Book Review | When Mountains Move

Well, no worries, my lovelies!  This review will be rather short.  Simply because. . . I didn't finish the book.  AND THAT NEVER HAPPENS.  But this one, I dunno.  It was okay, but one of those that left a bad taste in the mouth.  And while I only made it halfway through, I just couldn't finish it. 

When Mountains Move
Julie Cantrell

[BookLookBloggers]
In a few hours, Millie will say “I do” to Bump Anderson, a man who loves her through and through. But would he love her if he knew the secret she keeps?Millie’s mind is racing and there seems to be no clear line between right and wrong. Either path leads to pain, and she’ll do anything to protect the ones she loves. So she decides to bury the truth and begin again, helping Bump launch a ranch in the wilds of Colorado. But just when she thinks she’s left her old Mississippi life behind, the facts surface in the most challenging way.That’s when Millie’s grandmother, Oka, arrives to help. Relying on her age-old Choctaw traditions, Oka teaches Millie the power of second chances. Millie resists, believing redemption is about as likely as moving mountains. But Oka stands strong, modeling forgiveness as the only true path to freedom.Together, Bump, Millie, and Oka fight against all odds to create a sustainable ranch, all while learning that the important lessons of their pasts can be used to build a beautiful future.
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Read my review for the first of this series, here

I enjoyed Into the Free, where we are first introduced to Millie, a normal girl struggling with her faith and family troubles.  She has a hard story, but it gives hope.  And I was eager to read how it continued.  But going on into this second addition to her tale, I found it harder and harder to go on.  

While rape, deceit, jealousy, and such are a huge part of our lives, I found no joy in reading more about it.  And while the story may end beautifully, I've no doubt, I didn't find it worth it to go through all of that to get there.  That's horrible, I know, and you may condemn me for not completing a book for such reasons (I don't blame you!).  But I can find more enjoyable ways to spend my little bits of free time.  And this book is not really one of them.  

For the sake of rating, I will give it three stars.  Please remember that the above statements are my own personal opinions, and no others.  I commend those who read and liked this book, I'm just saying it is simply not for me.  

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Warning: Mature Content
Recommended ages: 18+
3 out of 5 stars
 

Thanks for stopping by, y'all!  So sorry for the depressing review.  I promise to have some more Overland photos soon!!

xxx,
Sarah

Book Review | The Newsmakers

The Newsmakers
Lis Wiehl

Television reporter Erica Sparks has just landed her dream job at Global News Network. Beautiful, talented, and ambitious, Erica grew up dirt poor, worked her way through Yale, and is carrying a terrible secret. She moves to Manhattan to join GNN, leaving Jenny, her adored 8-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband. Erica’s producer at the network, Greg Underwood, is handsome and compelling. Scarred by her divorce, Erica is wary of romance, but there’s no denying the mutual attraction.

On one of her first assignments, Erica witnesses a horrific Staten Island ferry crash. Then she lands a coveted interview with presumptive presidential nominee Kay Barrish. During the interview Barrish collapses. Erica valiantly tries to save her with CPR. The footage rivets the world—GNN’s ratings soar and Erica is now a household name.

But she’s troubled. What a strange coincidence that both events should happen on her watch. It’s almost as if they were engineered. Is that possible?

Erica’s relentless pursuit of the truth puts her life and that of her daughter in danger. Her investigation leads her into the heart of darkness—where the future of our democracy is at stake.

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WARNING: Possible Spoilers

{The Basics}
First off, lemme say I enjoyed Ms Wiehl's Triple Threat series.  Those mystery thrillers were the gripping, intense, can't-put-it-down kind of stories.  With that said, I must now relay just how disappointed I am with this one.  There is an ALARMING amount of language contained in these not-so-innocent pages.  Not to mention unconcealed sensuality and a twisted sociopath.

{Positives}
Erica Sparks has a rather tragic past with abusive, druggie parents, and an alcohol addiction.  She has now been sober for about two years, but has suffered a divorce and lost custody of her only daughter, Jenny.  We know right away just how much she loves her baby girl and that she would do absolutely anything to protect her and to be a good mother.  She tries her best, and while she doesn't always succeed, we also know she won't give up even when the world is screaming at her to.  

{Negatives}
Very strong in feminism.  But I won't go into detail.

One character thinks of a mean-girl co-worker as a witch, you understand why.

A woman receives a bouquet of red roses, but as a sick prank, it is infested with water bugs.  (She promptly flushes them down a toilet, flowers and all.)

One mention of a minor character as being "gay," and she along with "her wife and three kids" attend a birthday party.  

{Spiritual Content}
Hardly any.  Erica quotes the Serenity Prayer countless times, but other than that, there is absolutely no depth of faith.

{Violence}
A ferry boat with passengers crashes into a wall, killing some and injuring many.  We see blood and gore, screams, tears, and bodies.  A child who is covered in blood and has a broken limb is comforted by a woman, then taken by EMTs.

A man is mugged and ends up in a coma, a woman is poisoned and dies on live TV, and a teenager is killed by a bullet to the head.  A man is shot in the chest.  During a rehearsal for a new TV show, some lighting equipment falls from the ceiling, narrowly missing a woman.  A film crew and news reporter are recording during a horrific hurricane, we see debris and houses being torn up by the storm.

In a gesture to fully scare Erica and as some kind of twisted "prank," a half-dead rat is left on her desk and she sees it pulling itself across the surface, leaving a blood trail.  She later vomits from the fright.

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
[WARNING: to my younger readers! Mature Content below.]

