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Dishing with Dee…the March GNO edition

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Normally I’m very much a home-body – I come home from work and just do my thing, each day. But now that I have had friends from college move into the area (thank you military), we have been working on trying to get a Girl’s Night Out going each month. Although last night was only the second one we have successfully completed. We decided to try out this wine and cheese bar in the city. Let’s just say that by the end of the night you could have rolled me home – I ate so much between these killer nachos with pulled pork on them (yes, you read right, pulled pork), and a sandwich with chicken and bacon jam (because anyone who knows me, knows that I think bacon needs to have a religious following) and then Chocolate mousse cake for dessert (that I split with my friend). Of course, no Girl’s Night Out would be complete without alcohol – I have their blueberry/lemonade sangria – sweet and tart at the same time, it just hit the spot.

sea salt caramelsThen it was time for a random detour to Trader Joe’s before hitting the metro to head home. I love Trader Joe’s for really cool funky stuff. Unfortunately, there isn’t one by me, so I only go once in a blue moon. But I was really good and only walked out with a box of dark chocolate sea salt caramels. You guys should be proud of me ;)

I can’t wait for our next GNO’s and to see what kind of shenanigan’s we get into! How did you spend your Saturday night?

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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Dishing with Dee…the beginnings

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I made my first blog post here on July 5th 2010 – I can’t believe that I am rapidly approaching my five year anniversary – how time flies. I will admit when I started my blog, I had exactly no experience with blogging, limited with writing book reviews, so it has been a learning process. My reasons for starting Dee’s Book Blog weren’t even all that altruistic – I mean, I love giving my opinion on books, I think like most reader’s do – but honestly, I had heard of a cool site called NetGalley where I could get free books from publishers to review. One of the key elements (I was told by other bloggers) was that having a blog or a platform to post your reviews on was key. Up until that time, I had mainly been posting on Goodreads or on Amazon for books I had purchased. But i soon found myself entering the murky waters of blogging and haven’t looked back.

Its weird, if I go back and look at my early reviews now, I see that my book tastes haven’t really changed – I may have become a bit harsher in my ratings – I see books back then that I gave 4 stars, that would now probably be 3-stars or lower, but that is just how the evolution of a reader comes about. I’ve picked up books in genres I never would have considered (I mean, heck, I’m listening to a horror audiobook right now that I’m pretty sure is giving me nightmares). I have made tons of friends and acquaintances thought my blogging, including lots of new favorite authors (yes, I’m looking at you Penny Watson, Rosalind James, Jamie Farrell and others). I find myself being more willing to try new authors – in fact, one of my favorite new things to do, when I have time at the library, is to just pick a random shelf and browse the books to see if I can find a new author to try. I’m considering next year hosting a random library shelf challenge (if I can figure out how I want to do it). Blogging has been a great experience for me and I look forward to many more fun reviews, discussions with authors and readers.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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Audiobook Review – One Dom To Love

audies nominee erotica

oen dom to loveOne Dom to Love
Authors: Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl
Series: #1 in The Doms of her Life
Rating: ☆ ½

Narrator: Christian Fox
Run Time: 7 hrs 46 mins
Narration Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
Raine Kendall has been in love with her boss, Macen Hammerman, for years. Determined to make the man notice that she’s a grown woman with desires and needs, she pours out her heart and offers her body to him—only to be crushingly rejected. But when his friend, very single, very sexy Liam O’Neill watches the other Dom refuse to act on his obvious feelings for Raine, he resolves to step in and do whatever it takes to help Hammer find happiness again, even rousing his friend’s possessive instincts by making the girl a proposition too tempting to refuse. But he never imagines that he’ll end up falling for her himself.

Hammer has buried his lust for Raine for years. After rescuing the budding runaway from an alley behind his exclusive BDSM Dungeon, he has come to covet the pretty submissive. But tragedy has taught him that he can never be what she needs. So he watches over her while struggling to keep his distance. Liam’s crafty plan blindsides Hammer, especially when he sees how determined his friend is to possess Raine for his own. Hammer isn’t ready to give the lovely submissive over to any other Dom, but can he heal from his past and fight for her? Or will he lose Raine if she truly gives herself—heart, body, and soul—to Liam?

Review:
You know, sometimes I look at books on Goodreads after I finish listening and rating and wonder what the heck did I miss, that everyone I know/follow seems to give something 4/5 stars (the rating of this was 4.6 among my 20 friends that had read/reviewed it). And it isn’t the first time that this has happened – but on to the guts of the review. To say that this book was horrible, it probably the understatement of the century. Don’t get me wrong, I read/listen to erotic romance and erotica on a fairly regularly basis and I spent probably about 85% of the book just cringing. It was like watching that train wreak that you know is going to happen, but you just can’t look away. I guess, since the title (and series) was modeled after a soap opera I shouldn’t have been surprised though.

