Book Review: One Last Song


One Last Song is about Saylor, who suffers from Munchausen Syndrome. The story starts where she recounts swallowing a needle at age 7 in order to get her mother’s attention.  Currently she is injecting herself with saliva in order to create abscesses on her body.  She is seeing a shrink who she tells she would like to work at the hospital. Mainly it’s to gain access to supplies she may need, but no one else needs to know that.  She ends up getting a volunteer position helping to set up and break down the chairs and snacks for support groups that meet there. There is a group, TIDD, meeting in a room she is in reading a book on MS – and one of the guys assumes she has it and she is new to the group.  While she does have an MS (Munchausen Syndrome) she tells them that she has multiple sclerosis.  She ends up becoming very close with the people in this groups, even gaining a boyfriend.  She loves the attention and has seemed to stop making herself sick even.  But what happens when they find out the truth?

*possible spoiler ahead*

Although she wanted to come clean on her own terms, she ends up getting found out before she has the chance to let anyone know. Will her new friends understand? Will they think she used them? Most of all – will they forgive her before she is forced to go away to college in another state?

I really liked this book – it was a bit different than anything else I had read and really drew me in. There are a lot of characters with a lot of things going on and it was interesting to see it all unfold how it did – learning about each other as it went along and seeing them all help each other and try to remain optimistic, even though they know that they are all very near to falling victim to their diseases.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

I was seven when I swallowed my first needle.

My mom freaked out and rushed me to the emergency room.

She stayed by my side all night.

I never wanted it to end.

When you spend your whole life feeling invisible-when your parents care more about deals and deadlines than they do about you-you find ways of making people take notice. Little things at first. Then bigger. It’s scary how fast it grows. Then one day something happens that makes you want to stop. To get better. To be better. And for the first time, you understand what it’s like to feel whole, happy . . . loved. For the first time, you love someone back.

For me, that someone was Drew.

Book Review: Idiots and Children

idiotsIdiots and Children is a book of essays about Diana Estill’s life. The book is fun and easy to read, with a lot of great stories. My personal favorite was the story about how her home was struck by lightning. Her husband’s garage door won’t open so he leaves it up to Diana to see what is going on.  After they think they have the phone lines and everything corrected, the phones ring at all hours of the night, so they end up unplugging them when they go to bed. Then one night they are woken by the doorbell ringing and 2 cops checking up on them. Repeated calls to 911 were coming from their house – but Diana assures the cops everything is ok and the phone lines were unplugged. They end up realizing that the alarm system also got fried during the lightning strike and the system was calling through numbers at night and eventually got the 9-1-1.  When the cops heard the repeated calls but didn’t get an answer when calling the house back, they had to go check things out!

If you are looking for a fast, fun read, then you should check this book out.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review.

About the Book

Award-winning author Diana Estill delivers twisted tales of past and present in this latest collection of humor essays. Having grown up with an absent-minded father and a mother who refused to wear—but nevertheless tried to sell—beauty products, Estill drolly recalls her childhood angst and confusion. Besides poking fun at herself and her kin, Estill unleashes tongue-in-cheek commentary on subjects such as populating Mars, finding the “fun” in funerals, cloning Neanderthals, and store gun policies. (“If you’re feeling unsafe enough to pack a shotgun for your trip to purchase pork rinds, then maybe you ought to stay home and shoot your own snacks.”) Travelogues about crossing the pond (“Looking for the Loo in London”) and commissioning a hot air balloon to fly across a desert (“Fatal Attractions”) offer witty vacation advice.

Book Review: Edgar Allan Poe The Dover Reader

poeThis Edgar Allan Poe book is separated by his Fiction, Poetry and Non Fiction.  The book is just under 600 pages, but that is to be expected when it contains so much content! This book is full of Poe’s finest works which includes his only completed novel – The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.  I only read a few of the smaller poems, several of his stories I had read in various classes over the years as well and I quite appreciate his works.  A great compilation of his works if you are looking to get all of the Poe that you can in just one place.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

(There are 17 included in Fiction, 43 poems and 3 non-fiction works included in this anthology.)


About the Book

The father of the detective novel and an innovator in American Gothic fiction, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) made his living as America’s first great literary critic. Today he is best remembered for his short stories and poems, haunting works of horror and mystery that remain popular around the world.
This anthology presents Poe’s finest works in a rich selection of poetry and prose that features his only complete novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Short stories include “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Purloined Letter,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and more than a dozen others. In addition to a few selections of Poe’s nonfiction writing, the compilation offers “The Conqueror Worm,” “Annabel Lee,” “The Raven,” and many other memorable poems.

Book Review: Cult Crime Movies

cultcrimeCult Crime Movies boasts that you will Discover the 35 Best Dark, Dangerous, Thrilling, and Noir Cinema Classics.  Since I am not much of a movie watcher, I am always interested in seeing just how many from these book lists I have seen.  From the 35 featured in this book, I have seen a whopping 0!  I am not all that surprised. But since reading the book, I have added quite a few to the list of movies that I should check out sometime.

