Horns by Joe Hill: Used Book Giveaway!

Photo on 12-30-14 at 1.18 PMReading is something I really enjoy doing but rarely get to do.  Since taking on my new job I have worked more hours than I expected I would.  Add to that taking care of kids, being a wife and working on my own writing, it doesn’t leave a lot of time.  If I do have time I typically am trying to spend it working on my own book.

Because of my lack of free time, I try to reserve my reading time for my book club book each month.  However, this month I sort of blatantly ignored the selected book in favor of the book Horns by Joe Hill.  I saw Daniel Radcliff talk about his role on Jimmy Fallon and was intrigued.  I thought the premise of the story sounded promising but I wanted to read the book first.  That’s how I roll.  I’m doing the same thing with the book/movie Maze Runner.   I finished Horns yesterday and am prepared to pass the book along to one lucky reader who wants it.  All you have to do is like my Facebook Page and share it, then comment that you “shared” and I’ll pick a winner at random to mail Horns to.

Now on to the review.   Er… what to say?  Horns lives in the Horror genre, a genre I don’t typically read and now I understand why. Because sad horrific things make me feel sad and horrible lol.  But I’m a wuss.

The story begins a year after the the rape and murder of the girlfriend of Ignatius Perrish.  He has awoken from a drunken stupor to discover he now has horns growing out of his head.  The horns seem to cause the people around him to confess to him all their sins and look to him for permission to commit more.  It horrifies him and also twisted him into something a bit ugly and uncomfortable for me to read about. People say the most horrible things to him and he has to just hear them.  It’s sad.  But he figures out how to use them and tries to find the real killer of his girlfriend.  Did I mention that pretty much everyone in his life and town thinks he is the one who killed her?  So pretty much everyone hates him, when they see him they tell him horrible things or try to kick his ass.  His life is pretty miserable and he sometimes does miserable things after hearing what people really think.

The book flashes backwards to allow us to see Ig as a teen and learn about his relationships.   At the time I was impatient to get on with what was happening in present day, however, now I see that those parts were important to humanize Ig and make us care more than we would otherwise.  When we first meet Ig, he’s terrible, destructive and broken.  But as we get to know the younger Ig we learn he was a really good person.  It makes it even more tragic.

I won’t go into everything here, the movie trailer makes the story out to be more comedy that it is.  The book is disturbing and depressing but still a good story.  It put me in a wonky mood and I decided I just needed to finish the book yesterday so I could cleanse my pallet with something a little less tragic.

That all being said, I think the book was an excellent premise, well written and a quick read.   It wasn’t gratuitous, no overly descriptive acts of terror though the violence was pretty descriptive.  I guess the descriptive violence was a type of violence I could handle and when it came to violence I would normally shrink from, it stood back and was restrained.   Occasionally I cringed at some of the terms used, but more because I doubted the authenticity of someone using certain words like “cherry and pecker.”  But then again I’m not a boy, nor am I a teenage boy, so I’m not one to judge words used by teenage boys when they are alone.

If you read this book, or have read it, I would love to discuss your thoughts about some of the things about his friend Lee that I thought weren’t quite explained.  Or maybe were but only subtly.

Leave a comment here or in FB to win the copy 🙂


Yes, another food post.   I know, I know, this post should be about writing somehow.  But food has been somewhat interesting lately, or really, not that interesting.  It’s fairly restrictive, so I’m looking for ways to satisfy my chocolate carb cravings without going off protocol.  Janeva from my Ideal Protein board is constantly making wonderful concoctions in her kitchen and this lovely cake is one of them.  She wasn’t able to post the recipe on the board or on Pinterest because it was too long so I am posting it here for her.  That way it can be pinned and found by other dieters 🙂  and yes, I realize this has nothing to do with writing.  I promise I will start blogging about writing soon, tonight even!  But not right now because I have to wrestle my three little monkeys into cleaning up their Christmas mess and pretend I don’t see all the chocolate and cookies littering my house.  And perhaps people looking for a low-carb treat will happen across my post here then wander around to and see my book and become interested.  But until then- LET’S HAVE CAKE!


