Friday, December 31, 2010

A Creepy Classic Review: Dickens's A Christmas Carol

This month’s Creepy Classic and the last post of this year is Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.  For starters – for those that don’t know – it’s a novella.  It can’t be more than a hundred pages, depending on the printed version you have.  But that’s neither her no there. It’s a “hellofa” good read – which is much more to the point.

When I first learned of this story, I was a child. In fact, I was a performer in a play of this classic.  I won’t tell you what character I played, but it’s memory still haunts me to this day.  I love this story back then and nothing’s changed.  I remember being smitten by the iconic words that Dickens wrote that were burned into my memory.  Strangely, when I recently picked up this book, it struck me to view how nearly every word/detail written by Dickens is – to this day – still described/regurgitated how he intended.  It’s amazing how close we’ve all carry this tale in our hearts.  That's a true indicator of a classic.

Scrooge was, at the beginning, a lost soul, very much like so many people today.  He’s lived his life in isolation, cursing the world around him.  It seems far likely to imagine an individual like that today, rather than some 150+ years ago.  But the truth is despite the advancement of technology, people I suspect are probably the same now as they were back then.  The world is most likely still filled with too many cynical, money-hungy Scrooges.  And that’s what makes this story more relevant.

The story begins with the disgusting reality of who Scrooge is; an unfeeling, rich ogre.  They say your past shapes you and I wonder if that’s what happened with Scrooge.  He grew up with more means and opportunity than most and eventually an opportunity for love.  Yet then he threw it all away and chose to live a lonely existance.   And over the years he was transformed into lonely, unbearable grouch?  Oh, I loved this tale so very, very much.

The writing and story are so timeless it’s inexplicable.  And let's face it, we all have a bit of Scrooge buried deep within that surfaces from time to time.  For so many people, life can be terribly daunting, just like how it was for Scrooge.  But to have the opportunity at a second chance – to infuse happiness back in an otherwise morose life is priceless, practically a Christmas miracle.  

This tale is a 5 for me, hands down. I love, love, love Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Until next time….try something different, read a classic.

Mina B.

Fridays with Fred: The Glutton

It’s New Year’s Eve, folks and Fred’s already overindulged.  Seriously though, this JRT has caused some real drama in my household during the holidays.  Christmas was at my house this year.  Two days filled with family and feasting was total fun, but a ton of work.  In my opinion it was easily controlled chaos with one exception, Fred.  Ya see…Fred had visitors too.  And frankly, he was a bad doggie!  I finally lost it when I saw him pull my daughter’s plate off the table – with his teeth - and began devouring the food with his buddies.  I'm sure those rascals planned it.  But the point is...I totally caught him - the little mastermind, taking one for the team!  Like I said…baaaaad doggie!  He partied way to hard and now he’s paying for it.  Serves him right!

See where gluttony gets you, Fred?
Want to see more of Fred? Try here - it seems to be a fitting picture to go with this post.  Before I forget, please give a shout out to Schatze over at Mary's from BookHounds.  Her phoDOGraphy is the best!

Be safe this holiday. I hope you enjoy your New Year’s Eve.

Until next time… cheers to a fantastic New Year!

Mina B.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Blogoversary & Free Book Contest

Okay, so this month’s my first Blogoversary. Yeah!  *pops champagne cork*  I think that’s a pretty big deal.  I would have been celebrating earlier but I was in somewhat of a quandary. Since I created my blog in December of 2009, I didn’t officially begin blogging until January of this year. So when I decided to celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ve come up with a solution... I’m doing a special Free Book Contest that runs part in December & January to honor both the creation and implementation of my Mystic Mind blog. How’s that sound?

Now to also pay homage to all my hard work – not only as a reader, but as an aspiring writer - I’ve posted a few prologues and or chapters of my work. See three of my urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels: Mystic Deeds, Blessed One and A Vampire's Silent Genes. These are stories I’ve been slaving away at for quite some time so I do hope you enjoy.  As for the status of each of these works, well, God willing, I hope to have good news in the 2011 year. With that, I promise to keep you posted.

