Book Review: Dark Legacy by Anna DeStefano

Title: Dark Legacy, Legacy Series, book 1. Author: Anna DeStefano. Genre: Paranormal thriller. Mass market paperback: 307 pages. Publisher: Love Spell. Review: News Bite. Description: "Die!” scream her nightmares. The voice is her sister’s, the compulsion stronger than any ordinary dream. Maddie Temple can’t go through this again. Her twin is in a coma for the last ten years. Their psychic link was severed. But there’s a lot Maddie doesn’t know about the 200-year-old curse on her family, about the shadowy group that wants to exploit the Temple powers for themselves, about the sexy psychiatrist offering to help her. The only way to find the answers antd avoid being pulled into the abyss of madness is to trust her heart and confront her. My Review: Well, I got this book after swearing off Paranormal Romances. I have a feeling I may not stick to my vow of avoiding them. I saw it and said, "Mmmm, this can't be a PNR. There isn't a (half) naked man in sight!" Not that I am complaining about naked men, but I do shy away from those covers due to my preconceived notion that the insides contain mind numbing (or mushing) fluff. This book is beyond repetitive. I was coaxing the book, "Yeah, yeah baby, I get it. Let's be gettin' to the good stuff." The nightmares mere so damn! I am not super dense, I do grasp things after I am told a time or two. If so much of this material was going to be repeated you would have hoped for some variety. Right? 

Dark legacy

So that was extremely frustrating as well as a yawn fest. The romance was weird. No chemistry. And the s3x was funky (of what I read of it. I admit I skimmed this book after a bit) and not actually real. I always think it is strange that a love interest doesn't run when the first sign of crazy pops up. You don't know this person and suddenly they are pushing you away and/or acting mentally deranged. Maybe they are even physically harming you. I guess the love interest/other person needs to be a little bit psycho too, yeah? "I don't mind that you stabbed me, baby. Because deep down I know we are meant to be. Just stay on your meds". There were  four POVs. The main character, Maddie (I see her as the true main). The love interest dude (whatever his name was). A doctor man, who is experimenting on and in love with Maddie's crazy and violent sister. The sister (whatever her name is, really don't care). Hated most, okay make that all, of the POVs. I felt like I didn't know or even care about the characters half way through. I actually disliked (intensely) the doc and the sister after a bit. Maddie and loverboy were just too bland and flat too feel anything expect annoyed. As I said in my goodreads review, I got a bit of a kick in the junk after the being put through this non-eventful book and then they tell us that it isn't really over, there still is evil brewing. Kill me now! I hate those kind of endings. Definitely not encourage me to read the second in the series. Especially with what I got the first time. Rating: Did not finish. Read at your own risk. Brain leakage may occur, so stuff some cotton balls in your ears if you do take the risk and read this book.

Balancing Act

Dog rescue is a very tricky balancing act. You have to balance work, family, life and then the rescue. The only problem is rescue is so much work and time that other things get pushed aside. Like the Christmas tree that is still up in my front room! Ornaments are off and have been for 2 weeks but tree is still up... ooops! I did get everything else Christmas put away almost immediately! Which reminds me I can probably get my few Valentine's Day stuff out! Hmmm wonder when I am going to have time for that. The Pits I took in are doing wonderfully. They are very good dogs and I really have no concerns about them what so ever. They are ready to start a new life in a home with a family and be the center of someone's world. I have them off the leash trained, almost totally crate trained, working on come and sit but doing very well with that. They poop outside every time but peeing we do have accidents even though I watch them like a hawk. Stairs forget it! Scary scary scary. We will keep working on those. 

Wishbone was afraid of them too for a long time now he runs up and down them like they are nothing. Last night I was showing Freedom how to do the stairs. Omg, so funny he was gripping with his front toes like he was holding on for dear life. I just carry him down, he isn't going anywhere near that hole in the floor so I have to pick up his nearly 40 pound body and carry him down. He still has about 4 or 10 pounds he needs to gain so he better figure it out quick b/c soon he will weigh 1/2 as much as me and I am not carrying him then! I took in another JRT today. I totally don't have room nor should I have taken him. I just don't want another dog but he was getting put down tomorrow. Ugh! What I was supposed to do. Nice doggie see you in the after life? No! So he is in my. He smells so bad. First thing I am going to do when I get home is give him a bath. Gross! Well I am off to a dentist appointment that I really don't have time for b/c work is kicking my butt but oh well. Balancing act continues.

