Book Review: "Midnight Crossroad" by Charlaine Harris



This review is probably one of the hardest I'll ever have to write, and I'll explain why. Its not often that I encounter a book that I'm so ambivalent about after I finish it. I literally cannot make up my mind how I feel about this book. I admit freely I picked it up simply because of the author, though I also will freely admit that unlike a lot of others who followed the Sookie Stackhouse series I actually didn't finish the series because I became so frustrated with the direction it was heading around book 5 or so. So I didn't have the lead-in to this book being the horrible books that followed number 5 in that series.

The last book of Ms Harris's that I read was the last in the Harper Connelly series "Grave Secret," which I really liked. In fact I loved that series, even despite what some readers deemed the incestuous relationship between the lead characters. But that's another review for another time. The fact that I'm not privy to the actual horrors of the last several Sookie series books probably is what led me to simply giving this book a try, even though I'd heard and read lots of complaints about the downhill trend of Ms Harris's writing style as that series went on.

If I'm going to pressure myself to rate this book, "Midnight Crossroad", I'd have to give it 3.5 of 5 stars. Its not the worst book I've ever read, but it certainly isn't one of the better ones I've read either. I can't bring myself to give it a 3 out of 5, though I can't explain exactly why I won't give it a lower score. I think the reason this book has me so torn on rating it is that its an abrupt change of pace from the last several books I've read.

"Midnight Crossroad", takes place in a dusty little town, as the name implies, but not everything in Midnight, Texas, is as it seems. The book is part one of a new trilogy, and I'll admit I'm curious to see what the next two are like, but I probably won't get them as soon as they come out, just because this book wasn't at all what I expected given the past books of Ms Harris's. The last 3 books I read before this were all supernatural themed, but much more fast paced. Maybe its that Midnight, Texas is a sleepy, dusty small town and everything that happens there is slower to occur than things would be if it were set pretty much anywhere else in the world.

In Midnight, Texas you'll meet a small, but unique cast of characters, and a trio of locations, one being the town itself, and two neighboring locales, both equally rural, but a little bit "more", than Midnight itself. The setting and the characters are well done, detailed but dusty, the way small towns tend to be, compared to brighter, bigger settings in major cities. I do love when an author nails the descriptions to where you can picture what is happening as you're reading, and while the book was a fast read, it was not fast paced, it took small town time to develop, and to get to the meat of the story. Harris does a good job of describing the characters of Midnight, from Lemuel, the Rev, Fiji, to Bobo, you get a good feel for the characters, but they're not to terribly deep, though Bobo, is by far the most well thought out and described of the bunch in my opinion.

The series follows Manfred the psychic from the Harper Connelly series, and characters from the other non-Sookie series books by Harris also make cameo appearances, but in name only. The book rolls on, at a leisurely small town pace, and I think that's the part that most readers will have a hard time getting over, or getting around. I didn't have any trouble finishing the book as some other readers did, but I try my hardest to finish what I start, even if it sucks. The last book I didn't make it through was book 1 of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Sorry, that book sucked. The writing in Midnight, Texas, is simple, and plain, though the descriptions of settings and characters are well detailed they're not as vibrant as they could be. She focuses more on things than on people, but it helps develop the setting, which seems to be important to the history of the town, its my hope she'll continue to develop the town's history through the rest of the series.

My final conclusions without giving anything away, are this, don't expect the taught suspense and great writing you found in the first Sookie series books, or even the Harper Connelly series, and don't expect Manfred the psychic to be able to fully support his own series without a lot of help from the rest of the cast. Its not a bad book, but its not a great book either. If you have others on your wish list, get those books first, and wait until your local library has this on their shelves if you want to read it. Just know that it is slow paced, and dusty, almost like an old dime-store wild west novel, without all the action. The book does have some not-so-subtle statements regarding politics, that are rather well tied to the current US political climate, and the author's views on such come through a little too clear in the turn of phrase, and the plot twists, like most books its about "good" versus "bad" and some of the statements could've been done without, but it felt like Harris was trying to make a veiled political statement with some of the mentions, and my overall opinion of her as an author, has taken a hard hit because of that fact.

3.5 of 5 stars, and that's pushing it a bit, but it did leave me wanting more to the story, instead of tying off and leaving book 2 to be a separate entity. Don't waste your money, borrow it from a friend or your local library. $12 for a kindle book that wasn't nearly as good as some I've read that were $0.99 and half the length really makes me question my sanity when it comes to just buying whatever an author puts out, because its that author that wrote it. Harris is nowhere near as good in this book as she was in previous books, maybe its her editors, maybe its just her.

Renewing Commitment to Blog

I admit it I've been horribly lax in keeping this blog updated. But I've been writing a lot lately in my private blog and feel its about time I get off my proverbial duff and spend some of the hours of insomnia each night writing new posts.

