Cover Reveal: Seconds Before Sunrise

Welcome to the cover reveal for the second book in the Timely Death Trilogy by Shannon A. Thompson called Seconds before Sunrise.  If you’d like to check out my review on it, you can read it right HERE.

Without further ado, I present to you the new cover for Seconds Before Sunrise!

seconds before sunrise

Synopsis

Two nightmares. One memory.

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

Youtube Video Reveal

Message from the Author

The Timely Death Trilogy began as one teenager’s nightmare and morphed into a real-life dream of authorship. The entire trilogy re-releases with new covers and new interiors this summer and fall by Clean Teen Publishing. I hope you’ll check out this dark vs. light trilogy (mainly because the “dark” side is the good side…maybe), and I especially hope you’ll consider becoming a Member of the Dark! Each time there is a special event, you can participate and win prizes—like spotlights on my website, books, and more. Simply email me at shannonathompson@aol.com, and I’ll send a badge over to you. We might even have coffee together.

Thank you for reading about this dark journey,

~SAT

Current Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/131705-minutes-before-sunset

Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Timely-Death-Trilogy/227663240691565
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18805475-seconds-before-sunrise

What’s a little of my post without talking a little about it, right? I  have to say that these new covers are really awesome.  They match the context of the novel very well.  Seconds Before Sunrise is a great sequel and I enjoyed it. Above you have the Goodreads giveaway, currently going on for the first novel of the trilogy, Minutes Before Sunset.  You should head over and check that out for sure.

Happy Friday! :)

So Many Movies Expiring! So Little Time! Help??

This is a sudden little random post to ask for some help.

Originally, I had put all my efforts into trying to wrap up Veronica Mars before it expired on May 7th on Netflix but then I found this fantastic deal on Amazon that included the complete series plus the movie at an extremely reasonable price so that’s good because just today, I realized that in the next week, there’s a lot of movies expiring on Netflix.  I won’t be able to see all of them but since you all are awesome fantastic buddies of mine and way more knowledgeable than I am at this movie thing.  I’m asking for a little help to choose which movies to watch.

Here are the movies that will expire by May 1st!

Here is a poll for you to put your choices.  I’ll set up 5 choices since the list does have 12 movies. If I’m really good at budgetting time, maybe I’ll get in about 7-8 of these. Whether you’ve seen it or not, whatever looks interesting to you, anything will help me in narrowing down what to watch ;)

I’ll keep this poll open and pick movies as I go along so even if you drop by later, and its before May 1st, please drop a vote! I’d really appreciate it!

Looking forward to see how this goes and if you have movie buddies, ask them to vote also :) I’d be forever grateful!

Also, I’ll be getting these reviews up during my vacation in early May.

Thanks in advance for helping out! Love y’all! :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird

For this week’s photo challenge, get up early and explore the morning light. – The Daily Post

Its been a while since I’ve done a Weekly Photo Challenge.  I’ll be doing some late posts to catch up on this probably but lets take a look at this week.  Its been mega busy at work so getting up early was not an option for me but I haven’t shared a lot of the sunrise pictures back in last year’s early December when I did a sunrise photo session with my friend.  So here’s a few of them!

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

I think we’re going to be planning a spring/summer sunrise photo session soon :) If not events will slowly liven up the city and I’ll try to head out to capture some moments!

Gardening (& Home): Spring is Here!

Not like I don’t have enough segments, I’m going to add one on gardening.  I think that this blog might head into some home stuff since my house is a huge focus of my life right now.  Living there gains a whole lot of perspective in having a million things to do. At times it can feel overwhelming but I’m up to the challenge.  I’m in my second week officially moved out and I’ve really wanted to use this opportunity to put a fun element of that here, now that I’ve finally seemed to gain some regularity to sleeping.  Kind of.  Energy levels are going up and there’s still a lot to do and I’m taking baby steps to get them done.

Spring has been long-awaited and last year, I already talked a lot about my container gardening progress with a little help from one of my friends.  She’s off to have a baby really soon so I’m pretty much alone this year to start the season.  First task on hand was getting the garden ready and this past weekend proved to be extremely efficient.  I cleared all the flower beds from dead leaves and pruned some perennials and all that lovely stuff. I even turned  a little bit of the soil and planned out how I’d like the garden to go this year. Planning is the first step, right?