And now, on my Free Book Contest to honor my first Blogoversary.  First and foremost, I am a huge fan of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series.  And so, naturally, I want to share what I think is one of the best YA series out there with my fans. If you haven’t read the series, please do. I promise you’re in for a wild ride. Anyway, I finally got my hands on one delicious copy of Last Sacrifice. One lucky winner will win a copy of Mead’s Last Sacrifice. My Free Book Contest starts today December 27 and will run until January 10, 2011, end of day. That’s two weeks folks to enter and win.

See details below and don’t miss out! 

To enter

You MUST be a follower of my blog and MUST fill out this entry form.
(Note:  This contest is open to US only.)

Extra entries
+3 NEW/OLD Followers on Twitter @MinaBurrows
+1 Retweet this (limited to one RT)
+2 Like me on Facebook/Mina Burrows 


Thanks again for celebrating my first blogovesary with me.
Until next time...
Mina B.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fridays with Fred: Stocking Stuffers

My Fridays with Fred today is all about stocking stuffers. His primarily. I decided to give him his toys and treats early this year because... he deserves it. I stuffed his paw stocking with bonies, greenies, treats, a rope toy and a Frisbee. I’d say he made out like a bandit but that’s me. One of his favorite toys is a Frisbee. I’ll have to get some pix for next year of him in action with the darn thing. It’s pretty hilarious. Anyway, from the bottom of my heart and Fred’s too…Happy Holidays!

Happy. Happy. Joy. Joy.

Want to see more of Fred? Try here and here. Also, remember to check out Mary at Book Hounds and her wonderful phoDOGraphy.

Until next time…

Mina B.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mina’s Shorts: The Beast

I sometimes get lost in my imagination when it comes to writing.  As far as an idea goes, I get inspired by something as random as a passerby’s comment or words on the back of a cereal box. From time to time, an idea will throttle my brain until I write something down.  In the spirit of these random thoughts, I thought I’d start doing a segment on my blog called Mina’s Shorts. They’ll be most likely around 300 words and creepy in nature, cuz…that’s just my thing and all. Anyway, here’s one I scribbled recently called The Beast.  Enjoy.

The Beast
By Mina Burrows

“Kill the beast!”

A savage cry bellowed from the amassed crowd, followed by a surge of approving screams.

The group’s leader, a domineering hunk, approached center stage. His voice boomed across the sea of onlookers, “Silence!”

The crowd simmered as the speaker summoned the beast on stage. The beast was massive, excessively pale, and bare-chested with a nipple ring. His head covered with a burlap sack – a seemingly better alternative to his face. His black pants were ordinary except for a slit in the back, allowing for the beast’s winding tail.

Flanked with two beefy guards, the beast jerked ferociously, his tail whipping in defiance.

A busty beauty called out.

“Let me have it,” she cried. “I want that bloody tail.”

The leader's eyes honed in on the woman. She wore a tight crimson ensemble, revealing breasts begging to be touched. Lust assaulted him and he sneered a reply, “That can be arranged.”

The woman winked at him, silently agreeing to his demands, her desire increasing tenfold. The leader waved her on stage and she hurried in response, her matching Gucci shoes clicked in tandem.

The leader grunted at her enthusiasm, while the crowd roared.

The beast stilled, sensing her presence.

“I know who you are,” the beast growled, unable to see her face.

The red seductress laughed, unsheathing her dagger. The knife gleamed against the harsh lighting, making the crowd go wild.

She snatched the tail, her brain engrossed in her task. As she readied her knife, she felt a nudge on her shoulder.


She ignored it, lost in her salacious mind.

“Sweetheart!” The tap turned into push. “Can you hear me?”

The distant voice finally pulled Delia, the day dreaming housewife, out of her musings.

“What?” She glanced at her husband in surprise.

“You’re day dreaming again,” her hubby replied.

