Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Cup of...



Sunday Cup of... is a mash up of 
The Sunday Post Hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Hosted by Book Date
Mailbox Monday Located at Mailbox Monday
Basically it's a weekly post where I talk about books, bloggy things, and possibly not so bloggy things. It'll be a weekly wrap up / news bulletin type deal. Sound good? If you want to link to your own week feel free to post in the comments.


So we took the kids to the animal park yesterday with my SIL, her son H and newborn, the MIL and the step-FIL. It's a pretty small park 15 acres and features a bunch of different animals, like lions, tigers, several types of bear, foxes, a warthog, clouded leopard, baboons, squirrel monkeys and a bunch more.
We got to feed a giraffe... 
The one in black is C the little guy is H

My favorites were the clouded leopard.

and the tiger cub, who I could not get a good picture of.

We had a good time but it was hot and really crowded. 

All links go to Goodreads pages


In my mailbox...

Nada

Email...

Nada

What I'm Reading... 

Finished:
Onyx Webb: Book One (Onyx Webb #1) by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz (Review to come)

by Elizabeth Clor (Review to come)

The Secret Passage by Fergus Hume

The Masquerader by Katherine Cecil Thurston 

So that's it for this week, hope you'll stop by next Sunday. If you like this idea, go ahead and make your own Sunday Cup of... post, no link back needed. I know some folks commented on the button, you're welcome to use it if you want. Have a great week!

Friday, August 26, 2016

#fitreader update



I'll also be sharing on...
 Weekly Wrap hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin
So I managed to get rid of the pain in my right leg and I have a whole new one in my foot. Ok it's not really new, new I've had it off and on. I thought it was my shoes, but I did a test today and I'm thinking it's a stress reaction to running. I know it's not a break or fracture because it doesn't hurt all the time or so bad I can't run, it aches enough to cause concern yet I don't think it's doctor worthy. I'm not sure if that makes any sense. Anyway I'm going to force myself to take a week off running and see what happens. I figure the rest isn't going to really hurt me any.

How my week went:
8/19/16: ran 2.28 miles on a treadmill for 24m:05s
8/20/16: ran 2.08 miles on a treadmill for 23m:25s.
8/21/16: 26m:35s of weight training.
8/22/16: Rest
8/23/16: Rest
8/24/16: ran 2.51 miles on a treadmill for 26m:39s.
8/25/16: Grocery Shopping after work
8/26/16: ran 3.32 miles outside for 37m:57s (my #fitreader 5k for August)


Interval Training has not been going as well as I had hoped.
7/19/16: Interval Training - 2.14 mi 21:49 mins 10:16 min pace
7/23/16: Interval Training - 2.27 mi 22:27 mins   9:58 min pace
7/26/16: Interval Training - 2.12 mi 21:11 mins 10:04 min pace
8/3/16:  Interval Training - 2.09 mi  21:16 mins 10:15 min pace
8/15/16: Interval Training -1.88 mi  19:18 mins 10:20 min pace

Thursday, August 25, 2016

{Book Review} Murder, Inc., and the Moral Life: Gangsters and Gangbusters in La Guardia's New York by Robert Weldon Whalen

Murder, Inc., and the Moral Life: Gangsters and Gangbusters in La Guardia's New York
by Robert Weldon Whalen
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Release: September 1st 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction- Adult: True Crime, Mob
How I got it: NetGalley

