Whimsical Wednesday/Lyrical Lines


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If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

Well I’d buy you a house (I would buy you a house)

And if I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

I’d buy you furniture for your house (maybe a nice chesterfield or ottoman)

And if I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

I’d buy you a k-car (a nice reliant automobile)

And if I had a million dollars I’d buy your love


If I had a million dollars I’d build a tree fort in our yard

If I had a million dollars you could help, it wouldn’t be that hard

If I had a million dollars maybe we could put a little tiny fridge in there somewhere 

(We could just go up there and hang out

Like open the fridge and stuff, and there’d be foods laid out for us with little pre-wrapped sausages and things. Mmmmm. 

They have pre-wrapped sausages but they don’t have pre-wrapped bacon. Well can you blame them. Yeah.)


If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

I’d buy you a fur coat (but not a real fur coat that’s cruel)

If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

I’d buy you an exotic pet (like a llama or an emu)

If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

I’d buy you John Merrick’s remains (all them crazy elephant bones)

If I had a million dollars I’d buy your love


If I had a million dollars

We wouldn’t have to walk to the store

If I had a million dollars 

We’d take a limousine ‘cause it costs more

If I had a million dollars

We wouldn’t have to eat Kraft Dinner

(But we would eat Kraft Dinner. Of course we would, we’d just eat more. And buy really expensive ketchup with it. That’s right, all the fanciest Dijon Ketchup. Mmmmmm.)


If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

I’d buy you a green dress (but not a real green dress, that’s cruel)

If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

I’d buy you some art (a Picasso or a Garfunkel)

If I had a million dollars (if I had a million dollars)

I’d buy you a monkey (haven’t you always wanted a monkey?)

If I had a million dollars I’d buy your love


If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars 

If I had a million dollars, If I had a million dollars

I’d be rich. 



R.I.P. Jamal Khashoggi ~ October 13, 1958 – October 2, 2018: “What the Arab world needs most is free expression”



I think just about everyone knows by now that American resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and brutally murdered two weeks ago after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey to obtain a marriage license while his fiancée waited for him outside. For the last year he had been employed by The Washington Post, and today, they heartbreakingly published his final column. The first paragraph is from the Post’s Global Opinion editor.

A note from Karen Attiah, Global Opinions editor:

I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi’s translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul. The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post. This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for. I will forever be grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together. 


I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.” That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocca, and Kuwait come second, with a classification of  “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free,”

As a result, Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives. A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change.

The Arab world was ripe with hope during the spring of 2011. Journalists, academics, and the general population were brimming with expectations of a bright and free Arab society within their respective countries. They expected to be emancipated from the hegemony of their governments and the consistent interventions and censorship of information. These expectations were quickly shattered; these societies either fell back to the old status quo or faced even harsher conditions than before.

My dear friend, the prominent Saudi writer Saleh al-Shehi, wrote one of the most famous columns ever published in the Saudi press. He unfortunately is now serving an unwarranted five-year prison sentence for supposed comments contrary to the Saudi establishment. The Egyptian government’s seizure of the entire print run of a newspaper, al-Masry al Youm, did not enrage or provoke a reaction from colleagues. These actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community. Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence.

As a result, Arab governments have been given free reign to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate. There was a time when journalists believed the Internet would liberate information from the censorship and control associated with print media. But these governments, whose very existence relies on the control of information, have aggressively blocked the Internet. They have also arrested local reporters and pressured advertisers to harm the revenue of specific publications.

There are few oases that continue to embody the spirit of the Arab Spring. Qatar’s government continues to support international news coverage, in contrast to its neighbors’ efforts to uphold the control of information to support the “old Arab order.” Even in Tunisia and Kuwait, where the press is considered at least “partly free,” the media focuses on domestic issues but not issues faced by the greater Arab world. They are hesitant to provide a platform for journalists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. Even Lebanon, the Arab world’s crown jewel when it comes to press freedom, has fallen victim to polarization and influence of pro-Iran Hezbollah.

