Dead Witch Walking – Audio Book Review

Dead Witch Walking (unabridged), an audio book written by Kim Harrison and narrated by Marguerite Gavin, gives listeners a total listening time of just over thirteen and a quarter hours. The first in its series, this book sets a compelling tone for the next in one in the tale.

The audio version is a theatrically acceptable account of one witch’s escapades as a “runner” (a law enforcement officer) with Inderland security, the organization in charge of crime control in Cincinnati. Lightly comedic, yet slightly more dramatic, strong words make striking pictoral impressions, a talent the author has picked well.

Although its storyline is clearly and distinctively made up of what its author’s cleverly exacting, yet enticing, impressions of being such a witch are, it is also a grown-up and magical theatrical experience with a child-like story telling tone that might make it worth taking some of your time to listen. It warrants saying, though, that even with its theme, the nature of this effect is much more like walking through an exciting theme park than being delivered into the witches’ brew.

Rachel Morgan, an unlikely, and yet seemingly unsuccessful witch with an attitude, consorts with several supporting characters, including Ivy – a vampire, and Jenks – a pixie (an unlikely team in any event), along with other magical creatures as she makes her way through this creatively tailored tale. Rachel is bold, witty, and tough, yet not-so-fearless in her restless attempt to leave third world rule before her would-be assassins fulfill their contract in its entirety, making this audio book’s narration riveting, and even animated.

Conversational, yet clearly with under worldly propinquity, Marguerite Gavin’s exceptional narrative qualities add distinctive impressions, giving each narrated character its own unique ability to stand apart from the rest. Strong vocals are capable and advanced, adding to its artistic impressions and giving this audio book a highly entertaining, even if not yet reinventing, quality.

On the darker side, the third-worldly essence of this audio book has that somewhat unsettling otherworldly violence within its content, largely stemming from the somewhat slight, if not thorough degradation settled into its more feminine characterizations. With the subtle undercurrent of third world violence married to the audio version of the book “Dead Witch Walking”, it would not be so likely to be recommended by so many without its well thought out and theatrical antics. These are also what make the tale so enticing.

Overall, someone who appreciates the finer arts of theater, and who would also appreciate its most artistic nature, could so unwittingly enjoy this audio version of what is now also a best-selling book in print edition, that one might be sure to continue to follow its entire series. Someone other than this might not last through its first chapter.


How Massage Chairs Help While Relaxing And Reading?

Massage chairs must seem like a gift from heaven after a long day at work. It helps one relax and some time in it seems to get rid of all kinds of body issues. While you were relaxing in that chair, you must have often wondered how did it manage to do it. So let’s talk about it along with all the benefits of it: 

It helps one heal quickly

Relieving tension from the body is very important if you want to function fully on an everyday basis. But this tension should be relieved in a harmless manner so that it doesn’t accidentally add on to your pain and worries. Massage chairs are able to do just that with the different kinds of settings that it has. You can gauge your own stress and tension levels and then proceed to set the level of massage which makes you the most comfortable and relaxed. This is certainly more effective than going to a masseuse who you won’t be able to dictate to about the speed and strength to be used. 

It costs less

Buying just one massage chair will be enough to last you for years. You can use it according to your wants and then get it tuned up when needed. This will certainly cost less than going to a masseuse and that too periodically. Moreover, a massage chair will relax your whole body but a masseuse might not be able to do so. 

Doesn’t disturb

You can easily take a book and then settle down in your massage chair. The vibrations or movements of the chair aren’t so powerful that it will disturb your reading rhythm. In reality, you will be fell relaxed, be able to read a book and then probably be able to go to sleep there as well if the chair setting is on low. Using a massage chair is a really great way to unwind after a long day. 

Get ahead and foot massage

One of the best parts of all massage chairs is that you will be able to get ahead and foot massage at least. Of course, there are massage chairs that allow you to get shoulder and back massage as well but a head and foot massage are common in all. This is possible due to airbags in the massage chair which moves in several different directions so that it gives your head and feet a full massage. These airbags commonly move in the S and L track as well so that you can get a variety of head and foot massages. After all, it’s your head and feet which bears the brunt of the day’s labour mentally and physically. 

Basically, in a massage chair, you will have a remote controller with you that will allow you to get the massage intensity you want. It will also allow you to set the timer so that you get to be in the mood and intensity you want. 

The whole massage session is always a deeply comforting and pleasing experience. In this, massage chairs will satisfyingly improve your mental well-being. The massage sessions will certainly help uplift your mood, help in ensuring you have better blood circulation and help you relax as well. …

The Wildwater Walking Club: Book Review

I bought The Wildwater Walking Club at Super Wal-Mart for $2.97. Needing something new to read, I was happy to see a cheap book with a description on the back that intrigued me. It turned out to be even better than I thought.