Delia grinned. “Only about you, you beast…I mean, sweetie.”

The End

Until next time…read a little, write a little. Yeah, that’s my thing.

Mina B.

Copyright 2010 by Mina Burrows.

All rights reserved.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fridays with Fred: Under Covers

I said it on my last post. I’ve been sick. I mean really sick. In fact, every person in my house has been ill, except for Fred. Lucky dog. But Fred is really the best when you’re under the weather. While my entire family has been laid up for the past week, Dr. Fred has made his rounds, giving us all attention, snuggles and kisses when he knows we feel blue. He’s just the best that way, really. This picture below is a natural pose of him, burrowing underneath my covers – a favorite pastime of his. It so nice to have such a faithful hound like Fred. He’s there for me no matter what. Even though I’m feeling like crap, my buddy, Fred makes it that much more tolerable.

Want to see more of Fred? Try here and here.
Also, check out Mary at Book Hounds and her wonderful phoDOGraphy.

Until next time…try not to catch the holiday flu like I did. Ugh. It’s the worst.

Mina B.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Author Alert: Elisabeth Staab

I’m back. I was on a sick hiatus. No really…I was sick, I swear. In fact, I’m still suffering from a plethora of ailments – all due to the common cold and a case of the stomach flu. I know. I know…and believe me, it sucked. And during the holidays too. Ugh. And yet, even as I sit here and type, hack and spew, I’m still dedicated to bring you enriched paranormal romance content. Which brings me to my next post…

For those of you that haven’t checked out Elisabeth Staab…please do. She’s a talented author that I stumbled upon – I can’t remember where…maybe twitter.  Anyway, she writes paranormal romance books that are hawt, hawt, HAWT! Catch my drift? In fact, her first novel is of course is about vampires called, Power From Darkness and it set to be released in Spring 2012. I previously read the first chapter of this book and let me tell you…it was really good.  I’m definitely a fan and can’t wait to sink my teeth into the series.

And while you wait for the series, Staab has been feeding her fan base with titillating reads called, Risqué Story Series, Beautiful Blue. This series Staab writes is so much fun to read and what’s even better is it’s FREE.  Yes, free…on her blog – click here to get started on the first 4 chapters.  She’s up to 20 chapters now so follow her on twitter to know when she releases her next chapter/installment.

And just look at Staab's main character here...she is beautiful and blue, of course.  Despite her alien-like features, the unique blue female character, Genevieve, couldn’t be more human and probably more likeable. After reading only a chapter, I’m sure you’ll be hooked on the series. So be sure and check it out. I mean for cripes sake…they're free.

Until next time…check out Elisabeth Staab and see Risqué Story Series, Beautiful Blue

Mina B.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fridays with Fred: A Car Ride

Today's Friday with Fred is all about car rides.  My dog Fred is notorious for sitting in the front seat and popping his nose out the window.  He loves the windy sensation, like most dogs.  Fred also knows how to roll the window down.  Yes...I'm dead serious.  What do you expect from a JRT.  Overall, he's fairly calm when riding shotgun and just look at that smile!  He's the best.  The only thing that makes him spaz out is the windshield wipers.  If you happen to turn those bad boys on and Fred's in the car...look out. 

The Best Day Ever

On another note, I have another adorable picture of two of Fred's friends, Darcy and Sophie.  Don't they look all sassy and cuddly?  Thanks for letting me share Carla.  Fred loves the babes.

Darcy & Sophie

Anyway...enjoy your weekend.

Until next a little, while snuggling with your pooch.

Mina B.

Want to see more of Fred?  Try here and here.   Also, check out Mary at Book Hounds and her wonderful phoDOGraphy.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy Movie Update

So I was super excited when I saw this MTV interview with Richelle Mead.  Since Last Sacrifice came out two days ago, the series has been on my brain.  Book bloggers are going insane, spreading the Last Sacrifice reviews like a bloody virus on the internet.  I’ve barely surfed, blogged, read email or tweeted for fear I’ll run across a Last Sacrifice spoiler, thus ruining it for me.  Normally, I could care less about spoilers but oh no…not with this book. And so…while I wait for my LS fix, I shall discuss the next best thing…the Vampire Academy film production.

