Thursday, 29 September 2016

Chuckles Goes Viral (and not in a good way!)

This is kind of how I'm feeling right about now...complete with the puke and the other affliction that is better left to the imagination. Gag! Yes I'm down with a viral infection and it's pretty nasty. So the doctor has confined me to bed for at least a week (???!!!) which has not cheered me up. I have no intention of feeling like the undead star of a zombie novel for a week!!!

Not sure when I'll be back online but you can keep leaving comments as normal and I'll get them moderated, published and answered when I'm next on.  Jeez this would happen just before I'm due to get my flu jag and stuff to stop me getting these things!!! 

I hope to get some sleep and feel sorry for myself for a while. There has to be a perk y'know and I'm already planning an after-sickness Amazon sale splurge. See you guys soon I hope! 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Book Review: Prepper's Crucible #4 by Bobby Andrews

After surviving a savage battle with a gang of bikers, our group of preppers tackles the next challenge. They must eliminate a group of convicts that has been murdering entire families in the area around the ranch. Then, Cory and Ben must make a hazardous journey back to Phoenix to find Cory’s sister, and Ben’s sons. In order to do that, they must cross the burning city, which is ruled by gangs of thugs. Follow along as our group continues to struggle for survival in a world gone mad, where the only rule is to survive by whatever means necessary.

My Review:
The situation has become serious at the ranch with the arrival of scouts from the armed gang and Don is ready to take action. Cory enlists the help of Bear and the police to track down and deal with the remaining gang members to eliminate the threat. As Don takes measures to protect the rest of the group, Ben and Cory start thinking about the rest of their family in the city.

Whew, the ranch looked to be in real danger at the end of the last book, which got my nerves going, but this time they dodged a bullet as it was a scouting party who did not attempt to engage them. It is enough to worry Don, who decides that a cave he knows of in the forest should be stocked with all their extra supplies in case they have to leave the ranch if it is attacked. It gives them something productive to do while Cory and Bear go looking for the rest of the gang. Bear is very clear that he wants to take them alive if possible which Cory is not in agreement with. On this matter I am certainly with Cory, that's for sure.

Ben is starting to fret about his sons Eric and Justin, who are still in the city, and he wants to find them and bring them to the ranch, in spite of the danger of the journey. Cory is also considering making the trip to look for his sister Rachael and the two men start talking about a rescue mission. The rest of the group are concerned about the danger of the trip with nobody having any decent information about what is happening in the city. Regardless, the two men decide they have to try to find out if their families are still alive.

The book then splits into two distinct stories. Ben and Cory set out together to get to the nearest target which is where Ben's sons live. Don is concerned for their safety and at the ranch, he starts putting together a rescue plan with Bear if they are not back in good time. I was just as concerned especially about Ben. I really worry about that guy! The group also start to organise hunting parties to stock up on meat to add to their supplies and to supply the town, while keeping guard of the security cameras. 

The ending of this book...AARRGGHHH!!!!! What are you doing to me?????

Read February 2016. 
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Stacking the Shelves #149

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. I don't allow any company access to my social media accounts and I certainly don't allow them to edit and take over my accounts the way DISQUS does. So if you use DISQUS, I can't leave comments on your page so I can't really follow you back, sorry! I'm noticing that some blogs set with Google Plus are trying to force you to open a Google Plus or Facebook account before you can leave a comment. Well, I have no interest in rejoining Google Plus or joining Facebook so if your blog uses this set up, I won't be following it or commenting! And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me so there might not be a message from me some weeks or you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
I am officially wiped out. Getting the living room painted over the last ten days has turned into a bit of an ordeal with all of our ailments coming out to play. My back is pretty sore and to top it off I feel the start of a viral infection coming for me and my dad. Great, just what I bloody well need! I think I'll be spending a few nights just watching favourite films or maybe catching up on a favourite TV show. I need rest!!!

I haven't had time to read a single thing during the DIY period which is a bit annoying but I haven't been able to find a comfy way to sit to get the reading done. I'm hoping to get back on the horse this week with any luck. I haven't been book buying but I have found my master list of books yet to be uploaded to Goodreads so I can do an STS this week...yea!


Friday, 23 September 2016

Book Review: Prepper's Crucible #3 by Bobby Andrews

In Volume Three of Prepper’s Crucible, our group encounters a situation that is spinning out of
control. Gangs are on the attack. Local law enforcement needs help countering the existential threat the gangs pose. Don and Kate come to loggerheads over his participation in the defense of the town. Cory steps up, and becomes a leader within the group. An epic battle takes place on the outskirts of town, with Don in command of the defending force. Follow along as our group steps up and takes a stand against evil.

My Review: 
Dangerous times are coming to the group at the ranch when Deputy Baxter visits to warn them of drug addicts on the rampage and a well armed gang released from prison who are targeting rural properties. When a neighbouring property is targeted, a distraught Ben tells the group of the fate of the family, convincing Don and Cory to join him in a revenge attack to stop them from hurting anyone else.

