La Vida Vampire-Book Review

By: Nancy Haddock

This book caught my eye immediately at the bookstore. It lured me in by means of a vampire and a title in Spanish. I’m a sucker for vampire novels, and I’m ever still learning to speak in Spanish. Put those things together and you have my interest. Next I turned the book over and read the synopsis and it takes place in St. Augustine Florida. I love St. Augustine, ok no more needed I bought the book.

Francesca is not your ordinary vampire. She enjoys curling up on the couch, watching reruns, surfing and takes online courses. She is adjusting to life in this century and it is not easy for her. There’s old romance new romance and a murder that all take place in picturesque St. Augustine.

I have read my share of vampire novels. This book did not quench my blood lust for a vampire tale, but I thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. The characters are fun; the storyline was easy to follow without being too predictable and it had some history! That’s all you need for this easy read.

Alexandria, Virginia throwback

It’s Thursday, so I’d like to share a throwback memory with you. I love Alexandria, Virginia. More specifically I find I love Old Towne Alexandria. Alexandria has a specific charm to it, with the quaint roadways and alleys made of cobblestone and all the lovely brick homes. It is full of colonial history and haunting stories and I enjoy all of this. Alexandria was once a large port of call, being right on the Potomac. The boats that visit and reside there now are beautiful sailboats and yachts and of course water taxis.

During my short time spent living in Alexandria, (six weeks to be exact), I enjoyed riding the metro into Washington D.C. and seeing the museums. I even hopped on a boat to Georgetown a couple times.  I also enjoyed the quiet places Alexandria had to offer, to think, or to be seen and to people watch. During those short six weeks I did more writing than I’ve done in the last three years. One story turned into a published children’s book. I do say, it’s an inspiring place to be!



Dwellers of the Rainbow~ Book Review

Dwellers of the Rainbow

The Fremont Culture in Capitol Reef Country

Rose Houk

There are many theories about the Fremont people. They were named after the Fremont river which runs through eastern Utah (check) and are dated back to 900 A.D. This book is a sneak peek into the discoveries of the Fremont culture; how they lived by what they ate, dressed in and passed their time. I took away from this book, the Fremont thrived and survived in the harsh, unpredictable rocky country of Utah. This was one of the first books I’ve read in its entirety about a specific Native American culture and it has left me wanting to learn more about the Fremont and other native cultures.

  Recently my husband and I had an opportunity to visit some of these beautifully, rugged places in Utah and learn about the Fremont and even saw some of their rock art. Their rock art is in the form of petroglyphs (carved in rock), or pictographs (painted on rock), and was so unique to see. No one knows if these particular petroglyphs and pictographs are telling a story, revealing “hunting magic,” or simply doodles of a past culture. This originally sparked my interest in the Fremont people and I’d like to read more.  


South Padre Island throwback

One year ago I was on a Nursing Travel assignment in Brownsville
Texas. What is a nursing travel assignment you may ask? It is a
contract that nursing agencies make with hospitals in different
locations throughout the country to fill a desperate need of staff
nurses. I am a Registered nurse out of Virginia and I travel with a
couple different nursing travel agencies to places that need nursing
support. It is a great way to work as a nurse and see the country! So
one year ago I was in Brownsville Texas. Brownsville was muy
interesante in it’s own right being minutes from Matamoros Mexico,
but 30 minutes away is the gulf coast and the island of South Padre
and you can’t beat that!

On South Padre, when the weather cooperated with me. I had the best
time! The beaches weren’t too crowded at least this time of year. The
restaurants had delicious fish timageacos and margaritas that were on point.
There weren’t too many shops or a boardwalk but the nature was
spectacular. I could watch the pelicans all day, and spot dolphins in
the gulf as well as the bay side. My fiancé (who travels with me), and I had the privilege of doing
many things while we were there.

One of my best memories was horse back riding on the beach. There is
something magical about doing that especially with someone you love,
even if you are with twenty other people. We got to put our new Texas
cowboy boots to the test on this ride and it was totally worth getting
all sandy. During our ride we witnessed fishermen pull in a shark from
the sparkling waters. It was pretty gnarly! I will tell you my favorite part of South Padre though, it was the
island’s very own Sea Turtle Rescue.

The shores of the gulf, that Texas and Mexico share, is a rare home to
the Kemp Ridley Sea turtles. These turtles are endangered. The Sea Turtle
Rescue is dedicated to caring for and restoring this population as
well as helping other sea turtles in the area. I have never been to a
wild animal rescue before and I fell for the beautiful sea turtles at
this facility. The turtles are sick and injured from the waters and
shores of South Padre and are rehabilitated at the Sea Turtle Rescue.
Most return back to the gulf and sea while few become residents at the
facility and go on to be used for educational purposes for the
community. The Sea Turtle Rescue also monitors and protects sea turtle
nests and hatchlings. This increases the survival rates of the Kemp
Ridley turtles in the area and the prevention of their extinction. If
you are on the island the trip is not complete without a visit to Sea
Turtle Inc.

South Padre Island is definitely worth revisiting for many reasons,
some mentioned above, but someday I would like to go back and
volunteer at the Sea Turtle Rescue. For now I am a member and proud
sponsor of one of the residents at Sea Turtle INC. Now remind me to
tell you about Brownsville and Matamoros sometime ; )


An Easter Tale

In the 4th grade we had a short writing assignment. That was to use a bank of words that seemed completely unrelated and create a short story. I dreamt up Buster Bunny and his Easter Tale. Buster gets mixed up with St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. What? They were close that year. So hence, the story of The Mixed Up Easter Bunny was born. It was edited ever so slightly so the story stayed true to that 9 year old girl who wrote it, but much easier for everyone else to read and enjoy!

