Why I love Josh Gates in anything he does …..

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I have said it before and I will say it again, I love this guy and would literally love to go on a trip with him to any destination. When things seemed to slow down with destination truth (SyFy), I figured that I would just keep watching the re-runs because at least I still got a little bit of his snarky humor and jovial anecdotes on his travels. I personally liked the format of the show because it took a clinical approach to seeking out things that we all think about at some point like the Yeti or Big Foot and it took the time to investigate the stories that we tend to read about and simply walk away from. My favorite episode is the one where he goes back to re-investigate the area around ‘Stonehenge’ and his former camera man has another experience there. Its griping to see how freaky it is in other parts of the world, and the creep factor just rises every time he goes somewhere else, like the time he went to check out the Chupacabra. I like the honesty and then the analysis they they do once their investigation is over. His banter with Ryder is always good for a chuckle. So, you can imagine that I was disappointed when I was relegated to re-runs. So…you can imagine how excited I got when I realized that he had a new show on the travel channel. Yes, people Josh is back with a new show. So the excitement is real, its called Expedition Unknown and it will premiere on Thursday, January 8th at 9:00p. He is going to cover such critical and eye catching topics as what really happened to Amelia Earhart’s plane? or Who is D. B. Cooper and did he survive? I for one am looking forward to what he will uncover during his adventures. His sarcasm is unparalleled in a world where way too many people take themselves far too seriously. So if you have not yet discovered this rare comical traveler then take a moment to set your DVR to record his new show.

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At any Moment by Brenna Aubrey

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At Any Moment (Gaming the System, #3)At Any Moment by Brenna Aubrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time I finish a book, I like to think about the things that made the book memorable to me. What was it that spoke to me. With at any moment it would have to be the prevailing themes; love, loss, and finally redemption. Those are things that stick out the most when you read this book from the Gaming the system series. The story picks up a few days after Adam finds out Mia’s secrets. Almost immediately you come to see that they are each walking on egg shells just to get through the day. Avoiding the proverbial landlines in their relationship that they haven’t yet figured out how to deal with. Mia is not in the best head space at the start, she has a great deal of guilt that she is allowing to override her judgement. So her reactions to things are born out of fear and guilt rather than having been thought out logically. Adam by contrast is burying his emotions and avoiding his own feelings in a single minded attempt to get them through this hurdle. While his approach it admirable it keeps him from having a settled relationship with Mia that he wants. They each have profound love for each other but they can’t seem to get past the things that have happened in their pasts. Mia is very vulnerable and Adam doesn’t want to take advantage of that where she will have more regrets over their relationship. The problem is that while both Mia and Adam are burying their feelings, they continue to bubble up to the surface and challenge what they have for each other. This story is told from both of their points of view and that makes the dialogue flow richly where each of them has an opportunity to express the things they have going on inside of their minds, however, misguided some of it tends to be. The emotional turmoil they endure battling with hardships and losses takes its toll on them and they both realize that they are at a crossroads but neither one of them truly wants to take the necessary steps to make drastic changes to the relationship because they see it as this intensely fragile thing. They weather the storms together but once they are over the hurdle they realize that they are mostly empty. For Adam there is resentment and anger, for Mia there is guilt and mistrust. When they finally give a voice to those feelings they realize that in order for them to get past this and move forward they are going to have to make tough choices and embark on journeys that they didn’t see for themselves when they first began seeing each other. As with any relationship their bonds are tested to the limits and they both come to realize that love is a choice and not a mantle. Love is something that is ever growing and ever changing. Its the responsibility of the parties involved to continuously work on it and to see things through once they have made the commitment to love. As reader you will come to love the honesty and depth of both Mia and Adam. They have a banter between them that is part romance and part camaraderie. While you still get the depth of the other characters such as Heath, Kat, and Jordan, you also have them as compliments rather than over powering the narrative, making for a very enjoyable read. Fans of the previous two books will love the consistency of their journey and the dance that they share in figuring out love in all of its facets and forms. Kudos Brenna, this series was one of a kind, filled with smart and edgy characters that I enjoyed following. Out of a possible 5 stars this one gets all 5. Happy Reading!!!!!

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At Any Turn by Brenna Aubrey

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At Any Turn (Gaming the System, #2)At Any Turn by Brenna Aubrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so intrigued with Adam and Mia’s story that I had to check out the follow-up. So with some trepidation, because I am now invested in these characters I decided to read At Any Turn, book 2 in the Gaming the System series. Let me tell you, Brenna stepped her game up with this one, you are literally learning at the same rate as the characters are getting the experience which makes for such an enjoyable read. The story is told from Adam’s POV, and its refreshing because it keeps the story fresh and it lets you get an idea about some of his feelings from the first installment. Looking through my notes, I tried to figure out what it was that had kept me so engrossed in the story, I would say that its the real world parallels that you can draw from the interactions between Mia and Adam. The story picks up just as Adam is finishing up his ‘vision quest’ to rid himself of his addiction to work. He is still the cocky S.O.B. that you met in At Any Price. I think the difference this time around is that he has come to understand a few things about himself. First, he realized that he has a tendency to keep secrets so that he can orchestrate an outcome that he can live with. The only difference this go round is that Adam, doesn’t totally realize the magnitude to which his need for control can take him. By contrast Mia has a few decisions that she needs to make and her insecurity over her past is still present in specter form in terms of her applying and getting accepted to med school. She still has that dream to be a doctor and the drive within her is still just as strong as it ever was before, if not more so, because you can tell that she has love for Adam, but there are elements of it that she holds back almost as if to keep herself from falling fully into their relationship. I think the echoes of what happened to her mother keep her in a paranoid state for a good deal of this second book.

