The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker

The end of the world finally happened like we all knew it would. Not because of zombies, or some strange virus, or even an alien attack from Planet Xymzko. Nope, it came when meteorites hit the Earth, demolishing the planet and killing millions and millions of people.

But Edgar Hill and his family somehow survived, not that Ed really paid much attention to the warnings that England was sending out. Nope, it was by pure luck that he was up and about in a semi drunken stupor that tragic sunny day when he saw the meteorites falling from the sky. He grabbed his wife, his little girl, and his infant son and basically threw them into the cellar where they lived until the army dug them out.

Living in the army camp with hundreds of other survivors wasn’t all that bad. They had food, water, and shelter, much more that what other survivors had. But some of these other survivors were not nice people. They tried to kill and steal and thought that this new Earth was theirs for the taking.

One day when Ed and a few others from the army camp were patrolling the area, helicopters came to the camp and took everyone to the other side of the country to get on boats that would take the survivors to another country. Edgar and the people he was with missed the helicopters but were told that more will come for them very shortly. The group might have been waiting for Godot because like Godot, the helicopters never showed up.

The only way the group could make it the hundreds of miles to where the boats were  was to run and they only had a few weeks to get there. Not easy when Edgar was out of shape, had to run broken ground, run around valleys that were created by the falling meteorites, and not to mention avoiding some very dangerous people living off the land.

“The End of the World Running Club” by Adrian J. Walker is a fairly decent novel considering it’s very similar to most dystopian books. You know, fending for yourself, looking for water, food, shelter, getting into conflicts with miserable people and dangerous communities.

It was different reading about a group of people who decided to run to get to their destination on time. If I had to run I’d kind of look up into the sky and decline. I have issues with just walking one mile, if I had to run hundreds … nah, not for me.

On their journey Ed and his running mates run into the usual problems that beset all characters in this type of novel. Nothing really special going on but I did enjoy reading the close to 500 pages and it was interesting and easy to get through.

If dystopian books are your cup of tea give this a try. Just don’t expect anything too special.

running club

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The Promise

December 4, 2017. I knew this day was coming, I knew it for a while but even with the knowledge I’m heartsick.

My friend, my “sista” Janette passed early this morning. She was suffering with cancer but putting on a very brave positive front for her family and for her friends. Late at night she would call me and tell me how frightened she was and then we’d cry. I wouldn’t let her know that tears were streaming down my face because she needed to let her emotions come out and not try to make me feel better. That’s what Janette was like, always helping others and making them feel better.

A few months ago Janette and I were on the phone one late evening and she told me I needed to make a promise to her. I asked what she wanted me to do. She told me to keep her alive after her death. She told me to write about her, to tell all the stories, laughs, and tears we shared. I’ve written about Janette before and she loved seeing her name in my blog. She’d laugh and hoot with her little southern accent which always made me laugh.

So I promised Janette I’d continue to talk about her in my blog. She said she wanted me to do it for me as well as for her. She made me promise not to forget her. I won’t.

There were a few other promises too. She told me I had to stay friends with her wonderful caring friend, Libby. She made me swear to continue to lean on, support, and love our friend, Cathy. She told me to write of her love for Daryl Hall and how he looked at her and smiled when she went to a Hall & Oates concert a few years back.

“I promise you, I promise you, Janette, I will write it all down.”

I want to thank her friend, Libby, for all the phone calls, the Facebook messages, and the texts she’s sent me and Cathy to make sure we were aware of everything that was going on as Janette became weaker and weaker.

Maybe five or six weeks ago Libby visited Janette in the hospice and Libby called me so I could speak with Janette for the last time. Janette knew who I was and told me how much she loved me and asked me to tell Cathy that she loved her too. She was weak and couldn’t speak for more than a minute or two but I will remember those last two minutes I spent on the phone with her.

Even though I’ve written about her before this is a new beginning. I am going to be writing about my “sista” Janette. It doesn’t matter if anyone else reads these entries or not because I am doing it for myself. I will keep Janette alive for me.

Eggnog Cream & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 12 By Susan Gillard

Eggnog Cream & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 12  By Susan Gillard

Christmas is swiftly approaching Oceanside, Florida and a secret Santa is giving out gifts to some members of the community. No one knows who he is but the gifts are wonderful except for the gift given to grouchy old Ben Grimes. Ben received a set of candlesticks but there was poison on them so when he cut his hand on the sticks’ sharper areas the poison got into his bloodstream and killed him.

Heather Shepherd and her best friend, Amy Givens, were asked to help solve the murder because of their P.I. status. The dynamic duo has a lot of suspects to deal with.