One thing I'll be doing starting very soon is book reviews. I'll do my best to post in the title if there are spoilers, though I try to write my reviews in such a way that I don't giveaway the plot, or too much in the way of spoilers without some warning.

I'm also hoping to get started doing reviews for other products we've tried, no I'm not getting paid to do any of this. Just feel like sharing my opinion(s).

Stay tuned.

When Friends Make Us Cry

I know I'll probably get flack for posting this here as its not about jewelry making or business stuff, but its something that needs to be shared.

I'm friends with a lot of people on Facebook that I've never actually met in person, or held an in person conversation with, I'm sure a lot of readers can relate to this statement, given how Facebook helps us network. But for all the down and depressing stuff I see on any given day, occasionally I find posts from friends I've never met, that absolutely take me by surprise. Surprise so overwhelmingly happy that there is no way I'm able to stop my tears flowing as I read what one had posted. Not a reposted meme, or copy of someone else's words, this was different. Tom's post, in his own words, brought me to tears, because I needed its message today. I needed to hear from someone who I don't live with, or am not related to that I'm fine just the way I am, and that there are a lot of people who agree with his words.

I should note that I know "of" Tom. I've seen him at events, and we've even talked through posts on Facebook, but I don't recall ever having actually MET him, even despite this, I consider him a good friend, in part for no other reason than the quality of the posts he makes. Posts like the one that made me cry silent tears, of happy thanks.

Because my readers need to hear this message, regardless of gender, regardless of whether you're on Facebook or not, you need to read this. Should you like to read, or comment on it directly on Facebook the post can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/tom.nadratowski.9/posts/10152290629266844



Please share. Please ensure all credit for the words go to Tom. I am well aware my own words are paltry in comparison, and I'm okay with that, but I wanted others to see his post, not just those on Facebook.

Its nice to know there's still some who appreciate real, true beauty, and it comes in all forms, not just what Hollyweird tries to force down your throats.
-C-

Obituary: Jon H Lindquist


A good # of family & friends wanted to see or at least read the obituary for my uncle here's the copy.

Jon H. Lindquist
Bolivar - Jon H. Lindquist, 74, of 7830 State Route 417 West, passed away Thursday (Sept 5, 2013) at home following a lengthy illness. 

Born August 12, 1939, he was the son of Henry & Ellen Haines Lindquist. He married the former Susan Hall, who survives, on September 1st 1962, in Bolivar.

Jon was a graduate of the Bolivar Central School, class of 1957. From 1957 to 1962, he was employed by the former Worthington Co, Wellsville; and from 1962-1964, was employed by the former CE AirPreheater Co, in Wellsville. In 1964, Jon started his career with the Bolivar Central School in the transportation department where he was employed until 2004. From 1977-2004 he was the supervisor of transportation. In addition, Jon owned and operated Lindquist Cub Cadet Sales & Service, Bolivar, for the last 45 years. 

He attended Faith Bible Church, Little Genesee, and was a life member and former cheif of the Bolivar Fire Department. He was also a life member of the Southwestern Fireman's Association. He was active in area stock car racing, at area tracks including Angelica, Olean, Smethport, and Bradford, PA. He enjoyed NASCAR racing and his beloved New York Yankees. 

Jon loved spending time with his family and was always lending a hand to those in need.

Surviving in addition to his wife are three daughters, Mary Ellen (Bill) Heitzenrater of Jacksonville, Fla, Kristin (Jerry) Johnson of Olean, SueAnn (Joshua) Torrey of Spencerport; 8 grandchildren; his father Henry Lindquist of Bolivar; two sisters, Nancy Lindquist of Bolivar, and Amy (George) Baker of Springtown, Texas; a brother Andy (Mary) Lindquist of Cuba, and several nieces & nephews.

He was preceded in death by a son, Jon C. Lindquist in 1986; his mother Ellen Lindquist in 2002; and a sister LouAnn Lindquist in 1960.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 pm Sunday (9/8/13) at the Schaffner Funeral Home Inc, Bolivar. Funeral services will be held at 11 am Monday (Sept 9, 2013) in the Faith Bible Church, Little Genesee. The Rev. Clint Pearsall will officiate. Burial will be in Maple Lawn Cemetery, Bolivar.

Memorials may be made to the Bolivar Fire Department Ambulance Fund, 460 Main Street, Bolivar NY 14715 or to Heritage Aflame Ministries, 198 Salt Rising Road, Bolivar, NY 14715

There Was Joy: A Memorial to Jon H Lindquist

There was joy. 

It was the way my uncle lived his life. 

Jon Henry Lindquist, retired firefighter, former Fire chief, business owner, whose business will continue on with his name still on the sign. Dedicated husband, father, son, grandfather, and uncle. He built a car and raced at local dirt tracks for many years. He was a devoted follower of Nascar, and the NY Yankees. Devout Christian, humble servant to his Lord. 