I love how honest and down to earth Adam was, I would have pegged him as being more self-contained but he came out of his experience in the desert relying heavily on Mia to keep him in check with his addiction issues, not realizing that it was a big mantle to lay at her doorstep and that they still had a ton of growing to do before they could reach their own utopia. A huge theme within the fabric of the storyline was the need for compromise, which was a lesson they both failed at miserably. Adam’s inability to deal with the grief from his sisters death was heightened in its exposure and his desire to not have his feelings laid bare in front of Mia definitely contributed to the ongoing battle of wills between the two of them throughout the book. As their relationship unravels and their individual needs for independence and free will become apparent to them both, the bonus round begins for them and things are stressed to the point of fracture. Without giving too much away, I think they grow up a little bit by the end of the book. Not having actually reached a conclusion about their issues but about how they need to view and react to each other. The candid nature of each of the characters is refreshing. You get a real full picture of how each feels for the other without the back and forth that you can get in some books (i.e.: switching POV to tell the story). I would go into more as I have a couple of pages worth of notes but it wouldn’t be fair for those readers that haven’t yet had a chance to take in the story. I will simply say that its a story that can be appreciated and enjoyed, due to the careful crafting of each of the characters. The fullness of the story is simply a bonus to the equation. Out of a possible 5 stars this one gets all 5.

Oh wait one issue I did have was the hair color issue – WTF!!!! OMG even I hated the hair, I am usually pretty flexible about that stuff, but it irritated me to no end and when I got the answers behind it, I think that might have pissed me off a bit more. Ignore that tangent until after you’ve had a chance to take a read. I hope you enjoy the story and the characters as much as I did. Happy Reading!

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At Any Price (Gaming the System, 1) by Brenna Aubrey

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At Any Price (Gaming the System, #1)At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fear is a major suck! That is what I learned about At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey. This is the first installment in a three part series. The story is about Emilia (Mia) a gaming blogger that is disenfranchised with her virginity. Mia has a number of things going on in her life and not the least of which is her need to cover costs for the completion of her medical training. The thing is that she is beyond broke as are most of us. She gets the brilliant idea to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder by way of her blog. By her way of thinking this should be a pretty easy transaction with the right kind of planning and with Heath in her corner she feels pretty confident that she has all the bases covered. The thing is she actually doesn’t and when Adam Drake enters the picture he wastes no time in pointing out the obvious flaws in her plan to her. Through a series of misunderstandings Mia learns way more about herself than she was willing to and the fear that results out of it is starting to cripple her. I have to admit, I was skeptical about her line of thinking myself so I was pleasantly surprised that she was as stubborn as she was. She is a strong woman, literally as her name would imply. She has weathered a number of huge life hurdles in her life, and each time she used the experience to erect a new wall/castle/mote around her heart. So for her to find it again, she has to dig deeper than she ever has before. The story is really entertaining because there are Mia’s life issues that she is trying to learn to live with and deal with and then there are the faults that she finds in Adam that he wasn’t even aware existed before she called him on it. What makes their love story memorable is that its honest. Its the kind of story that could literally happen to anyone. It felt like a really natural progression for the depth of their discoveries even in spite of the fact that they were brought together by a set of ‘sick’ circumstances. The thing that I think readers will take away from it just the same is that when you feel completely paralyzed by fear, the only way to overcome it is to face it head on and learn to trust that everything can work out; even if it doesn’t work out according to your own plans. The story is filled with lots of fun characters and some really interesting places throughout California. There of course are also the blogging and gaming elements that were much appreciated. I am pretty confident that if you are looking for an unusual romance that will steal your heart just a little bit then you will definitely enjoy At Any Price. Out of 5 stars I am giving this one 4. Happy Reading !!!!