In this book, the group decide that to protect themselves and other survivors in the area, they need to attack and destroy the killers. There are mixed views and much debate over what exactly to do but the men are determined to come up with a plan to take out as many as possible. Can they actually carry out such a raid without compromising the safety of those at the ranch? It is also decided that they need to alter their own defence plans to take into account the new threat facing them. If this wasn't enough Sheriff Bear reveals that a 200 strong biker group are heading their way, destroying every place that they pass through, and Don agrees to assist in drawing up a battle plan to save the town, which leads to conflict with a worried Kate.

I liked Sheriff Bear, Cory's former brother-in-law. He is a good honest man who wants to do everything by the book, believing that law will some day be restored and that people will be held accountable for their actions. He views the attack on the raiders as illegal and is suspicious of Don and Cory's involvement in it, not wanting confirmation. While you want to yell at Bear that these are criminals who are killing people, you do understand that he is sworn to protect, not kill people, and does not wish to be judge and jury. We see Cory starting to change in this book. He has decided that killing bad people is more important than the rule of law and he proves to be more ruthless than anyone expected.

As well as seeing the three men dealing with the issue of armed gangs, there is plenty of interest happening at the ranch. Everyday life is now being balanced with the need for defence and security, and an alternative plan is needed in case they need to leave the ranch. Everyone is in a state of high anxiety which is transmitted to the reader...I was getting worried about what was going to happen to the characters as there is nobody that I don't like! Darn these authors for making you care about the characters!

There was so much I liked about the book. This is the book with the most action in it and the tension is ramped up greatly. The run-ins with the raiders and the fight against the bikers lead to action packed and tension filled scenes which I very much enjoyed. I'm not going into details about what happens during these scenes as I don't want to ruin it for anyone who plans to read the series. I loved the way Don and the people in the town came up with the defence plan and started to implement it. It was an unexpected but exciting addition to the story. It also leads to Cory having his own crisis to deal with back at the ranch.

This was probably my favourite book in the series which has certainly kept up its standards so far.

Read February 2016.
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Book Review: Prepper's Crucible #2 by Bobby Andrews

In volume two, our Preppers work to consolidate their sanctuary at the ranch. They manage to restore power and water, and encounter several deadly situations in the course of defending themselves, and their neighbors. The group grows, as they include Cory, a Park Ranger they met during their bug out to the ranch, and his family. Ben, an elderly neighbor, is brought into the fold as well. Don, the group’s informal leader, struggles with balancing his protective instincts toward the group, with the need to cede power to each of its members. Follow along as the world around them descends into chaos, and they struggle to cope with a world gone mad.

My Review: 
Don and Kate are relieved that their friends have survived the dangerous journey to reach them at the ranch, and now they all have to get used to living and working together. A visit to town proves that society is starting to break down with the police struggling to keep control of the situation. Don now decides that he wants to invite a few other people to join them.

I enjoyed watching the way the group start to settle down into their new situation. Don is used to being in charge at the ranch and with his prepper knowledge he is an obvious leader. However, he needs to find a way to balance leading with trusting his friends to do their jobs without constant instruction from him. It is something that he finds difficult. The group are friends but the lack of privacy, the hard work and living in each others pockets all the time does lead to minor friction at times. It is easy to like all six of our MCs and the character description is good as we watch them adapt to this new reality.

In this book we have the group expanding. In the first book, Ed, Ann, Bud and Mary meet Cory the ranger on the mountain trail and he is due to travel back their way soon so Ed and Ann go to meet him to take him into town to find his family. The group agree that Cory would be a good addition to the group so he is invited to bring his wife and kids to join them. It is not a hard decision for Cory when he sees what has been happening in town and they agree to join the team. Cory is a solid and capable character who is also a natural leader and I very much liked him.

Don is becoming concerned with his neighbour Ben living alone on a nearby ranch with violent incidents and shootings happening in the town. Ben is reluctant to leave his property but has to consider what will happen if he is attacked. When the attack does come, he is in a bit of trouble. I love Ben, the grizzly oldtimer and he is probably my favourite character.
He proves that being older is no barrier to being a useful part of the group and I liked his addition. Now the group feels more like a community.

The situation they are facing is beginning to change. By avoiding town in the early days of the disaster, the group have managed to avoid people but armed men are starting to attack the more rural properties looking for supplies and Don starts getting nervous about protecting their ranch and each other from the trouble which is starting to move out of the confines of town and in their direction. It led to me thinking about the situation and how you would react if faced with something like this. It's not something that you want to see happening, that's for sure!

I liked the book. It picks up where the second book leaves off and continues with the group focusing on rescuing their friends and looking at self protection. If you enjoyed the first book, you should enjoy this one.

