Book Review #70: “Bonfire”

Bonfire

Image Credit: Goodreads

I bought this book from Barnes & Noble for two reasons: (1) The cover, and (2) The author! Known recently as Marvel’s Jessica Jones, I admire Krysten Ritter in many respects. I wanted to see how she wrote a book!

To be completely honest, I nearly DNFed this book around the 50-page mark. It was a good story, but I felt it was moving really slowly. The world-building was good, the characters were good, but it felt like it was moving at a snail’s pace.

One of the things that kept me going was Ritter’s use and creation of fantastic, realistic imagery and scenery. Wow! I felt like I had been dropped straight into Barrens, Indiana, and walking beside Abby Williams, the MC.

I’m glad I stuck with the book, though. It got better. I can’t exactly pinpoint when it got better, but the pace did pick up, and it felt like a rush after that. This book is part mystery, part legal thriller, part psychological thriller. I wasn’t expecting all of that when I started the book!

In terms of characters, Abby reminded me so much of Erin Brockovich, but where she is returning home to investigate the seemingly-stellar company that’s put her hometown on the map and revitalized everything. Seeing her attempt to navigate past relationships with her father, and former classmates, was really interesting.

There wasn’t a huge twist, per se, but I know I didn’t see it coming. I audibly gasped when it struck me between the eyes, as I was reading it on the page. Ritter weaved several story lines together so well, and entangled multiple characters.

I felt Abby was slightly gaslighted, in a way, because she started to believe she was truly crazy, and couldn’t tell fact from fiction. It was tough for me to keep up with and navigate the stories of 10 years prior and her present, but I feel like Ritter did a good job, overall. I was hooked, and couldn’t put the book down at the very end. She also divided the chapters really well, and the flow was great.

It’s not my favorite book in the whole world, but I’m glad I read it. It’s going on my bookshelf. I look forward to see what she writes next.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #163: April Goals

BeautyBeyondBones 40

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Hello, April! It’s good to see you. Thank you for bringing the new flowers and leaves! Once Mother Nature decides to cooperate with consistently warmer temperatures, I’ll be very happy!


Here are my goals for the month of April:

  1. Donate blood.
  2. Celebrate Dad’s birthday!
  3. See Shazam!
  4. See Avengers: Endgame.
  5. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019.
  6. Enjoy time with Emily and Matt.
  7. Continue work on the attached garage.
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for April.
  9. Take multiple boxes of books and DVDs to 2nd and Charles for consignment.
  10. Continue work on my office.
  11. Create two planters for our front stoop with mosquito-repellent plants.

Do you have any goals for the month of April? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Writing Prompt #234: The ABC Book Challenge (The Letter X)

ABC Book Challenge - E

Memorable Books Starting with the Letter “X”:

I haven’t read any!


Books I’d Love to Read Starting with the Letter “X”:

2886408

X in Flight (XYZ #1)

  • I’m not a huge fantasy fan, but since this book has a Young Adult focus, I’m definitely intrigued by it.

1607325

X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking

  • I’m technically a “millenial,” but I’ve always been interested in pop culture and the different generations. I’ll be adding this book to my next TBR. Hopefully my library will have a copy.

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Xanadu

  • I haven’t read an anthology series in years, but this one caught my eye. I’ll have to explore this one deeper.

What books have you read, or want to read, that start with the letter X? Let me know!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #162: March Goals Recap

BeautyBeyondBones 39

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Hello, spring! And it’s amazing how quickly a month can pass!

Here’s the link to my March Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Volunteer with District Orchestra Festival. — Accomplished!
  2. Complete the Romantic Movies daily blog challenge. — Accomplished!
  3. See Captain Marvel. — Accomplished!
  4. See Alita: Battle Angel. — Accomplished!
  5. Write at least 500 words toward the ending of my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished!
  6. Change the POV of my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.
  7. Finalize my plans for Camp NaNoWriMo, April 2019. — Accomplished!
  8. Participate in Didi’s WIP Challenge for March. — Accomplished!
  9. Order my new glasses. — Did not accomplish.
  10. Read at least two books. — Semi-Achieved.