1 – IP Cappuccino Drink Mix (dry)
1 – IP Dark Chocolate Pudding Mix (dry)
2 – IP Crispy Cereal (dry)
1 T. Baking powder
2 Packets Stevia (approx. 1 tsp.)
Pinch of IP Salt
2/3 C. Egg Beaters
2 T. Skim Milk
1 T. + 1 tsp. Extra Light Olive oil
1 T. Sugar Free Hazelnut Coffee Syrup (ie- Torani’s or DaVinci’s)
2 T. IP Cappuccino Premade Drink (the liquid kind)
1 tsp. Almond Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend DRY ingredients in a bullet/blender/ninja to pulverize (or pre-crush cereal with a rolling pin and mix all dry ingredients well.) Place in a med to large mixing bowl.
3. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula till combined.
4. Generously spray two oven-proof 5” glass Pyrex bowls with Pam (I use Coconut Pam but any should do.)
5. Divide batter in half and place each ½ in the bowls. Generously spray the back of a large spoon to pat down evenly. (I spray the back of the spoon with every single pat or the batter will stick to the spoon.)
6. Bake @ 350 for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes clean. Do not over bake or it will be dry.
7. When cake is finished baking, immediately run a knife around the bowl to loosen – it should come out easily if you sprayed the bowls well – take out of bowls and put on a cooling rack. Cool completely.


2 oz. Tofutti (this is a soy imitation cream cheese)
2 T. WF Marshmallow Dip
1 T. WF Chocolate Syrup
1 T. IP Cappuccino Drink Mix (dry) – (if you don’t want to open a packet you can use cocoa powder. I have open packets to use for flavoring in other IP recipes and frostings.)
1 IP Chocolate Soy Puffs
1 IP Peanut Butter Soy Puffs

1. In a small/medium bowl, stir together the Tofutti, marshmallow dip, chocolate syrup and dry cappuccino mix just until blended.
2. With an electric hand beater, beat 1 minute (to fluff.)
3. Store in refrigerator until cake is completely cooled.


1. Place cooled cake rounds on work surface.
2. While still in their bags, lightly tap a meat cleaver onto both soy puff packages to break apart. (Doing this lightly will keep some whole and some crushed.) Open packets and put in a bowl, mix.
3. Divide frosting mix evenly in half. Frost one cake round with ½ the frosting mixture. Sprinkle ½ the Soy Puff mixture on top.
4. Mix together the remaining frosting with the Soy puff mixture and frost the other cake round. This one will be the bottom half.
5. Place the other half on top.

Enjoy! ~ janeva eickhoff

There are 2 Unrestricted and 1 Restricted in HALF the cake. So on your birthday you could cut the cake in half and have 1/3 of that for breakfast with a coffee, 1/3 for lunch with a big mixed salad, 1/3 for dessert after dinner. Then do it again the next day with the other half of the cake .
Since we can have 5 extras per day on Phase One protocol (sweeteners, WF, sf gum, etc), you will have to count those into this and if you want to do protocol to a ‘T’ I wouldn’t have any extras this day. Having said that, there is Tofutti in the frosting, it is a soy based cream cheese. There are 2 carbs in ½ the entire frosting, 5 grams of fat. I see a birthday as a special day and I don’t believe this will throw you out of ketosis, it will just add a few more fat grams and a few more calories. One special day hasn’t affected my weight loss. If you should decide to forgo the Tofutti in the frosting, just use some extra WF Marshmallow Dip in place of it. It will NOT be as good though!

Rude Drivers and Elevator Etiquette

To the man who raised his hands in exasperation to me while driving today,

Sir, I don’t know what you wanted.  I was waiting to turn left into 8th Street Family Video and you were in a long string of on-coming traffic.   You slowed down and flashed your lights at me… but you didn’t slow down a lot.  And I have three kids in my car, bad tires and I wasn’t in a hurry so I didn’t go.  Frankly I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to turn, though you only had a miniscule slow down, or if you thought I should turn my headlights on.  At 3:30.  Yours were on, mine were not.  But it wasn’t dark.   You only gave me, like, 15 seconds to process your lights.  So I did neither and you raised your arms in exasperation like I had just failed miserably at being a human being.

