Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Random Tuesday

 Time to get random with Stacy.

Guess what?

I just found out there is a new Hunger Games book out!  It's called The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

However, I also found out it is a prequel, sixty-four years before the events in the first Hunger Games, and it focuses on Coriolanus Snow, the future leader and villain of the other three in the series, as well as the origins of the Hunger Games themselves.  Suzanne Collins actually got a little whining backlash on Twitter for creating a story that tells the "reason" he is the way he is. One "fan" wrote:

 you mean .... to tell me .... I’ve waited years and preordered the hunger games sequel .... thinking it was abt mags ... for it to be a president snow origin story ... about a rich white boy becoming an authortarian who loves *checks notes* genocide?


let me state I DON’T CARE how interesting it might be; humanising & forcing empathy for a classist, racist dictator isn’t necessary bc there’s 1000 other stories like this; give me variety, give me flavour, cause this take is TIRED

Give me a break!  There are all kinds of stories explaining why villains are the way they are.  The Joker.  Darth Vader.  Get over it! I don't know if I will read it or not, but sometimes readers want to know the history of the characters and what led them to where they are now.  But, if you ask me, I prefer Suzanne Collins' earlier series about Gregor the Overlander.

  I LOVED it! If you've never read it, or even heard of it, check it out!

Moving on...

So, League City is a suburb of Houston a little further south from where I live.  Actually, you can drive through Houston, Clear Lake, Webster, League City, and Pasadena within five minutes and never realize where one ended and the other began.

N. E. Way.  A man in League City whose backyard opens onto a canal where people swim, boat, and fish just happened to look out into his backyard noticed an alligator swimming toward his children.  He acted quickly and saved the children and babysitter from the gator when it was only 3 feet away.  I can't imagine how scary that was!

The alligator was a whopper weighing in at over 600 pounds!  It took 3 hours, 7 people, two poles, some rope, and some plywood to capture and remove it from the canal.  The alligator has a new home at an alligator farm in Beaumont.  Wow!

And now this...

This is how I'm looking at Blogger right now.  I have no idea why, but it is taking me forever to finish this post or add pictures.  Very frustrating! So, that's it for now.

Have a good week!

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Sunday Synopsis

No One Is Perfect: The True Story Of Candace Mossler And America's Strangest Murder TrialNo One Is Perfect: The True Story Of Candace Mossler And America's Strangest Murder Trial by Ron Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I first started reading this book, I was completely lost. Each chapter seemed to be about different people and different families, with no real clear connection. Upon further reading, it seemed like they were somehow connected, but the connection wasn't clear, and some of the people, like the main character's mother or Jacques' relatives from the old country really had no bearing on the story at all. The pre-story details almost made me stop reading.

However, I didn't stop, and it was a very interesting story. True story. Candance Mosler, a platinum blonde bombshell from Georgia, marries the much older, very wealthy Jacques (Jack) Mosler. Jack was a self-made man who started as a mechanic and moved up the auto world. He made it big in the auto financing and banking industries. Candace, who was a pathological liar, would later claim she had a modeling agency, a modeling career, and a number of other businesses. One thing she actually did have was good business sense, because when she took over as chairman of some of Mosler's businesses, they continued to thrive. But "Candy" never fit in with the River Oaks Society Crowd even though she donated to many charities.

There were two problems with Candy, other than being a golddigger. One was her lust for fame, or even infamy. The second was her relationship with her nephew Melvin Lane Powers (her sister's son). He even lived with them in the mansion in River Oaks, Houston, before Jacques finally had him evicted. But the affair didn't stop. And not much later, Jacques ends up dead in his apartment in Key Biscayne where he lives when he is in Florida for business. Candace and Mel are arrested in Houston and extradited to Florida for the trial. They would be tried at the same time.

I won't ruin any of the juicy details for you, and there are plenty of them! Ron Smith researched, not only the trial, but every aspect of the lives of the major players in the story including Powers' attorney Percy Foreman, the man who defended James Earl Ray against charges of shooting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The reason I was drawn to this story is due to all of the ties to Houston where I live. The couple moved to Houston in 1950 and took up residence in a mansion in River Oaks which to this day is still full of palatial homes and upscale boutiques and eateries. I loved coming across names I knew such as Roy Hofheinz (former Mayor, Judge, and State Representative), John Connally (former Texas Governor and later US Secretary of the Navy), Marvin Zindler (former newscaster - also famous from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas - he broke that story), Price Daniel (Texas Attorney General, State Senator, and Texas Governor twice), and even Chuck Berry who was a guest at the Mossler home from time to time. I found all of the ties to my hometown fascinating!