I’m not sure if I’m behind with sowing seeds but seeing as my tulips and daffodils are just growing now, not even flowers yet. I’d say I still have a bit of time. Except for these ones..

wpid-20150419_160549.jpg

While flowers were scarce, we’ve been decorating our den with some lovely flowers like this.

wpid-20150329_140846.jpg

I’m proud of my den because while my books didn’t quite fit completely in the shelf there, this room is super awesome from the color of the walls to the simple decor.  Out of all the rooms, I think this one is the closest to be done.  Well, the office is pretty good too once I sit down and set up my PC.  I’m just too lazy to backup my laptop who reminds me everyday that it might just about die on me…scary thought.

The first week I was there, I sowed some broccoli, basil and cat grass. Unfortunately my basil has shown no sign of anything.  I think maybe the seeds aren’t good anymore.

broccoli sprouts

Broccoli sprouts

Cat Grass

Cat Grass sprouts

I had to elevate my cat grass from the bay window before my cat destroyed it before it was even worthy of her eating it.

Plus my calla lily made it through the storage season under my care with a lot of help from my mom giving me pointers.

Calla Lily

Calla Lily sprouting

The sole survivor from last year that looks miserable the whole winter took one shot of root booster to be filled with flower buds are my pink fuschia.

fuschia

Fuschia

Joining this one is my mom’s gift which is a yellow orchid. She claims orchids don’t need sunlight but just light in general so the bay window is perfect for it. I’m not exactly sure it’s that easy.  I’ll stay optimistic.

wpid-20150422_072930.jpg

Especially since, the boyfriend went and got me another pot of orchids for my birthday.

orchids

I love orchids.  I just don’t know how to take care of them.  In my mind, they are extremely hard to sustain.  I’m going to have to start reading up on it a little.  I do hope that it will blossom again after this time.

That’s a little update on my new living environment and introducing my gardening segment.  If it holds up, I’ll add a little menu spot for it :)

My next gardening update should include sowing more seeds, probably carrots, cucumbers and zucchini and perhaps sweet peas for container gardening indoors.

Do you like to garden? Have your spring bulbs sprouted or bloomed yet? What do you like to grow?

Two Wolves by Evan Sanders

Evan Sanders is a fellow blogger and writer who runs The Better Man Project, an extremely inspirational blog and also one of the first blogs I followed.  A few years ago, he launched his first book called The Better Man Project based on what he has learned and hoping to inspire others even a little bit.  If you haven’t read that book, its really worth your time.  I reviewed it right HERE!

I’m starting to think that I need little breaks between reading novels so Two Wolves have been launched a month or so (I can’t remember the exact time) but I’ve been wanting to read it.  If its anything as inspirational as the first one, this will be good.

Two Wolves

by: Evan Sanders

two wolves evan sanders

Two Wolves is a 64 page inspirational read.  What Evan does great is that he talks about what happens in his encounters that highlight and provoke the thoughts that lead him to being motivated and becoming the best of what he can be.  With a book like this, there isn’t much to review but rather reflect.

The best way to give a little summary of why its called Two Wolves is as Evan explains:

Two Wolves is about the balance between light and darkness in each of us. From the deepest darkest corners of our hearts where our secrets are held to the brightest moments of happiness and achievement, we all are subject to the full range of human emotion…The greatest lesson I have learned is how to make a choice to feed my world with light despite the constant battle going on inside me– (Two Wolves, page 9)

There’s something about reading Evan’s writing that makes me think back to myself.  When he starts this book, he talks about how he started in high school resenting writing because he wasn’t really good at it.  It reminds me a little of myself because I still don’t think that I’m improving but writing has always helped me sort through a lot of my thoughts seeing as I like to bury things inside instead of talking about it to others. First step to making something inspirational is making it relatable and Two Wolves does that. What makes me think was when he wrote this:

…I think writing gives me faith… Faith to me is about believing in something that you cannot see and also knowing that whatever your dreams or goals are, they can be achieved. Faith is about the understanding that we are capable of so much more than we can even begin to imagine (Two Wolves, page 8)

Aren’t we constantly battling light and dark? I can relate to that.  That battle is long and crazy and sometimes there are slip-ups and I fall back a little.  But its always important to remember, and reading Evan’s writing is always a reminder to remember that we need to keep going towards the light.  The dark may be attractive but once you fall in there, its another arduous journey back, even if you sometimes need to go there before knowing how to bounce back.

