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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 Pictures From Totality in Columbia SC

Warning... Photo heavy post. Pictures from totality tailgating at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia where we witnessed 2.5 minutes of awesome jaw dropping totality!

The clouds tried to have their way-(which made for some interesting views and images) but by the grace of God we were able to have some large chunks of time where the sun was completely clear of the clouds. Totality was completely unmarred by the clouds.

I was able to take pictures of the sun leading up to totality (partial eclipse) both through my telescope and through my phone. I used a pair of solar lense glasses over my phone. For my telescope pictures, my telescope had a solar filter at the top, so I could lay my phone on the eyepiece to photograph what I could see in the telescope. I was impressed at how well the images came out actually (for a phone camera that WASN'T actually mounted to the telescope- I didnt think it would work as well as it did.)

I was able to show my children (ages 6, 13, and 16) sun spots during this time (some of which show up in the pictures. As well as what the solar eclipse looks like through the telescope. We all had glasses so we could view it with our eyes too.

The spectacle of seeing the sky go dark during the day, the stars come out, and the sun disappear except for a thin shiny silver ring was as awesome as one would expect. The air cooled (THANKFULLY) and the atmosphere took on an eerie feeling. Everyone cheered as the last bit of sun hid itself behind the moon.

NOTHING, however, can compare to the shock and awe I felt when I spared a moment to look down into my telescope during totality (AFTER I remembered I needed to take the solar filter off if I expected to see anything during that time lol). The effect through my telescope was so shocking that I exclaimed out loud "Oh my gosh!". I've never been so completely shocked at what I've seen through my telescope until that moment. I've been intrigued in the past, as I've found saturn, or jupiter. But this was a feeling of 100% total amazement. A once in a lifetime sight!

Then I took a moment to tighten my telescope down and begged everyone else to come take a peek. I loved watching everyone else experience that too! My middle son exclaimed "I want to be a scientist now!" We saw at least two 'stars' during this darkened moment, one of which was rumored to be a planet- but I did not have time to confirm that with my telescope or charts.

I went back to take pictures through my telescope by setting my phone on top of the eyepiece right before totality ended. Then... far too soon (wish we had longer) some blessed stranger was broadcasting a radio program that called out a countdown for "glasses on"- which meant I needed to get my face away from my telescope and put that solar filter BACK ON the darn thing before I fried my retinas. Thank you dear stranger!

The ring started to grow larger and our focus was drawn to the shadows returning slowly on the ground as the sun started to come back out once again! Totality cleared and the moon started its recession. We had to fight traffic back out of columbia so we didn't stay for the whole recession but every moment was completely worth the hours of traffic jams afterward!

Oh and one other thank you to the couple that we shared our tent with ;) Our tent was a bit big for the space, so thank you for letting us share it with you! It was awesome getting to hang out with you guys!



More Pictures!

I apologize that these are not in order, I will go back later and put them into order and add more captions.

Dusk Before Totality





Clouds fogging up the shot



some of the red tint is from my phone case reflecting off the solar glasses





Another image through my phone

Pictures through my telescope with solar lens cap




Another through my phone



Through my phone right before totality






Saturday, August 12, 2017

Best Plot Twist- Book Lovers Blog Hop


Tweet: What's our favorite plot twist?
We will share during today's entry in the Book Lover's Blog Hop! https://ctt.ec/2ARZ5+
Today's Book Lover's Blog Hop question for our group of authors is... What's the best plot twist you've ever read?

I LOVE plot twists... though I struggle to rank who's is the best. Anne (in Anne of Green Gables) starts off hating Gilbert Blithe and then by the end of the books she's married to him. This is also done in Pride and Prejudice. Jacob likes Bella who likes Edward is solved by the insinuation that Jacob only ever liked Bella because he was destined to imprint on their daughter born later in the story (Twilight Saga). "Luke, I am your father" (OK that one is a movie).

So what’s the best plot twist you’ve read?






Usually anything by Agatha Christie but I think the one that Got me the most was the one in Cat Amongst the Pigeons. I will not spoil it, but it is one of the least known Poirot stories and the first Agatha Christie I ever read.