In 1940 and 1941 a group of ruthless gangsters from Brooklyn's Brownsville neighborhood became the focus of media frenzy when they were put on trial for murder. Dubbed "Murder Inc.," by New York World-Telegram reporter Harry Feeney, it is estimated they collectively killed hundreds of people during a reign of terror that lasted from 1931-1940. As the trial played out to a packed courtroom, shocked spectators gasped at the outrageous revelations made by gang leader Abe "Kid Twist" Reles and his pack of criminal accomplices.
News of the trial proliferated throughout the country - at times it received more newspaper coverage than the unabated war being waged overseas. The heinous crimes attributed to Murder Inc. included not only murder and torture, but also auto theft, burglary, assaults, robberies, fencing stolen goods, distribution of illegal drugs, and just about any "illegal activity from which a revenue could be derived." When the trial finally came to a stunning unsolved conclusion in November 1941, newspapers generated record headlines.
Once the trial was over, tales of the Murder Inc. gang became legendary, spawning countless books and memoirs, and providing inspiration for the Hollywood gangster movie genre. These men were fearsome brutes with an astonishing ability to wield power. People were fascinated by the "gangster" figure, which had become a symbol for moral evil and contempt and whose popularity showed no signs of abating. As both a study in criminal behavior and a cultural fascination that continues to permeate modern society, the reverberations of "Murder, Inc." are profound, including references in contemporary mass media.
The Murder, Inc. story is as much a tale of morality as it is a gangster history, and Murder, Inc. and the Moral Life by Robert Whalen meshes both topics clearly and meticulously, relating the gangster phenomenon to modern moral theory. Each chapter covers an aspect of the Murder Inc. case and reflects on its ethical elements and consequences. Whalen delves into the background of the criminals involved, their motives and the violent death that surrounded them; New York City's immigrant gang culture and its role as "Gangster City;" fiery politicians Fiorello La Guardia and Thomas Dewey and the choices they made to clean up the city; and the role of the gangster in popular culture and how it relates to "real life." Whalen puts a fresh spin on the two topics, providing a vivid narrative with both historical and moral perspective.


Review:
I thought this book had interesting parts, but others made my eyes glaze over. The book is well researched and written. The issues I had with the book were it was a bit repetitive, some of the information was repeated over and over. While the information was interesting, I didn't need to be beat over the head with it. I found the book fascination in it's comparative between real life gangsters and media gangsters. The way that the real gangsters and media gangsters played off each other was interesting. The way Mr Whalen walked us through the history and elements of Murder Inc along with it's effects on New York were enthralling. Unfortunately I didn't find the political elements in the book, quite as interesting.
Mr Whalen explains how gangsters became urban heros, yet were anything but what the media built them up to be. He gives us cases that were real, yet completely worthy of Hollywood. The characters in the book are larger than life and some of the most famous mobsters in history. I enjoyed reading about how these characters created and wielded their power as well as their downfall.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

{Cover Reveal} Immortal Billionaire by Jane Godman



Immortal Billionaire
Jane Godman
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Date of Publication: November 1, 2016

 Book Description:

 Dark secrets and unquenchable desire collide in this captivating paranormal thriller…

 Connie Lacey lives a nomadic existence. Alone. Safe. She can't risk being found by the stalker who haunts her waking nightmares. Until an invitation from billionaire Sylvester de León—to spend thirty days with him on his private island, Corazón—proves impossibly tempting. But one look at the gorgeous host's deep blue eyes, and Connie knows there is nothing safe about this paradise and the aristocratic man who calls it home.

 The island is cursed…as is Sylvester himself. Yet something in him calls to Connie, ignites a desire that's filled with raw, timeless need. But Corazón has many secrets, each more dangerous than the last. And in a place where everlasting love, the past and fate intersect, even death is only a beginning…


 Available for Pre-Order


 Excerpt:

