Prison Planet Barbarian

Prison Planet Barbarian   description:

Being kidnapped by aliens is one thing. Being kidnapped by aliens and then sent to a prison planet is something infinitely worse.

Here in Haven’s prison system, I’m stranded among strangers, enemies, and the most ruthless criminals in the galaxy. There’s no safety for a human woman here, especially not one branded as a murderer. I’m doomed to a fate worse than death.

Then…he decides I should be his. His name’s Jutari. He’s seven feet tall, blue, and horned. He’s an assassin and one of the most dangerous prisoners here. He’s like no one I’ve ever met before…and he might be my only chance.

This story stands completely alone and is only marginally connected to the Ice Planet Barbarians series. You do not need to read those books in order to follow this one.

Prison Planet Barbarian  3 STARS

This book is definitely separate from the Ice Planet Barbarians series. However, if you are reading the series I wouldn’t check this out until you’ve read Barbarian’s Lady, because you do get a mention of Chloe and her connection to the women there. This was a fun look into the rest of the galaxy, seeing more species and how things are ran, and their view on humans and knowledge of them. I really enjoyed this book, and having read Dixon’s other series, it was fun seeing the connections of the different aliens and the galaxy out there, and it’d be great to see how far she can take all of this. I just didn’t like that for once we could see a relationship form between a messakh and a human outside of the influence of a khui, or even the tribe that survives off such pairings, and actually see how they might come together, but instead we get Jutari being influenced by a primal urge. There is no real relationship other than Jutari wanting Chloe, and deciding she is his, and Chloe needing him for protection. Even within the Ice Planet series you’d get more development between the couples that show why they’re a good match, and this just felt too rushed through.

Bride of the Dragons

Bride of the Dragons  by  Selina Coffey  description:

Elokon and Siron have yet to find a mate.
Elokon became the alpha of his tribe three months ago, and since then, the human towns nearby have sent a dozen women in tribute, and even the women of nearby dragon tribes have sought them out. Elokon’s tribe is powerful and any dragon would be pleased to bear a child of his bloodline.

But neither he nor Siron has seen a single woman that awakens the mating instinct. At long last, the High Dragon has passed down an edict: find a mate, or Elokon will be stripped of his power and banished. There is no place in the Dragonlands for an alpha who will not carry on the old bloodlines.

As the third daughter of an impoverished Earl, Adelina has no dowry and no prospects.
Desperate not to become a priestess, she makes a plan: when the High Dragon’s court comes for their historic meeting with the human king, she will be so alluring that she can steal the heart of one of the richest noblemen at court. She has worked late into the night, sewing herself a dress that will catch anyone’s eye.

During the festivities, she knows she can tempt someone into an indiscretion…
But much to her shock, that someone isn’t human. Furthermore, it’s not one someone, but two. And now that they’ve found their mate, Elokon and Siron aren’t planning to let her go.

Bride of the Dragons   3 STARS

It was like Coffey wasn’t sure if she was writing a novel or a short story. This is more than just a fluff story about Elokon, Siron, and Adelina, but even with a whole world of dragons, Naga, and a war brewing between the 2, this story was very underdeveloped. Everything was rushed and just happened in the style that short stories like these do, but for how much you invest into the story and all that’s going on it just ends up leaving you wanting more, and not in a good way. With the 3 you get them meeting, marrying, and Adelina having a baby before you’re more than a few chapters in. While I get the rush of the marriage due to Adelina’s situation and the dragons traditions, but afterwards it would’ve been nice to see how they got to actually know each other, and Adelina learning how to fit in with the dragons once she’s in their kingdom. Even the war was rushed, regardless of what a formidable foe the Naga were built up as. She had this whole world that we’re introduced too, but we never really see the full breadth of it. Honestly this is the sort of story that could go on into a series, which would be helpful to then see where this all leads too, not just with these characters, but other dragons and dragonflights. If so I’d definitely be willing to check it out.

Also I hate it when the covers don’t even try to represent the characters. Not that that affected this review, it’s just a side note.

The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper  by  Sarah Addison Allen  description:

It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.

But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.

For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town.

Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living.