Ben Grimes was not a likable man. During this Holiday Season he was basically a Scrooge. No one cared him especially his neighbors. The house on one side of him couldn’t even be rented because he made life so miserable for anyone who dared to live there. The home on the other side of him was inhabited by Mrs. Kurtshed who did her level best to ignore her neighbor.

But someone offed Mr. Grimes so Heather and Amy go to the Key West Key News office to speak with reporter, Hope Penwell, who was writing articles about the Secret Santa. Hope agreed to let the P.I.s see all the information she gathered.

Things start to get scary when Santa gives a gift to Heather, a pair of slippers that she asked for in her donut shop. Who would be listening to her conversation about what she wanted for Christmas except for all the customers who were eating there?

After investigating some more Heather discovered that everyone who received a gift from Santa received the gift that they wished for. The card that came with the gift was lovely but had squiggly lines on them which was really a map leading to where they would be when they received their gift.

Okay, this was getting strange. Who killed Ben Grimes? Was it the Secret Santa; was it one of Mr. Grimes’ many haters; was it the woman who owned the dog that Ben Grimes bit when the the dog walked on his lawn; was it his next door neighbor; was it a reporter; was it one of Heather’s donut loving fans who visited her donut shop every day? No one knows at this point but the murder will soon be solved because Heater and Amy are on the case with a yummy donut in each hand,

“Eggnog Cream & Murder” is the 12th book in the Oceanside Cozy Mystery Series by Susan Gillard and it’s a good story with the Christmas/Holiday Season approaching.

This series is rated PG so the whole family can indulge in a good mystery. The characters are all likeable and friendly, except for the murderer of course, and reading the books will always make you yen for a donut.

So snuggle up in front of a fire with some hot chocolate and a donut and enjoy this new installment to this fantastic series.

To see more reviews of Susan Gillard’s books please go to Susan’s page.

 

Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) by Janet Evanovich

Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum #24) by Janet Evanovich

Don’t be afraid everyone, everything is under control … I hope. Zombies are in Trenton, New Jersey. I always knew the zombies were coming and they’re now on the East Coast. Battle down the hatches, folks, but have no fear, bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum is on the job.

Stephanie and her trusty sidekick, Lula, have their hands full. They’re trying to find two men who skipped on their bail and the duo also have to feed Ethel, a boa constrictor, owned by Simon Diggery, a professional grave robber. Simon also jumped on his bail and would only let Stephanie take him in if she promised to care for his snake. Simon felt safer in jail because zombies were roaming the woods where his trailer was parked and he wanted nothing to do with them.

Then headless bodies started appearing. And then with bodies were found with holes in their heads where the brains were sucked out. See, I told you there are zombies out there.

Now Stephanie has to find her two bail jumpers, feed and care for Ethel the snake, and avoid the zombies who are after her. Things are never easy for Stephanie.

“Hardcore Twenty-Four” by Janet Evanovich,  is the 24th installment of the popular Stephanie Plum series. I used to really like this series but each book is turning into the same ol’ same ol’ to me.

Stephanie is still fooling around with her long-time heartthrob detective Joe Morelli, trying avoid the bed of the hot Ranger, and now the mysterious Diesel is back in town trying to bed Stephanie as well. This is getting a little old to me. It was bad enough with Morelli and Ranger chasing after our hero but when Diesel was added to the list of men a few books back the whole thing became tiresome and boring.

I do like Grandma Mazur, Stephanie’s mom and dad, and Lula. They add a lot of fun to the books but I am getting weary of the love/sex portions of it. It’s very soft porn and not offensive just over done.

There are still lots of laughs and it’s easy enough to get through this novel but I just wish Ms. Evanovich would do something different with all the men in Stephanie’s life. I really don’t think they’re all needed in the series.

Spiced Maple & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 11 by Susan Gillard

Spiced Maple & Murder: An Oceanside Cozy Mystery – Book 11  by Susan Gillard

Amy Givens is kind of tired of just helping Heather Shepherd in the donut shop and helping to solve murders. She’s a little restless and wants to do something for herself. Being a great best friend, Heather agree to help Amy find her true calling with the help of some yummy donuts.

Amy always liked art and drawing so she found an art studio where she could draw and do some sculpturing. The owner, Kendall Dakwa, seems like a nice woman and Amy hopes that Kendall can be her mentor.

