What’s Up…#2: One of Those Days…

It has been a while since one of these What’s Up things. Actually, I had been putting them off as a buffer thinking that it had been so recent. Apparently, I was wrong. Either way, I was supposed to have a double feature go up today for Violet & Daisy and The Gift but it isn’t done. This week has been odd. Busy and crazy and yet not really  motivated to do much when I get home especially after working on my family’s income tax since I’m the numbers person in the house. It isn’t particularly complicated, just time consuming, especially when my real life job is of the number-crunching variety and it has been super busy as well.

Aside from that, this morning has been just really ridiculous. I don’t want to complain but its one of those, “Can I just crawl back into bed?” days. However, I do have one other post that needs to get up in a timely fashion for Game Warp stuff. If only Google Drive app didn’t want to be stupid this morning, it probably would have been fine. Okay, I’ll stop now.

Anyways, not really sure what to do for this What’s Up segment but let’s give it a go!

Watching & Binging

My Neighborhood

My Neighborhood

The Client List

Riverdale

Riverdale is in its last few episodes before Season 1 ends. I’m really looking forward to writing up that post, while I have a feeling, I need to rewatch Season 4 of Gilmore Girls at this point. I’m getting all the seasons mixed up together and its why those recaps aren’t up yet. The Client List is still happening but I took a break because I need to write Season 1 recap and Season 2 is having a pretty slow start. For something more light and fluffy, I’m watchingt his Hong Kong series called The Neighborhood. Its not great but it is a ton of fun to watch and a change in pace from the norm. Especially as I wait to go home and watch the next episode of Riverdale tonight. Actually, I haven’t finished Gotham Season 1 yet but I haven’t watched that for over a month, not sure it still applies as binging it 😉

Reading

Freshly started reading this graphic novel this morning! Titan: An Alternate History from AH Comics and also one that I picked up at Toronto ComiCon. So far, I’m about halfway through and it is pretty good. Very creative and the art is fantastic. There’s this really cool contrast. Anyways, not reviewing it now. I’ll do it soon once I’m done. It has been quiet on the reading front mostly because I’m waiting for my f-ing books to arrive and its one of the reasons that has me a little down. Although I’m a little better now. #firstworldproblems, am I right? 😉 Anyways, the resolution now is a replacement order which I’m going to pick up at an Indigo store myself because apparently our postal service can’t get these orders to me without any hiccups.

No complaints…I’m taking a deep breath…let’s continue! I am thinking of starting Ready Player One and Cinder now. However, there are 3 books that take priority to it because some of our darling bloggers and writers were kind enough to send them to me to review so I’m stoked about that.

See, I told you this would get positive. 😉

Playing
(and the list is so much longer…)

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with PinOut which is a mobile pinball game on a time limit. I actually beat it just the other day and went into overtime, which I have no idea what that means but I’ve been jumping back into it and trying to unlock a few more achievements plus its just a really nice game to pass short bits of time. On the other hand, I’ve been spending lots of time on Steam. April’s Game Warp featured game is Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition and I only have just a bit left. Battleblock Theater is one I finished Chapter 1. I don’t think I can do chapter by chapter playthroughs as it gets harder but the first chapter was decently fun and simple.

However, I did get a stream for Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Episode 1 which was released on Tuesday. I actually posted up the playthrough. I had to remove songs because it turned on copyright claims so I’m sorry if its boring and if you sometimes hear me snickering in the background. It was the footage from the stream.

I’ll be doing an overview and quick review of Episode 1 over at That Moment In soon. Its been a tad busy and a few things to roll out before.

Listening

I’m still following The Voice Season 12. There’s some pretty good talent although a good part of the ones I like are gone. My fave is Johnny Hayes who unfortunately got cut. How I stay positive is that even though he is cut at least I now know of his existence and that he actually is in a band and I’ll be following that. His voice and style is awesome. Seriously love it! 🙂

That’s it for today!
Writing this up has been fun and honestly, I’m feeling a lot better. But its time for a little chill session.
One of the reasons for some structural change here is to make it stay fresh and fun.
I’ll make up for the missing segments in the next weekend. Gotta get some of the backlog out.

What have you been watching, reading, playing and/or listening?