The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. During the Cold War, Radio Free Europe, which grew over the years into a critical institution, played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar. In 1967, the New York Times and The Pist took joint ownership of the International Herald Tribune newspaper, which went on to become a platform for voices from around the world. 

My publication, The Post, has taken the initiative to translate many of my pieces and publish them in Arabic. For that, I am grateful. Arabs need to read in their own language so they can understand and discuss the various aspects and complications of democracy in the United States and the West. If an Egyptian reads an article exposing the actual cost of a construction project in Washington, then he or she would be better able to understand the implications of similar projects in his or her community.

The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education. Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.


Academic Curveball (Braxton Campus Mysteries), by James J. Cudney ~ 4.5 Stars




Thanks to the author for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now!

290 Pages

Synopsis: When Kellan Ayrwick, a thirty-two-year-old single father, is forced to return for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, he finds the dead body of a professor in Diamond Hall’s stairwell. Unfortunately, Kellan has a connection to the victim, and so do several members of his family. Could one of them be guilty of murder? Then he finds a second body after discovering mysterious donations to the college’s athletic program, and a criminal attempting to change student grades so the star baseball player isn’t expelled. 

Someone is playing games on campus, but non of the facts add up. With the help of his eccentric and trouble-making nana weeding through the clues, Kellan tries to stay out of the sheriff’s way. Fate has other plans. Kellan is close to discovering the killer’s identity just as someone he loves is put in grave danger of becoming victim number three. And if that’s not enough to wreck havoc on his family, everything comes crashing to a halt when his own past comes spiraling back to change his life forever.

In this debut novel in the Braxton Campus Mystery Series, readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, sarcastic, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the charming Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. When this first book ends, the drama is set for the next adventure in Kellan’s future…and it’s one you won’t want to miss.

This is the third book I’ve read by our fellow blogger, Jay Cudney, and once again he’s knocked it out of the park! (I know. Sorry for the dreadful pun). 

The story is told from the first person POV of Kellan, a widower with a sweet six-year-old daughter. I really liked him and found him thoroughly engaging. I loved his musings and interactions with the other characters, especially his eccentric irrepressible Nana D and the snarky sheriff upon who his charm continually fails. I did find the story a little slow in the middle, but it wasn’t enough to spoil my enjoyment. The mystery itself kept me guessing right up until the reveal and all the loose ends were satisfyingly tied up. The end of the book has a whopper of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to jump into the next book, Broken Heart Attack, which is coming out (Thank God!) December 15th. Overall, I think Academic Curveball is an excellent beginning to this new cozy mystery series. It’s full of the memorable quirky characters that Jay is so wonderful at creating, and that, combined with a twisty mystery and cozy college town setting, makes for a delightful read.

The Dark Days Club Blog Tour ~ The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2), By Alison Goodman


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C7A902AF-1F43-483B-B9B7-86D970CA3C13This is part two of The Dark Days Book Tour, hosted by Penguin Young Readers. After reading the second book in this series — The Dark Days Pact — I’m once again figuratively hitting  myself over the head for waiting so long!



Release Date: Available Now

496 Pages

Synopsis: June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full time member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. 

However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.


My one complaint about The Dark Days Club, was that I thought it took a little too long to get to the meat of the story. I don’t know if it was just the mood I was in, but with The Dark Days Pact, I was immediately sucked in. I actually read a little over half the book in my first sitting! There’s a lot more action in this sequel, as Lady Helen learns exactly what’s expected of her new duties as a Reclaimer. Balancing her secret life and maintaining her outward persona as a young lady of the Ton in 1800s England is proving to be more and more difficult. Having to disguise herself as a man while working requires certain sacrifices, including cutting her hair. And worse, she’s forcibly drawn into the politics of the Dark Days Club itself, which puts her into the position of keeping secrets from her mentor, Lord Carlston.