I had so much fun at the District Orchestra Festival on Saturday, March 2nd. It was great to help out several schools, listen to great performances, and catch up with my orchestra teacher, Ms. Kringel!

We saw Alita: Battle Angel with Nick and Mia in Virginia Beach, I think it was the first weekend of March. It was a decent movie. I really enjoyed Rosa Salazar’s performance.

Al and I went to see Captain Marvel the weekend it opened. I LOVED IT! Brie Larson is awesome, and there were so many 1990s nostalgia moments! Is it my favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? No. But, it was such a fun ride!

I can’t wait to start Camp NaNoWriMo 2019 tomorrow! Look for a blog post about that soon!

I love Didi’s WIP challenges. Here’s my link to my entry to March’s challenge.

I simply didn’t have the money on hand for my new glasses this month. I’m thankful I have an abundance of contact lenses and good spare glasses. Hopefully I’ll be able to buy them in April.

I finished one book toward the end of March, and started reading the second last week. I’m about 25 pages into it now. My Book Review will be published soon!

I’m thrilled to announce that not only did I surpass my writing goal of 500 words, I finally FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT!! I proclaimed my elation on Facebook last night. It’s hard to believe this all started with a crazy idea in the fall of 2012. That led to my first-ever NaNoWriMo, participating in Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time last year, and here we are, about 6 1/2 years later!

  • Previous word count: 50,461
  • Final word count, first draft: 51,960
  • Words written in March: 1,499

Did you have any goals for the month of March?

Come back tomorrow to see my April Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #86: “Reforestation Drones Drop Seeds Instead of Bombs, Planting 100,000 Trees Per Day Each”

Reforestation Drones

Image found on Return to Now.

This is a really intriguing idea. I first saw this story on Facebook, through Return to Now.

The U.K.-based BioCarbon Engineering (BCE) has developed a relatively simple, two-step process for accomplishing this:

  1. Send the drones into the target area to create a detailed, 3-D map.
  2. Send the planting drones back to the mapped site to fire “agri-bullets” into the ground.

In addition, the engineering firm has committed to biodegradable seed pods, and planting multiple species simultaneously. That is awesome!

In June 2017, BCE planted 5,000 trees in one day in coal mine-ravaged Dungog, Australia. The company has also worked in South Africa and New Zealand. They also started working in cyclone-ravaged Myanmar, working to replace destroyed mangroves.


Other websites have published similar accounts within the last year:


For more information, check out the links below:


What do you think about using drones to help fight deforestation and climate change? Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Commentary #85: “My Journey Through the Marvel Universe”

My Journey Through the Marvel Universe

Image Credit: The Book Raven

I love Tiana, who is the awesome author of The Book Raven, wrote an incredible post about the Marvel Universe!

Here’s the link to Tiana’s post:


I love how Tiana watched all the Marvel movies, and then decided to make separate blog posts to discuss each movie individually.

Inspired by her, I wanted to give my take on these movies here, together. We’re only about a month away now from the premiere of Avengers: Endgame and I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT!!!


Iron Man (2008)

The film's title is shown below juxtaposed images of Tony Stark and Iron Man.

I’ve seen every single Marvel movie in theaters, several of them multiple times. I know superhero movies aren’t for everyone, but I’ve really enjoyed what Marvel and the variety of directors have done with these movies!

Iron Man was a big deal in 2008. It got a lot of buzz, and rightfully so. To me, no one else can play Iron Man other than Robert Downey, Jr. He’s pretty much perfect for the role.

Initially, Gwyneth Paltrow bothered me, but I like her as Pepper Potts. Jeff Bridges was great as the eventual villain. This was our first introduction to Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. I love how Jon Favreau played Tony Stark’s bodyguard and chauffeur Happy Hogan, as well as directed this movie.

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

The Incredible Hulk poster.jpg

I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Edward Norton was okay as Hulk, and I enjoyed Liv Tyler.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Tony Stark is pictured center wearing a smart suit, against a black background, behind him are the Iron Man red and gold armor, and the Iron Man silver armor. His friends, Rhodes, Pepper, are beside him and below against a fireball appears Ivan Vanko armed with his energy whip weapons.