A fight between two artists breaks out at the studio each accusing the other of stealing material they needed to make a sculpture. One of the artists, Tricia Mollins has to look for another item to use as s her sculpture so Kendall agrees to keep the studio open for her to continue working once she finds something she can use. But the next day Tricia is found murdered in the art studio. She was impaled on the top of a Christmas tree sculptor. Some was strong enough to throw her on to it and kill her but who? Could it be Ray, the man she was arguing with earlier in the day or possibly Kendall. Kendall was supposed to meet Amy the night of the murder and never showed up.

Now Heather and Amy are helping to investigate and readers of this series know that these two P.I.’s always find the bad guy.

“Spiced Maple & Murder” is the eleventh in author Susan Gillard’s Oceanside Cozy series. Like all the others it’s a fun, easy read filled with lots of action and love between all the characters. Another book not to be missed.

See other reviews of Susan’s book on her page.

My Thanksgiving Memory From 2011

My Thanksgiving Memory From 2011

I posted this six years ago on Facebook. I still feel the same way about the holidays.

I was going through the worst time of my life when I wrote this and was trying to dig myself out of a deep hole. I had help – my Uncle Mickey, my cousin Alynn, and a new friend, Lawrence. I will never forget what any of these three people did to help me back then. What they and others did to help is what Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and every other holiday is really about. I’m not sure if the majority of people realize it.

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Too many people, and the media, look at Thanksgiving as the start of the shopping season and getting what you want for less money than you normally would. Thesepeople should be thankful that shopping and getting up at 3:00 AM on Black Friday is the worst problem they have. There’s so much more to Thanksgiving and you only hear about these reasons in cursory measures.

Two of my close frinds have benn fighting major problems this past week or two. I’m sure the last thing they’re thinking about is buying a television set or getting concert tickets.

I’m very happy for everyone who has everything they need, have a way to get everything they want, and are healthy enough to get around everyday without even thinking twice about it.

But I’m thankful for my friends, my uncle, and my cousin who were doing what they could to help me during the past two years. I’m thankful that I know that life can be much harder than a lot of people suspect and there aren’t always happy endings. I’m thankful that I can see both sides of Thanksgiving and smart enough to know that not everyone eats turkey and all the trimmings on this day. And I’m thankful that everyday I wake up and know that life isn’t a bowl of cherries and appreciate the little things, like being able to walk three blocks to a store and celebrate it every time I’m able to do it.

Appreciating what you have and what you can do to help others is not just reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What are you thankful for every single day of your life?

I Will Smack The Next Person Who Asks Me About My Thanksgiving

I Will Smack The Next Person Who Asks Me About My Thanksgiving

WARNING: Read at your own risk. Not a warm, fuzzy post.

 

Thanksgiving Day November 23, 2017 5:37 PM

For all of you who will ask me what I did for Thanksgiving – not that you really care. It’s just a way for you to tell me about your day. Let’s see, what did I do today?  Okay, here goes.

I went to bed at 2:00 am. I stay up as long as possible so the night won’t be too long. If I go to bed at two in the morning there’s only five hours or so until daylight. Laid down in my bed in the dark room, pulled out my Kindle and played a little Burger Shop 2. Then I pulled up my newest dystopian novel I’m reading, “The End of the World Running Club” by Adrian J. Walker.

Ha, Adrian J. Walker. The author’s name got me thinking. My sister’s name was Adrienne. This must be a sign or something. I thought about it for a while. My sister died eight years ago, my father died 33 years ago, and my mother died 31 years ago, thus leaving me totally alone. They were all very sick. I was with all of them as they were dying. I took them all to doctors, hospitals, ambulances, emergency rooms, worried about them, cried for them, and they all left me. There I was at 2:45 this morning crying because of the anger I felt. “You all left me. You left me alone. I never left any of you alone. I was there all the time and this is how I’m paid back? You all left me and that’s not very nice!” I was crying for 15 minutes with nothing but the light from my Kindle keeping me company.

I’m going to die alone in this apartment, the apartment I’ve been living in for 65 years, never left, always here to do what I could because I was needed. Could I have left 30 or 40 years ago? Sure, but my parents were both ill and I was not going to abandon them. When my sister got sick I sure as hell was not going to leave her. It was my choice, my option, my decision. I have no regrets. I don’t know what my life would have been like if I did leave but it was a choice I made willingly but now there’s no one left except for me and my Kindles, and an apartment filled with junk.

When I get sick I’m sick alone in this apartment. When I ended up in the hospital two years ago I took myself there and was there for five days by myself, no visitors. A few phone calls but basically alone. Even the doctors and nurses were worried about that. “Next of kin?” they asked. “No one I answered.” “Well, there has got to be someone” they insisted. Children, husband, siblings? “No one” I said. Is that really so strange? I guess so.