If you get a chance, read this article, where Mead discusses about the process of bringing her bestselling Vampire Academy series to the big screen.  Authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyers have substantial creative input in the film production of their bestsellers but what about Richelle Mead?  From the article, it doesn’t look like much is going on pre-production wise, but you never know with Hollywood.  Could production start as early as 2011?  Ooooh, wouldn’t that be divine?

Until next time…Last Sacrifice is here and the Vampire Academy movie could be right around the corner.

Mina B.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review: Rachel Caine's Kiss of Death

I finally finished Rachel Caine’s Kiss of Death.  And oh…it was soooo good.  Truthfully, I laughed out loud so many times…it was ridiculous.  Caine – like always - nails these Morganville characters so brilliantly that it made me enjoy Kiss of Death that much more.

First off…so much has happened to Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael. Claire and Shane’s relationship seems to be going to the next level.  Her parents aren’t that happy about it, but what parents of a 17 year old would be?  Naturally they want what’s best for Claire and hardly think Shane's the guy for her.  But with all his slacker tendencies, he still kind, gentle, and loving.  Maybe not all the time but at least when it counts.  On the other hand, Eve and Michael’s relationship is somewhat in question.  The strain in the relationship is only natural of course, since he’s undead and she’s still breathing.  It’s not like they can be together forever – unless she’s turned.  And if we know anything about the Morganville series – no one gets turned that easily.

All romance aside, Kiss of Death was all about a road trip. Specifically, Michael, Eve, Shane, and Claire were given free passes to exit Morganville so that Michael could record with a music producer in Dallas.  There’s one small caveat…Oliver was their assigned escort.  Part of my laugh out loud moments were from the visuals Caine descibed of the Glass house bunch driving in a car with Oliver.  You see…I’m from Texas and no one can appreciate the literary descriptions of flat lands, endless pavements and po-dunk towns more than a Texan.  Add in set of loveable Morganville characters and you have one hell of a road trip.  Just about everything you think could go wrong does – and that added to the hilarity.  Oliver was a pisser. I just adored the way initially (in book 1) he pretended to be a fun-loving hippy/coffee shop owner when deep down he was a sadistic, power hungry bloodsucking lunatic.  And did I mention he’s the road trip escort.  Hah Hah! Oooh he so vile at times it’s delicious.  I love how Claire goes toe-to-toe with him. Her character is growing too. Finally, I think she’s earned some respect from Oliver among others.

Even though the book ended on a somber note, there were those feel-good moments that just made the insane trip worthwhile. You can’t help but feel bad for Michael, Eve, Claire & Shane. I won’t tell you what happens because that would be wrong.  Go out and get it, read it and revel in another one of Rachel Caine’s riveting Morganville tales.  It’s classic Morganville so I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

On my KilloMeter, I give Rachel Caine's Kiss of Death a 4.

Until next time…read the killer Morganville Series. You’ll be glad you did.

Mina B.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fridays with Fred: Santa's Little Helper

Well…I had to do it.  A friend of mine gave me this costume a few years back and I’ve never subjected Fred to it, but today…I couldn’t resist.  In case you haven’t figured it out, Fred is an elf.  He doesn't have quite the enthusiasm as Will Ferrell, but hey...he’s still cute as heck.  And I thought with this being the first Friday in December, it was a perfect time for Fred to wear it.  Anyway, as you can see, he’s not too happy about the look, but don’t feel too bad for him.  He's well compensated with these photo shoots in a form of bones, treats, toys, cuddles and tons of attention.

Fred the Elf
Enjoy your weekend.

Until next time…check out Mary at Book Hounds and her beautiful phoDOGraphy.

Mina B.

Want to see more shots of Fred? Click here or here.