Thursday, May 5, 2016

Author Spotlight: Nicholas Sparks

Nicholas Sparks

I know a lot of people say that his books don't have substance, but I LOVE him.  And met him when he came to my area last year!


Sparks lives in North Carolina with his family. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. Along with his wife, he founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4 x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands. (excerpt from

Favorite Book:

The Rescue 


When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor can't bring himself to make: he can't fall in love. For all his adult years, Taylor has sought out women who need to be rescued, women he leaves as soon as their crisis is over and the relationship starts to become truly intimate. 

When a raging storm hits his small Southern town, single mother Denise Holton’s car skids off the road. The young mom is with her four-year-old son Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities and for whom she has sacrificed everything. Taylor McAden finds her unconscious and bleeding, but does not find Kyle. When Denise wakes, the chilling truth becomes clear to both of them: Kyle is gone. During the search for Kyle, the connection between Taylor and Denise takes root. Taylor doesn't know that this rescue will be different from all the others, demanding far more than raw physical courage. It will lead him to the possibility of his own rescue from a life lived without love and will require him to open doors to his past that were slammed shut by pain. 

This rescue will dare him to live life to the fullest by daring to love.

I hope this book is NEVER made into a movie (I think it would ruin it for me).

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Top Ten Childhood Characters You'd Love To Revisit As Adults

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Ten Childhood Characters You'd Love To Revisit As Adults

There are so many characters I love from my childhood!  Heads up, some of these pictures are from movie adaptions of the books or graphic novel adaptions and are so not what I originally pictured them as.

Also keep in mind, I hated reading until I was about 12 years old!  So most of these are middle grade and young adult level.

1.  Severus Snape (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling) - Who wouldn't want to revisit him after reading the books growing up?  I want to more recently since the new "book" is coming out and it's been a few years since I last re-read the series.  The picture is an original sketch of him by J.K. Rowling.

2.  Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer) - I never got to finish the series as a kid, but I always wanted to go an adventure with Artemis and Captain Holly Short.  The picture is one from the graphic novel and not at all how I pictured him.

3.  Max (Maximum Ride by James Patterson) - Loved her as the fearless leader in the first three books!  And I consider those to be the core books.

4.  Kira (Gatherin Blue by Lois Lowry) - I remember feeling a great love towards the gentle soul that was Kira, I would just generally love to feel the peace of her again.

5.  Laura (Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder) - She was so free!  Exploring the great unknown world with her sisters at her side and her parents always there.  Nostalgia at it's finest for me right here.

6.  David & Crew (Everworld series by Katherine Applegate) - If I can ever get my hands on this rare and old series again I will devour it in a week.  This is how much I loved it.

7.  Jack & Annie (Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborn) - Do I really need to embellish on this one?  I thought not.

8.  Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew by Caroline Keene) - I've only read these as an adult, but I would have like to re-read her in the future when I'm even more of an adult.

9.  Alyssa (The Silent Storm by Sherry Garland) - I re-read this book every year.  Alyssa is such a strong girl who finally finds herself after being lost in a real and emotional storm.  She is empowering.

10.  Corduroy (Corduroy by Don Freeman) - Favorite bear as a little kid.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Manga Review

When I was in high school I was addicted to anime and manga.  I was one of those semi-goth kids who loved Japanese culture more than my own some days.  Most of those days are gone now, but from time to time I still re-read favorite manga or discover a new series.

Lately my coworker/friend has gotten me hooked on a couple new series, well new to me.  Here are reviews for the first books of those two series.

Title:  Hellsing, Vol. 1
Author:  Kohta Hirano
Rating:  5/5


There's a secret organization somewhere in England created to defend the Queen and country from monsters of all sorts. Yes, it's hard to believe in this day and age... but really, isn't this the true age of monsters? Enter Hellsing, an agency, long in tooth, with the experience, know-how, and... er... equipment to handle the problems that arise when vampires, ghouls, and the like take on these dark forces. "What equipment?" you may say. How about another vampire, and a big pistol loaded with special silver bullets? That oughta do the trick. But what really knocks 'em dead is the sharp wit, awesome artwork, and crazy, bloody action that make up the manga.


I saw the entirety of the original anime before I began reading this series, and might I just say that the books are better!  The combination of serious and hilarious with this story line is fantastic.  And the main character, on the cover, is a vampire, whose name is Alucard.  Look at that name now, what's fun about it?

His name is Dracula.  He is Dracula.  And he is fantastic

Title:  One-Punch Man, Vol. 1
Author:  One; Yusuke Murata
Rating:  3/5


Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of ’em with one punch! Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of superpowered boredom?


Holy crap is this book stupid!  It's hilariously stupid though, like Monty-Python level stupidity.  The art is nothing like on the cover, it is rather simplistic, however it's not bad.  So far the series is six books long (translated into English that is), and there is about thirteen episodes of the anime subbed (no English translation that I'm aware of yet).

I don't know if I'll make it through this series, but I'll give the next book a shot because Saitama is hilarious, and Genos promises to be equally funny and stupid.