What I'm Currently Reading...

Interview With the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles, #1)Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
I started reading these books when I was a kid but never really got into them. Time to give them another shot!

Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan, #2)Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Ultimate Sandwich

I know this doesn't fit with ANYTHING that I would normally post here but I received this 'recipe' this morning and felt it was too good not to share!! So without further ado... The Ultimate Sandwich!!

   "The Ultimate MAN Sandwich"

Here’s what you are going to need...
I used a loaf of hard crusted Italian bread, 3 rib eye steaks, 1 lb. mushrooms, an onion and some BACON.

Hollow-out the bread . . .

Cook it !

Try to leave the steaks a little rare as they will carry over cook a little more in the sandwich

Shove one of the steaks in the bread...

Sauce the steak
I like to have to halves of the sandwich different so I use half thick worchschire sauce and half Dijon mustard and horse radish sauce.

Layer of BACON
Did I mention BACON?!?!

layer of Swiss cheese.
Stuff in as much of the mushroom and onion mixture you can.
Then the other steak along with the juices from the pan.
Just a little more sauce.
Top off with more Swiss.
Put the top of the loaf back on.
Wrap in butchers paper.
Wrap in foil.

Put a heavy cutting board on top to squish it down.
Now weight and wait and wait.

140 lbs of weight and let it sit for 4 hours

Take weight off.

Cut, eat and enjoy . . .

And there you have it, folks, the ultimate sandwich! Now some of you may be asking yourselves, "What happens with the 3rd steak?" I had the same question until I came to the realization that the 3rd steak was meant to tide you over during that 4 hour period while you are waiting for the 'sandwich' to be done! Enjoy!! 

© Courtney Conant, 2010-12. All Rights Reserved.

The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

FahrenhFahrenheit 451eit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a day to finish this novel, a novel so prized by Ray Bradbury himself... I was making my way through the audiobook, in which he was the narrator, when I discovered of his passing. Today is a sad day for the literary world, with the announcement of his long life coming to an end.

As a long-time Bradbury fan, I've read so many of his works, yet put this one off, since it seemed everyone and their dog had read it (but not a great deal of his other works). I'm still up in the air as to where to go with this review. The book intrigued me a great deal,, though it seemed to cover a realm of complete impossibility to me. I still enjoyed it, making my way through Montag's life with his unfeeling wife, his job dedicated to laying waste to the lives of those wanting more, to follow the destruction and slow beginnings of the resurrection of the creative mind.

I find myself curious, after getting this novel, to find the original short story (Bright Phoenix) and the following novella (The Fireman) that sparked the start of this novel in the first place. Knowing the basis for this futuristic tale was brought about by Hitler and his book burning phase,  I become more and more interested in Bradbury's past and how/why this affected him in such a manner to cause such a tale to be derived from it.

There are many great articles available, but this is one worth reading...
Ray Bradbury remembered for sci-fi classic 'Fahrenheit 451' and other literature

© Courtney Conant, 2010-12. All Rights Reserved.

The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

And I'm done... I'm sorry to say, I will not be finishing this book, nor touching the other two. After everyone giving these books such rave reviews, I broke down and gave it a shot. I really wish I hadn't. I'm sure that many will not like my review of this, to each his own, I say!

The style of writing was so simplistic that I found myself bored in the first few minutes. I felt as though Collins' was reporting to me, telling me everything that was (and wasn't) important. The main character is supposed to be 16 years old, yet her voice in the story makes her come across as though she is prepubescent and very immature. I understand that they live in a sheltered society, but can't see how the character could be so underdeveloped mentally to lead to that type of personality.

I found it impossible to build any connection with the characters, as I was reading. With the basis of this story, it seemed that I should at least care whether they live or die, but I didn't.

In the end, this series just isn't for me.

© Courtney Conant, 2010-12. All Rights Reserved.
The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1) by Martha Wells

The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1)The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A big thanks to Jacqueline Carey for suggesting this one to me! I can't give this one 5 stars, as it wasn't quite a novel that I couldn't put down but it was a great read and definitely worth checking out!

The creation of her characters was very well thought out. Each race (and the combination of lifestyles (ability to transform from a 'normal person' to a flyer) really drew me in. Wells' writing style was simplistic, yet not too much so to where I would get bored easily with it. The farther I got into the book, the more I wanted to read it to find out what was going to happen.

The colors and descriptions really helped to visualize the worlds she was creating, three worlds, to be exact. Not much was mentioned of two of the worlds, though I'm sure they will come into play in future novels. More than anything, I want to find out more about the floating islands. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.

 © Courtney Conant, 2010-12. All Rights Reserved.
The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cell by Stephen King (zombification at its best)

CellCell by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As everyone knows (or at least those that have looked at the books I read), I'm a HUGE Stephen King fan. Due to that, I am always trying to find time to squeeze in one of his books, be it a new one or an old favorite that I've read a dozen times already. This was the first time I've read Cell and I was pleasantly surprised.