When I got home I couldn’t move for almost two weeks. I crawled into the kitchen to fill a jar with water so I’d have something to drink during the day and then I crawled back into the bedroom. If I had a bowl of oatmeal per day I was lucky. Alone, a few phone calls from a friend or two, my uncle, but that was about it.

Here’s the really strange thing – I didn’t want to see anyone. To this day I don’t want anyone to come over. In a way, I’m kind of okay with my loneliness. People annoy the crap out of me most times. That’s what happens when you’re use to your own company.

My upstairs neighbors, all six tenants in my line of my apartment building, bother me. The idiot upstairs smokes all day and then runs the toilet for four hours straight. How do they do that? Tie the flushing thing down so it keeps running? The jerk above them turns their faucets on and off constantly. Squeak, squeak, squeak. Nine in the morning, three in the afternoon, four in the morning, squeak, squeak, squeak. The people next door to me have a kid that runs up and down the apartment banging off the wall that separates their apartment from mine. I swore the kid weighed at least 200 pounds until I saw he was little, maybe 45-50 pounds. His running steps are those of a grown man.

I rail out at these maniacs. I scream at the smoke, at the noise, at the constant running toilet, the squeaking of the faucets. “Am I the only sane person in this building?” I scream out loud. And then I laugh because I am far from sane. Well, that’s pretty obvious. The building is filled with lunatics, especially me.

Back to Thanksgiving. I am not the only person who is alone during this “festive” time of year but it’s hard finding others like me when all I see are Facebook posts about eating turkey with friends and family. Posts with pictures of happy smiling faces although I suspect that some of these smiling faces are just masks for what’s really going on in their lives.

I didn’t have turkey today. I don’t eat meat. My cousin Marty came by last night and brought me a ton of fish. I made a package of tilapia. I read that tilapia isn’t really good for you. I don’t care. I ate half of it this afternoon and will eat the rest tonight with some calorie-free mayonnaise. 

When I was growing up I could almost hear my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother saying that I wouldn’t amount t anything. That I would be a “spinster” and live my life with a bunch of cats. Ha, I fooled you all. I have no cats except for my last name. But the rest is essentially true. I’m nothing. When I do die no one will know except for my landlord who will have to figure out what to do with the accumulated crap I have. I’d like to see her try to figure that one out.

I still have cousins around from both my mother and father’s side of the family. Most I’ve lost touch with. Marty, my cousin on my father’s side, calls a few times a week and stops by every so often. To be fair he does ask me to go out with him and his girlfriend. He offers to hire a car because I have trouble walking but like I said before, I kind of prefer to be alone at this point. I’ve been by myself too long to really accept anyone else in my life. But Marty is a good guy.

I wasn’t invited to Thanksgiving at any of my cousins homes, not that I would have gone. That would mean someone would have to drive me there and drive me back and believe me none of my cousins would want to do that. But that’s fine with me. I don’t expect anything from anyone. And I really would not have gone to anyone’s home for Thanksgiving or anything else for that matter. But, you know, thanks for asking just the same. Oh, so no one gets insulted, I have cousins, in New York, New Jersey, Long Island, Texas, Georgia, California, all over the place so I am not talking about any specific cousin. 

Am I feeling sorry for myself? Heck yeah! But I’m allowed to indulge myself. I see too many posts from people bragging about their kids, their homes, their lives, their everything. That makes them happy. I can post about feeling sorry for myself. After all, I don’t have 4,087 pictures of my kids to show off on Facebook. Actually, I think that people who post so much about their perfect families are trying to prove to themselves, more than to me, that their lives are perfect.

Holidays make me evil. Holidays depress me. Holidays make me want to stay off social networks. Holidays make me want to slap a certain friend of mine who always asks, “What did you do for ______? (Fill in the blank: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Eve, July 4th…) Well, I did what I do every single day of my life – I sit and read, maybe turn on the television and do my best to quickly change channels if I see a football or a picture of our idiot president ready to give his next stupid opinion. I do the same thing everyday of my life. Why ask me about what I did on a holiday when you know damn well that I did absolutely nothing. Whatever I did on August 27 I do on December 25. I will not ask you about your holiday just because you segued into it. Just tell me without asking the stupid first question. I don’t mind hearing about what others did during their holiday, just don’t ask me what I did because I DID NOTHING!

See, holidays, do make me evil, I just proved it with this monologue. Maybe I should start a Facebook page for all of us “Lonely Outcasts” who celebrate holidays in front of the television or with a book eating a piece of fish with no-calorie mayonnaise.