 It is easy enough to list in advance, and with absolute certainty, those things for which we are prepared to die. Family, country, religion, the one we love, a valued way of life. Until we are faced with a situation that puts our convictions to the test, we can never know for sure which of these will hold true. There were many lessons to be learned during those strange weeks on the island of Corazón, but, for Connie Lacey, this would prove be the most important.
Four years of running and hiding. Four years of looking over her shoulder. Of viewing every man she met with suspicion. Of waking every morning, wondering if today was the day he would finally catch up with her.
The relief of being offered somewhere to hide was so huge it drove every other thought out of her head. She had a brief mental image of herself as a disaster survivor and the man opposite as the rescue worker who had just draped an emergency blanket around her shoulders. She resisted the temptation to cling to him, garbling out incoherent thanks until he was forced to gently pry her hands away. They were the wild thoughts spinning through Connie Lacey’s mind as she listened to the clipped tones of the attorney.
With hindsight, she probably should have paid more attention to the strangeness of the offer he was making and the diffident manner with which he made it. Gratitude will do that to you, she decided later. At the time her attention was taken up with grabbing this opportunity. Nod, smile, and sign on the dotted line. Don’t ask questions that might make him withdraw this incredible invitation. All she could focus on was the fact that—for thirty days, at least—she would not have to sleep with a knife under her pillow.
“You have one week.” She realized Mr. Reynolds had finished outlining the details of the proposal. “My client will expect you to be in Florida in exactly seven days’ time.”
Connie swallowed hard. She might have known there would be a catch. The logistics of getting to Florida posed a massive problem. Mentally, she reviewed the contents of her wallet. She knew exactly how much cash was in there. It wouldn’t get her across town let alone across the country. Before she could speak, Mr. Reynolds reached into the desk drawer and produced a hefty roll of banknotes. His expression softened slightly as he passed them across the desk.
“Expenses. For the journey and such sundry other items as may be necessary.” He cleared his throat with a hint of something that might have been embarrassment. “My client is a very exacting man. His guests will, for example, be required to dress for dinner during their stay on Corazón.”
Darn! And there I was thinking I had successfully managed to hide the fact that the sole is hanging off one of my sneakers and this sweater has forgotten what color it used to be.
Connie stuffed the wad of cash into her shoulder bag with a muttered word of thanks. If an encounter with Sylvester’s attorney could reduce her to the status of a gibbering wreck, how on earth was she going to cope with the man himself?
As she got to her feet, Mr. Reynolds rose and came around the desk. He held out his hand. Surprised, Connie took it. Instead of the handshake she had expected, he clasped her hand between both of his. It was an oddly tactile gesture for such an aloof man.
“However this venture may turn out…” He paused and Connie sensed he was fighting an internal battle. As if the personal and professional were at war within him. The result felt like his version of a truce. “I wish you well, Miss Lacey.”
It was only later, when she got back to her grim, one-room apartment and counted—then, in disbelief, re-counted—the money, that she began to truly appreciate the gulf between her world and that of Corazón. What constituted “sundry other items” to Mr. Reynolds was almost a year’s salary to Connie.
Laughing, she tossed the notes into the air and briefly contemplated just disappearing with them. To hell with “second cousin several convoluted times removed” Sylvester and his mysteriously worded proposition. This money could buy her the freedom from fear she had been dreaming of. Temporarily, it was true, but even that was so much more than she had wished for. No more moving from town to town and job to job? No more looking over her shoulder? Yeah, I’ll take that and deal with the future when it gets here.
A pang of guilt tugged at her. Backing out wasn’t an option. She had just accepted Mr. Reynolds’s wretched invitation and a promise was, after all, a promise. Besides—despite its reputation—she was intrigued enough by Corazón to want to see it and, even if she admitted it only to herself, she wanted to meet the legendary Sylvester.
The ease with which Arthur Reynolds, senior partner in the firm of Reynolds, Prudah and Taylor, had tracked her down was unsettling. Even if she hadn’t been contemplating answering Sylvester’s eccentric summons, it would have been time to move on. Goodbye—she experienced a minor moment of panic as she tried to remember where she was. It had to happen one day—Farmington, Missouri. The last month has been okay, but it was never a long-term thing. We both knew it. No hard feelings.
She had a week to prepare for the journey. With a shrug, she tucked the money away at the back of her closet and curled up on the bed with a book. Connie could have her belongings packed in an hour. She’d done it often enough.


 About the Author:
 Jane Godman writes in a variety of genre. Many of her stories are heavily tinged with the supernatural and elements of horror, with haunted characters tormented by dark secrets.

 Jane writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne. Her Otherworld Series is set in a mystical land inhabited by many races, including faeries, vampires, lycanthropes, phantoms and gods. Unfortunately, the constant battles between these warring dynasties threaten to spill over into the mortal realm.