Written by Claire Cook, it is a story of three women who form a friendship that stems from a routine morning walk. They eventually come up with a name, calling themselves The Wildwater Walking Club, being as they live on a street called Wildwater Way. The new friends hash out a plan to keep themselves motivated to walk, deciding they would add up all the mileage between the three of them after a certain amount of time and they would take a trip together as a reward. The destination would be as far as the walking mileage totaled up to. Meanwhile, it tells the story of the main character, Noreen Kelly, who takes a buy out from the shoe company she works for and is currently unemployed, living on a salary for the next eighteen months and deciding what to do with the rest of her life. By the end of the book, she comes into her own and is in the beginning stages of developing a business designing custom clotheslines.

I liked this book, and learned a lot from it. One of the characters owns a lavender farm and the book gives a whole bunch of interesting information about lavender. The main character also gets into gardening, which is a part I liked reading about. The characters also open their hearts to a former teacher that one of them corresponds with, who eventually dies of cancer. Noreen makes a clothesline for the teacher’s class room for the students to use for various things. This part is very sad when they learn of her passing, but they also find a way to celebrate her life. It is comical and sad all at the same time. When the main character’s mother comes to visit they develop a closer relationship and Noreen learns some about her mother. There is also a romantic story line as well but not like it is in those cheesy romance novels, which, sometimes I don’t like.

The Widwater Walking Club is an inspiring story in more ways than one that I would recommend to anyone who likes to read.


BOOK REVIEW: Mistwalker by Denise Lopes Heald

In an effort to breathe new life into old books, here, the first in a series, are book reviews written in the 1990’s. What would be more appropriate than a novel from Del Rey’s Discovery line.Editor’s note: This is the only book by Denise Lopes Heald. It can be found in some used books stores or online at Amazon, eBay or other online used book dealers.

“Because something new is always worth the risk.”

This is the quote from Del Rey’s Discovery line. It’s a project that boasts to help readers “experience the wonder of discovery with Del Rey’s newest authors.” A worthwhile endeavour, and one most people would expel a slight harrumph at it lofty goals. With good reason. In these days of ‘conglomeration’, and (publishing) houses being run by MBA’s, chances are rarely taken on new authors. “If its not a bankable name, it ain’t worth the ink to print” seems to be the motto decried at stockholder’s meetings. (Or the ‘new’ author is subjected to the worst possible contract, barely making them any money on their own work.) So, dear publisher, don’t mind us being slightly skeptical.

Yet Mistwalker is a refreshing change. Denise Lopes Heald has had a few SF and Fantasy stories published. Although Mistwalker is her debut novel, it is packed with incredible story potential. This book is not without its faults, but they are easily overlooked as the author spins words and crafts written pictures with the skill of a veteran. Most of the problems with the book should have been caught by an editor and the text has rough spots because of it. Mistwalker, however is still a wonderful read.

It’s the tale of an off-world political fugitive and a local working stiff. Its romance is handled with panache, Sci-Fi (element) handled with technical care, and (the) ecological suspense dealt with in an even manner. (The latter storyline – however – is tumbled out haphazardly and not expounded upon with due effort.) It’s about Meesha Raschad, a tough off-planeteer who has a reputation of surviving where most “newbies” would have died, and the local women he meets up with. Their lives intermingle in a widening path of mismanaged romances, mystery pasts and political intrigue.

Heald writes in an interesting style, mixing local and alien languages with familiar templates. She skirts the fringe of ‘cyber’-words (references that are made up to fit the story and make it sufficiently alien) and walks the fine line of nonsensical ramblings. Some sections (of the novel) infuriate with their unusual references, yet pique the interests with their mutations of the usual. As she matures, and perhaps finds a better editor, Denise Lopes Heald has the talent to see her into the next age of SF. (This latter being where all the current authors have faded into the background.)

A solid thumbs up for Mistwalker. And a hope that Del Rey‘s future discoveries will have an equal amount or more of the abilities Heald shows here.

paperback edition
Publisher: Del Rey
Date: July 1994
ISBN: 0-345-38890-9


Book Review: Brunch – the Perfect Weekend Treat by Jennifer Donovan

Brunch: The Perfect Weekend Treat, by Jennifer Donovan, is simply the best! The book breaks away from the normal menu and offers 40 creative, delicious and unique weekend selections that would make your mother proud. Donovan takes brunch to a whole new delicious and wonderful level and flawlessly proves it to be truly indulging inspiration to the weekend tradition that never goes out of style.