What I want to say to you is, be nice.  So what?  I didn’t take your suggestion, whatever it was.  Big deal.  Move on, be nice and maybe next time use a hand motion or something a little clearer if you’re going to get all butt-hurt when someone doesn’t do what you want them to do.  And if they don’t take your super generous offer, who cares.  It is not something to get mad about.
Yours truly,
Jacque Burke

Phew!  Glad I got that out of my system.   Now, on the other hand, I got all butt-hurt about a woman who was trying to get to the elevator I was in, the doors were almost closed and I quickly pushed the button to open them back up for her.  She didn’t even make eye contact.  No thanks, no hello, no friendly smile.  Nothing.  I thought that was strange.  If someone clearly rushed the door to push the button so I could catch the elevator, I think I would have at least smiled at them.  I, however, did not raise my arms in exasperation at her.  But wouldn’t it have been funny if I had?  I would have thrown my arms up, groaning and rolling my eyes, then we would have stood together in uncomfortably close quarters for two more floors and tried to ignore each other.  Awkward!  And please believe me, I wasn’t looking for praise, but I would have smiled at her had she even looked at me.  I just thought it odd, that’s all.

Next time something like this happens, I’ll just burst into song, a love song.  Serenade the person.  That’ll teach her!



This is not a recipe blog-blog post!

I started a very, very restrictive diet and it’s been working great. My new job doesn’t afford me much time to think about food, so Ideal Protein is the perfect answer.

A creative lady who must be related to Gordon Ramsey for some of the ideas she comes up with, posted this recipe and I can’t wait to try it. Likely it will turn out to be foam mattress consistency like my other disasters- I know I’m doing it wrong. But I’ll keep trying!!
Let’s say it together- mmmm… Diet Cake. To be more exact- Ideal Protein Black Forest Poke Cake.


BLACK FOREST TRUFFLE POKE CAKE – 3 IP Unrestricted servings
(1/3 Cake = 1 IP serving)
1 IP Dark Choc Pudding, 1 IP Crispy Cereal (crushed), 1/2 IP Cherry Jelly Mix, 2 tsp. Baking Powder, ¼ tsp. Stevia, pinch IP Salt – Mix. Add 1/3 C. Liquid egg whites, 1 T. WF Choc Syrup, ¼ C. IP Vanilla Premade Drink – Mix batter. Spray mini loaf pan, add batter. Bake 22-25” (or until inserted toothpick comes clean) @ 350. Cool.
While cake is baking, boil (in microwave) 1.5 oz water in a bowl. Add other ½ Cherry Jelly mix to water – stir until dissolved, set aside. To make cherries: Remove 3 tsp. of made jelly into 3 separate teaspoons (the measuring kind, this makes them round) and place in fridge till firm. If you want to skip making the cherries, make sure to take out the 3 tsp anyways and discard (or eat?)
Poke about 8 holes in
cooled cake with a straw or round handle of a wooden spoon. Pour remaining prepared Cherry Jelly over top of cake so it seeps into holes. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Mix 4 heaping Tablespoons
WF Marshmallow Dip, 2 tsp. IP Vanilla
Pudding Mix (dry), 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Stir vigorously till well blended.
Refrigerate covered.
Frost cooled/refrigerated cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting, cut into 3 even pieces. Remove ‘cherries’ from teaspoons by dipping
bottom side of teaspoon in hot water briefly. They should come right out using the tip of a sharp knife to coax them out, top each cake piece with one cherry – flat side down. For the shaved chocolate I used 1 piece IP Chocolate Soy Puff and shaved it over the cake pieces with a microplaner. Keep finished cake refrigerated until ready to eat. Enjoy! ~ janeva caroline

This is not a Pipe


20140921-023656-9416608This is not a pipe dream. I was told a story about this painting, one that has always stuck with me. The story told of how Rene Magritte’s father didn’t believe he could ever make it as a painter.  René painted this as a response to his father’s insistence that Reneé’s dream was a pipe dream.

I don’t know if this story is like the “George Washington cherry tree story” -if it is made up or not, but I don’t care. The story matters to me. I tell myself “Ceci n’est une pipe” sometimes in regards to my writing. My writing is not a pipe dream.