While reading Two Wolves gave me a chance to reflect and relate, there are still little things that make me think about how to reconsider a few things.  One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is being trusting others and when to stop rewinding and thinking back to certain things that happen before.  I mean, reflecting is good but I sometimes sit there months and months and it just pops back into my mind. He’s given me a different perspective that I’ve been putting some thought into.  It sure would make life a whole lot lighter and happier.

When something ends now, I give myself one time to go back and play everything out.  I allow myself to do whatever it is I feel like I need to do to get rid of it.  I write, talk it out, discuss it, curse at it, blame it, get emotional over it, and everything else in between – but when I feel like I’ve put it all out there, I won’t go back to it. There’s no point anymore. – (Two Wolves, page 32)

Two Wolves is really something special.  Its relatable, encouraging, thoughtful and inspiring.  Even though life is busy and ever changing, I’m actually in a pretty good place this year and even with this, Two Wolves still helped me filter a few little things.  It might just help me rest a few little issues sitting in that deep dark corner.  If anything, its a good read to shed a little light to stay positive.

For that, I end with a final quote from Two Wolves:

The day you achieve something big will be the day that you will feel overwhelming pride in yourself, a surplus of belief, and an excess of passion that almost seems to drip from your body.  But something else completely separate happens…the chances of something bringing you down because they can’t see what you see diminishes significantly. – (Two Wolves, page 60)

If you enjoy this sort of book and want some positive outlook, I definitely recommend giving Two Wolves a read. :)

Double Feature: Cruel Intentions (1999) & Dangerous Liaisons (2012)

Next up on my little double features are two films that are incredibly similar to each other.  From what I’ve read in some research, Dangerous Liaisons is the Chinese remake from a Hollywood movie with the same name adapted from a French novel.  I think I’ve heard of it but I’ve never seen (or read) it so I don’t know.  If you know more about it, do enlighten me :) Cruel Intentions was another one of those remakes but with a different name.  Point is, these two movies may be 13 years apart and in different languages and historical period but they are quite similar plot.  I’m starting to shape these double features with a little more thought so here we go!

Let’s check it out! :)

Cruel Intentions (1999)

cruel intentions

Director: Roger Kumble

Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Joshua Jackson, Eric Mabius, Sean Patrick Thomas

Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) makes a bet that her step-brother, Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe), won’t be able to bed Annette (Reese Witherspoon) -a virgin, who wants to wait until love. If he loses, Kathryn gets his Jaguar, if he wins, he gets Kathryn. – IMDB

cruel intentions

Cruel Intentions is an okay drama.  The cast is good for this sort of movie because it needs some sort of attractive beings to really carry this sort of plot.  The idea of it is set in an upscale snobby setting and it explores the themes of sexuality and innocence and of course, abstinence in that whole world of love and feelings as well.  The only issue with this one is that the dialogue is kind of funny even when its trying to be all teasing and whatnot and that matches up with some below average acting going on here.  It seems like everyone is aware that its a game and everyone is adding that extra bit to make sure its like the audience knows that they are all acting and its not the character’s real feelings. Everyone has something to hide and I guess that’s true.

cruel intentions

I’m not saying I hated the movie because it was okay.  I was pretty indifferent to it. I’m not a huge fan of Reese Witherspoon especially the earlier films that she did.  This is a young cast so they aren’t exactly at the prime of their acting but the story is set around these young rich high school kids.  Still, the connection and chemistry is there and that’s where I feel that this movie did good on.  There were some passionate scenes which the dialogue kind of made me laugh a little which destroyed the mood a little.

The storyline has a huge potential.  A little side fact (if you don’t know) is that the novel was originally published in 1782 so that gives this one a thousand chances for adaptations and remakes and so, little bits and pieces might even make it a little predictable.  Cruel Intentions felt like that though.  Maybe its taking the angle of high school students that make it hard but if I remember correctly, this might be the time when Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar (maybe even Reese Witherspoon) was really popular.  At least I remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer being in that time frame. I guess what I’m saying is that with a stronger script and better acting, Cruel Intentions could’ve been a better movie.