Skye Hegyes www.skyehegyes.com
I can’t go into detail of the plot twist without revealing the ending of the book, but Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. I was not expecting it, especially in a children’s book. It ripped out my heart and soul, dragged them around, and delivered them back to me broken and bruised, and it was absolutely brilliant.






Laurie Lucking www.landsuncharted.com

I’m going to have to go with a certain plot twist in White Dawn by Sara Baysinger. Her whole Black Tiger series has been full of amazing plot twists, but this one in particular (which I can’t go into because—spoilers!) just blew my mind. Seriously, I was sitting there on my couch in total shock. So crazy and brilliant!





Jebraun Clifford www.jebraunclifford.com

I’d have to say the plot twist in the thriller/mystery Gone Girl. I’d heard there were some unexpected occurrences. But. Wow. Did not expect that one!







Just B. Jordan www.JustBJordan.com 
There have been a lot of fantastic ones out there! The first that comes to my mind is in the Mistborn series. I had to sort through some emotions to come to terms with it! 









One of the first to come to mind is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini which has lots of twists. Pretty much any book by Agatha Christie deserves a mention here too. 









What about you, dear reader? What is your favorite plot twist? Leave your suggestion in the comments below!



Book Lovers Blog Hop Schedule!

(Links are likely to not go live until the date of)

1st August   www.JoLinsdell.com
What are you reading this month? TBR list for August

What’s your favourite genre to read?

Where do you get your books?

Best read of 2017 so far?

Favourite author?

Favourite book cover design?


Preferred book format? (ebook, print, audio)

How do you organise your bookshelves ?

Favourite book to movie adaption?

Most evil villain?

What’s the best plot twist you’ve read?

13th August http://www.cjbrightley.com
Favourite fictional character?

14th August www.JustBJordan.com
Best fictional friendship?

15th August  www.saderena.com/blog
Best book series?

16th August http://www.angelaguidolinauthor.co.uk/blog
Most thought provoking book you’ve read?

17th August  www.tabithacaplinger.com
Top 3 books you think everyone should read

18th August www.skyehegyes.com 
Where do you post your reviews of books you’ve read?

19th August www.landsuncharted.com
What was the last book you gave a 5 star review?

20th August  kmcarrollblog.wordpress.com
Which book do you wish had a sequel?

21st August www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com 
Which author would you most want to interview and why?

22nd August www.JoLinsdell.com  
How often do you go to the library?

23rd August www.belindabekkers.com
Goodreads challenge/reading goal for this year? On track so far?

24th August www.FabianSpace.com 
Do your family/friends support your reading habit?

25th August  http://theliteraryapothecary.blogspot.com 
Do you enter book giveaways? Last prize you won?

26th August  www.JustBJordan.com 
Name a book that made you cry

27th August  www.jebraunclifford.com 
Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself being an author in the future?

28th August www.brandypotterbooks.com
When did you get into reading?

29th August www.skyehegyes.com 
What do you do to get out of a reading slump?

30th August www.brandypotterbooks.com
If a genie were to grant you 3 bookish wishes, what would you ask for and why? 

31st August  www.landsuncharted.com
Do you take part in readathons? Why? If yes, which are your favourites? 




Friday, August 11, 2017

Most Evil Villain- Book Lovers Blog Hop


Tweet: Who's voted the most evil villain? Book Bloggers Blog Hop shares our choices! https://ctt.ec/cXf3U+
Today and tomorrow I am participating in the Book Lovers Blog Hop. During this blog hop every host gets to ask a group of authors some reading related questions. Today I'll be asking six authors who they think is the most evil villain. There are links at the end of this post to the rest of the Blog Hop days as well!

It can be pretty hard to nail down just how evil a bad guy is. Most baddies have a reason for doing what they are doing, even in some twisted way. To me, the most evil bad guy is one who takes away the humanity of a person, stripping them of the right to choose, the right to be different. IT in A Wrinkle In Time comes close for me. IT does this by telepathically taking over the victim's mind and forcing them to conform. To top all this off, IT isn't so easy to defeat completely either! (I love Villains that never completely go away!)