What’s Up…Wednesday

I’m sure someone has thought about this title before for a Wednesday segment. However, its not going to be a fixed segment unless you all love it! I’m just really exhausted from work and can’t seem to find the energy to wrap up a TV Binge post that I’m working on so wanted to do something quick and fun. There will be a reblog later today for the Ultimate 90’s blogathon’s next review by a lovely lady blogger. You can head over to Drew’s Movie Reviews to read it sooner.

What’s up with everyone? What have you been watching, reading, binging, loving, listening and playing?

Watching & Binging

Cardinal

Cardinal (TV Series)

Chef's Table (Season 3)

Chef’s Table (Season 3)

Riverdale

Riverdale

I’m not exactly binging any of these mostly because Riverdale and Cardinal are both going on right now and only updated weekly. Cardinal is a six part mini series (or eight, I can’t remember) so its about to end soon and we’re one part behind. Like it a lot! Riverdale was something I didn’t know was going on. I had thought it was a Netflix Originals which it isn’t so I need to wait for it to be updated weekly and I know myself that eventually I’ll fall behind, no matter how much I like it. Riverdale’s first 1.5 episode was really not doing it for me but in the second half of the second episode, I do say that I like it a lot more now. The twist on these Archie comics characters is very awesome. And well, I love Chef’s Table so I didn’t want to wait to watch the new season.

Watching/Binging Next: Ultimate Beastmaster

Did you see this trailer? Its starting this Friday and I’m excited!

Reading

What Maisie Knew The Good Marriage

Not my original intention to read two books at the same time but I just happened to remember that I had bought A Good Marriage on a good deal and it was on my phone the day I forgot my Kindle so started it. So far, I’m enjoying it. It also breaks the order of how I originally wanted to experience Stephen King’s novels. We’ll get back on track and pretend we didn’t skip ahead. What Maisie Knew feels heavy and no, I haven’t watched the movie but will.

Reading next:
The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass

adventures of alice in wonderland

I’ve started this one over two years ago. Its time to finish it and put it away.

Playing

lazors

Mobile game

robots-in-the-wild

Early Access Steam

PS4

Playstation 4

In between games right now after a blitz run of Game Warp’s February featured game so just playing some puzzle games. I do have some unfinished games or game in progress but here’s what I’m playing in the background. The Early Access Steam one is a recent start this weekend and only a little over a week old in Early Access.

Playing next: Child of Light/Three-Fourth’s Home/World of Goo, etc
& March’s featured game for Game Warp: Batman – The Telltale Series

And finally, listening or more somehow stuck in my head…

That’s it for what I’ve been doing. Behind the scenes things like this seem a little silly to do to me. However, they are fun!
If you do like it, maybe I’ll make it into a segment.

Hope you enjoyed it!
What are you doing behind the scenes? TV, Music, Books, Movie franchises, Video games?

Fighting Grief (Knockout #1) by Kellie Perkins

The first book of the year usually is what I had to put down during the holidays and didn’t get a chance to wrap up until the last few days. I have some lovely books sent to me lately which I need to read next but before those this one needs to be wrapped up and I had the perfect opportunity to finish it when I was waiting for a software to download and install. Fighting Grief is a first book in a trilogy and while it costs $1.XX on Amazon right now, I did get it when it was a free book back in 2014 or something.

Let’s check it out!

Fighting Grief (Knockout #1)
by: Kellie Perkins

Fighting Grief

Keeva O’Brien has lost all desire to work for a dream that was never really hers. Keeva’s brother, Luke, was the one who wanted her to go to college, the one who wanted her to be something more than he or their parents. Luke raised her, gave up everything to be there for Keeva after their parents died. But when Luke died, Keeva could no longer see the point.  When new bartender, Nash Pierce, begins working at the same restaurant where Keeva works, she has no interest in his charm. All she wants is to forget her grief, to forget that everything that had made her world make sense died in an instant when her brother was killed while fighting for an underground MMA club. Nash is willing to help her do that. – Goodreads

Am I glad that I didn’t read the synopsis on Goodreads before I started this book? If you were to shrink this book into 3 paragraphs, that is generally the version you’d use because its not a synopsis. It highlights almost everything you need to decipher the ending which was obvious from the moment Nash enters the picture, by the way. I’m getting ahead of myself now.