If you like true crime, especially a salacious trial, you'll probably like this book.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Random Tuesday

Link up with Stacy for some random fun!
My daughter and I are going to pick up her wedding dress today. Yay!  Then we are going to take it for her alterations and finalize her registry.  Fun, yet busy, day ahead!

In addition to true crime shows, I've been watching a lot of cooking game shows lately.  I love Guy's Grocery Games and Supermarket Stakeout.  I'm picking up on some good tips, too.  But it does make me wonder... when did the word "plate" become a verb?  When I was growing up, the word plate was always a noun.  We put our food ON A PLATE, but we didn't plate it.  When did that change occur?  And who would use a slice of a tree as a plate?

And speaking of plating food, I'm trying to help my son with his new Keto diet.  Have any of you tried it? He's only on his third day.  I sure hope it works for him! It has worked for other people I know, but not me.  I just felt too deprived.  I only lasted four days, not even long enough to really be in ketosis!

And speaking of food, do you have any vegetarians or vegans in your family?  We do.  Luckily we don't often have to cook for them because it's hard!  Our new baby granddaughter is being raised by vegans, but I believe they make sure she gets enough protein, and of course, she has milk/formula.

I'm so sick of not being able to get in the car and go wherever I want without worrying about Covid.  I am a homebody, for the most part, but I really wish I could hop in the car whenever I want and drive to Dallas or Austin.  I'm ready for it to be over, but I think it's going to be around a while longer.

That's all I've got for today except some funnies!

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Sunday Synopsis

Conclusive EvidenceConclusive Evidence by Al Macy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First and foremost, this book kept my attention and it was difficult to put down. I kept wanting to read, and I ended up finishing it in a matter of days, not weeks.

The main character is Garret Goodlove, a former criminal defense attorney who is now practicing family law until his twin sister is accused of murdering her husband in which case he is hired to defend her at the criminal trial. Much of what the police have is circumstantial in nature, but it doesn't help that Carly ( his deaf twin sister and the accused) is videotaped using sign language to another deaf friend that she would like to push her husband off a cliff. That is exactly how he died, or so it appears. The reader gets the sense that Carly did not commit the crime, but proving it may not be easy.

The long cast of characters includes the attorney, his partner Jen, his daughter Nicole who is in law school, his bipolar son Toby, his investigator Louella, his twin sister Carly who is deaf, her ex-husband Angelo who is involved in some shady dealings, an aging judge, a mistress, a crooked cop, a sexy district attorney, and a few other supporting characters to provide law enforcement, villains, and witnesses. While I liked most of the characters, the author tried a little too hard to humanize the main character based on experiences in his past, but did not connect this very well to current events. Also, the investigator, a short, overweight, chain-smoking woman, was entertaining yet completely unrealistic. And the two attorneys having a tryst? I'm not buying it.

There were too many coincidences in the book that were too obvious. I liked that there were little surprises throughout the book instead of revealing them all at the end because it kept me wanting to read, but some of them, such as the discovery of a dummy in a woman's home left me groaning. It was too contrived.

Some of the subplots included details about Garret's deceased wife, Carly's deafness, Carly's deceased daughter, Garret's depression, Toby's psychological problems, and Angelo's nefarious dealings. It was a little too much. Focusing on one or two of those might have lent itself to better characterization, but when there are so many, they become superficial and lack meaning. Also, the company shenanigans at DialUSA did not get explained adequately.

Overall, I liked it, and it was easy to read.

View all my reviews

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thursday Thirteen brought to you by the letter F

Just a quick list today of words I like that begin with the letter F.
No!  Not that F word!

1.  Fabled - a great word to use when describing an old story or event that seems somewhat magical.
2.  Flabbergasted - One way to express extreme surprise and incredulity.
3.  Forgive - This is sometimes one of the hardest things to do, but granting someone forgiveness, even if it's just in your heart and not verbalized, takes a great weight off the soul.
4.  Faith - I believe my strong faith is often the reason I don't fret and worry as much as some people.
5.  Fret - You can see above I like to use this word.  It's akin to anxiety and worry.
6.  Frank- Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!  Famous line from a book & movie that is being pulled off the shelves in some locations right now.  But being frank is also being honest.
7.  Fairy - Who doesn't love dainty fairies!  Or fairy dust.  Or fairy tales?
8.  Fervor- What a unique way to express passion, with fervor!
9.  Freedom - I'm thankful to live in a country where we are virtually free.  Freedom in  thoughts, freedom to choose, freedom to determine your life path.
10. Feint - I like this word, and I describe as something a boxer does.  He fakes out his opponent by feinting that he is going a certain direction.
11. Flummoxed - An interesting, if archaic, expression of confusion.
12. Fajita - Simply because I am hungry right now.
13. Faceted - This could be used to describe someone's personality or a shiny, diamond ring, among other things.

Join Thursday Thirteen for more fun!


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