I don’t care if I ever become “Successful” because success is in the eye of the beholder. If I can do what I love, then that is all the success I need. Don’t be practical. Follow your dreams.

Ceci n’est pas une pipe. This is not a pipe.

Science of Happiness- Session one

I’m taking this class on The Science of Happiness through EdX..because I am stupid, I guess.  And I need one more thing I have to do besides work, mother, wife, write and photograph people.  Did I also mention I’m the new Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo’s newly created Grand Traverse Region?  More evidence that not only am I a glutton for cookies, but I am also one for punishment.  But I digress.

I’m taking this course for a few reasons.  First, I love social science, I love research, I love learning and I love to be happy!  But, I also have a friend who noticed the fact I like others to be happy too and asked me to help them be happy.  Not being exactly sure how to do this in a non-arm chair sort of way, I decided to look around and found the course.   It’s free, its taught by some cool people at Berkley and I could get CE credits if I felt like paying.  Which I don’t.

I haven’t had time this week until now to go through the materials. I worked 3 nights along with my regular days, plus my husband has been gone for three weeks.  Therefore my time and energy have been lacking.  But tonight I sat down and began.

I’m really excited and I think this 10 week class is going to be great!  These are the few things I wrote down and I’ve only just begun week 1.  I will hopefully finish before week two is posted on Tuesday.

Happiness is found in actions that bring about the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people.


Compassion.  Practice compassion for others but also yourself.

So what are your thoughts on this?  Do you practice compassion for others and forget to give yourself the same courtesy?  Do you practice actions that can bring about happiness for others?

How do you define happiness and know that you are happy?

Lots to think about!  Good Night!


Coffee Non-conformist

I’m drinking coffee. I dislike coffee. Anything that looks like dirt mixed with water should be met with distrust. Except in cases that involve chocolate. I like chocolate.

Therefore I take my dirt water and mix it with a teaspoon of cocoa. About a 1/2 cup of coconut milk and a packet of Splenda. It seems bearable. I hope I never grow to like it, because I don’t believe in the concept of “acquired taste” (except in the case of hummus, and if you’re a baby) and if I do “acquire” a taste for it, it means I’m a sell out. I’m suddenly a Coffee Conformist? Maybe not, but I’d question everything I ever believed about myself.

I’m tired because I worked late and therefore stayed up later, then woke early to go for a morning run. Apparently, just so I could go in to work and ruin my running effort by eating a small handful of chocolate pretzels.

Really? Can someone please shake me?

Coffee… Sleep makes a lot more sense.

No angry coffee zealots please. Just because I hate the slew you pour down your gullet doesn’t mean I hate you. I just vow to always hate the stuff.


Music Monday: ∆

It’s another Music Monday!  I know I know, I hardly blog anymore and now I do it’s to blabber about a song I like.  I was quite right to wonder if I would have time to write with this new gig.  I worked about fourteen hours on Friday and on Saturday my body hurt like a eighty-five year old woman’s.  Pathetic.alt-j-An Awesome Wave-Cover

Trying to find time to write has been hard.  I have decided that I will make a point to write a blurb at least every day, something that I see or think- just write it as if I would put that piece in a book.  But let me assure you, the fact that I’m not “writing” doesn’t mean I’m not working on things.  I have been getting some really encouraging feedback on Second Chance Key from my beta readers.  I’m just waiting for a few more to come back, and a few locals to have time to meet up book club style so I can work through the issue of “genre” that the book has.

In the meantime I will listen to music that makes me feel inspired.  alt-J, also know as ∆ is one band that sends my mind off to play outside.  It is perfect night driving music.  I love it.  You may have heard some of their songs, Something Good was one of their more popular hits.

So sit back and enjoy some tunes on me 🙂


Done and On to the Next

Last night after my husband I were incapable of watching Bad Grandpa (we just couldn’t do it) I decided to do more editing for Second Chance Key. I surprised myself and finished going through the edits and am now farming it off to beta readers.

After I get some initial feedback I may approach a book club to read and respond. I want to have all my rewrites done by October 1 so I’m not certain I’ll have that month a book club will take to read it.

I think if I can get around five to seven beta readers then that may be enough. I hope.