The Peach Keeper  5 STARS

This is a wonderfully whimsical story, with a hint of magic that makes anything possible, and a mystery to keep you turning pages late into the night. I loved the balance between Willa and Paxton. Willa is haunted by all the things she’s done in the past, while Paxton lives with the regrets of all the things she hasn’t done. And while this does deal with the two falling in love, this book is more about the power of friendship, about why it’s so important to be their for your friends, and how that relationship never has to fade away. It’s definitely not your average sort of novel. The thing I love most about Allen’s writing is that she doesn’t just give you this one story, she gives you a whole world in this town, but it never gets bogged down. She lets you see all these people and all the things that have led them here, and created them, and it really gets you involved in all of their lives. They become people you feel like you knew, and being from a small town I can definitely relate to this sort of world, though I wish we had the strange occurrences that happen there, would’ve been interesting. And while you don’t need to read Garden Spells before this, because it’s not tied into that series, some of the characters do show up. Which is another thing I love authors to do, to have their books all within this same world, which makes each story you read by them just suck you in even further.

Fire in His Kiss

BOOK 1: Fire in His Blood  by  Ruby Dixon

Fire in His Kiss   description:

Bloodlust and insanity rule my existence. As a fierce drakoni warrior, this strange new world I find myself in eats at my mind until there is nothing left. There is no light or clarity…until she arrives. I save her life, plucking her from the sky.

From that point on, she is mine.

But the human I have chosen for my mate – Sasha – is fragile and wounded. She does not trust me and fears my presence. I will not give up, though. I will do anything to give her my fires and bond us both in body and spirit. How can I convince her that I want nothing more than her happiness if she will not let me touch her?

How does a dragon woo a human?

BOOK 2: Fire in His Kiss  5 STARS

Wow. I’m surprised we got to learn so much about the dragons and their home world so early on, but it does open the doors to the potential of this series. I think that’s what so great about it, is that there’s so much Dixon can do with it, so many places it can go. With Dahk we get a better look into what’s going on with the dragons, but I also loved Sasha and how much she struggled with it all. Having been abused in the After, and then being taken away by the humans’ greatest enemy, she definitely isn’t someone ready to jump into a relationship. She’s just trying to survive, and poor Dahk is so confused over how to woo a woman, and why Sasha reacts the way she does. Mostly though, it’s that Dixon doesn’t wash over the bad. Even as Sasha may know Dahk cares for her, he’s still part of the reason her whole life is destroyed, and yet he’s also a victim of his own insanity, and so there’s this constant struggle for both sides to understand the other. Then with the addition of Emma, who gets to be a part of dealing with them and trying to understand, while of course not being one with a dragon, really helped flesh out the story. The last book we didn’t really get much with Amy or Sasha, so I’m glad we had Emma to give another point of view in this. Altogether it was even better than the first, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Questions I have for Adventure Time

Since Adventure Time is to end in season 9, there are some questions that I’m hoping will be answered. Since we’re only half way through season 8 at the moment there’s a chance some of these are to be answered soon, but if not hopefully they won’t leave anything hanging since they know so early on that they’re finishing. Here are some of my questions, honestly there are more that I have, and more will probably continue to pop up, but these are the main ones for me at the moment.

  1. What is the deal with Gunter’s baby cat? It clearly has powers since it floats and shoots lasers, and since Gunter is technically Orgalorg does that mean the cat is some kind of god-like creature as well?
  2. Why were the Martians fated to meet Jake? They just said that it was foretold, and yet he doesn’t do anything for them. Finn has more influence over events in their life than Jake does, so just why?
  3. What exactly was the Peeper who created Jake? Does it have anything do with Orgalorg considering the similar appearance between the 2?
  4. What exactly is the second coming of GOLB and does Finn have anything to do with him due to the fact of him bouncing off GOLB when leaving Pillow World?
  5. Was Pillow World real then?
  6. Why did GOLB take Margles and will he bring her back?
  7. Will Peace Master ever save his 2 children who have been cursed, and finish seeking revenge on Peppermint Butler?
  8. Why does Peace Master hate Peppermint Butler, considering nobody else knows he’s evil, and even those who know he’s the Dark One don’t seem to mind?
  9. What’s going on with Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant and Maja?
  10. What happened to the people from the Mountain of Matthew, and what does its’ destruction mean for his supposed need to restore the world in the future?

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book   by  Jennifer Donnelly  description:

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.