I’ll be brutally honest though, writing a review for this book is nearly impossible without massive amounts of spoilers. There is just really nothing I can say without wanting to add a potential spoiler in to illustrate just how bad it was. And it all started with the diminutive name that Hammer (I mean seriously, really) called Raine – Precious – I honestly had visions of Smegal from Lord of the Rings while hearing that – which probably isn’t a visual you want when listening to an erotic romance/erotica audiobook…

I found the sexual interactions between the three characters uncomfortable and honestly they were hard to listen to because the situations were beyond implausible, Raine was a total brat and was topping from the bottom (when the Sub tries to control the situation from their submissive position) – it irked the ever loving shit out of me. There are particular names I would like to call Raine, but they are completely inappropriate, even if its how I feel. And to add insult to injury (well, mental injury), it wasn’t even a complete book – it was a serial (meaning that the story was divided into three separate books and sold that way) – so if I actually had an inclination to read/listen to the other two (which I don’t), I’d have to spend even more money. I’ve never been a fan of the idea of serials and this just confirms it. But back to One Dom to Love.

Unfortunately, even the narration by Christian Fox, which was actually not bad, couldn’t save my listening experience. I’d previously heard about how enjoyable his narration was from a friend in a romance audiobooks group. In fact, she was quite effusive about her enjoyment of his narration and I hope that should I try another book narrated by him I’ll have a better experience.

I will say that he does have a good range of male and female voices (there were 3 main male characters, 1 main female, with a minor secondary female) and each one was distinctive. I particularly liked the Irish brogue that he gave Liam. In fact he pegged Raine’s bratty tone of voice (or what I would call bratty based on her behavior) so perfectly, that I pretty much wanted to reach into my ipod and slap her silly.

I know for sure that I won’t be continuing with the serial, and gave it a generous 1.5 stars. but in the narration aspect, I gave Christian Fox 3 stars for his narration, but I am curious to see what he can do with a better written book.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Audies, Audiobook Review

 

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Dishing with Dee….An Introduction

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“To Dish” – scoop, gossip (Urban Dictionary, circa 2003).

So this is something new, but I hope you guys will enjoy one. One of the things I love about the different blogs that I follow is that they always have something witty to say, or a funny story, or even just general discussion. I’ve been playing with this idea for a while about how I wanted to try and incorporate something like that into my blog and HAPPY DANCE, here it is.

But no one knows exactly what I am going to talk about – admittedly if you read my facebook timeline, you’ll find the I have a wide variety of interests from reading (obviously), to cooking, to triathlon (my friends call me a Jack of all Trades – as well as other names I’m sure).

So sit back, relaxed and enjoy. Of course, if you want to comment, please join in ;)

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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Review – Yoga for Runners – Christine Felstead

YfRYoga for Runners
Author: Christine Felstead

Description:
As a runner, you strike the ground 1,000 times per mile, with a force of two to three times your body weight. You can feel that impact in the muscles, ligaments, and bone structures throughout your body. Thankfully, “Yoga for Runners” addresses both the physical and mental demands of the sport. Whether you are new to yoga or have practiced for years, “Yoga for Runners” provides you with the most effective poses–88 poses in all. Each pose is described in detail to ensure correct execution, maximizing the physical benefit and decreasing the risk of injury.

You’ll learn how simple yoga techniques can be incorporated into your existing running workouts and routines to eliminate chronic aches and pains. Discover how each pose can be sequenced to address a specific need, such as strengthen and lengthen the hamstrings, strengthen and increase mobility of the hip joint, eliminate lower-back and upper-body discomfort, speed the recovery process after a practice run or a race, maintain a strong core, or just restore and rejuvenate to prepare for an upcoming event. These sequences target all troublesome muscle regions. Anatomical illustrations and descriptions explain why these poses and sequences decrease your risk of acute or chronic injury as well as why they are beneficial to your training regimen.

Review:
I say that I am inflexible is probably the understatement of the year. Similar to weight training, I find it really easy to not do my daily stretching in favor of getting another swim workout in, or going for a run. Partly because my dog tries to help (in the way only a German Shepherd can) and partly because if I sit down on the floor, 9 times out of 10, sleep is probably going to ensue (there is something about laying down that just gets me every time). But I came across this book at the library one day and I was intrigued because it talked about how you could squeeze yoga in to your daily life, which (for as obvious as it should have been) stunned me. My perception was always that I needed to dedicate an hour or so to go; find a studio that worked with my insane schedule, or buy/borrow a DVD etc. This book totally changed me mind on that.

While the first few chapters focus a bit on the history of yoga and its application to helping runners, the meat of the book is the later parts where it discusses all the different positions/postures you can do; what body parts each of them help with and towards the end simple progressions that can be done (some in less than 10 minutes) to help. So come back from a run, spend 10 minutes doing a quick set of sun salutations and move on – it is definately, something I know that I will be incorporating into my training.