He's finally free of pain after many, many years of suffering. Polymyositis for over two decades, then cancer which is what ultimately cost him his life. The chemo/radiation just stopped working. He fought more than anyone I've seen fight. He was fine 2 weeks ago, and passed away last Thursday evening at about 8 pm.

He lived to see his youngest daughter get re-married, and to see that she married a good man whom he liked. He lived to see his 51st wedding anniversary (September 1st) of this year. 

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, his father, aged 98, his two sisters, and brother (my father), three female children and their spouses and children, I am his only niece, there are no nephews. He was predeceased by his son (1986), his sister (shortly after her birth in the 50s), and his mother in 2002.

Despite the words above mostly from the obituary, there are some of my own, despite the sorrow of a life lost to cancer, there was joy. Despite the tears, the loss, the void in our lives. Despite everything.

There was joy, simply by remembering his life. The world is a darker place, but our lives were so unbelievably richer, for having had him in them.

There was joy, because he lived.


RIP, uncle Jon.

~Carrie~

Midsummer Breaks - Unintended Consequences and Mint Chocolate Muffins.

I'm taking an unintended break from the chainmaille for a few days. I also do cat rescue/rehoming due to our area being a dumping ground for unwanted cats. So on Tuesday while attempting to care for one of the kittens born in our neighborhood this summer I got bit by a kitten who couldn't see and was unable to tell that I was trying to help. So no mailling or anything that involves me using my index finger in a normal fashion for a few days.

Bored, I ventured into the kitchen. I adore sourdough bread, and other things made with the sourdough starter, when I can find a good easy recipe that works I stick with it. The part I hate is that I have to regularly throw out a good bit of starter to revive the mix that's been frozen to the back of the fridge or that just needs life breathed back into it. So I'm always on the hunt for good useful recipes that use the discarded starter rather than requiring me to toss a useful entity every time.

Today I got lucky. Very lucky. I was looking on Pinterest for a sourdough recipe that didn't involve 3 days of work for the intended outcome.

I found a pretty picture of chocolate chip muffins, sourdough chocolate chip muffins. And it led me to a link that no longer worked...of course...because that's how most things on Pinterest work it seems. If it looks too good to be true, it is, or it links to a site no longer working...

Well luckily for me I didn't give up just yet. I wandered the internet some more and found a recipe on foodgawker.com - that looked similar but not identical to the one I saw on Pinterest.

And I tried it.



Ignore the pile of other stuff on my kitchen counter. Look at the yumminess!

I altered the altered recipe I found on foodgawker and made my own double chocolate mint chip sourdough muffins.

For those of you who hate all things sourdough, but like chocolate, or mint, or kittens...you really should try these. There's zero trace of the sourdough flavor at all, and that's saying a lot as my Indiana raised starter has a very tangy, almost smoky flavor.

They mixed up in a matter of minutes and were on their way to a very hot oven. Twenty minutes later I had that bevvy of beautiful homemade goodness without anything un-natural about them - ok maybe the green mint-chips aren't natural but there's no preservatives, no chemical laden laundry list of ingredients...and the best part. They taste good. Really good.

Me, never being satisfied with just mint chocolate. I forsee a large variety of these little snacks in my future. I can also see the need to expand my jar of sourdough starter...which I did when I fed my starter after making these.

Oh dear...I need another jar.

The recipe breakdown on this ends up about as follows:
(per muffin)...ok so they're not healthy by any means...but they're not disgustingly unhealthy either. The next rendition of these won't be anywhere near this healthy. But they'll be as natural as can be...

 12 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories190.1
  Total Fat8.1 g
     Saturated Fat5.2 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.3 g
     Monounsaturated Fat1.1 g
  Cholesterol15.5 mg
  Sodium160.7 mg
  Potassium60.1 mg
  Total Carbohydrate28.2 g
     Dietary Fiber1.0 g
     Sugars13.5 g
  Protein2.8 g

Facebook FanPage: How to Remove/Edit an App from your page.


This is a quick & dirty tutorial on how to remove an app from your fan page.

This is just a generic tutorial on removing most any app from your fan page, and not pertaining to a specific one. Some apps may be slightly different. If you have issues you're welcome to email me at frawgz.dezignz@gmail.com and I can try & test the specific app and help you remove the app safely and with a minimal headache.

First navigate to the fan page the app is installed on (as shown here my fan page and my admin panel at the top and the location of the apps on the page at the bottom).




Next Choose the app you want to edit:
Mouse over the + button next to the app you want to edit or remove - and you'll get a new menu to appear...



Now when you can choose to either edit the app (some apps you can remove through the edit settings option) some you actually have to do this FIRST and then remove the app from favorites. Mostly its trial and error as each app is different.

Either way its quite simple to remove the app in question (unless the app's coding has some sort of trick to keep you signed up - if during removal you get pop ups asking questions, read them carefully before clicking OKAY or continue).


That should be all there is to it.
-hopefully this helps someone-

--frawggie--