This book is the second Illustrated by Aaron Angus. What fun, he’s brought to the readers. Here’s a little peek….







Also check out Sharie’s New Friend being sold on Amazon.


Throwback to Paraguay 2012

~When In Rome do as the Romans do~
Immediately you feel the sense of a slower pace when arriving in Paraguay. Times are set but there seems to be a “We will get there when we get there” peace of mind. I have very easily come to love it. In Paraguay things are more laid back. What is the point of rushing? In the United States I always feel as if I am rushing and for what purpose? Everything is very go with the flow, plans do not always work out. Getting frustrated is ugly. Here there is time to think and breathe.
There is a lot of waiting in Paraguay if you are use to a quicker lifestyle, but these times are created for rest, visiting with others and prayer. Sometimes life seems too busy for these things. In Paraguay friends never seem too busy for a visit. Unannounced visits are typical. No one sits at home waiting for an invitation. And there is always time to spend with others.
I heard a story of a classmate who came down to Paraguay to assist the people in starting and maintaining their own businesses. After six months she quit and returned to the states, the Paraguayan people are not interested in building large businesses they only want to work enough to support their families. They are more interested in their families and friends than success or money. People come first. I would say they have the right priorities.
Living like this is the way to go. It is less stressful and more healthy; body, mind and soul. The power is out again? That is ok, it will return. Let us sit and drink terere together while we wait it out. I encourage everyone to live like the Paraguayans do. Find the time to rest, spend more time with family, and visit friends. Only work as much as you need and remain in constant prayer.

Texas RED

Ste Genevieve~ Sweet Red

Fort Stockton, Texas Wine

The label reads “This light to medium-bodied sweet wine is crimson in color. It exhibits subtle flavors of wild berries and plums, and has a well balanced finished that is sweet, soft and fruity.”

My favorite part of this wine is the gorgeous red color. I enjoy twirling it around and around in my wine glass, and take a small sip. I say a small sip because it is sweet. I put Sveet down in my notes for wines that I think are too sweet. This wine isn’t too sweet but it is bordering on the limits of my sweet wine palate. What is enjoyable about this wine is that it is sweet but not in the least acidic. The finish is smooth without a hint of after taste. The flavor is all up front and straight forward and ends with a happy ending.

Ste Genevieve’s Sweet Red is my first Texas Wine. I can’t wait to sip more!



Movie Monday

Movie Review: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel <3

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a treasure. It wasn’t the slapstick British- like- comedy expected. It was a reminder of the pains of aging and how we sometimes neglect our elderly. Each character is going through something truly profound as they are aging, and life is far from over. In the Indian culture the elderly are not forgotten they are treated like gold!

I just found out that a second movie is going to be released. Normally I’m a little weary of sequels. This one I can hardly contain my excitement!


The Restitution by M.L. Tyndall

After reading Blackbeard’s tales written by Paul Boone, I was feeling on a pirate and high sea kick. I had The Restitution sitting on my “to read” shelf for years and finally opened it’s pages and poured into the story before me. I am now so glad that I had kept it all this time. It did not disappoint. I feel as if I must put a disclaimer in here, for all the haters of course. It is the story of a young lady on board a pirate ship in 1669, who struggles with her faith in Christ and her adventure in retrieving her son who was kidnapped from some nasty pirates. Not a very convincing tale, especially after reading about the cruelty of pirates in Paul Boone’s book. None the less, it was a  wavy ride and I enjoyed every bit of it. It was like reading a spin off of Pirates of the Caribbean. This book, by M.L Tyndall, was actually the 3rd in a trilogy. I was lucky enough to pick up where all the action was, quenching my thirst for sword fights and such. I found the characters fascinating and now want to go back and read the first two books. If you are looking for an escape, set sail with me and read The Legacy of the King’s Pirates series.


Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by: Laurie Viera Rigler

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, the title alone is right up my alley. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m an addict but I do love me some Jane Austen and Regency England. And when a character gets transported back in time to Miss Austen’s very own London, Bath and countryside of course I’m right there along for the ride. What Austen fan wouldn’t be? Now if you’re a true lover of Jane Austen’s tales you know them to be wholesome and written from the very depths of heart and mind. This is a playful tale, not to be taken seriously but rather to sit back and enjoy on a sunny afternoon on a nice patch of grass. People write, and everyone wants to be a critic. Stop comparing this to that and appreciate it for its own work. With a title like Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict what truly did you expect? Of course it’s a silly romp of a tale so sit back relax and enjoy the ride. Seriously have a glass of wine I can recommend many of varietal. I chose to read confessions of an Jane Austen Addict as well as the author’s second novel in the confession series, Rude Awakenings. In Rude Awakenings, the Regency England woman gets transported into the blonde body of a California girl in 2009. I enjoyed going back and forth between these two texts and getting glimpses into what each character was going through. I enjoyed the story line to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict more because it took place in a time and country I can only dream of. However, Rude Awakenings is hilarious and should not go overlooked. What would you do if you woke up in another body and another time and every day things such as cell phones, televisions, running water and the lack of horse-drawn carriages came as a shock to you? I know what I would do, but that’s a post for another time.