I’m always slightly skeptical of sequels. However, banking on the massive success of the first Iron Man movie, this one was pretty good. I was sad to not see Terrence Howard, but thought Don Cheadle was a good choice. I enjoyed seeing Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell. Mickey Rourke wouldn’t be my first choice, but it worked.

Thor (2011)

Armor clad and wearing a red cape, Thor is crouched, holding the handle of his hammer to the ground, and rock debris is being blasted away. In the background are four panels showing the faces of Jane, Loki, Odin, and Heimdall.

Thor was a tough character for me to get behind. However, Chris Hemsworth was a great choice to portray him. I loved Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. And Idris Elba was a perfect choice for Heimdall, the sentry of the bifrost bridge. Asgard is a magical, amazing place!

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America The First Avenger poster.jpg

Unlike Thor, Captain America was an easy sell for me. Captain America has become my favorite Marvel character. Chris Evans is incredibly handsome, and portrays the super solider so well! Plus, anytime history is incorporated into a movie, I’m there. I really enjoy 20th century history, so it’s no surprise I’ve seen this movie multiple times. In addition, I loved Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter.

The Avengers (2012)

TheAvengers2012Poster.jpg

I love it when a team comes together! While other Marvel movies are my true favorites, this one is near the top of the list, easily in my top five. Joss Whedon did a FABULOUS job with this movie!

All the previous movies to this point come together here. The noticeable difference is The Incredible Hulk is now portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, but I appreciated that change. We also see Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, which was another great choice. I also immensely enojyed seeing Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill.

This movie ends Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Tony, as Iron Man in his battle damaged suit sitting with water around him, while his house behind is destroyed. Stark's Iron Legion is flying, while the Marvel logo with the film's title, credits and release date are below.

This was not my favorite. This movie is a good example as to why I’m skeptical with some decisions about sequels and additional movies. The only true exciting part for me was recognizing several locations in Miami.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor - The Dark World poster.jpg

This one was also okay. Not my favorite. I did enjoy Kat Dennings and Rene Russo.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America The Winter Soldier.jpg

This one almost outranks The First Avenger, but not quite. However, I loved the spy angle and espionage feel! Seeing Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson was awesome. And Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter was nice addition as well. Seeing Robert Redford was great, too.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

The five Guardians, sporting various weapons, arrayed in front of a backdrop of a planet in space with the film's title, credits and slogan.

This movie! Holy freaking cow. This is definitely in my top five, next to Captain America! I’m not usually one for space adventures, but this cast, plus the EPIC soundtrack did it all for me. It was FABULOUS.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers Age of Ultron poster.jpg

The gang is back together. This one was good, but it’s hard to top the first Avengers movie. The additions of Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen were cool. And seeing Paul Bettany on screen was great, too.

Ant-Man (2015)

Official poster shows Ant-Man in his suit, and introduces a montage of him starts to shrink with his size-reduction ability, with a montage of helicopters, a police officer holds his gun, two men in suit and tie and sunglasses and the film's villain Darren Cross is walking with them smiling, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, and Evengeline Lilly as Hope van Dyne with the film's title, credits, and release date below them, and the cast names above.

I wasn’t sure about seeing Ant-Man on screen, but Paul Rudd was a great choice for this role! This movie is hilarious, and I appreciated adding comedy and humor to a relatively dark and brooding series of movies. Not to say this movie doesn’t have darkness, but seeing the heist plot and Ant-Man’s origin story was great. Paul Rudd and Michael Pena are tied for my favorite characters here, and Michael Douglas is a close third.

This movie ends Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Official poster shows the Avengers team factions which led by Iron Man and Captain America, confronting each other by looking each other, with the film's slogan above them, and the film's title, credits, and release date below them.

Cap is back! This isn’t anywhere close to the other two Captain America movies, but still good. Seeing the division among the team – Not cool, but it certainly drives a good story. And seeing Spider-Man’s and Black Panther’s character debuts were awesome!!

Doctor Strange (2016)

Doctor Strange, wearing his traditional costume, including his red cloak coming out from a flowing energetic portal, and around him the world and New York turning around itself with the film's cast names above him and the film's title, credits and billing are underneath.