This deluxe hardcover novel expands upon the beautiful story and world seen in the new Walt Disney Studios’ film, Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book  4 STARS

This was a fun sweet young readers book. While you don’t have to see the new movie to enjoy this book, there were references and things brought up that do come from the movie, so I would recommend doing such. If you have seen the movie, the book mentioned has nothing to do with the book used in the movie, rather this is an adventure that’s right in the middle of the story. You don’t get the story of how Belle ended up there, although it’s brought up, nor do you see how the story ends for Belle and the Beast. This does help you get to know the characters a bit more, but because so much of this story takes place in Nevermore we’re really seeing more of what’s going on with Belle and what’s really keeping her in the castle, and how she feels being pretty much trapped there. However, even as simplistic as this tale is at times, it really does a good job of looking at what real relationships, both romantic and friendly, and how they aren’t always perfect and sparkly, that they have their ups and downs. That’s life and that being there for someone when they’re down is when they tend to need that connection the most, and that’s a pretty good moral for a fairy tale, and definitely makes this worth the read. My one complaint was the number of typos in the book. You’d think a book like this would’ve been edited a bit better.

Beauty and the Beast vs. Stockholm Syndrome and Abusive Relationships

I love Beauty and the Beast. I have since I was little and saw the cartoon version, and I love the live version even more. Perhaps it’s the book nerd in me falling for a guy who gifts a girl a huge library, but there’s always been something about it that I absolutely loved. However, now are the days of questioning every story and trying to find the evil within. Is this the tale of Stockholm syndrome or an abusive relationship that’s going to lead girls to believe they can change their abusive boyfriends/husbands if only they love them enough. I find both ideas utterly ridiculous. Maybe I’m blinded by my love of the tale, but I’m at least going to back up my reasons for why.

First off, it couldn’t possibly be Stockholm syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is described as “positive feelings toward their captors and sympathy for their causes and goals, and negative feelings toward the police or authorities. These feelings, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. Generally speaking, Stockholm syndrome consists of strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” I stole this from Wikipedia but I’m sure you can find this sort of info from a more reputable site if you’d like.

However, looking at this it doesn’t follow with what happens. First off, Belle chose to stay with the Beast so she wasn’t really taken hostage then. Sure she is being held captive, but it’s not like he went and kidnapped her. During that time the Beast and her barely spend any time together, and when he does act angrily and throws a tantrum, she stands up to him. She doesn’t back down, and while she doesn’t leave, she does move about doing whatever she wants. He yells a lot but all his threats are empty considering she doesn’t stay locked away and she does eat well. And she actually does try to escape, during which the Beast saves her life and when it’s clear she could make a run for it, she once more chooses to stay in order to find out what the curse is all about and to try to help the servants more than she is trying to help the Beast. More so, when the Beast gives Belle the opportunity to leave she does so. She doesn’t wish to remain there, and she doesn’t turn on the townspeople thinking they’re the bad guys. Besides she doesn’t even have rescuers of any sort to think badly of. The townspeople instead ignore her father’s plight and try to have him locked away instead of ever really asking what happened to Belle, and only go to the castle to murder the Beast, because even though they never knew he existed and he’s given them no trouble they’re suddenly afraid of him and decide to hunt him down and kill him in the castle he’s locked himself away in. So not much of her turning on any sort of rescuer, as it is trying to stop them from hurting people who are under a curse. In the end the only reason she shows any softening towards him, is because he finally stops acting so cruel and begins to try and be a decent human being. She also doesn’t fall in love with him until after he’s given her her freedom. In fact if he hadn’t been attacked it’s questionable if she would’ve returned or declared her feelings in time to even save him.

Now, much of this also answers why it’s not about an abusive relationship. Firstly, if you’re building your relationship ideals off Disney then you clearly don’t have any good ones to look upon in real life. Instead of blaming TV maybe we should question why they don’t have people in real life to look up to. Regardless, this isn’t the tale of someone who thinks they can save this cruel man if they just love him enough. Instead, she stands up to him repeatedly showing she isn’t going to bow to his will to just because he yells and demands it of her. While he does tear up a lot of stuff, the Beast never harms Belle or his servants. He clearly isn’t someone who they even fear because they disobey him readily. Showing he’s more bark than bite. Yet, the main thing to note is that it isn’t until he acts better, and shows that he cares, and that he’s trying to be a better man that she actually begins to love him. She isn’t loving him to make him better, she loves him as he becomes better. Once more, only upon him undoing all the wrongs he’d committed against her does she love him. Once he frees her to help save her father, who is only in trouble because of the Beast, and gives up his chance of breaking the curse does she finally let herself fall in love with him. Only once he’s completely turned from all the things that led him to becoming the Beast does Belle actually see him as someone worthy of her love. That is not the description of an abusive relationship. Belle wasn’t trying to save him, instead the Beast was working to become worthy of Belle.