Fighting Grief isn’t a bad novel aside from its painfully obvious situation of who Nash is and what happens to Keeva. In fact, it does itself justice by focusing on the romance and the healing and expanding on getting to somewhat understand the characters a little, while even trickling in with some conversations with supporting characters. All those aspects of Fighting Grief is good. I’d even say that the writing is fun and quick to read while still remembering to never dive into the erotica area and just dabble on the surface of a romance and the connection that Keeva and Nash have for each other. I do think that the writing can be polished a little more but this is the first book I’ve read of Kellie Perkins so I’m sure there is room for much improvement and probably has in the later books.

However, Fighting Grief is a very generic story about tragic loss and the ending is painfully obvious as I mentioned before. In fact, the only reason I did keep reading it unfortunately was to prove myself right or let the book prove me wrong. Plus, I’m not one to start a book and not at least give it a chance to redeem itself. There is merit here and I can see the appeal for some people but for me, it felt a little too obvious. There are coincidences and then there are “coincidences” if you know what I mean. Plus, there are moments when I didn’t really like our main character Keeva. I get that she is grieving but she seems incredibly immature for someone who has been thrown into unfortunate situation since she was young.

Overall, I feel like I already have a general idea where the next two books in the trilogy might go if it is as predictable as this one. While I do wonder how it will all play out, it isn’t quite enough for me to pick up the second book. However, if you want a quick romance read, this might fit the bill.

What’s Up in 2017!

hello-2017

2017 is here! There will be some changes around here. Some new, some old, not a whole lot swapped out as you will see soon below! I have an issue of letting go, maybe… Its okay though, it’ll all work out! I haven’t talked about resolutions for a year or two here but I feel like I probably should because that explains some of the changes, which won’t really make a huge impact for any segment in particular but will keep myself accountable for certain things.

Baking & Recipes

Its been a rough year for recipes. I’ve only added maybe somewhere around 10 to 20 new recipes this past year. I’m a little disappointed with myself even though we did have the additional unboxing for Miss Fresh (which will continue this year).

New Cooking Project: I do have some news on a project in the planning with my awesome childhood friend, Starry Traveler. She’s very much busy with a lot of her personal life stuff of late and her blog is less active but we have been talking about a cooking project. This project will hopefully open our horizons to new ingredients and recipe ideas. We are planning the first one some time later this month and I’ll have an announcement post soon. All details on frequency and whatnot is still being decided.

Disney Movies

Baking Through Disney: I started this one back in 2015 and only TWO movies have been fully complete with the baking projects. And I have the 3rd review done but then got stuck on Fantasia’s recipe to make. It is what threw me off. So, I’ve made the executive decision to put that baking on hold and jump forward to the next movie, Dumbo. There is a solid goal for one movie to be done each month. If I can get more, that will be good but for now, I’m aiming to do 10 movies (in case there are months like Fantasia Festival in July where I won’t be home enough to do it). These are the movies coming up: Dumbo, Bambi, Make Mine Music, The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmatians. However, if you do have a suggestion for what to bake for Fantasia, please suggest ahead and I’ll try to figure out a way to make it happen.

Books

2016 was the year that I made the resolution to not buy any new books for the entire year to make sure that I could get through all those unread novels sitting in my Kindle and to save money. With that said, I did explore a lot of new stuff. I let myself off the hook and bought some new books during Boxing Week. Right now, its back to no more new books until I decrease the list. With that said, there is a revival and continuing through all the Kindle books. This year’s Goodreads Challenge is to read 35 books.

  • The Classics Adventure: I took a year off of this project but its back! Part of my unread Kindle books that I put off were Classics. Some titles I do want to get through: Northanger Abbey, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, A Tale of Two Cities, Treasure Island, Great Expectations, Gulliver’s Travels, Madame Bovary, What Maisie Knew, North and South.

wp-1483409723482.jpg

  • Unread Physical Books: Last year, I sadly neglected my physical unread books so I’m working on that this year. One of them is trying to kickstart my Stephen King novel reading along with some other titles like Salem’s Lot, Hollow City, Ready Player One, The Fate of Ten, The Catcher in the Rye.

