oct 4, 2016

Book review: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1)Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker was my first Brandon Sanderson book. The NY Times bestseller author’s books hadn’t come through my to-read list before, but I picked up this book based on a review I read online.

It probably wasn’t the best Sanderson book to start with – but it wasn’t a bad book by any means.

What I liked:
- The world Sanderson created is unique and fascinating. The way colors and Breath control the wealth of a person has created a dynamic world with an interesting caste system.
- The characters were likable. There were a number of people that Sanderson introduced in Warbreaker, including princesses, gods and regular folk.

What I didn’t like
- The end of book felt rushed. The entire book felt as though it was building up to this flashpoint, and while it got there, the payout didn’t feel as great as the lead up.
- Some of the middle parts of the book dragged a bit as the different parties were setting up their plots.

The story was compelling and the world unique. It certainly made me want to check out another one of Sanderson’s books. I hear there are books even better than this one. Warbreaker did provide a couple of twists, which I appreciated and enjoyed.

View all my reviews

Jun 8, 2014

What I wrote about this week

I recently attended BookExpo America, and I am still sorting through all the notes for articles I plan to write. There should be at least four or five more articles in the works from BEA.

This is the second year in a row I attended the event. The first year, I was completely unprepared for it while I brought a little bag and carried too many books. I was smarter this time around by limiting the books I picked up and bringing a much bigger bag.

Here are the posts from Teleread on my trip to BEA so far:

Publishing houses -- at least Simon & Schuster -- not avoiding fan fiction

Novelry looks to be the online bookstore when it comes to discoverability

Over at Books and Pals, where I get a chance to read indie books, two of my reviews were posted. One was on a fictional baseball book and the other took place in a dystopian future.

Hang a Crooked Number

Far Out

May 17, 2014

The Dresden Files on sale today from Amazon

There are a number fans of The Dresden Files, and Amazon is offering a nice deal for them today.

The e-books from The Dresden Files are just $1.99 each today. The Dresden Files are a series of mysteries with the main character being Harry Dresden, who is a private investigator and a wizard.

If you always wanted to pick these books up, now today (Saturday) would be a good time.

May 12, 2014

Book accessories for under $5

Everywhere I look, I see owls.

I think owls have replaced mustaches as the next trendy thing. My nieces have owl everything I noticed. They made a mother’s day card for grandma, it was decorated with owls.

So here’s a cute gift for someone who likes owls, and likes to read. These i-clips owl magnets page markers are only $3.55.

As a bonus for anyone who likes to read in the dark or in poor lighting, here is a portable, foldable LED reading light . You can clip it to a book, or likely on the edge of on e-reader. I used to have something similar for my Nook, but I certainly didn’t pay $1.54 for it, which is the price right now on Amazon.

If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, check out these Tiffany paper bookmarks , which are $1.50 for 12. 

May 6, 2014

Review: The Case of the Werewolf Puppy

I keep doing this. I start with the wrong book in a series. I don’t do it on purpose, but it turned out The Case of the Werewolf Puppy was actually the second in The Warlock Case Files.

The good thing, however, is that there was enough information and action that I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything by starting with Book 2. It made for a good stand-alone book within the series.

Author Juli Monroe has a great voice with a very easy, casual feel about it. It’s almost as though a friend is telling you a story rather than an author trying to put a series of actions together. Getting inside the head of Dafydd, the protagonist, is also interesting. He’s a warlock, but it’s more about rituals and potions. That doesn’t mean he is bad. In fact, Dafydd goes through some serious soul searching as he learns more about evil and how far he is willing to go in the name of doing the right thing.

The Case of the Werewolf Puppy has an interesting premise with Dafydd finding a werewolf child. The problem is he and his friends learn the child is an infected werewolf and not a natural one. That is a big no-no.

Dafydd and his friends aren’t typical crime fighters. He is a gay warlock. His evil-fighting partner is a vampire, Paul, who doesn’t want to drink from humans. His best friend, Laura, is a quadriplegic who was paralyzed in a car crash in high school. And they bring in a local werewolf pack leader for help.

They mesh well and have easy conversations. Even though, they are all dealing with their own daily struggles, there is still enough light in their lives that it won’t allow the darkness to consume them.

I started with Book 2, and I fully intend on heading back to the first book of the series to see how Dafydd and Paul’s partnership began. 

May 4, 2014

Book Review: Blind Sight ... a fun read, especially for Supernatural fans

Where to find it: Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Being a teenage girl and growing up without a mother is tough enough. Throw in special powers, a brother who resents you and angels and demon vying for your attention, and you have the world going crazy around you.