Book Review: A Woman Called Sage by Diann Mills

The relationship between the two mains had me annoyed. It was that typical combative first meeting. Walls are up, judgments are made. Of course, they learn they are wrong...pretty quickly (less than a whole day and these two were spouting praises). I hate when stuff is rushed. Sage goes on and on about she "don't trust no lawmen," and suddenly! she completely trusts Parker. And Parker, wow his mind is blown! He has met a woman who can take care of her self, blah, blah, blah. This is set in the 1800s, in the "old west." Outlaws are rampant. They are isolated from "civilization." And Parker hasn't met one woman who can fend for herself? I found that unbelievable. Besides being in awe of her, apparently, unique ability, Parker is immediately aware of her fair looks. Which progressively get better every ten pages. Until! This is the kick in the pants for me. Until he decides he wants to spend the rest of his life with Sage. What? He knew the woman for a little more than twenty-four hours! 

Magic books

And already! Already he wants to marry the woman! We are only one hundred pages in at this point. They haven't done much of anything yet! Which leads me to my next point. There is no action. Okay, granted I did not finish this book so there could be some high octane, pulse pounding action afoot that I missed. But, eh, I don't believe so. The portion I did read the action was just... meh. All the killing and beating was pretty tame or happened offstage. We, as the reader, never got to witness the action bits, just the aftermath. And even that was kind of skimping on the details. I am by no means looking for a blood bath within this Christian novel, but if there was going to be some gun slinging, outlaw hijinks going down, even just a little bit, I would have liked to have some suspense. If you are a fan of Christian novels and you are well aware of their formula and love it anyway (or because of it) then go right ahead and read away. Also if you are a fan of this author I would recommend this book to you.

A Woman Called Sage by Diann Mills

Title: A Woman Called Sage. Author: Diann Mills. Genre: Christian Historical Fiction. Paperback: 304 pages Publisher: Zondervan. Description: They took away everything she loved... now, she's out for revenge. Sage Morrow had it all: life on a beautiful Colorado ranch, a husband who adored her, and a baby on the way. Until five ruthless gunmen rode up to their ranch and changed her life forever. Now Sage is a bounty hunter bent on retribution. Accompanied only by her majestic hawk, she travels throughout the Rocky Mountains in search of injustice, determined to stamp it out wherever it's found. The stakes are raised when two young boys are kidnapped and Sage is forced to work with Marshall Parker Timmons to rescue them. But Sage may ultimately get more than she bargained for. My Review: I haven't read much, if any, books with a Native American main character since I reached adulthood and started reading "grown-up" books. My favorite, or the most memorable, books with na leads probably all came from Scott O'Dell's ya novels. The culture wasn't overwhelming or alienating, it was intriguing. But mostly his books have a immense feeling of loss and injustice.

That melancholy really made the books memorable. It wasn't a happy-happy ending, so it was forced to stay with me. It made me think, it made me dwell on the wrongs that can be done to people. I had hoped that this book would rekindle the feelings I had experienced as a kid. It didn't. The cover is gorgeous and the idea for the story had great potential. But beyond that it just didn't deliver. I am, in general, iffy about books labeled as "Christian." When it comes to religious books... I just can't relate. And it isn't because I am not religious, it is because the attitudes are slightly skewed. Not that I feel like going on and on about religion, that is just blah (and can be a headache, right? conflicts and all). So far I have gotten, really, only one scenario when it comes to these books. First, one person is very religious, and despite hardship they are quite devoted to God. The other person is bitter, and no longer trusts, loves or relies on God. Stuff happens and the stray sheep is once again brought back into the fold. And some praying goes on in the middle parts. And not that I mind terribly, I just find it a tad disingenuous.

More Risky Places for your Debit Card

Aside from the potential for hacking at many different points in a transaction, Abagnale says a fundamental problem with using debit cards online is it's impossible to know who is handling your information. "Buying stuff online, you have to be careful, because you have to know who you're doing business with. "When you buy things online, what kills me about that is, people say, 'This is a safe site'," Abagnale says. "Who works there?" Restaurants keep customer data on file. "Would you care for a side of debit card fraud with that?" Restaurant servers don't ask that question, but they might as well, with the standard practice of taking customers' debit cards to run them behind closed doors. "Any place where the card is out of hand" can increase the chances of fraud, says McGoey. 

Magic chest

"The guy/gal comes to your table, takes your card, and disappears for a while, so he or she has privacy," giving the person the opportunity to copy your card information. Even restaurants without sit-down service can present a threat. McNelley says using debit cards to order delivery can be risky, because cashiers tend to keep customer payment information on file. That may make future orders more convenient, but small businesses rarely take the steps necessary to safeguard payment information, she says. Overall, regardless of whether you use your debit card at a small restaurant or a big-box store, the possibility of fraud is always there. She cites the example of Michaels Stores Inc., which saw its customers' debit card information stolen in May by debit card terminals doctored by thieves. Even if you do exercise caution... there are still the Michaels-type incidents that will happen," McNelley says.

