I recently re-discovered Home Improvement. As a kid, I watched the occasional episode, but I recently discovered the complete series on Hulu this past month. The show aired from 1991-1999 and follows the life of Time “The Toolman” Taylor as he struggles to navigate family and work. Tim is the host of a television show – Tool Time – that is known more for its comedy, not so much its educational value. Tim is always blowing something up, breaking something, or getting injured. In addition to his television show, Tim and his wife are raising three boys, who add to the chaos of life. Tim seeks advice from his next door neighbor, Wilson, who always has some philosophical advice to offer.
Packed with humor and good family values, this show is a breath of fresh air when compared to a lot of the other content on television today. This is definitely a must watch for any Tim Allen fans or for those who just want some good, clean, fun!
If you are looking for your next book series, check out Bewitched by Chocolate by H.Y. Hanna. This unique story incorporates a cozy mystery with magic and my personal favorite – CHOCOLATE. The main character, Caitlyn, is on a quest to find out who her birth mother is, so she takes a trip to England and finds herself in a small, English village where rumors of witchcraft abound. These rumors target one individual in particular, a witch whose chocolates are so irresistible that they can only be made with dark magic. When a man turns up murdered, residents are quick to blame magic. Caitlyn soon finds herself not only trying to solve her own personally mystery, but also the mystery of the deceased man.
A note to readers: the book does reference “witchcraft” and the “occult”. Most of the time they are just brief references, but there were a couple books in the series, that had a few darker scenes. These scenes are in no way dark like the later Harry Potter books or like some movies, but I did find them a little bothersome. I ended up only being able to read the first 5 books because the realistic-ness of some of the witchcraft references troubled my spirit. So, for sensitive readers this may not be the series for you. However, if those types of things don’t bother you, then you will definitely enjoy this book series. The characters are endearing, and I especially like the relationship between Bran, the giant mastiff, and the little kitten, Nibbs. (who of course aren’t the main characters, but definitely caught my attention. I will definitely be checking out some of H.Y. Hanna’s other book series.
I HATE discovering a good book when the series isn’t complete. I finished In the Shadow of Lightning: Glass Immortals, Book 1 by Brian McClellan, and was disappointed to learn that I have to wait for the next book in the series to be published. Oh well. Patience is a virtue…or so they tell me.
This story is a good mix of fantasy and intrigue. Like many fantasy books, this story switches between different characters’ story lines. Most of the time, I find that annoying because just as I’m starting to get attached to the characters, it changes perspective. (It also doesn’t help that I usually only like a few of the characters the story lines follow). However, In the Shadow of Lightning was the first book where:
1) I liked all the characters the different plots followed.
2) I didn’t find the transition from character to character disruptive.
I highly recommend this book. It is clean as far as adult fantasies go. I would say PG-13 rating. Some profanity (shit, damn), and a few mild innuendos.
Children of the Fox by Kevin Sands is the first book in his newest series – Thieves of Shadow. A group of young thieves is tasked with stealing a magical item from a very powerful weaver (mage). Many teams have tried; all have failed. Can these children pull of the impossible? And can they do it on such a tight deadline?
Having really enjoyed The Blackthorn Key Series by Kevin Sands, I was hoping to have the same experience with Children of the Fox. However, that was not the case. I can’t quite put my finger on why I didn’t like it. The story itself is well written, and if you are listening to the audio, the narrator is great. The story is interesting enough that I finished it, but not so interesting that I will finish the series. There was just something about it I didn’t like. Part of it was the lack of humor and camaraderie between the characters. The Blackthorn Key had both humor and a great friendship between the characters; Children of the Fox lacked that. Also, the story itself was kind of strange and didn’t draw me in. For starters, I couldn’t quite identify the setting of the story. It reminded me of a historical time-period interspersed with some science fiction (mention of airships) and very heavy on the fantasy/magical aspect. I was also thrown off by the role of their gods – Fox and Bear – in the story as well.
Anyway, this story wasn’t for me, but it is a well written story for those who are interested in trying it.
All Jane wants is to finish Bible school and become a missionary. To pay her way through school, she cleans houses. Unfortunately, while cleaning, she discovers the body of one of her clients. Jane does her best to juggle school, romance, and a murder investigation all while being faithful to her Christian beliefs.
Good Clean Murder by Traci Tyne Hilton is the first book in The Plain Jane Mysteries. Classified as a “Cozy Christian Collection,” this book is free of profanity and sex. Jane’s inner dialogue can be a bit preachy at times, but overall, the book is enjoyable. If you are tired of the sex and profanity found in many modern-day books (which is why I decided to read this) you will find this book a breath of fresh air.