Read February 2016.   
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Olympic Moments #1

The Olympic summer begins with the news that tennis star Andy Murray will carry the flag for the Olympic opening ceremony which I was pleased with! Andy Murray described it as the highlight of his career. But it turns out that holding a flag isn't as straightforward as it sounds!

It seems to be ok when Andy is there on his own with the flag...

But when everyone is gathered for the team photo, the flag decides not to cooperate!

Princess Anne sees the flag getting ever closer to poking her eye out...

Andy fights for control in front of an amused crowd...

With Princess Anne showing little sympathy!

And they all enjoy watching his problems!

It was a very funny press conference but thankfully it all went well on the opening night!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Chuckles Does DIY #2

Day Five Saturday
We got up this morning and yes, I wasn't happy with that wall so I had to do a fourth coat which was not a fun time. I don't know why that bit of wall was so bad but I had to get it done. My dad had a rest and picked his horses, doing the finishing touches to the high bits I couldn't reach and thankfully it looks MUCH better. But it was a serious grind!

Day Six Sunday
I feel like a crab hands this morning looked like claws and I could barely do anything. Sadly it was no day of rest as we had to move the furniture back into the middle of the room, tidying junk as we did so and getting bags of rubbish out to the bin. It seemed to take forever and my dad was sorting out his dvds and cds and changing his mind where he wanted to put everything...but by dinner time at 4pm we were pretty much done.

Day Seven Monday
We had to spend the morning getting the shopping done which left us both knackered! Can I say how much I HATE unpacking the shopping into fridge, freezer and cupboard??? The afternoon was spent moving all the furniture away from the last part of the room-bookcase full of cds and dvds, sterio, hoover, clothes horse, and so on. I really am knackered and so is my dad! We really do have too much stuff so I think a winter clear out is required...

Day Eight Tuesday
I felt crappy today but had to get on with the first coat of the window wall and around the kitchen door. I'd finished that by 10.30am and was pleased to note that the painting went easier than that last wall-thankfully! But just for fun I decided to trip over the telephone wire and land on my face, slightly twisting my ankle. Great! No harm done though and I'm ok to get on with coat two on those walls after I have a nice cheese toastie for lunch.    

The second coat is done and I'm flagging. Sore back, hands, fingers, hips...ugh! It's 13.30pm and I'm wondering if I'll have time for a third coat before I make dinner. It's not drying that well so it will maybe be a fourth coat on it but I'll see how the third coat has dried when I get up tomorrow. I HATE DIY...!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Chuckles Goes Paralympic Day Ten

I can't believe we're nearly at the end of the Paralympics but it was a barnstorming day for GB! We have another 21 medals to celebrate which is brilliant! 

Lets start with the amazing Sarah Storey dominating the road race for gold!

Crystal Lane takes the bronze!

Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby win bronze!

A British cleen sweep in the archery from Jessica Stretton (gold) Jo Frith (silver) and Vicky Jenkins (bronze) Great stuff ladies!

Jo Frith later took gold with John Walker!

GB wheelchair basketball took a brilliant bronze in an exciting game!

Helena Lucas took bronze in sailing!

With bronze also for Alex Rickham and Niki Russell!

Maria Lyle takes bronze in the 200 metres!

Paul Blake takes silver in the 800 metres!

Lets start the swimming with bronze for Ellie Robinson!

Silver for Stephanie Millward!

Silver for Tom Hamer!

Silver for Abby Kane!

Another bronze for the brilliant Andrew Mullen! This guy rocks!

Gold for Ollie Hynd!

Gold for Hannah Russell!

And it was gold to Bethany Firth! 

With silver to Jessica-Jane Applegate!

What a day and night! It was really exciting stuff to watch and I'm sad that things are drawing to a close. I still have some summer sport highlights to share from both games.

Chuckles Goes Paralympic Day Nine

Another brilliant day as the team go past their London 2012 total with some great performances! Here is the medal role of honour!

The 50th Paralympic gold of Rio for GB goes to the brilliant Paul Blake! What a run!

Third gold of the games for awesome Hannah Cockroft! Another medal for 15 year old Kare Adenegan in the same race-bronze!

Dan Greaves took an excellent bronze in the discus! He bows out of the paralympics and we're dead proud of Discus Dan!

John Walker takes gold in archery!

David Smith wins gold in boccia!

Gordon Reid takes gold in tennis! What a talent this guy is!

With his doubles partner 18 year old Alfie Burnett taking silver!

David Stone takes silver in the road race!

Another pair of golds in equestrian for Sophie Christiansen and Natasha Baker!

Anne Dunham takes another silver!

Silver also for Sophie Wells!

But it was gold for flag bearer Lee Pearson, his 11th Paralympic title!

Will Bayley, Ross Wilson and Aaron McKinnon take team bronze in table tennis!

Hannah Russell takes bronze in swimming!

Andrew Mullen takes a brilliant silver also in the pool!

Alice Tai, Claire Cashmore, Stephanie Slater and Stephanie Millward take gold in the swimming relay! It was a fantastic swim!