One use of "b-----d" and "kick-a--." One mention of "bullcrap," not used directly at someone, but in the narrative.  A hispanic hair-dresser uses the word "cojones," which when looked up on the online dictionary means either a reference to "testes" or "courage."  . . . Which one?? It's rather unclear.

"H---" is used at least seven times by a variety of characters.  The word "a-holes" is referred to ex-husbands, at one point.  By itself, "a--" is mentioned at least twice.  Other words such as "white trash blonde" and "trailer trash" are used referring to a woman.  At least one mention of "d---."  One use of "son--------."

Countless use of alcohol, wine, and champagne.  A character is a recovering addict and she still feels the temptation.  At one point, she breaks and gives in to sneaking gulps during a dinner with a "friend." (That friend calls her best friend and encourages her to be strong.)  Numerous druggies.  Some needing a fix, others snorting coke, etc.

A funeral "wake" is held for a dead Irish woman.  Lots of drinking there. 

{Love-y-ness}
We see a man in his underwear on a Skype video.  There is one outrageously sensuous and sleazy scene that I cannot describe due to the content.  Just mentioning now so that others are aware.  In another scene, we see three prostitutes, but again, I will not go into detail.

Erica is obviously a very attractive woman.  She gets many lustful and admiring looks.  Dresses and clothing are short and sometimes revealing.

A bad guy, there's no doubt he's the bad guy, has hidden cameras in Erica's office (which doubles as her dressing room. . . Yep, you guessed it.).  He has video loops of her undressing and in her unmentionables.  [Needless to say, he is a twisted, messed-up, billionaire genius who needs to be committed to an insane asylum.  And I am dead serious.]

There is obvious attraction between Erica and her producer Greg.  They share dinners and kisses and embrace a time or two.  Once, while at his apartment on the outdoor balcony, they kiss and get rather passionate and he starts to lead her back inside, but she resists and says she's not ready.  

{Conclusion}
Overall, I was completely and wholly disappointed in this novel by Lis Wiehl.  The story plot and mystery itself had potential for being an amazing, gripping thriller.  But there was a ridiculous amount of language and alcohol and sensuality that made it far too distracting to enjoy.  I am sad to say, and am completely surprised having read Ms Wiehl's other novels, that this one is barely worthy of even two stars.  But that is all I will give it.

Set in New York, with all its diversity and culture and such, I can understand how the writer would wish to capture the good and the bad of that city (or any other city for that matter).  But I also know what makes an awesome story, and there are things that are best left out, no matter how true to reality they are now.  With all that said, the ending was rather cheesy.  [SPOILER] Erica gets a call from the president saying "Your country needs you." And she responds with, "I'm listening."  I mean, really?  Okay, okay, simply my opinion.  But that turned me off.  Very predictable.  

I will say this, I noticed she co-authored with someone I had never heard of before.  And while I am hesitant to lay blame, remembering how much I enjoyed her Triple Threat series (and yes, they are murder mysteries also, so there are crimes and blood and a wee bit of content in them as well, but nowhere NEAR as much as in this one. . .), I can't help but think the language and content can be "credited" to the co-author.  However, I simply do not know.  What I do know, is that this novel will never have a home on my shelves and that I would not recommend to anyone.  


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Recommended ages:  20+
(due to content and an immense amount of language)


All the writings above are purely my own personal opinions and no other.  I apologize for the content to my younger readers, but felt that it must be shared should any happen to pick up this book.

Wow.  It's been awhile since I've read something so disappointing.  But there's nothing left to do but move on! So, I'm now enjoying Shannon Hale's Ever After High A Wonderlandiful World.  ^_^

On a brighter note, I should have another phase of Operation Overland soon!  And hopefully a happier book review or three.  :]  'Til then!  Have a lovely week.

xxx,
Sarah


Operation Overland | Phase Four

Whoa.  So much has happened since last I posted.  And I'm behind in pictures!!  Gonna try to catch you up right now.  At least with another phase.  :]  Overland is still making steady progress as the days pass.  And it's definitely looking more like a house.  Thanks for keeping up with us on this awesome journey, my friends.  I love hearing your comments, or running into you in a store and hear that you've been waiting for the next round.  Many, many thanks for your prayers also!

Phase Four
Flooring!

Below is the first of the floor joists.



 Here, we have laid out the joists in their proper places and they are ready to be nailed.



Heheheh. . .  Workers must survive on something. . .  Especially in the hot, summer heat. 



From left to right: my dad, my brother, and Jamin.  Cutting the joists to size.


And now, securing them in place.  Evan's dad (center) was up on the beams for a little while, but due to a bad knee, Evan took his place pretty soon after.  I'm amazed at what these guys know, and there's simply no end to learning just what goes into building a house.



My daddy.  ^_^


My little brother.
(Sorry, these next two photos are a little blurry, not sure why. . . They weren't when I uploaded them!)


Father and son.



Here, they are nailing up the rim board, which goes along the "rim."  :]

Only a few more!!



Haha! My Evan.



More rim board.


Woohoo!! 
Floor joists, CHECK.


Rim board, CHECK.


And now for. . . Plywood! Or what they call the "sub-floor."


Whoa!  (I only got up there once the flooring was down. . . :D


Evan's brother, Tyler, screwing the boards.



Sub-floor, CHECK.


Yay!  And it's still moving along. 

More photos to come, I promise. . . Eventually.  I've also got a couple book reviews coming up.  So don't forget to come back!

Happy Weekend, lovelies.

xxx,
Sarah