While their relationship has had it’s erm, prickly moments, things are now even more strained between them. In addition to Lady Helen’s secret mission, Lord Carlston is struggling with an unknown illness, and it’s one that his chief nemesis in the Dark Days Club is more than willing to exploit. And then there are the feelings that Lady Helen harbors for the Duke of Selburn. You all know my feelings toward love triangles. They’re one of my biggest pet peeves because I’ve rarely seen them work in a positive manner in a story. However, this (sort of) love triangle not only didn’t make me want to hurl the book at the wall, it also makes rational sense within the context of the story. Just as Lady Helen is torn between her role as a defender of humanity against the deceivers, and that of a respectable young lady in England’s high society, she is also torn between the brooding Lord Carlston who respects her and expects much from her despite her sex, and the adoring attentions of the Duke who wants to put her up on a pedestal. It seems pretty obvious (fingers crossed) Lady Helen will wind up with Lord Carlston who admires and respects both her intellect and her other attributes, but I can understand why she’s somewhat drawn to Selburn with his connections to her old life, despite her frustration with his insistence on being her protector. I also have a developing theory regarding Selburn, and if I’m correct, it will abolish any lingering feelings that Lady Helen has for him.


In the previous book, Lady Helen already was showing strong, feminist characteristics, and in this book she continues on that journey, growing more confident and self-assured as the story progresses. Aiding her on that journey is her maid Darby, who is not only her aide in her paranormal duties, but steadfastly backs her up when it comes to what is expected of her. I absolutely love their relationship! The other characters’ backstories are developed more, especially those of Lord Carlston’s aides, Mr. Hammond and his twin sister Lady Margaret. As difficult as things are today for anyone who’s LGBTQ, back in the 1800s it was even worse and this is realistically and heartbreakingly depicted by the scorn and disgust Mr. Hammond is forced to endure, as well as the danger being a “Molly” could bring, as it was an executable offense.


And finally, the supernatural world building against the all too real life for the upper and lower classes in Regency England continues to be a wonderful combination. It boggles my mind how the author can portray this historical period with such accuracy, even including actual historical figures and incidents, while adding all these supernatural elements.


In my estimation, The Darks Days Pact has surprisingly surpassed its fantastic predecessor, and it’s left me extremely excited to dive into the conclusion, The Dark Days Deceit, which is being released November 20th, 2018. 


About the Author:


Alison Goodman writes in a variety of genres, ranging from the genre-bending DARK DAYS CLUB titles to the EON/EONA fantasy duology, to the YA science fiction thriller SINGING THE DOGSTAR BLUES. She was a D.J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellow at Melbourne University, holds a Master of Arts degree and mentors emerging writers. A long-time lover of the Regency period, she has a treasure trove of material to be viewed at https://www.pinterest.com/alisongoodman/ She’s online at http://www.darkdaysclub.com and on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/AlisonGoodman

The Dark Days Pact can be found at:


Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-dark-days-pact-alison-goodman/1123752847;jsessionid=9602CB07B357E29

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26061581-the-dark-days-pact

Tour Schedule:


September 10 – Eater of Books ~ https://eaterofbooks.blogspot.comTop Ten Reasons Why You Should Read the Dark Days Club

September 11 – @darkfaerietales ~ https://www.instagram.com/darkfaerietales_/ – Creative Instagram Picture

September 12 – Darque Dreamer Reads ~ https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com – Review with gifs and Moodboard

September 13 – My Friends are Fiction – https://www.instagram.com/myfriendsarefiction – Creative Instagram Picture 

September 14 – By Hook Or By Book – https://cadburypom.wordpress.com – Review with gifs


October 8 – Eater of Books ~ https://eaterofbooks.blogspot.com – Moodboard 

October 9 – @darkfaerietales ~ https://www.instagram.com/darkfaerietales_/ – Creative Instagram Picture 

October 10 – Darque Dreamer Reads – https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com – Review with gifs and Moodboard 

October 11 – My Friends are Fiction – https://www.instagram.com/myfriendsarefiction – Review and Creative Instagram Picture 

October 12 – By Hook Or By Book – https://cadburypom.wordpress.com – Review with gifs


November 12 – Eater of Books ~ https://eaterofbooks.blogspot.com – Favorite Quotes

