Women of History: Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross

Perhaps one of the most fabled females of early American (ie United States) history is Betsy Ross.  Legend has her designing the American flag, consisting of a ring of stars representing the states as well as thirteen stripes representing the colonies that started the fight.  Debate over the actual designer remains, as its largely thought that Ms. Ross did not in fact design that flag.  Still, I thought it would be interesting to look into the life of the woman legend has claimed. Continue reading

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Bookit #16: Harper & The One Night Stand

Title:  Harper and the One Night Stand
Author:  R. Linda
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Format:  Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: B-

This is the third review of the books in R. Linda’s Scandalous series.  (Book One and Two are reviewed previously).  In this book we get the point of views of Nate and Harper.  Nate is the older brother of Book 2’s leading lady, Indie.  Harper was a guest at the wedding, and Kenzie (sister of Book 1’s Ryder)’s best friend.  She also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Nate’s cousin Brody.

Nate & Harper have a one-night stand at the wedding, and then for three months keep showing up at each other’s houses, having a string of one-night-stands.  Harper finally ends it when she realises that they are perhaps not as stringless as they had begun.

I have to admit I found Brody’s part in this story puzzling.  In this book he is written as being still a bit in love with Harper, yet in the previous book he was pretty much brushing the relationship off as something in the past and that they were just friends.  So it seems a little weird that in the six months that seemed to have passed since Book 2 that Brody suddenly is persuing her again.

Like the others I enjoyed this as a light and fluffy romance.  The angst was there, but almost brushed over.  I wouldn’t call this book very deep or meaty, but it was a fun way to wile the afternoon away.

I do like that this book has carried over some of the background plot points of the previous books.  Johnny and Julie, the two restaurant owners who helped Ryder when he needed it are woven through the book as they are Harper’s Aunt and Uncle.  The other two couples from Book 1 & 2 are developed more in these books as they return from college.

The couples tend to prefer having odd nicknames for each other.  I felt that the use of Friend here just seemed a bit weird.  I can’t say exactly why, so maybe its just a personal preference.

Bookit #15: Indie & The Brother’s Best Friend

Title:  Indie & The Brother’s Best Friend (Scandalous # 2)
Author:  R Linda
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Format:  EBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade:  B-

This is the second in a series by R.Linda called The Scandalous series (although I’m not entirely sure how any of these stories are particularly scandalous…).  The first book was about Bailey during her last year in high school.  In the second book, the author turns to Bailey’s best friend Indie as she deals with her long abiding crush on her brother’s best friend.

The author also takes a POV turn, this time deciding to do it from both the POV of Indie, but also Lincoln, her love interest.  In Bailey’s book (which I reviewed here) it was solely in Bailey’s POV.  The characters are also aged up 3 years and are in their final year of college.

I found this book just as enjoyable as the first one.  The author seems to slip more into Australian terms more oftne in this book, but unlike the first book she never mentions the setting country so Its easier to just assume its in Australia.

I will admit that I found Jack’s play acting a bit much at times.  I find the “Oh, don’t worry, he’s gay” plot a bit overused.  At least in this story Jack remains gay, unlike a book I read a few years ago that had a surprise twist that somehow the supposedly gay best friend had fallen for the main girl (The novel was a bit of a train wreck to be honest and I can’t remember the title).

There is also a bit where the happily ever after came (which I’m all for) but I found it less satisfying because there were issues the two had that they never seemed to discuss and seemed automatically resolved because they were suddenly together.

This story does incorperate more of the minor characters of the first book, even though The POV has changed.  Kenzie, Ryder’s sister returns, as does Indie’s brother Nate.  I’ve read both of them and shall be reviewing them soon.

I think it has a bit of the idealism of the first book, which may or may not be a good thing going forward.

Happy Independence Day! (US)

Happy Independence Day to my readers from the US.  Today is a post day, but as its a National Holiday and busy day for many of us celebrating, I decided to do another simple post, this time random facts about July 4th.

To my non-US readers, I swear this whole month won’t be a FREEEDOOOM month.  While the theme of the Women of History posts will be American, it will otherwise not be US centric like this.  Happy Republic Day to those in the Philippines, and a happy belated Canada Day to those in Canada.

So here we go, some interesting facts about Independance Day

  • – July 4th became a federal holiday in 1870, nearly a hundred years after the country was founded.  It became a paid federal holiday in 1938.
  • The vote on the Declaration of Independence took place on July 2, the publication took place on July 4th (with two signatures including John Hancock’s) and wasn’t completely signed till August of that year.  We also wouldn’t have ‘won our independence’  till 1783.  John Adams reportedly observed Independence Day on July 2nd and considered the 4th to be wrong.
  • Two of the men who worked on the Declaration – John Adams and Thomas Jefferson – would become President.  They also would die on July 4, 1826, 50 years later, just hours apart.  James Monroe, another president, died on July 4, 1831.  Calvin Coolidge was born on Independence day in 1872, only a few short years before the centennial celebration.
  • The Philippines celebrates July 4th as their Republic Day because they were recognized as an independent Nation and no longer a US territory on July 4, 1946.
  • We did not have a written plan for our government till November 1777.  It would not be fully ratified until March 1, 1781.  The Articles of Confederation would be scrapped in favor of the US Constitution in 1787. So the government we are all familar with didn’t exist for 11 years after the Declaration of Independence.  The Constitution was effective just a few months before the US’ 12th birthday in 1789.
  • The first time the 50 state flag was displayed was July 4, 1960. Hawaii and Alaska had become states 10 months earlier, but they waited till the 4th to present the new flag.  It has been 58 years since there was a change made to the Flag.
  • The Freedom of Information Act was signed on July 4, 1966 by President Johnson.