Like Thor, I was initially skeptical of Doctor Strange. However, I really enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch in this role. Seeing this world, and how it connects with the rest, was exciting.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

The Guardian members in front of a colorful explosion

Unlike some of the other sequels, this one was AWESOME! The soundtrack didn’t disappoint, either. I high enjoyed Michael Rooker, Pom Klementieff, and Kurt Russell in this movie.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man Homecoming poster.jpg

Tom Holland is awesome as Spider-Man! One of the best casting choices yet. I also enjoyed seeing Zendaya, Michael Keaton, and Marisa Tomei here. As many of you know, I’m a sucker for movies set in New York!

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Thor Ragnarok poster.jpg

This is by far my favorite of all the Thor movies. Period, end of story. The soundtrack is epic. Also, seeing Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Mark Ruffalo, and the alien Korg were great.

Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther film poster.jpg

Seeing this world of Wakanda was stunning. Everything about this movie was visually spectacular! Is it in my top five or top ten Marvel movies? No. But it is a spectacular addition to the MCU. I think my two favorite characters were Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Shuri (Letitia Wright)!

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers Infinity War poster.jpg

Holy freaking cow. This movie destroyed me, along with everyone else. But it’s so good. It’s a great culmination of all the other movies to this point. But, it’s a soul-crusher for sure. The great battle in Wakanda was one of the most amazing battles / fight scenes ever!

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

Ant-Man and the Wasp poster.jpg

Seeing this after the trauma of Infinity War was a pleasant change. This is a really good sequel, and what’s not to like with comic relief! I wasn’t super fond of Hannah John-Kamen and Laurence Fishburne, but it worked.

Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel poster.jpg

This movie was super kick-ass! Brie Larson was a great choice to play Carol Danvers. Plus, the total 1990s nostalgia was spot-on! And the cat literally stole the show.


I’m mentally preparing for the destruction that Endgame will bring on April 26th. I think I’m ready?

Also, Endgame is the movie that marks the end of Phase Three of the MCU.

I’m looking forward to Spider-Man: Far From Home in July. This is the start of Phase Four of the MCU.


What about you? Do you have a favorite movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Tag #82: The Television Tag

The Television Tag

I wasn’t tagged for this, but I love Sara’s blog so much, I wanted to support her by doing this one. Plus, I love talking about television in general!

Here’s the link to Sara’s post:


Favorite Shows?

  • Forensic Files
  • Law and Order: SVU
  • Glee
  • Castle
  • Full House
  • Stranger Things
  • The Toys That Made Us
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Jeopardy!
  • Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
  • Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?
  • Wishbone
  • Sesame Street
  • Unsolved Mysteries
  • Frontline
  • CSI: NY
  • Parks and Recreation
  • 30 Rock
  • Growing Pains
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Black Mirror
  • Community
  • The Good Place
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Favorite Genre?

  • Sitcoms!

Least Favorite Show?

  • Like the others, I really don’t like reality TV anymore.

Most Re-Watched Show / Favorite Show to Binge-Watch?

  • Forensic Files. I’ve seen every single episode.

Do You Prefer Watching Things Week-By-Week or Binge-Watching?

  • Currently, binge-watching. However, some of the series are current, so we have to wait a week for new episodes of The Orville and The Passage.

Favorite Television Characters?

  • April and Andy from Parks and Rec
  • Troy and Abed from Community
  • Olivia Benson from Law and Order: SVU
  • D.J. and Stephanie from Full House
  • Liz Lemon from 30 Rock
  • The entire cast of Stranger Things

Favorite Television Ships?

  • Benson and Stabler from Law and Order: SVU

Show You Could Never Get Into?

  • Gossip Girl – Not my thing!

Show You Fell Out of Love With?

  • The Flash
  • Fuller House
  • The Runaways

Cancelled Too Soon?

  • Freaks and Geeks
  • Firefly!!
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Better Off Ted

Guilty Pleasure Show?

  • Currently, a tie between Forensic Files and Law and Order: SVU.

What Are You Currently Watching?

  • The Orville
  • The Passage
  • Law and Order: SVU
  • Unsolved Mysteries (re-watching through YouTube!)
  • Carmen Sandiego (Netflix)

I’m not tagging anyone in particular, but please feel free to do this tag if you like! I had fun with this one.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