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Posts Tagged ‘pepper’

Friday Fun! (Thanksgiving, Cooking)

December 2, 2011 5 comments

Hello my lovely readers!  I hope those of you who celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I had a great time with my dad.  We ordered in Thai food, which he’d never had before.  (I believe it was a hit).  I showed him one of my favorite indie bookstores.  He took me grocery shopping! (Which has been wonderful for me, I can tell you).  We spoiled my kitty rotten and went to a couple of my favorite pubs.  It was a wonderful weekend, and I hope to get to see him again very soon!

This week I got to see my friend Nina for the first time in around a month.  We went for a super long walk together in the random Indian summer weather we had at the beginning of the week and made this stir-fry out of baby bok choy, onions, pepper, garlic, parsnips, carrots, and fake steak tips (they were soy).  Oh, and sesame seeds!

Those of you book bloggers who are looking for projects and/or challenges for 2012, please be sure to check out my Diet for a New America page and my Mental Illness Advocacy 2012 page.  Even if you don’t choose to participate in them, any mentions on your blogs, facebook, and twitter are most welcome!  These types of things are always more fun the more people participate!

Also, if you missed it, I have an international giveaway currently running thanks to the author.  Be sure to check that out too!

This weekend I’ll be training in the gym, going to a tree trimming party, and editing zombies.  Also hopefully cooking something up in the slow-cooker to freeze into single servings for lunches.  Busy busy!

Happy weekends all!

Book Review: Symphony of Blood by Adam Pepper

October 5, 2011 1 comment

Bald man with red eyes.Summary:
Hank Mondale wanted to be a cop but his gambling, alcohol, and drug addictions ruined his record.  Instead, he is now a private detective barely scraping by, so when a wealthy and famous man named Blake hires him to figure out where the monster pursuing his daughter is hiding out, he takes the case in spite of the odd sound of it.  Particularly since Blake and his daughter insist that this is a literal, shape-changing, lizard-like monster after her.

Review:
This is a book that suffers from bad structure, a plethora of unlikable characters, and a serious lack of editing.

I don’t need to go into too much detail about the lack of editing.  Suffice to say it’s a combination of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.  For instance, Jaeger is spelled “Yager” at one point (when being spoken about by an alcoholic character, no less).  Also, although most of the book is told in past tense, periodically present tense shows up.  Similarly, other errors show up that simply jar the reader, such as calling a character “rippled,” when the author meant “ripped.”

These are all editing problems, though, so I always try to look beyond them to see if they were fixed, would the story be a quality one?  Alas, the case in this instance is simply no.  The first half of the book is told entirely from the detective’s point of view, only to abruptly switch and have the next 25% or so back-track and tell what occurred from the monster’s perspective.  Then the last bit of the book reverts back to the detective’s perspective.  This gives the book an incredibly odd structure and simultaneously removes most of the mystery and suspense.  Where before the creature was an enigma, we now understand it intimately.  Similarly, whereas the section told from the creature’s point of view could be an interesting story in its own right, it is instead smushed between two ho-hum detective sections.  Either choose to be investigating the monster or be the monster or alternate more quickly between the two to maintain some mystery.  This structure simply feels like two different books willy-nilly slammed together.

There’s also the problem of the characters.  The only sympathetic one is the monster, which would work if the story was told entirely from the monster’s perspective, yet it is not.  Plus the monster itself just doesn’t make much sense.  It’s hard to picture or imagine how it operates.  It seems the author used the excuse of it being a monster to let it bend all rules whenever it was convenient to the storyline.  Beyond the monster, the detective, his friends, Blake, and the daughter are all completely unsympathetic.  They are the kind of people you’d move away from on the subway or roll your eyes at behind their backs.  Readers, particularly in a mystery, need at least one character they can relate to.

All that said, Pepper does have some writing abilities.  He clearly has a creative mind and is capable of telling a story one can follow.  This would be a good draft, but not a final published work.  He needs to decide if he wants to tell the monster’s story of the detective’s, then rewrite entirely from that point of view and also invest in an editor.  If these steps are followed, Pepper could have a solid book here.  As it stands now, though, I can’t in good faith recommend it to anyone, even staunch horror fans.

2 out of 5 stars

Source: Copy from the author in exchange for my honest review

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Friday Fun! (A/C, Ribbon Cutting, Garden)

Hello my lovely readers!  I hope you all are enjoying the long, hot days of summer.  I am so grateful that we put in my a/c unit last weekend.  It’s been up in the 90s and humid all week, and I would have been pretty miserable sitting in my attic apartment without it, particularly after biking home from work!  Besides biking and cooking, I haven’t been doing too terribly much in the hours off of work.  Just hanging out and vegging out.  Everyone needs a week like that once in a while though, eh?

It’s been an eventful week at work.  The intranet that I’ve been working so hard on (along with others from each department in the hospital) was officially launched.  Yay! Hopefully this will make everything easier, particularly once our patrons get used to using it.  Additionally, ever since I started working here, construction has been going on converting the floor the library is on into an education and research center.  My hospital is focusing more in on academics and such.  I’m excited about the change, as it means the library is now conveniently located to the Chief Academic Officer, Chief Education Officer, Residency Training, and more.  Anyway, this week was the official unveiling and ribbon cutting of the new floor, and people have started moving into their offices already.  It’s nice to be on a floor bustling with education instead of construction.

In container gardening news, my pepper plants are growing like weeds (har-har).  One tomato plant is still struggling, and the other is going at a fairly normal rate.  I did take BookishBella’s advice and fertilize them all.  I believe struggling tomato plant grew a tiny bit afterwards, but the pepper plants just shot right up overnight.  I’m thinking my kitchen might just be more conducive to peppers than tomatoes.  I also planted onions, which seem to be doing alright.  Unfortunately, my kitty seems to have an affinity for them, which is super odd as she’s never given any of the other plants a second look.  We have to keep stopping her from trying to eat the onion shoots.  I’m thinking a few have already been lost to the cause when I wasn’t looking.  I do think it’s pretty odd she chose onions of all things to want to nom on.

I’m excited for the weekend, as always.  I hope you all have wonderfully relaxing ones!