Unfortunately for me, the book was a library book and i didn’t really want to/couldn’t photocopy all the stuff I wanted to – so I’m planning on ordering it and adding it to my growing library of training references. Like a previous review of a strength training book, this one is hard to rate until I have a chance to fully test out the various sequences, but never fear, I shall let you know.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Audiobook Review – Damoren – Seth Skorkowsky

Audies nominee paranormal

damorenDamoren
Author: Seth Skorkowsky
Series: #1 in the Valducan series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Narrator: R.C. Bray
Run Time: 10hrs 58min

Audiobook Review Copy Provided by Audible Inc

Description:
A secret society of monster hunters.
A holy revolver forged to eradicate demons.
A possessed man with a tragic past.
A rising evil bent on destroying them all.

MATT HOLLIS is the current wielder of the holy weapon, Dämoren. With it, he stalks and destroys demons.

A secret society called the VALDUCANS has taken an interest in Matt’s activities. They see him as a reckless rogue—little more than a ‘cowboy’ corrupted by a monster—and a potential threat to their ancient order.

As knights and their sentient weapons begin dying, Matt teams up with other hunters of his kind such as LUIZA, a woman with a conquistador blade; ALLAN, an Englishman with an Egyptian khopesh; MALCOLM, a voodoo priest with a sanctified machete; and TAKAIRA, a naginata-swinging Samurai.

As the hunters become the hunted, they must learn to trust one another before a powerful demonic entity thrusts the world into a terrible and ageless darkness.

Review:
I’ll be the first to admit that if Damoren hadn’t been nominated for an Audie (audiobook awards) in the Paranormal category, I likely never would have picked me up. None of my friends on Goodreads have it shelved (and I get probably 90% of my recommendations from there) and it likely isn’t a book that I would have come across easily in a bookstore or browsing on Audible, but now that I have listened to it, I’m glad I did and am waiting for the next book in the series to be available in audio (it was just released in print), so that I can get a hold of it.

I’m probably one of the few people in the world who can’t listen to music while suffering on the treadmill, but for some reason audiobooks work for me and I started Damoren at the same time I jumped on the treadmonster for a 4 mile run (I am totally sick of winter which is a whole nother story) – and my run just blew on by – I was so sucked into the story, that I glanced down and I was at 3.5 miles, it had just flown by (normally, I would have been like huffing/puffing and watching the distance count down). But Damoren sucked me in so quickly that I was done before I knew it and the ride just continued from there. For the most part, I limited my listening to the gym and occasionally part of my commute because I wanted something to look forward to (which of course, added a significant amount of time to how long it would normally take me to listen to an audiobook but it was worth it).

It is really hard to pinpoint what exactly I liked about Damoren – it was full of adventure, encompassing at least 4 different countries (maybe 5); there was lots of bloods, guts and killing as well as a plethora of mythical creatures – not just your normal run of the mill vampires and werewolves that dominate the fantasy landscape. I really liked the idea of the holy weapon’s that could kill these creatures – that was probably the biggest hook for me, Damoren being only one of them. One of my favorite parts were the flashbacks between the current day and the historical when Damoren was being created. I really hope that there are more books in the series based on the other holy weapons, especially the Samurai sword!!

The narration (by the fantastic R.C. Bray) was near flawless. I’ve raved about how much I’ve enjoyed his stuff before (see my review of The Martain and Damoren didn’t disappoint. In fact, with 2 other nominations in the paranormal category (one as a single narrator, and other in a cast), this audie category is his to lose (but hopefully that doesn’t jinx him). While my previous experience with R.C. Bray was primarily American accents, with Damoren, you got the chance to see the breadth of his skill, with Russian accents, german, male and female – it was honestly astounded how well he did in distinguishing between all the different characters and how well he transitioned between them during the course of the story.

Do yourself a favor – just listen to Damoren – you won’t regret it – if I had to try to provide context – take an author like James Rollins or Matt Reilly, mix in some Jim Butcher and you have a pretty good idea of where Damoren fits in the canon. 4.5 stars for the narration and 4 for the story. Now to hurry up and wait for the next book to be released in audio format.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Audies, Audiobook Review

 

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TBR Tuesday – 24 March 2015

TBR Tuesday
The Courage to Love
Author: Samantha Kane
Series: #1 in the Brothers in Arms series

Date Purchased: November 21, 2011

Review: Anyone who knows me will probably laugh when I say this, but this book had too much sex and not enough story. In fact if you were to remove all the smexy parts, the story would probably have only taken up about 40pgs of the 208 (in the paperback version). Don’t get me wrong, the author can definately write hot sex scenes, but there comes a point where there is just too much and unfortunately that was this book. I had a really hard time liking/sympathsizing with Kate and everything that she went through, even though I did like Jason/Anthony’s story. I won’t be continuing the series. Overall, 2 stars.

What book(s) did you find on your TBR pile this week?

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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