Dangerous Liaisons (2012)

dangerous liaisons

Director: Jin-ho Hur

Cast: Cecilia Cheung, Dong-gun Jang, Ziyi Zhang, Shawn Dou, Lisa Lu

In Shanghai, an aging socialite’s infatuation with her ex-boyfriend manifests itself as a risky game, where her former lover agrees to seduce, then abandon a naive young woman. – IMDB

Dangerous Liaisons, 2012 version, Chinese/Korean collaboration set in 1930s Shanghai is really quite good.  If the book was anything like this one, I’d definitely pick it up.  I’m going to go up front here and confess that while I know a few of you are fans of Zhang Ziyi, I don’t really think much of her.  She’s not a great actress and I never really enjoyed the movies she’s been in.  I don’t even think of her as being attractive or pretty so no girl/lady crushes for me.  I have to admit that it put me off a little on this but this did expire at the same time as Cruel Intentions so I wanted to give this a watch.  For one, I like Cecilia Cheung well enough.  One of her earlier movie called Fly Me to Polaris was all levels of awesome and while she does a lot of really silly comedic movies now and does really well in those and even dated/married my absolute idol in real life, I still like her a good bit even during her crazy rebellious days.  She’s unique and she can definitely pull off that aging socialite/pretty, charming, attractive, seductive lady sort of vibe.  As for Dong-gun Jang, I’ve never seen him in any movies because I don’t watch a whole lot of Korean movies because they really are too slow for my taste but I spent a good bit of the movie debating if I thought he was attractive.  There’s definitely something there but hmm..I wonder.

You tell me, what do you think? Good-looking dude, or no?

dangerous liaisons 2012

While I was a little skeptical and having watched Cruel Intentions just before this one (the night before) without knowing it was based on the same material, I started feeling a little unsure about it.  But, this one is miles better than Cruel Intentions and there are strong performances across the board plus, Shanghai in that time frame had a lot of elegance and class even if the characters themselves, especially those two up there doing this bet that aren’t really asking the audience to respect them a whole lot either.  But that is what their characters are asked of and the way the act and the style they have match up well to their characters.  While I don’t quite like Zhang Ziyi, she was pretty good in this one also.  Maybe its the fact that she’s not doing a touch chick and in this one, she’s a lot more vulnerable as a character, playing something I haven’t seen her do before.

dangerous liaisons 2012

What else did I like about this one? The story was set good.  The atmosphere and tone was really engaging for the premise.  The pacing was also quite good. Really, I think that the sum of all its good factors elevates this movie to be pretty intriguing even if I knew all along where it was headed. I was still willing to buy into the story and the characters. The dialogue added a little bit more seductiveness in a believable way.

Dangerous Liaisons may not be a perfect movie and I couldn’t even decide if Dong-jun Jang is an attractive man but the chemistry and the convincing performance along with the setting in 1930s Shanghai makes this a really enjoyable watch.  Would I watch it again? Maybe I would.  Its a really fun movie and also makes me want to go find that source material and see what its all about.

Overall…

Without knowing much about the source material, I’d definitely recommend to see Dangerous Liaisons if you wanted to see one of these two adaptations.  It may be foreign but it adds a little extra touch to it especially with some pretty outstanding performances that make it all the better.  Something about that Shanghai setting and the beautiful clothes makes it really appealing to me. Cruel Intentions suffers from exactly what makes Dangerous Liaisons good. But then, how do you compare two movies that seem to be targeting a different audience? Maybe the teenage me would have enjoyed Cruel Intentions more.  Who knows, right?

Have you seen Cruel Intentions or Dangerous Liaisons? How about other adaptations? Are you familiar with the source material? 

Pinterest Therapy!

Because its tax season at work and moving to a new place is a whole bundle of adapting so I can’t sleep while worrying about my cat adapting.

*takes a deep breath*

Yeah…stressful week, my friends.  Work is starting to pick up and everyone is starting to go on edge and its affecting me just a little.  I’m pretty glad that its Friday because then I can hang out with the boyfriend since we’ll have our weekends to go out and run errands.  Good news is that my cat is adapting a little better since yesterday and getting back to her old shenanigans at our new home. I can feel my boyfriend frowning right about now…

Anyways, we’re all building a new routine and its hindering the whole blogging thing a little so my posts are a little all over the place now. And there’s just a million things to organize and clean.

In the heart of a newish place, Pinterest has really soothed my soul in teaching me a few things for plans I have for two things I plan to implement: healthy eating and garden (herb/veggie/flower).

Let’s get this started!