Movies & TV

Movies and TV is a huge chunk of here. I have to admit that and if you haven’t noticed, by the end of 2016, I was trying to slow that down a little. As much as I love watching movies, I had a block in writing reviews. It is also why I’m happy that I added in the TV Binge segment quite a bit.

  • Unwatched Movie Collection: I updated our movie collection this year and while I have stopped a lot of movie buying (saving once again), I realized that there’s a ton of movies there that I haven’t seen. This year’s mission is to get through them.
  • Other movies: New Releases (look at Anticipated 2017 Movies post HERE), Netflix Originals, Oscar Nominations (in January/February))

Miscellaneous/Monthly Segments

  • Monthly segment: Music Obsessions will stay on the first Sunday of every month!
  • Game Warp: I will continue to post up the updates to the Game Warp Podcast release. Those are twice a month usually unless there are some special segments. More info can be found on That Moment In or our Game Warp Facebook page. Also, we just set up the Twitch channel with a stream schedule coming up soon.
  • My Weekly Adventures: This is currently a biweekly segment right now. However, this comes to what I talked about earlier about resolutions. I have been doing event posts and haul and travel in separate posts, so I try to not cover those in the weekly adventures making it hard to get a lot of stuff to talk about on there. However, I like the fact that I share a snippet of my personal goals to share. You all don’t realize it but a lot of times it keeps me accountable. With that said, this year, I have set myself an ultimatum to finish my Grade 10 piano so I’ll probably start sharing that journey a little and maybe post up some piano pieces. You can criticize or not but at least it keeps me practicing piano and keeping that solid in the schedule instead of always pushing it in a lower priority. Also, I need to get back to working out and training for at least a 5 km marathon this year. So two new segments aside from Cute Kitty Moments, along with other random updates.
  • Other: Montreal Events & Unboxing

For some highlight months (which haven’t changed much):

  • January: Housekeeping and updating is going to be the priority for the first week. That includes wrapping up leftover material from 2016. Some TV binges and the Netflix A-Z.  Aside from that, I’m working on getting a domain or at least, working on an official Tranquil Dreams header by January 17th which is the blogiversary and I don’t want to drag that out anymore.
  • February: Valentine’s Marathon is the first half of the month. I’m putting together what movies to watch. It might not be romantic comedies but I will try to get The Choice to keep up with the Nicholas Sparks adaptations.
  • October: Halloween Marathon! For now, its a toss-up between a few franchises. I believe Final Destination is a high possibility at this point.
  • December: Holiday Marathon! This might have some changes seeing as the selection is getting slim.

That’s it! Congrats and Thanks are in order if you made it all the way here!
I’d also like to share that I’m working on a project with my husband which I will announce soon! As well as a Youtube segment for my channel!

I’m looking forward to 2017. Hope you are too!
If you have any movie or book suggestions, please do share with me.  I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for them or maybe they will be in my list.

Never Kiss a Bad Boy by Nora Flite

Remember in the haul post yesterday when I said that I had to get a book because its original trilogy format was changed to just one book and I had to make that purchase, this is said book. It was originally called For the Thrill but now its just called Never Kiss the Bad Boy. If this was the first title I had seen, I would have passed over it but oh well, it is what it is. I don’t like feeling like I didn’t finish a book so it just had to be done.

Let’s check it out!

Never Kiss a Bad Boy
by: Nora Flite

Never Kiss a Bad Boy

Could you fall in love with a killer? How about two?When hiring a hitman, it’s important to remember two rules.
One: Pay in cash.  And two: Don’t sleep with him. –Goodreads

