The Real Deal

Have You Ever Wondered... Is that certain book really good? Does that product really work? So have I. From Indie authors and musicians to local products or nationally advertised, I can't tell you the countless products I've bought as seen on TV only to find out that they don't work at my house, the book was really a bunch of hype, the music was not what I had hoped for or a movie was a yawn. If you want an honest opinion, you will find it here. Although I do lots of book reviews, I also check out lots of other products and let you know if they really live up to their ads or their hype. Stay tuned, and check in often. You never know what I'm going to talk about next.


Tomboy :Painful

I had high hopes as I began reading Tomboy by Thomas Meinecke. I'd set the book aside, waiting to wrap up  projects for which I would reward myself with an enjoyable read. I prepared myself for a novel, light banter, light reading, and an adventure of some sort, presumably about four Tomboys.

What I read for the first 21 pages was difficult, due to continuous breaks in thought with interjections and sentences that were more often than not, far too long.  At page 24, I thought “When does this start getting interesting?” About the time I thought I was in the flow, I wasn't. To many interjections. 
Although I'm an avid reader, this book reads more like a telephone monologue, inside someone one else’s head, namely Vivian Atkinson. 
It takes place in Germany, which would be important for some readers to know at the outset. I have no problem with regional books, but the teaser mentions nothing about time frame or location. It's a big deal if you aren't into German literature, or translations of same. I quite honestly felt that I had been kidnapped and held hostage. The book is slightly dated, again, not a real issue for me usually, except that the American icons referenced, are not as “hip” as they once were, which made me wonder how relevant the author’s German references were as well.

On the whole, I was disappointed with the book, although it may well be considered brilliant by some, if you were expecting a punk rock band and discovered you were actually going to classical opera...
I didn’t find it engaging enough, and without one shred of actual dialog, this book appeared to be more of a text book aspiring to be a novel. It’s was like plowing through cement.
I will not recommend it as it stands. I’ll wait for the movie.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Amazon Vine program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


Long on Performance, Short on Taste

I placed a heaping scoop of Muscletech Neurocore, Fruit Punch flavor, in cold water in a bottle and shook the bottle but I noticed it didn’t readily dissolve. Also the flavor reminded me of orange flavored baby aspirin with a bitter aftertaste. Even premixing it didn’t seem to prevent that grittiness in the last few gulps.
The pale mauve color didn’t bother me, I prefer less dye in my drinks anyway. I’m looking at mixing it with something else to mask it.
It delivered the focus and energy boost I was looking for in my work out routine, I had been struggling to stay up with a dance work out that I like and this helped me get through the entire thing. I liked the slow fade of the drink as opposed to the cliff drop of some when they wear off. I would recommend this product on performance but not on taste. 


Amy Kathleen Ryan: GLOW

I listened to Glow, by author Amy Kathleen Ryan and was slowly pulled into the story enough to listen to the book for a period of time. I enjoy stories that take place out in space but found the book easy to set aside and sometimes forget about it for a while. I was able to pick up the story easily enough but, did not easily connect to the characters. However, by the time the main female character Waverly had decided to act, I was totally behind her.
I think if I had been on a trip and listened to the book more intentionally,  I would have been through it sooner, as the idea of a shipful of young people populating a planet is an fascinating premise. Since this is the first installment, these could each be more interesting as they become available.
Ryan’s style of writing was clear and concise and well-paced, the narration by Ilyana Kadushin and Matthew Brown made the book easy to follow. Although I am not fond of men reading the lead female (or vice versa) this didn’t hinder the story in anyway.  I think this story line would appeal to young adults interested in fantasy fiction or sci-fi. Even though generally it isn’t my strongest interest, I would like to see where Ryan takes this series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Amazon Vine program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 


Laughing With Ali in Wonderland

Ali in Wonderland is a refreshing vat of humor. Ali Wentworth's unconventional memoir filled with witty insights had me cracking up at her self-deprecating tales. She is not shy with the details whether telling about child birth (There’s No Uterus Like My Uterus) or childhood illness (I Don’t Get Vacation). I couldn’t stop smiling as I read this, and remembered well some of my own awkward teen moments (Happy and Preppy and Bursting with Love). Ali takes the mundane and turns it into amusement.
If you want to while away the evening reading a book with lots of laughs, you’re in for a treat.


MiO Mango Peach

I am pretty much in denial that summer is over, if the sun shines and it feels the least bit balmy. I can over look the naked trees and on a really good day, even the snow. Even though I got this when the trees were completely exfoliated, the Mango Peach  flavor is a flashback to hot summer days.
MiO liquid water enhancer tastes clean, sweet and delicious with no calories and no aftertaste. To use, just flip it, tip it then sip it. When you have the taste where you want it, two clicks closes the handy little container no bigger that would fit easily in a pocket, purse or lunch box.  You make it as strong or as light as you like. Using  ½ a teaspoon  to eight ounces of water, as a rule of thumb, this little bottle packs in 24 servings of yummy goodness. The color is a pleasing rich orange and, if you happen to be observant,  is Kosher. This product doesn’t need refrigeration after opening which means you can take it with you anywhere, or leave in your desk at work when you need a splash of something tasty.
Soon we’ll be into the slimming season, and if you’re one who likes fruit flavored sports drinks, you will definitely enjoy this blend.


Explosions in the Sky

My awesome kid turned me on to this group while we on our road trip in the late summer of last year. I love music without words, mainly because the tunes evoke a feeling that I can write to. there's none of that distracting thought that comes with listening to words, when I'm trying to come up with my own.

Oddly enough, I had heard of this group at a former job, when I simultaneously joined Pandora. They've scored the music for television shows and films. I really started getting into them after our vacation because they were so easy to listen to while writing.

If you haven't heard of them, check them out here: Explosions in the Sky or here: Explosions in the Sky on Amazon.