Sunday, August 29, 2010

A bit of a Catch up

First things first: I stand humbly before you asking forgiveness for my lack of blog posts. I know so many of you lead very busy lives and still find time to blog. I admire that, and wish to someday be able to control this craziness enough to put my thoughts down so that this blog can have some sort of consistency. Until then, I will grovel at your feet in apology and pray you don't throw virtual rotten tomatoes my way!
Work has I am going to be requesting to be moved to one of the MEUs (Marine Expeditionary Unit) that is leaving on a 6-month deployment at the end of next year. I need the deployment under my belt and it allows me to get out of my current shop, which would be a blessing in itself. When Marines are disgruntled, it makes the working environment so stressful, and most of the Marines I work with ARE disgruntled!
I've also really been concentrating on building my Scentsy business. I booked the Mira Mesa street fair, and have three basket parties going out soon. Placing a HUGE order on the 1st for our new products, like the Marine Corps warmer! And also thinking of hosting a Scentsy giveaway on my blog soon. Check out my site:
My daughters still amaze me. The oldest started Kindergarten on Thursday. I managed not to cry somehow, and she was all smiles and excitement. The youngest is starting to talk a lot more and her preschool teachers have nothing but praise for her. I took them to Disneyland last Tuesday and they had a BLAST!!! It wasn't crowded at all, but it was HOT!! I did start them on their journey to becoming Disney Pin Collectors, though! That's exciting to me....I know....I'm a dork! LOL
Life is busy.....but it's good!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Review---The Passage by Justin Cronin

I'll start by saying that I love getting books to review. Mail days with packages from authors or publishers are like mini-Christmases. When I received The Passage by Justin Cronin, I have to admit that I felt a slight twinge of dread. 766 pages.....766!!!! I knew that this book better be a stellar work of fiction, or else the likelihood of me finishing it would be nil.
This book did NOT disappoint! In fact, by page 765, I became almost desperate knowing this adventure was about to end. Thankfully, this is the first book in a planned trilogy (with the next book due to be released in 2012).
The Passage is a novel about a post-apocalyptic world filled with virals (closely related to what we consider vampires) and sequestered clusters of survivors across the American continents. A quick synopsis of this book is virtually impossible since it spans decades and involves many different points of views. In a nutshell, it's about a military experiment to create human weapons through injecting a virus into 12 convicts that ends up going horribly wrong. The majority of the population is wiped out by the virals created by the Twelve, but holdouts remain, holding off the virals through primitive weaponry, fortresses, and bright lights that deter the creatures. The majority of the book focuses on The Colony, located in Southern California. When the batteries start getting dangerously low and The Colony is faced with impending darkness, a young girl named Amy makes her way into The Colony, altering the lives of all its inhabitants and setting events into motion that are the beginning of the virals' demise. Amy turns out to be the 13th victim infected by the Army for its experiment, but the effect it has on her body is one completely unlike the Twelve.

I loved that every character's story was told, that they became key players in their own right. Cronin gave each their 15 minutes' of fame, in a way that flowed easily and added depth to an already-deep novel. This book could have ended numerous times and still have left me satisfied. It ended up feeling like a great story built on top of a great story built on top of another great story. My only disappointment was in the ending, as I was ready to keep going for 800 more pages. I was shocked to find that my frustration at the ending turned into admiration for the author at building up the anticipation to his next installment.
I simply could not put this book down. I found myself dreaming of the storyline. It would not come as any suprise if this was turned into a major motion picture.
Cronin has delivered a masterpiece. Stephen King fans will rave over it, and even those who don't particularly like sci-fi (count me as one) will have a hard time not adding this to their top-ten list of favorite books!

The Passage is set to be released on June 8, 2010. For more information, go here:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm Back! And I've Brought a Review With Me!

Wow...almost a year. I've missed blogging, but my hectic life has kept me too busy to do much other than spend time with my family and work work work. I'm back in the Corps full-time, and after going to Quantico, then North Carolina, and finally Camp Pendleton, life has settled enough for me to actually indulge in a few things for myself. I've been reading again, which for me is a HUGE luxury, and something I've been really missing in my life. There's some other things going on, which I'm sure I'll divulge as the days go on (I don't want to give away too much too fast!).

I thought it would be appropriate to kick off my return with a review on a great ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) that I received of The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw, courtesy of the publisher, Doubleday.

After finishing the book, it was hard to believe that this was LeCraw's freshman work. The story centers on Marcella, a divorced woman who finds herself in a relationship with Jed, the grown son of the man with whom she had an affair seven years before. LeCraw builds the characters so well, that even secondary ones like Marcella's daughter Toni and Jed's sister Callie have developed storylines that really let the reader feel they are a part of this inner circle.
The book gives you a almost-voyeuristic view into the emotions that drive all the characters' actions. The decisions they make would under other writers' hands turn into a story best left to afternoon talk shows and tabloids. LeCraw magnificently delves into the psyche of each character and their choices, and thereby makes the reader empathize with each.
The relationships, of Jed and his sister, Marcella and her ex-husband, are explored on more than just a surface level. The story is told in vignettes bouncing from past to present, and while I usually find that annoying, the forgeous prose that LeCraw uses made the transitions almost seamless.
This is a story of love, hurt, betrayal, forgiveness, and secrets. The characters are on the precipice of falling into a dangerous unknown, and I found myself cheering them on to find ways off their ledges. Even when they indulged in selfish deeds, I still loved them all.
The novel does have a bit of sexual content, but this did not distract from what a great book it is. I would have loved to have the ending a bit more developed, but overall this would definitely be a book I recommend for a summer read!

About Me

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I first joined the Marine Corps in February of 1999. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton for three years and in Okinawa for one. I left active duty in 2003 and joined the Reserves that year. I had my first daughter in 2005, and moved from California to Massachusetts in 2006. I left the Marine Corps at that time, and had my second daughter in 2007. I reenlisted in the Corps in September of 2008 and went Active in 2009. I'm currently stationed back in California, loving the weather and the life!