 I’ve reviewed a few erotica novels here this past year. Its definitely a whole different ball park. Before this year, the only erotica I had read was Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and I think it was before I wrote book reviews here. Suffice to say that erotica is a tricky genre to appreciate. I feel that everyone has a different idea of what they are looking for when they read adult fiction. If you have read some of my previous reviews, I haven’t been particularly happy with them because most of the time, the female character is somewhat unfairly portrayed, making it lack somewhat of the realistic feeling of what I’d like to see. As I mentioned before, I started Never Kiss a Bad Boy when I was reading For The Thrill which is the first book of the trilogy it was before it was put together into one book. While I appreciate the move, I actually had more fun reading For the Thrill in itself than finishing up the entire book. The story took somewhat of a predictable turn by the end but to be fair, I did really enjoy the characters and the fact that it used all three main characters to narrate different chapters so there was a good grasp of who these people were and gave them time to charm the reader and like them even in the most odd way of having this three way relationship. The only complaint I did have with this one is that the incredibly well constructed and extremely steamy sex scenes overpowered the story beneath of finding a killer and seeking revenge which with a better balance would have made this book have much more substance. Don’t get me wrong though. I love steamy sex scenes that don’t make me cringe because they are so fun to read and this one has a ton of them. I just also was intrigued by the story behind it that could have been built a little more if it was for a sex scene every other chapter.

With that said, I need to talk about our characters. The “bad boy” here are actually “bad boys” because it features two ex-hit men who just finished their last job: the calm and calculated Jacob and very social butterfly Kite. Together they make a great team. In fact, they even have a blood brother bond which leads into their last job attracting the attention of Marina who was tracking down the man they killed to find the lead of who murdered her family when she was a little girl. Because of that, she went on a hunt for these hit men to help her. They agree after some manipulation but to their surprise, they start falling for each other. Marina is a tough girl and very focused. Her life is restricted and lonesome (much like Jacob and Kite) because she is haunted by her past and wants to have the revenge in order to hopefully let it go even if it means that she’ll die. She’s extreme that way, but as we learn more about her, you can’t really blame her. Somehow, Marina, Jacob and Kite form a connection. Well, its hard to resist to hot men but Jacob and Kite are portrayed as something more, whether its their mysterious personality or their story, it pulls them all closer together and because of the blood brother bond, Jacob and Kite finally decide that they only way they can be with Marina is having her together and of course she agrees and from there, the story keeps going. Expect lots of threesome steamy sex scenes in this one. The fun part of this book though is that the characters do act a little different from what we’d expect and that gives them a fun element and something to think about because each of them are changing because of meeting the other, whether its Jacob or Kite changing because of Marina or Marina changing because of them. There’s always a question whether there is a bigger hidden agenda that might twist the story around.

Overall, Never Kiss a Bad Boy has a lot of great moments and a pretty nice story and well-built characters. The sex scenes are fun and steamy, but never cringe-worthy (which is actually quite rare) because it builds on the character’s chemistry. While the erotica is done well, the story that drew these characters together gets lost in the romantic story which is a shame because it would have been nice to see a little more of it and explore a little more of what Marina could have achieved in this mix. For what it is, Never Kiss a Bad Boy is pretty good.

Boxing Day & Steam Winter Sale Haul!

It feels like forever since I last wrote an actual post (although that isn’t true). Mostly, its probably because the last few days were so busy and tiring that its just kind of a blur. Regardless, I opted for a calm and easy post today! I have to admit that this year’s Boxing Day sales weren’t really impressive. I didn’t really end up buying a whole lot and other than weather causing a lot of traffic to get from one place to the next, the actual shopping time wasn’t a whole lot.

Aside from what I bought on Boxing Day here, I ended up getting paper towels, Oreos and surge protector power bar. Weird enough, as I get older, it seems to be a lot of picking up these household and food items. At the same time, around December 23rd or 24th (I think), the Steam Winter Sale started. Seeing as gaming is being a huge part of my life now and I’m having tons of fun, I took the liberty to pick up a few games. I won’t go into too much detail but I’ll list it under so you all can tell me your thoughts and whether you’ve played it!

Let’s go!

Movies

Movies

  • Creed
  • Kung Fu Panda 3
  • Jurassic World
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • The Age of Adaline

The wild card addition was The Age of Adaline that I’ve been wanting to watch but never remember to keep an eye out for it. Luckily, it was a good price so I added it to the pile. Compared to previous years, this is a very small movie haul. But then, I’ve been focusing on Netflix a lot and trying to minimize too many physical movies to be more space efficient.

Gloves

Adidas Gloves

I wasn’t intending to get these gloves. Actually, the line-up at Adidas outlet store was so long (almost the length of the store) that I had time to browse the center display blocked by the two lines to see these gloves, which are actually a good alternative on mild winter days instead of my cute mittens.