I never thought that King would go the zombie route, since everyone is doing it, but his take on zombification and how it might happen was refreshing. The way our society is so digitally dependant, it's no wonder where he got the idea for this novel.

As with all his books, he draws the reader in with his fantastic descriptions and unique take on the possible. He never drowns the reader with unnecessary details though through choice words, it is easy to visualize all that is going on throughout the story. I think my favorite line in this book has to be "a flesh canoe filled with blood".

The reason that I only gave this one four stars is because of the ending. The story just ends and the reader is left with no knowledge of what actually came to pass. Guessing is out of the question because there is no real indicators of what might happen. King leaves it completely open with only one of two options but no way to know how it really goes. It would be one thing, if it were to have a sequel, but that isn't the case.

One thing that I love? There is a brief sentence that ties this book in with all the rest, linking it to his Dark Tower series. He slyly sneaks it in to where, if you haven't read the series, you would have no clue. I, having read just about everything he has ever done, caught it and it made me smile.

© Courtney Conant, 2010-12. All Rights Reserved.
 The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hitchhiker's Guide - The Finale!

Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide, #5)Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not as good as I would have hoped but I still enjoyed it.  It took me quite some time to get through this last bit of the Hitchhiker's Guide series. It bounced around so much and there seemed to be a great deal of things missing. Characters began disappearing and reappearing at random. I found it quite hard to follow, though still gave it 3 stars because I loved the fact that it did come to some sort of close in the end.

Douglas Adams is one hell of an author that knows how to draw his readers in and keep them going until the end. Even though I wasn't a huge fan of this book, I still couldn't stop making my way through it. That, in and of itself, is a sign of a very talented writer.
On a sidenote, I'm not sure if I agree with the title but I guess I don't really have to. The truth of the matter is this; the Earth IS mostly harmless, though I don't think its occupants are...


© Courtney Conant, 2010-12. All Rights Reserved.
 The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Creative Realities – An Escape for All

I was asked to write this up for another blog about a month ago and have decided to share it here as well. So if you missed the post before, here it is for your enjoyment...

Creative Realities – An Escape for All

Alternate reality, quantum reality, alternate universe… They all encompass the same general concept, another world coexisting with ours. Why do they fascinate us so much? Because it’s an escape!
I have always been intrigued by the thought of there being something better, something else, outside of what I knew and loved. Growing up as a writer, I found that I’d write what I knew, unicorns and dragons, things from fairytales told to me by my mother. Never once had I learned of different worlds that existed alongside ours, yet on a different plane. Another world is not what I mean, as I’m sure most already know. These worlds are happening right here and right now, yet we can’t see them. They are the present, past and future, yet we may never know they are there.
It wasn’t until I saw What the BLEEP Do We Know that I finally understood what another reality truly was. Seeing that movie enlightened me to the possibilities that everything truly is happening all at the same time and that there constantly are other realities existing in the same exact moment.
Never had I thought of writing about an alternate reality until I was about five chapters into my novel, The Blood Moon of Winter. As I was writing, another world came forward and took over. It was as if this other reality had been there all along and chose that moment to become known. I say it like this because that is how it happened. I don’t plot out my stories, but let them write themselves through my fingertips.
While my novel involves an alternate reality, I like to call it my creative reality. It’s not a world like ours, but one that only the deepest pits of my imagination could come up with. It’s a reality that only exists in my mind and the pages of my books and it continues to move forward and grow even without my help. Though it is in my mind, it is real within, making it a true reality for me because I can escape to it whenever I like.
It is my creative reality and it is my escape.

© Courtney Conant, 2010-12. All Rights Reserved.
 The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter

Friday, January 27, 2012

Apt Pupil by Stephen King

Apt PupilApt Pupil by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All I can say is that Stephen King always outdoes himself. I know I've read this before but it is one of those pieces that I can go back to repeatedly and still enjoy immensely.

Todd Bowden is one of the creepiest children out there and gives me the chills to picture him and the disturbing nature he holds within. I think the hardest part about reading this story is the fact that kids like that really do exist!

I love how the book differs from the movie (and no I won't say how it differs). It is worth reading, same as all his works, though not all are as well written as this.

© Courtney Conant, 2010-11. All Rights Reserved.
 The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide, #4)So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's time to move on to the next book in this fabulous series!

Talk about a fun read! Adams really knows how to keep a person turning the pages... I started this book a couple of days ago and found that I couldn't stop making my way through it. I am so glad to have such a great story be my first of the new year.

There are so many different things going on that it does get a bit confusing from time to time but I still couldn't help but love it. I found myself laughing my way through it which is a sign that the author did something right, if that was his intention. Having read his work before, I can pretty much guarantee that it was.

Having old friends pop back into existence when I thought they were gone made the book just that much more enjoyable.

© Courtney Conant, 2010-11. All Rights Reserved.
The Mind Entangled The Blood Moon of Winter