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Saving Cassie (Fairfield Corners 1) by L.A. Remenicky

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Saving Cassie (Fairfield Corners #1)Saving Cassie by L.A. Remenicky
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I recently finished this title that I came across by L.A. Remenicky. The title was Saving Cassie and its the first book in the Fairfield Corners series. The premise of the story is that a young woman with a hugely traumatic past has to relocate back home after the death of her beloved grandmother. As she leaves the lights of the city of New York where she was recently attacked, she starts to experience some very strange activity in her childhood home. The activity begins to escalate until it becomes a full blown problem complete with paranormal events and small town angst. You are probably wondering what I thought of the installment (insert shoulder shrug here), as a blogger I felt compelled to finish off the story so that I could see if there were any redemptive qualities that I could at least reference. The thing about the story was that it seemed as if it was a great outline for a story without the added layers of depth to the characters, Cassie was sort of a dual personality and some of the things that she did were slightly over the top and while it was in order to stay true to who she was as a person there was an element where some of the things she did or said were just not enough to keep me entertained. The plot was good, it was the reintroduction of paranormal events back to the town of Fairfield Corners, but even there it would have been nice to learn more about the town or to come to understand a bit better the feelings of Cassie. Marie the wife of Cassie’s longtime friend/honorary brother is a very patient woman, because while the things that Cassie does are all about Cassie, they are actually really disrespectful to her friend and his wife, just to get a rise out of him and to make him blush over not really wanting to show public displays of affection. Again, its not a bad story but it would be on a Lifetime spectrum, if you could choose between Lifetime and Oxygen networks the odds of you choosing Lifetime first are minimal at best. Remenicky has the bones for what could be a great story, I think in the end if it were tweaked and developed a bit more, where we could see the layers and depth of the deputy and maybe not introduce such a close childhood friend at the tail end of the book. Possibly try to bring in more disbelief about the presence of the paranormal activity without stating the obvious and avoiding the reuse of certain sentence structures you could definitely have your hands on a book similar to say the almost a witch series. The thing is please do not be discouraged by this, I respect how hard it can be to take all of these great ideas and thoughts and try to translate them into something that a reader can get the full picture of. So if you ever have a bit of time on your hands and wanted to re-work this one, I would be first in line to beta read. Out of a possible 5 stars I am going to give this one 2, but that is only because there were a couple of places where your editor skipped over the right use of tense and it made it harder for me to get through the chapters. Just the same it has great potential. Happy reading!!!!!

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Terminator: Genisys just might make me a believer or at least get me to a theater

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I have not always been a fan of the Terminator genre, I think it goes back to how I view the zombie apocalypse as being a catalyst for my own demise. Just the same, I have given it the old college try and can say that I truly enjoyed Terminator 2: Judgment Day, starring Edward Furlong, he had the kind of angst that appealed to a kid like me. By contrast that was the only one that received a rewind rating from me. Just the same, I have a good feeling in my gut about this one. The concept for the movie alone is solid and has good structure, plus it will likely confuse a few people which I find fascinating for a good long chuckle. I am intrigued by the actor line up, they are giving us Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger (Expendables). So like I said, I have a really good feeling about this cast, the best part is they are just this side of Hollywood so they will keep the movie going without diverting attention in a different direction from where the viewers need to be watching. As an avid movie/entertainment viewer, nothing takes away from a solid movie than the actors just not being the right fit for the movie. Think about it, there are tons of movies out there that just didn’t click the way it would have if they went in another direction for the casting or even for the movie itself, please reference Topher Grace as Venom, Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, Keanu Reeves in Dracula, even Denise Richards starring as a physicist in a Bond film. Think on those painful moments for a second. Now think of the possibilities, John Connor sending his soldier Kyle back, only for Kyle to learn that everything has changed due to everything else they have done previously. Its a very smart approach from a writers standpoint, so yes people I am declaring it now, I am heading to the theater to check this one out so you should too. My gut is usually always right, especially when it comes to a good action flick. Take a look at the trailer and let me know what you think, are you going to take a chance on this one? Happy Movie Watching…..

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James….4 out of 5 stars

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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I finally broke down and read this book. I initially shied away from it because I didn’t feel up for what was being called by some critics a Twilight knock off for a house wife. I have to admit, by the time I was done I could understand both sides of the argument. The story is of a young, socially closed off young woman named Ana who is in the last week of college. She by chance ends up meeting this very mysterious gentleman named Christian Grey.

At the beginning of the story Grey comes off as the proverbial doucher, making these bold statements that while possibly fact for this alternate universe are really very pompous and don’t necessarily make him someone you want to curl up with. I will say that as the story unfolds and you begin to learn more about the characters then you find that he has become this way due to some seriously deep seeded personal issues that can cause the end of their very premature relationship.

Why should you bother to read this book?
My answer to that is simple despite the prose in some sections of the book you come to love both Ana and Christian. What’s more the story is at least quasi realistic and not so far fetched that you can’t overlook some lesser elements of the story that might make you cringe. I think the best thing to do is to lower your expectations and not expect literary genius. Instead seek out a decent plot and characters that you want to know more about. That will get you through a great deal of this first installment in the 3 book series.

I am giving this one 4 out of 5 stars because overall, I really did end up routing for these characters and it served to give me a few hours of decent entertainment.

I will say that there are some very intimate scenes that are graphic for those of you like me who tend to blush at that sort of thing. So…if that makes you uncomfortable then you might consider steering clear of this series, but if not. Happy Reading. I’d love to hear what you think…

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