The author chooses to define “cult movies” for this book the be films that elicit a fiery passion in moviegoers long after their initial releases; that have been taken to heart as if they were abandoned orphans in a hostile world, cherished, protected, and enthusiastically championed by segments of movie audience; that are integral parts of people’s lives.

Each movie is broken down by the year of release, information about the director, screenplay, if it was based on a novel, cinematography, music, editor, running time and if it is in color or black and white.  Also mentioned for each movie is the cast and then a synopsis on each of the movies.

If you are interested in Crime movies and are looking to see if you’ve seen these Cult films – this is the book for you.

I received a free e-copy in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.



Throwback Thursday – Justin Timberlake & Christina Aguilera 8/22/03


Headliner: Justin Timberlake & Christina Aguilera
Opener(s): Black Eyed Peas
Cost: $64


Rock Your Body
Right For Me
Still On My Brain
Nothin’ Else
Cry Me A River
Lets Take a Ride
Last Night
Take It From Here
Like I Love You


Get Mine, Get Yours
Voice Within
Genie In A Bottle
Can’t Hold Us Down
Make Over
Contigo En La Distancia
Falsas Esperazes
Come On Over Baby
Loving Me For Me
At Last
I Prefer You
Lady Marmalade
Walk Away
What A Girl Wants



The date on the ticket says August 14th, but the show got bumped until August 22 because the stage had collapsed a few days before so they needed to postpone several dates in order to make sure everything was fixed properly.  The Black Eyed Peas opened at this show and I am pretty sure they didn’t know where they were because they said “New York City!” a few times.  Nope, not quite.

Where Are They Now:

Justin is back in music and kicking ass.  Christina just recently had another baby and was in the news for getting in a fight with Mickey Mouse.

David Cook Ridgefield Playhouse 2/11/15

Wednesday February 11, David Cook returned to Connecticut for a show at the Ridgefield Playhouse. I had bought VIP tickets and ended up needing to be at the venue for what I think was my earliest VIP time ever. It was set to start at 2:30pm – and doors to the show wouldn’t be until 7! When we arrived, we were told that Dave was under the weather and that the band would still be playing but Dave wouldn’t be singing for soundcheck because he had to save his voice to make sure to give us a great show.

Dave told us that we would have to sing for the soundcheck – and asked if we knew Declaration. I thought I did but it turns out I’m a lot better at singing along than singing it from memory! Some of the crowd told him to stop talking – but he said he’d be fine to talk, he just couldn’t sing.  For the second song, Kiss You Tonight, Nick, a member of Dave’s crew came out and sang it for us.  Then they were ready to start the M&G but the crowd asked for one more song so they did Lay Me Low.

Monty had his arm wrapped and told us he had to get a screw in it and then Dave did a great impression of the call he got a couple days before the tour run started to tell him that he was hurt but could still play.

Then it was time for the M&G where we were told to keep it to 30-45 seconds, but obviously that didn’t end up happening. One of the venue staff took my picture and then we did a selfie as well.

Since everything was so early, I had quite a lot of time to kill so I did some exploring around Ridgefield and found a Dunkin Donuts to treat myself to. Then I had some time to get some reading done before doors at 7!

The opening act was Artie Tobia. His songs – lyrics wise – kind of reminded me of Stephen Kellogg in that it basically told his story. He seemed to be quite well received by the crowd.

Then it was time for Dave! Everyone was hesitant to stand – but then he told everyone to get up, and they did, for the first song.  The venue reserves the first 6 or so rows for their members – which I guess leads to people not all that interested in the artist to be sitting up close.  After the first song, rows 2-6 sat down.  I tried to stand for as long as I could – but it was nice when I took a couple of breaks that no one was standing in front of me so I could still see – but Dave did tell everyone to get up a few times throughout the set.

There was a lot of yelling from the crowd – some awkwardly timed that made Dave stop before he was going to start up a song because someone loved his hair… But the highlight of the crowd yelling came when everyone heard, loud and clear, “SHUT UP!” and Dave stopped playing and went “Me?” and then cracked up laughing and asked if it was recorded so it would be on YouTube.

Had I not known that he was sick and having vocal problems I’ve not have had a clue based on his performance. (At least until he drank some honey before the last song of the encore) It was a great performance and it has been a while since he has been in CT – he did say he had fallen in love with Ridgefield so I hope that he will come back again!

Paper Heart
Heroes / Champagne Supernova
Everybody Wants To  Rule The World
I Did It For You
Last Goodbye
Lay Me Low
Fade Into Me
Wicked Games
Kiss and tell
I’m Gonna Love You
Come Back To Me

Billie Jean
Light On
Wait For Me

Product Review: COVERPLUG™

The COVERPLUG™ is a durable, molded and paintable plastic panel that plugs into a standard, grounded, double electrical socket to cover the entire outlet. This innovative outlet cover is held securely in place by posts on the back that align with the ground openings and require no tools for installation or removal. They are made in the USA and use a specially designed plastic that is easily paintable to match your wall color.