Infused Water Recipes 

Infused Water Recipes

Moving out means that I’m partially getting my own freedom but it also means that I don’t have my mom running after me making sure I’m hydrated and eating enough fruits and vegetables.  I’ve gradually been trying to implement that sort of lifestyle more because its easy to go for the junk food category but I need to be more responsible for my health.  Staying hydrated has been my side goal this year.  I’m aiming towards the 8 glasses of water everyday.  I usually get about 5…. not too successful.  Last summer, I started experimenting with infused water and this year, I’m going to give that another shot.  Its particularly refreshing in the summer.

Fruit Salads (with a Twist)

fruit salad

I acknowledge that I’m really pampered.  At my mom’s, she would bring me fruits every night. Seriously, its the best.  I love fruits, I really do but cutting and washing fruits is not on the top of my to-do list when I get home and race with time to finish everything before midnight comes around and bedtime starts calling out to me.  While a lot of you think that I never sleep, I do and I’ve been needing it more and more. So, with that in mind, I’ve been thinking I’ll whip up some fruit salads.  I love them a whole lot and I’m actually really good at it. The only thing I’d like to try to give it a twist.  While this one is about adding vanilla pudding powder to it, I’m thinking a little more like honey or whatnot.

Its an idea, right? ;)

When to Sow What?

sow seeds

I don’t have a green thumb. I tried last year and it was kind of a draw. Only my fuschia is standing and my bay leaf plant looks like its about to die every single day.  I bought a ton of seeds last year and I’m planning on kickstarting that vegetable garden.  I haven’t quite decided if it’ll be in ground or container or above ground garden.  I’m planning it out. Thing is: I want to try this sowing seeds thing so I’m working on it in advance.  If that fails, I can always head to the greenhouse place that I go to and pick up some more varieties :)

This little chart motivated me to sow those broccoli and basil seeds earlier this week. Marigold is going to be planted and I’m going to research a little more on other seeds I have that I’d like to grow.

10 Mistakes New Gardeners Make and How to Avoid Them

herb garden

My ultimate goal is to grow a successful indoor herb garden.  I have the rack for it and everything I need for setup.  The only thing now is gaining the skills to keep it alive.  This little article actually taught me quite a bit and I’m reading the herb books that I bought last year.  Its a whole lot of research for this gardening thing. I’m determined to master this thing one way or another.  I’m planning out what I’d like of course and slowly learning as I go.

How to Garden Ready for Spring

ready for spring

Garden is my territory so it also  means all the tidying work comes to me.  Well, except the mowing the lawn part.  My boyfriend likes to do that apparently.  Its fine with me.  This weekend’s all about getting the garden ready especially since my tulips are popping out of the ground now.  I was worrying like crazy that they wouldn’t :)

Plants to Help Save Bees

plants to help save bees

I’m a little scared of bees but the garden thrives on bees and butterflies and birds.  I love them and they are fantastic for what they can do.  I had found some seeds at Walmart a few weeks ago for butterfly and hummingbird gardens and I already know where I want to plant them.  When I saw this one, I was a little intrigued to see if I can make this work as well.  As you all know, I need them bees to help me with my veggies and flowers growth.  Plus, whats summer with butterflies and bees flying around.  Did I just get all poetic right there? ;)

Bonus: Veronica Mars

veronica mars

I’m REALLY late on this wave but I finally am starting to watch Veronica Mars, the series.  I’m halfway through Season 1 and man, I have a pretty huge girl crush on Veronica Mars. It makes me think that I really need to start that Crush of the month segment.  Plus, ever since I’ve seen Moonlight, I had a huge thing for Jason Dohring but he’s not in a lot of stuff so imagine my joy when I saw him in this one.  I haven’t read up anything on this but I did search up some pics and I’m sure him and Veronica will be a thing later on.  Still, I’m obsessed, so incredibly obsessed.  I have a date with Netflix tonight to continue watching it.

Quote:

veronica mars

Yay! I’m moved out! New home, settling in, figuring out gardening, learning how to be responsible and live healthy.  I’m sorry if things go a little all over the place in the next few weeks but once I find a schedule and routine that works, we’ll be all set! I do have a ton of posts planned, so I’m going to try and tear my eyes away from Veronica Mars and all those organizing the house stuff to get it written :)

Anyways, enough of my rambling! Pinterest therapy over this time! I’m feeling a little better!

Happy Friday, my lovelies! :)