Jordan has visions that allow her to see evil monsters. She relays those images to her brothers who hunt the creature and kill it before it can do more damage. Jordan is isolated, but loves her family. Her only friend is her family’s guardian angel, but even he has been acting shady as of late.

Jordan’s most recent vision sends the entire family on a hunt to Tennessee where they have to destroy a rare creature that is killing people in a small town. This hunt is anything but ordinary – if killing mystical creatures can be called ordinary – as Jordan learns more about her true nature.

The book is well written and the action moved throughout. The twists are interesting and you feel for Jordan. She tries her best, but that may not be good enough because things happened before she was born that she cannot change.

This is the first book in the Celadon Series by Nicole Storey, but you don’t have to worry about there being a major cliffhanger at the end. The creature story wraps up and all the big secrets are out in the open.

However, I’m intrigued to see where Jordan’s next adventure will take her.

May 2, 2014

Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called | Patricia Briggs

Summary: The introduction of Mercedes Thompson, a stubborn mechanic who wants to keep to herself. But other people don’t intend on leaving her alone. Mercy lives next door to an Alpha werewolf and they don’t always play nice as she can change into a coyote. However, when her new employee, a newly made, lone wolf from out of town ends up dead on her doorstep and the Alpha is attacked and his daughter kidnapped, Mercy’s instincts kick in to help.

Where to find it: Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble

Review: I started backwards, reading the seventh book in the series first. I enjoyed that book so much, I went back to the beginning.

I can see why readers have enjoyed the Mercy Thompson series. She’s a fiery, independent woman who doesn’t want to take people’s crap. She doesn’t seek trouble, yet it has a way of landing on her doorstep.

What I found intriguing was the development of certain relationships. I know where Mercy ends up – because I read the seventh book – but watching the journey unfold is fun.

The first book by Patricia Briggs is a great set up. We learn about Mercy, how she grew up, and the world that now surrounds her. Mercy navigates these obstacles the best she can, but it’s inevitable that she runs into problems because she is stubborn and doesn’t want to be submissive to anyone – including the pack Alpha who lives next door.

In Mooncalled, Mercy rescues Adam, the Alpha, and saves his life more than once. She also helps save his kidnapped daughter. While Mercy works out reasons behind the attack, some of her ideas were a bit of a stretch, and I actually found the “big reveal” to be a little far-fetched. It didn’t detract from the fun nature of Mooncalled, and the Mercy Thompson series is one I will continue reading.

Apr 28, 2014

Review: The Picture of Cool by Laurie Boris

The Picture of Cool | Laurie Boris

Summary: Charlie is a television producer that meets an interesting man who is a guest on the show. The two connect, but Adam has a secret that could tear his family apart.

Where to find it: Amazon

Review: When reading a book about people and seminal moments, the characters have to be believable. They need to feel real and not as though they are forced into a moment for the sake of a story.

Boris did everything right in The Picture of Cool.  

The characters are real and in situations easily imagined. The pain Charlie feels as he pines for Adam is something that any person can relate to. Their relationship is gradual and sweet.

It doesn’t matter that the main characters are gay, anyone should be able to enjoy this book.

Boris leaves a note at the end stating she intends to make these characters part of a longer book, and one I fully intend to read. I actually wanted to learn more about the characters, including some of the supporting cast. The Picture of Cool is an easy, smooth read where the reader is pulled into the lovely story. 

Apr 15, 2014

Picking up a baseball gig

Writing about baseball has been one of my favorite things. Covering ball games, talking to players, dissecting the nuances of the game.

I love it all.

Almost two years ago, I stopped writing about baseball because -- what I tell people -- I took a desk job. I became on editor at Beckett Media where I write about trading cards and collectibles.

For the most part, I rarely write about baseball. In fact, I write about every other main sport.

A couple of weeks ago, I contacted one of the editors of It's About the Money. It's a blog dedicated to the New York Yankees. Luckily, they were happy to have me write for the. So far, I wrote a couple of game recaps, but I also wrote three other posts.

Bernie Williams should be celebrated with The Core Four

Replay slowing the pace of baseball games; is it worth it?

Why players don't care about Michael Pineda's "dirt"

Check out the site, especially if you are into baseball. There are a lot of interesting writers over there who have a lot of thought-provoking things to say about baseball and the Yankees. I am happy to write about baseball again.

I hope you enjoy my contributions.