Beauty and the Beast

No surprise if you’ve read anybody’s review, but this movie is amazing. As pointed out by this youtube video, a lot of the silly mistakes made in the cartoon version were fixed or clarified. And yet they still managed to pay homage to them as they kept everything that was so wonderful about the original alive. They didn’t go trying to rewrite it, but instead magnified the magic. If you’ve seen the cartoon then there won’t be any surprises, instead you’ll enjoy getting to fully know the characters. They gave them background stories and fuller lives to help you better understand them. Like why the Beast was so cruel and yet had servants who truly wanted him to be happy, not just to break their curse but because they cared for him. We get to know about Belle’s family more and how they came to be in a town that never really accepted them. The acting was on point with Watson perfectly playing a loving and bookwormish Belle, who also shows plenty of backbone, and Dan Stevens is a gruff and grumpy yet with a dry sense of humor Beast that you can’t help but fall in love with. Not to mention the songs will have you wanting to sing and dance along to them. Altogether, it was a well done movie that I can’t wait to see again.

The Vrai Domicile

BOOK 1: The Sixth Domicile by Courtney Ruggles

The Vrai Domicile  description:

Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Muertre…
Q and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

BOOK 2: The Vrai Domicile  2 STARS

Honestly I think Ruggles should consider just writing erotica. She puts more effort into the love story and sex scenes than any other part of this story. The problem with that is that you’re left with this revolution you came here to read about that’s barely developed, and a “hero” that just comes across as an idiot. I understand wanting your characters to be human. Wanting them to make mistakes and not have all the answers. I don’t understand how Q doesn’t realize that B isn’t  talking master plans or shouting DOWN WITH THE DOMICILE with every breath because they’re in a place where they’re being watched and it’ll just get them killed. You know considering that’s why she’s going along with the Elder’s plan after witnessing them beat her grandmother. She has no clue, no plans, and apparently an inability to pick up on hints, but she’s supposed to be the savior. B could be the hero, but Q just makes me want to punch her in the face for being so dumb. And overall the plot was ludicrous.

Why VA Insurance is a Joke

As you can probably surmise from the title, I’m not a fan of VA insurance. See, me and my husband are both partially disabled veterans, and so we get 100% coverage with VA insurance. That’s right. I get insurance for free, that allows me to go to the doctor for free as much as I want, and yet we choose to pay for insurance that has a nice little deductible just so we can get actual help.

Where I live I don’t have a full VA hospital, just a clinic, which is bad enough on it’s own, but wouldn’t be too bad for the average trip to the doctor. Except like when they don’t ever answer the phone. The first month of me being on VA insurance I called and called and called, and no matter what extension you choose, or how long you let it ring, nobody would pick up. Finally went in in person to get an appointment. After which I did get a call for some survey from VA asking about my visit, once I complained they actually finally started answering phones for a while. But even when you finally do get an appointment it’s definitely no picnic in getting any actual help. First off, they may just cancel your appointment for apparently no reason and not let you know about it. Or the earliest appointment may be 3 months away regardless of how bad off you are.

Then there are things like how I’m no longer on birth control, because my doctor wouldn’t put a prescription in. Right off the bat he told me he didn’t think I could get that, which was strange because the military never had problems getting it for me, and my last VA hospital got it for me, but he couldn’t. And I will say my last VA hospital wasn’t too bad. I’m saying this because I don’t want to claim that all are bad, just like not all of the doctors are bad. But the problem when you have no choice in where you get to go, you’re stuck with whatever crap they give you. Not only didn’t I get birth control, but it was extremely hard for them to even find a lady doctor who could see me for my lady stuff, because there was no way I was letting the sleazy primary care I got stuck with check me out. But even the lady doctor with her repeated confusion over the fact that I had never been pregnant nor had kids, and yes she asked it in about 5 different ways before she finally believed me, was of little help.

But the worst is now. My depression and anxiety have gotten to the point I need help, but no one answers their phone. There’s not even an answer machine to pick up to answer. I actually called the nearest full hospital and nobody was sure who was in and supposedly left a message that they were supposed to call me back to help me, but nobody did. Nobody will call back. Nobody gives a shit if I kill myself or not, because why should they? I’m just a veteran seeking help, and my VA insurance that should give me access to such does nothing, because the option I’m given is a hospital who won’t answer their phone, and doctors and nurses who won’t help you get what meds you need, or information that could help you. So instead I use the insurance I pay for to finally seek real help. And sure it’s no big deal to pay for insurance, just like so many other Americans do. My problem is when the government claims that they’ll take care of veterans, and basically put up some little facade like these hospitals to try and prove that they do, when in reality their help is really no help at all.