So what’s next? Well on to rewrites for Lodestone. I have a good sized bug list from my meeting with readers a few months ago and now I need to immerse myself in the world of Wander Glimly.

Consecutively I will be going through my 2012 NaNo book about Jora. I reached my fifty thousand words but the story isn’t finished. But that might be a little much :).

So there you have my update. I hope it finds you well. And sorry for the lack of eloquence, I wrote this on my phone :).

One last thing. I always require a photo so here is my new writing desk. It is an old sewing table minus the machine. The framed image is an artist rendition of Amanda Palmer, compliments from some friends. Amanda via a Dresden Dolls song, makes an appearance in the book. I’m not a stalker, just a product evangelist.

. 20140728-093921-34761059.jpg

Late Night Brain Gumbo

This is an amalgam of junk to let you know what I’m up to.

10462685_10204263285481276_1989088285275678597_nBrain Gumbo.  Let’s start with the fact that I am stupid?  I’m dumb because I try to do too much.  Like all the time.  My new job requires longer hours AND some nights too.  Like three nights last week.  But I also thought it was a good idea to take on a few photo shoots, because… well, I like to do it and I like the people so win win, right?  I guess I forgot my schedule changed so everything is taking me twice as long to turn in.  Good thing for me the clients like me and that them waiting one week versus a few days isn’t so bad.  I will keep doing photos periodically through the summer, but maybe next time I won’t schedule them back to back again.

Something weird has been happening too.  For the last three nights both my husband and I have woken up in the middle of the night.  And stayed awake.  For no good reason.  So I’m constantly tired through the day.  I had a goal of running every morning but what i’ve managed to do it whine and complain and roll over and actually fall asleep while talking to my husband- every morning.  This morning a lovely friend planned on meeting me for a run at 6:15.  I faithfully set my alarm for 5:50 and promptly slept through it.  Jim woke me up at 6:11 am and asked me what time I was supposed to get up.  I don’t think I ever got out the door so fast.  I got there in 10 minutes and was able to have a great run with a friend.  The photo of the sunrise at the beach was taken from my run this morning.

Sorry it’s disjointed, remember, this is a too spicy over-cooked gumbo of my life right now.



Last weekend I did a few photo shoots.  I did a family shoot with four generations present, a little girl slumber party, a beach wedding and reception and a family session between the beach wedding and reception.  I am posting a photo from that shoot here, I like it.  It’s dreamy and whimsical.

I’ve started to read again.  It’s been so long since I’ve read anything that I can’t even remember the last book I read.  I do know that I’ve been trying to read Raven Boys for the last few months, I’ve renewed it like 3 times and never got past the first page.  However our family has decided that we need to make reading more important and I need to quiet my brain before bed.  So I’d like to happily report that I have finished chapter 1!  Yay!

What is everyone else reading?

Jim is reading something from the Mallorean series, an excellent series that takes place after the Belgariad and follows many of the same main characters.  What is the Belgariad you may ask?  This, my friend, is the series that originated the quote “I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee.” NOT Elder Scrolls or whatever.  The Belgariad was published in the early 80s so WAY before Elder Scrolls.  The book is a smarter sort of more grown up version of what Percy Jackson is… but that doesn’t even describe it.  You follow a young boy with a secret past and weird secret amazing band of friends as he pursues his destiny and fights a most horrible evil.  There is some romance, lots of magic, sword fighting, berserker viking and an evil God.  What more could you want?

Kindred is reading something new called Gods and Warriors, I’ll let you know how he likes it.

Sawyer is reading Sorcerers Stone, for those of you that have been living under a rock, and my sister Judi, this is the first Harry Potter book.

Eden is being read the book  Socks by Beverly Cleary.  So far she has found it amusing and it is time we get to have together before bed.  I realized however that our library has a very old copy with scratchy illustrations and there is an updated version with more fun and interesting drawings so I might see if I can get a newer copy.

And now it is past midnight and I’m sitting here waiting forever because Flickr keep boinking while I try to upload the photo sets from last weekend.  Clearly it hates me.  And to get back at it I’ve eaten exactly 6 cookies-the little ones you buy at the store, but still cookies all the same…. I think I just undid my entire run.

And there you have it.  Can you feel the brain cells leaving you while reading this junk?