 Jane’s series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Sons of Stillwater, will be coming soon.

 Jane also writes steamy historical romance for Samhain Publishing and her Georgian Rebel Series features compelling heroes who fight hard for the cause they believe in and harder for the women they love.

 In 2017, Jane has a new paranormal romance series coming from SMP Swerve.
Watch out for her hot Arctic werewolves!

 Jane lives in Cheshire, England, is married to a lovely man and is mum to two grown up children.

 Website: Twitter: Facebook: Goodreads:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

{Review} Cookies and Cream Next Step Fit N' Full Shake Powder

Disclaimer: I received this sample of Cookies and Cream Next Step Fit N' Full Shake Powder from Influenster completely complimentary for testing purposes!  As always, all opinions are my own.



I received this meal replacement shake in my Revive box from Influenster. This was Cookies 'n Cream flavor, and I have to say it was uck. The flavor was bland yet sweet, but didn't taste like Cookies or Cream to me. It left this weird black crumb-like substance in the bottom of my shaker which I assumed were the cookies? The package said to mix with water, but I think milk would have been better as it was very thin.
As to filling me up it was about as filling as a protein shake, but I was hungry a few hours later. Overall very disappointing.

Monday, August 22, 2016

{Review} August's JackedPack

Disclaimer: I received a JackedPack to review for free.  As always, all opinions are my own.




August JackedPack includes:
Ghost Legend
Maxler NRG Max
BPI Best Creatine
BPI 1.M.R (new formula)
EVL Trans4orm
Ginger chews and honey crystals for digestion
BONUS Tiger Balm Ultra 
Plus EVL Nutrition ENGN

Here's the August JackedPack! It includes another batch of pre-workouts (Ghost Legend, Maxler NRG Max, BPI 1.M.R, & EVL Nutrition ENGN) in various flavors such as blue razz and snow cone. BPI Best Creatine in Key Lime, of all flavors. Ginger chews and honey crystals (these are like candies and some drink mixes). The Tiger Balm Ultra I'm actually excited to try as my backs been killing me for the last few days. While not a bad batch of samples I'd really like to see some protein or amino acid type stuff.



Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Cup of...


Sunday Cup of... is a mash up of 
The Sunday Post Hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Hosted by Book Date
Mailbox Monday Located at Mailbox Monday
Basically it's a weekly post where I talk about books, bloggy things, and possibly not so bloggy things. It'll be a weekly wrap up / news bulletin type deal. Sound good? If you want to link to your own week feel free to post in the comments.


Well we were supposed to go to a Animal park down state this weekend but the hot water tank breaking a pipe put the kibosh on that. We're now going next weekend with the in-laws. 
I started training in the cutting room, Thursday but only spent the morning over there. Minion wasn't able to keep up and I got called back to my department to bail her out. I really don't think this is going to work out, much to my disappointment. I have to admit I really liked running the knife, but I had some issues laying up the material. I think I'll be able to get it with some practice though. Anyway fingers crossed that things work out later on in the month. 


All links go to Goodreads pages


In my mailbox...

Onyx Webb: Book One (Onyx Webb #1) by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz



Email...

Nada

What I'm Reading... 

Onyx Webb: Book One (Onyx Webb #1) by Richard Fenton & Andrea Waltz (reading for review)

by Elizabeth Clor (Taking the Long Way Home Book Club Read)

The Secret Passage by Fergus Hume (Started listening to at work)

The Masquerader by Katherine Cecil Thurston (Listening to at work)

Finished:
Here Comes The Witch (Main Street Witches #1) by Ani Gonzalez (Review to come)

That Affair Next Door (Mr. Gryce #8) by Anna Katharine Green


So that's it for this week, hope you'll stop by next Sunday. If you like this idea, go ahead and make your own Sunday Cup of... post, no link back needed. I know some folks commented on the button, you're welcome to use it if you want. Have a great week!

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