Risky Places for your Debit Card

Gas station payment terminals have many of the characteristics card fraudsters love, McNelley says. "In a gas station, where you have a whole bunch of pay-at-the-pump kinds of things and minimal supervision, it's pretty easy for a bad guy to put a skimming device on, put a little pinpoint camera there, and compromise debit cards that way," McNelley says. Thieves often use small cameras to capture footage of debit card users entering their PINs so they can have free access to their money. She says even if the thief doesn't manage to get your debit card personal identification number, or PIN, from such a device, he still may be able to duplicate the card's magnetic strip, and use it for "sign and swipe" Visa or MasterCard transactions. With the high potential for fraud in pay-at-the-pump debit transactions, it might make sense to use an alternative, such as cash or credit cards, the next time you fill up.

The Web is a risky place. Debit cards are a convenient way to buy products online, especially for those who don't like to use credit cards. Unfortunately, the Web is one of the most dangerous places to make purchases, McNelley says. "Online is the No. 1 place where consumers should not use debit cards," she says. "It's susceptible at so many points. "The consumer could have malware on their computer, so it could be at their endpoint the data get compromised. "It could be a man-in-the-middle attack, where somebody is eavesdropping on their communications via the wireless network. "At the other end, that data goes into a database at the merchant. "As we've seen with some of the higher-profile breach events over the last year or so, that data is going to be vulnerable if not properly cared for." 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

This book begins to explore the “dark magic” element people told me would emerge in the series. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, me being one who is more pulled to historical and literary works than fantasy fiction. (While confessing above that I might have spent history class thinking of Harry Potter, if I’d grown up with these books). I am definitely not put off by the way Rowling presents the magic element so far. Indeed, I feel it could be real, because she so clearly delineates between the “Muggle” and “Wizard” worlds at the start and finish of each book that it’s hard to argue the logic of it all, being myself a clueless Muggle. She steeps the story in emotion and personal investment for Harry. The magic is important because the loss of his parents is a searing wound never healed, and magic is who he is. Discovering it and mastering it is who he is, as much as it was ever who they were. I can believe that he must master it and choose to use it well, as much as I believe that about a Muggle’s intelligence, money or luck. Magic is Harry’s world, but what he does with it is the story. I like that he is so noble and innocent throughout the book, and yet so flawed. He ignores the rules he doesn’t like (even Dumbledore’s) and gets in trouble all the time. For me, this shows that humanness is not a flaw. To bumble through with every good intention as well as every self-focused grievance is better than doing nothing at all. Rule-followers like Hermione are not necessarily better at achieving results, though they might stay safe and achieve good grades. “Have you ever seen anything quite as pathetic?” said Malfoy. “And he’s supposed to be our teacher!” 

Harry and Ron both made furious moves toward Malfoy, but Hermione got there first, smack! She had slapped Malfoy across the face with all the strength she could muster. Malfoy staggered. Harry, Ron, Crabbe, and Goyle stood flabbergasted as Hermione raised her hand again. “Don’t you dare call Hagrid pathetic you foul, you evil”. “Hermione!” said Ron weakly and he tried to grab her hand as she swung it back. “Get off Ron!” Hermione pulled out her wand. Malfoy stepped backward. Crabbe and Goyle looked at him for instructions, thoroughly bewildered. “C’mon,” Malfoy muttered, and in a moment, all three of them had disappeared into the passageway to the dungeons. “Hermione!” Ron said again, sounding both stunned and impressed. What can I say? I truly adore this series and love immersing myself in it. I cannot wait to read the next book. And I love the way this one ends! There’s a Harry Potter table set up where I work (a bookstore), upon which there are Potter books, magic wands, stuffed owls, and bright red and yellow Griffindor scarves. I walk by it often and smile because it feels so real, and because it is awesome that people still go mad over these books. I almost want to buy one of the scarves! But I might go for an owl and put it next to my snow globe of Atlanta, Georgia. Would I ever re-read this book? Definitely. Opening lines: Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways. For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of the year. For another, he really wanted to do his homework but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night. And he also happened to be a wizard... Favorite Passage: “You are truly your father’s son, Harry...”. Favorite Character: Still Dumbledore: “You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?” And also the surpising character whom I choose not to spoil. Those who’ve read it can likely guess!