July 4th Movie Post

Since it’s the week of the Fourth of July, I figured I’d start the month with a post about my favorite US government focused films and TV shows.   I’ve come up with a list of movies and TV shows that I feel are good and also happen to have that theme.  Hopefully you’ll agree with me.   I’m sure there are many films and shows that should be on the list that I don’t include.   Some of this is because I simply haven’t watched them.  So feel free to suggest other films and tv shows in the comments area.  I know I’m missing quite a few of the classics.

West Wing (1999-2006)
West Wing was a liberal slanted TV show that showcased the inner workings of an Administration and written by Aaron Sorkin whose known for fast witty dialogue.  It starred Martin Sheen as President Jed Bartlet, and included many famous faces over the years including Alan Alada, Jimmy Smits, Ed Begley Jr., Rob Lowe,  and many others.  This is one of the best written shows in my opinion and remains one of my favorites.  While it is liberal slanted (The administration is democrat) I feel they try their best to portray the Republican characters with dignity.  I do feel I should warn you – the finales tend to hit you hard with feels.

Designated Survivor (2016-?)

Designated Survivor is a show that explores the contingency of the Designated Survivor.  When an attack on the capital leaves the President and most of the government dead, Tom Kirkman is sworn in as President as he was the designated survivor for the State of the Union speech.  He must deal with conspiracy and rebuilding his nation after such a severe attack.  IT has an excellent cast led by Kiefer Sutherland  and excellent writing for the most part.  While it has been cancelled by ABC, I still hope it gets renewed by another distribution company.

Independence Day

You can’t have an Independence day theme without mentioning the movie with the day in the title.  This sci-fi thriller has aliens attacking us, and the world meeting the challenge.  It has an amazing Cast (Bill Pullman, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, Brent Spiner and Judd Hirsch) and a good script.   The sequel is also pretty good, although I prefer the first movie.

The American President

This is more of a romance film then one focused on the US government.  It is also has Aaron Sorkin (who wrote the majority of West Wing) on the writing staff, so maybe that’s why I liked it.  In this film the President (played by Michael Douglas) falls in love with a lobbyist played by Annette Bening.  It’s a cute romance, which brings us to our last selection.  Also features Martin Sheen as the Chief of Staff before he would go become the President himself in Sorkin’s West Wing.

Dave

Dave is a romantic comedy featuring Kevin Kline as Dave, a temp office employee who has a side job as being President X’s double.  This comes in handy when the actual president has a stroke while having an affair.  The Chief of Staff brings in Dave to act as the president for a while so they could hide the president’s condition.  And he manages to convince everyone, including the President’s wife (Sigourney Weaver) for awhile.  But the COS is up to no good, and Dave has to decide whether to go along with the plan or  change things.  Also this movie has Ben Kingsley as the Vice President and Frank A. Langella Jr as Bob Alexander the corrupt Chief of Staff.

June & Nano

Next month is the second yearly Camp Nano session.  I will be participating once again, although my blog won’t feature writing like it did in April.  However, I plan on making a mid month and an end-of-month post about my progress for those who are interested.  I’m hoping to spend this year’s big Nano in November on an original story, so once again I’ll be working on finishing up WIPs and stories that I owe that are vastly overdue. *cough*christmas*cough*

I’m keeping my goals low this time, however.  My goal right now is 15,000 words, and I’m hoping to have at least one story complete.  If I manage to meet that goal I can move the goalpost, but I’d prefer not to cut it back like I did in April.   Hopefully I won’t be as sick as I was in April either.

I do have a month of posts planned.  There are still a few blanks, but quite a few are filled up.  I plan to continue to achieve the monday-wednesday-friday schedule with each friday being the day I post the Women of History series.  Since its the month of the USA’s independence day, I plan on focusing on American women for the month.  I also have three bookit reviews already scheduled for the mouth, a movie post, and of course the two Camp Nano posts.   So, hopefully, there will be alot to see from me next month.

Its hard to believe that we are already halfway done with the year now.  I believe July 3 is the true halfway mark, where we have as many days behind us as we do going forward.  2018 has been a mixed bag so far, but I’m always for being optimistic.

Bookit #14: Bailey & The Bad Boy

Title: Bailey & The Bad Boy (Scandalous Series #1)
Author: R. Linda
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Format: Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)

Grade: B

I enjoyed this book.  It was a bit cliché in some ways but it didn’t make me want to throw it out the window.  It was cute, and the characters were developed enough that I cared to find out what happened.

The main plot is that Bailey, a 17-year-old high school student, has recently been dumped by her seemingly perfect boyfriend.  During a road trip planned before the breakup, she finds her boyfriend making out with her seemingly perfect best friend.  Obviously Chace & Christina were not as perfect as Bailey thought.

Along comes Ryder, a boy who used to be Chace’s best friend.  He offers to be her fake boyfriend to piss her ex off.  She eventually accepts, and finds herself re-evaluating a lot of people in her life, including herself.   As always, hijinks and drama ensue.

My main issues with this novel were the setting inconsistencies.  At one point it is mentioned that it is based in California.  However, the main characters have a 2 month “summer” vacation over Christmas.  Given the Author is in fact from Australia, it makes more sense to pretend I just never saw the mention of California.  I also don’t see how teenagers can just disappear from school as much as these kids seem to.  Cutting out of their classes with seemingly no consequences for that.  The one character leaves for a month.  At my high school, you’d be risking being held back and repeating the grade.

I also think that is a bit idealistic, but that’s okay.  I plan on reading the next book, Indie & The brothers Best Friend next.  We will see if it continues to be enjoyable.  I did not have that experience with the Holiday HIgh series I started to read/review earlier this year (hence why only one got reviewed in the end).