Books

Book

  • Nocturnal Animals by Austin Wright
  • iT by Stephen King
  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
  • The Fate of Ten by Pittacus Lore

Some of you might know (because I mentioned once or twice this year) that in the goal to save money, I promised myself to not by any books for the entire year as of last Boxing Day (which was my last book purchase). I did pretty well because I didn’t buy any physical books and only bought on super cheap one to wrap up a book that I had started but was recently condensed from a trilogy to just one book and in the heart of wrapping up the book (and the review will go up soon), I ended up buying it. Physical book shopping at a physical store is about the most amazing feeling ever especially after a year of not doing it and having to give up books that I wanted to get and only window shopping. Regardless, the next year might have a similar goal because I still have a lot of unread books, both physical and ebook. Still, The Fate of Ten was my award to myself which wasn’t on sale but I really want to continue the Lorien Legacy series. And who knew that iT was so freakin’ huge.

Steam Winter Sale

  • Contrast
  • The Stanley Parable
  • Duck Tales Remastered
  • Amnesia: Memories
  • The Room
  • World of Goo
  • Bundle: Deponia/Edna & Harvey:Harvey’s New Eyes/The Night of the Rabbit/Memoria/The Whispered World:Special Edition
  • Braid
  • Bundle: The Longest Journey/Dreamfall:The Longest Journey

This is a lot more games than I anticipated but to be fair, the bundles were significantly cheaper so while I wanted The Whispered World, the bundle did also have Edna & Harvey that I’ve had my eye on as well. Same goes for something that I was browsing for The Longest Journey so figured I’d pick up the sequel also. Duck Tales Remastered was more of an impulsive buy because I didn’t know it was remastered and that whole all-new cast singing the theme song really has me hyped up. The Room, Braid, Contrast, Stanley Parable and World of Goo was all intentional buys.

This wraps up the haul!
Did you go out to Boxing Day? Any good deals that you picked up?

A Zombie Christmas 2 (Short Story) by Anthony Renfro

Last week, I shared a short story A Zombie Christmas by our fellow blogger and author Anthony Renfro. You can check out his awesome blog Poetry, Books, Movies and Music. Today we are back to do a little review on his sequel, A Zombie Christmas 2!

Let’s check it out!

A Zombie Christmas 2
by Anthony Renfro

A Zombie Christmas 2

Synopsis

A boy lost. A family desperate. It’s Christmas in a Zombie Apocalypse and Mike Beem is once again aiming for another Holiday miracle. His goal this year isn’t toys for the kids in the neighborhood. His goal this time is trying to save one small life so another family doesn’t have to suffer the way he suffered.

Excerpt

Once inside, Lisa turned around and watched the dead and decaying world disappear behind a solid gate of silver metal. Attached to the gate was a large green Christmas wreath, sparkling with silver and red tinsel. She turned back to the front, and looked at each home (though hard to see clearly in the snow) decorated in muted decorations. Doors and lawns and roofs all displayed some kind of Christmas cheer, and in the center of this peaceful oasis sat the largest Christmas tree she had ever seen. It was kept upright with wooden spikes and strings, and sitting atop of it was a large yellow star spinning like a lighthouse beacon. She looked from the tree to their path, and saw small bags depicting Christmas scenes lining their way. Inside each bag was a small candle, flickering bright in the snow and cold. She flicked her eyes from the candles to the baby carrier and the baby asleep inside of it, kept warm and safe by Mike’s coat draped over her, thankful Mike had given it up so her baby could rest comfortably.

Short review

A Zombie Christmas 2 is a pretty nice addition. It takes the endearing and tough character Mike from the first and continues a year later on Christmas. We now see how he has brought everyone together and in times of desperation, gave everyone around him some hope and even a sense of community. What makes the story great is not only that it focuses on Mike but also on some of the people around him and also on the environment. Zombie stories are a plenty right now but Anthony always puts a neat little twist to add not only danger and action but also remembering that the characters are also human. And to achieve that in a short story, it is why I love his Zombie Holidays series and this addition is great.

Where to get it

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MF4WHII
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MF4WHII
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01MF4WHII
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MF4WHII