Brunch introduces Donavan’s “favorite meal of the week” in four scrumptious chapters that represents her love and passion for the mid-morning cuisine. My favorite chapter is “Sweet Moments,” which takes you back to the sweet moment in time during the weekend of unbridled bliss of sleeping in and indulging in nothingness. This chapter is devoted to nothing but sweets, sweets, and more sweets. The Apple Pancakes with maple syrup butter is a sweet delight that wakes up the old breakfast tradition and the Waffles with Caramelized Bananas recipe would definitely put you on the top of the list with your brunch buddies.

I especially enjoyed the Dried Cherry Cheesecake and Doughnut Muffin recipes. The Dried Cherry Cheesecake recipe combined my love for cherries and cheesecake in a breakfast cuisine. The Doughnut Muffin recipe has a fluffy, rich and sweet taste that creates a delight that you can truly enjoy. I’m truly impressed with the simplicity of the ingredients that make these recipes easy and mouth-watering, and I found that the difference is in the superfine sugar that gave the muffins a richer taste.

The “Get Cracking – The Perfect Egg” and “Toasts and Tarts” chapters provide very distinct and tasty brunch items sure to get you ohhs and ahhs. The Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and the Cheese & Herb Soufflés with Sautéed Mushroom recipes make the top of the list in these chapters. Donovan also has a simple Eggs Benedict with Quick Hollandaise Sauce recipe that make this traditional brunch dish seem less daunting.

The chapter that really makes this cookbook unique is the “Cheese and Greens” chapter. It shows off Donovan’s distinctive culinary skills by introducing the out-of-box brunch recipes that don’t fit into the normal brunch hour. But the recipes are one of the kind and I can’t wait to experience them all. My favorite recipe is the Mini Bacon & Egg Pastries with Cheddar. It was very simple to make and very tasty.

Brunch: The Perfect Weekend Treat is a perfect tribute to brunch and brings back the joy of lazy weekends.


A self-made man by Norah Vincent

Image from GoodReads.Com, find quotes from this book here.

Self-made man: My year disguised as a man is a book written by journalist Norah Vincent. Before discussing the book further, it must be said that this is a kind of experimentation which women have thought of doing to invade into traditional male spaces and know more about what happens there. Vincent recounts something similar in her book. She states that: 

  • Infiltrating male-dominated spaces: She did an 18-month-old experiment where she discussed herself as a man who she named “Ned” and integrated herself into traditional male-centric places or venues. This includes places like the bowling league as well as a monastery. In the book, she talks about what she and experienced in other men only places like strip clubs and such. She also details her experiences in men’s s support groups and on dates as well. 
  • Not a transgender but a lesbian: While some may construe this activity as her coming out or becoming a transgender but she stated it clearly in the book that she isn’t a transgender but only a lesbian. 

How did she do it?

Vincent got a buzz cut to pose as a man and even used a sports bra to flatten her chest. She got makeup artists so that she could have a fake beard shadow. That’s not all, she also trained her voice for months so that it sounded deeper and bulked up to gain more upper body muscle. 

What did she found out?

She said in an interview that: 

“Men are suffering. They have different problems than women have but they don’t have it better. They need our sympathy, they need our love, and they need each other more than anything else. They need to be together.” 

Apart from this she also states that many thought that her butch qualities (in female spaces) were considered to be effeminate in men’s circles. 

In the book, she expands more on how men suffer under older men and there is a very toxic cycle that continues. This results in the misogyny of course but it also results in depression and other issues in men who can’t even articulate it properly due to traditional unspoken male laws. …

Involving Family and Friends when Homeschooling

Homeschooling photo

A homeschooling parent should take inventory of the talents in other family members around him or her. For example, I have a friend whose Grandfather was a journalist. This Grandfather drove thirty miles each way once per week to give his homeschooled grandchildren a lesson in writing. This gave the mother a break for two hours each week.

The children also benefit from shared family talent. If mom is not a good writer, but Granddad is, then the kids benefit by learning from someone who can give them real writing expertise. Chances are, their writing ability will be higher than it would have been before Granddad started helping out.

How to take a family inventory:

Write a list of all of your family and friends. Next to each name, write their strengths. To list their strengths think about what degree(s) they hold, or what they studied in college. List their natural talents as well, such as art or music.

Contact each family member and ask them if they would like to participate in your homeschooling endeavor. They don’t have to commit to giving lessons every day or even once per week. They could simply come the first Monday of every month or the last Tuesday of the month, whatever works with their schedules. Once per week may be ideal for the main subjects, but it is not necessary if you want them to come to do a craft with your child.

My father has published numerous science fair project books so whenever my daughter has a science fair project to do, I take her to his house. The difficulties I would have had in teaching that particular project, he made easy. My daughter was able to understand the concepts and she had a lot of fun working with her Grandfather. This may only happen once or twice per month, but it is still a big help.

Include anyone in the family, if they are willing to help. You can always put them in charge of taking the kids on a nature walk or practicing soccer moves in the back yard.…