November 13 – @darkfaerietales ~ https://www.instagram.com/darkfaerietales_/ – Creative Instagram Picture 

November 14 – Dark Dreamer Reads ~ https://darkdreamerreads.wordpress.com – Review with gifs and Moodboard 

November 15 – My Friends are Fiction https://www.instagram.com/myfriendsarefiction – Review and Creative Instagram Picture 

November 16 – By Hook Or By Book https://cadburypom.wordpress.com – Review with gifs 


Lyrical Lines


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This past week, as I was trying to avoid watching the news (mainly unsuccessfully), I had time to watch Harlan Coben ‘s Safe on Netflix. He’s one of my favorite suspense/thriller authors, and I’m happy to say this eight episode series is just as full of shocking twists and turns as his books. So, if you have Netflix and you haven’t watched this yet, you definitely should. 


In addition to a great story and outstanding cast, there was another thing that caught my attention. The theme song that played at the beginning of each episode is one of those songs that gets stuck in your head. About midway through my binge watching I had to find out what this song was and who was the artist. The song is Glitter & Gold, and the singer is Barns Courtney, a British folk/pop/rock musician. He may look like a young British schoolboy, but he has the gritty voice of a whisky-fueled old soul. The song is amazing so check it out.


And if that doesn’t make you want to embrace your inner badass, check out Fire.


Happy World Teachers Day!


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World Teachers Day is such an important day to recognize, I can’t believe it almost slipped by me this year. Thankfully, I remembered two hours before the end of the day so I’m sending a huge THANK YOU to all you teachers out there!

The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.

~ Dan Rather ~

Far Side Friday!

Nicole does a Farside Friday each week which is the perfect way to end the work week. As you can see from the first comic this week, she knows me too well!

The BookWorm Drinketh

Welcome back, everyone, to another Far Side Friday!!!

I saw the first comic going up for this week and had to dedicate it to the lovely Kim over that By Hook or By Book who, no matter how many times I tell her, will never listen when I say that following Politics is bad for her health! Well, I think that you’ll get a kick out of this one, Kim!

Cheers!! I hope everyone has a great weekend, and because I haven’t posted it in a while, if any of you want to pick up your own copy of the Far Side Collection from Gary Larson, you can find it for purchase HERE!

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Day of Reckoning



Well, today’s the day where Senators will view the FBIs  report on their “supplemental investigation” of Judge Kavanaugh. I’m not holding out much hope given the constraints that were put on the parameters of the investigation by the White House and Republicans. Neither am I hopeful that any of the so-called “swing votes,” Republican Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake will vote with their conscience. No, this sham report will give them the excuse to vote with their party. Sadly, I believe within the next 48-72 hours another perjurer and sexual predator will join Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Since I shared my own story with you last Thursday, I’ve emailed a condensed version to my Senator, Susan Collins, and even though I’m not a constituent: Senators Murkowski, Flake, and Democrat Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin who are facing tough re-elections in Red states. I also included the link to an article that was featured in the Scientific American last week on the subject of trauma and memory, which John, from https://noirencyclopedia.wordpress.com so thoughtfully provided in his comments. Near the end of her four hour testimony last week there was this heartbreaking exchange between Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy and Dr. Ford:

On Tuesday night Mr. Trump mocked Dr. Ford at a rally in Mississippi.

Am I surprised that Mr. Trump erupted like an infected boil? Of course not. I’m shocked that it took five days for him to once again show vile he is. And while it hurt to watch, neither am I surprised at his syncophantic audience cheering and jeering. What dismayed me the most was that young boy who stood behind Trump to his left side, expressionless, just taking everything in. I truly fear what lasting impressions we are leaving on the next generation.


I know how tempting it is for many of us to throw up our hands and give up right now. I’m so depressed that I’d like nothing better than to crawl under my bed and hide until 2020. No matter what happens with Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, we have the opportunity to effect real change next month, so I beg of you, don’t sink into apathy, as tempting as it may be. Get out there and VOTE! Don’t let these past couple of weeks be for naught.