The COVERPLUG™ is an excellent child proofing product. The COVERPLUG™ is easy to put on the outlet and easy to take off (for an adult) and with it able to be painted you can easily make unused outlets blend in to the room better by painting them to match the color of your wall.  Since I do not have any paint in the color of my bedroom walls I am going to try to add decorative vinyl to my COVERPLUG™ to add a bit more fun to my room without risking ruining the walls or existing paint.

The COVERPLUG™ serves two main functions:

1. Creates a physical and visual barrier between your family and electrical outlets
2. Covers unsightly outlets and makes them virtually disappear!

I received a free set of COVERPLUG™ in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

Love With Food Box: January



The Theme of January’s love with food box is “Live. Laugh. Restore.”  What does 2015 have in store? All good thing! While now’s the time for New Year’s resolutions and looking forward, give yourself a little love for what you’ve already achieved. With the purchase of this box, you helped to feed a hungry child. If that’s not a great way to start off the New Year, we’re not sure what is!


Dark Chocolate Cacao Nibs by Britt
Straight from the Costa Rican rainforest, pop a few at a time and these bittersweet little babies will get you fired up for a fresh start!

I actually found these to be too sweet, even if only eating one at at time.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Mini by Luna
Looking for a little bar to get you through your big workout? Packed with  all the right stuff to keep you going, you’ll go (coco)nuts for this one!

Was not a fan. Not very flavorful.

Energy Kettle Cooked Apples by Big Slice
A simply delectable way to get your 5-a-day, eat a pouch on your way to yoga and say bye bye to those extra holiday lbs.

As of writing, still hadn’t tried these.

Somersaults by Somersault Snack Company
If seeds and grains are your new thing, you’ll go head over heels for these tasty morsels.

These were a bit too peppery for my liking, but otherwise they were really good, kind of reminded me of croutons but with seeds and grains mixed in.

Breakfast in Paris Tea Black by Stash
Ideal for that sleepy Sunday morning, steep yourself a warm cup with notes of lavender and bergamot and melt into your comfy couch.

As of writing, still had no tried this.

Cassava Pops by Wai Lana
At only 100 calories per bag, these popped-not friend or baked-pips offer all the flavor of typical chips with a fraction of the fat.

A little bit too salty but otherwise good – I enjoy the popped more than fried lately.

Velvet Truffles by Alter Eco
Made with pure Peruvian chocolate, this sweet little treat is 99.97% organic, 81% fair trade certified ingredients and 100% to die for!

Can’t go wrong with a truffle! very good!

In-Shell Almonds by Bobalu
Move over pistachios, in-shell almonds are taking over your game! Crunchy, fun and fill of protein, looks like someone’s got a makeover for 2015.

I love pistachios because they’re so easy to open, but almonds are probably my favorite nut.  However, these in-shell almonds, while they tasted great, were a HUGE mess to get the almond out to eat it – way messier than pistachios. So I think I’ll stick to already shelled almonds and shelling pistachios only so I don’t have a mess of shell everywhere!



If you’d like to receive your own Love With Food box monthly, please use my referral link!

Music Monday: One Direction Four


Steal My Girl
Ready To Run
Where Do Broken Hearts Go
Girl Almighty
Fool’s Gold
Night Changes
No Control
Stockholm Syndrome
Change Your Ticket
Once in a Lifetime
Act My Age

Four is the fourth album from British Boy Band, One Direction.  I’m kind of “over” them – as in – I’m no longer making an effort to go see them in concert (maybe I’ll see them again if they stop doing huge arena shows and come back to CT) and I wasn’t even going to bother with listening to this CD until I needed something to post for Music Monday.

That song that Steal My Girl reminds you of – if you haven’t figured it out yet – Journey’s Faithfully.  Drove me nuts for about half an hour before I was able to figure it out, thought I suppose I’m a bit late to the party on it all anyway.

Favorite track(s) :  Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Girl Almighty

Book Review: Why Does My Book Not Sell? 20 Simple Fixes


Rayne Hall has released “Why Does My Book Not Sell?” Which offers 20 simple fixes.  While I do not yet have a book to sell, I hope to one day, so I enjoy reading these types of books so that once I do decide to release something I’ll know a bit more of what to do to get it out there.

The book is broken down into different areas of your book and what might go wrong with them.  I liked that it had several different topics for each item which may be causing a lack of sales and interest in your book and that there is also a section called “Mistakes I Made and Learnt From” which the author mentions some of the real pitfalls that needed to be overcome to increase sales.

The book certainly gave me a lot of things to keep in mind that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought of for when I am ready for writing my own books.  If you are an author and are not finding the sales that you would like with your book, I recommend you check out this book to see if you can figure out where your book is falling short and what you can do to try and remedy that.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Author
Rayne Hall has published more than fifty books in several languages under several pen names with several publishers in several genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. She is the author of the bestselling Writer’s Craft series and editor of the Ten Tales anthologies. She is a trained publishing manager, holds a masters degree in Creative Writing, and has worked in the publishing industry for over thirty years. Having lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England where she enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore. She shares her home with a black cat adopted from the cat shelter. His name is Sulu and he likes to snuggle into Rayne’s arms with his paws wrapped around her wrist when she’s writing.

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