The mind is a delicate and valuable thing. The mind is what makes you, well... you. I've seen first hand what damage to a mind can do. Stripping a once hopeful person of all their dreams, making them forget things they once knew, altering their personality so they are no longer who they once were. Villains that toy with their victims mind, manipulating and/or damaging them in any way will always win the Most Evil Victim award in my opinion.

 What do you ladies think?

Brandy Potter - www.brandypotterbooks.com
Defining the most evil villain is hard to do. I think for me it comes down to motivation. For example Moriarty to me isn’t evil, he is just motivated by using his wits to gain what he wants. Then you have Sauron and Voldemort who are absolutely evil, but are they the MOST evil. Perhaps. Voldemort though is a “children’s” evil which fails to portray depravity. Sauron’s evil is masked by the other villains in the story who are concentrated on more. Except for maybe in the Silmarillion, but that is like reading the begats section of the bible for me, so I couldn’t choose him. So I took the road of choosing the character that made my skin crawl and found that it was none other than Jack the Ripper. In Alex Grecian’s The Devil’s Workshop he is portrayed as “Saucy Jack” another name that Scotland Yard gave to the notorious serial killer. He has rules, yes but the way his mind works is chilling… chilling. Coming in a close second is Dr. Peter Teleborian in Stig Larsen’s The Girl that shook The Hornet's Nest. To explain his evil is difficult because I could give away the ending and some would argue Nils Bjurman, Martin Vanger or even Zalachenko were more evil. All of them were chilling, but what Teleborian did to Lisbeth is appalling.

Jo Linsdell www.JoLinsdell.com
There are so many evil villains out there who would easily merit the top spot, but I’m going to go with Ackerman from the Shepherd series by Ethan Cross. Father of Fear (the third book in the series) is when we see just how evil, and twisted this man really is. As far as serial killers go he is definitely at the top of the list with how much he enjoys torturing his victims. What makes him the most evil though is the experimenting he does on his own family. Ackerman Jr really didn’t have much of a chance with a father like that… and although he holds his own ranking in the evil villain list, he’s nothing compared to his father. 


Skye Hegyes www.skyehegyes.com
I think it’s safe to say that the most evil villain in the fictional world is someone everyone can hate with a passion that’s almost holy, and that’s Professor Dolores Umbridge. I mean, how can you not hate the evil little toad of a woman. She was specifically cruel to anyone who did not go along with her exact thoughts of how things should be done. Ugh! Monster!





Belinda Bekkers www.belindabekkers.com
I think Cruella del Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmations and Professor Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories are pretty unbeatable. Pap in the Mosquito Coast is also evil.


Jebraun Clifford www.jebraunclifford.com
Villains should be complicated and three-dimensional. They can’t just be bad because they’re bad. They’ve got to have a good motivation for what they do! To me, a terrible and chilling villain is the Queen in the Hall from Elizabeth Marie Pope’s The Perilous Gard because she doesn’t believe she is evil, she’s only doing what she must to keep her and her faerie folks’ way of life secure. There’s no reasoning with an antagonist like that! 



Just B. Jordan www.JustBJordan.com 
When I hear “most evil villain” my mind instantly goes to Sephiroth from Final Fantasy. (I know, they’re games, not books. Haha) In my childhood Sephiroth was the baddest bad guy out there. My brothers and I would have conversations about how cruelly evil he could be. I think in my mind he will always hold the Most Evil trophy. ;)







I have to go with One from Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones. He’s this head of the galactic council who has extended his lifespan with various treatments to make sure he never has to pass his rule to anyone else. And he’s ruthlessly destroyed the descendents of the true reigning house, turning them into slaves and worse. No blood is shown, of course, but it’s very implied. I think the implications are so horrible because your mind gets to fill them in. The things he did to one of the heroes … I just shudder, even now. And he does it with a smile and completely friendly logic.


How about you, dear readers? Do you have a Villain that you love to hate? Leave a comment for all of us in the comments section below!



Book Lovers Blog Hop Schedule!

(Links are likely to not go live until the date of)

1st August   www.JoLinsdell.com
What are you reading this month? TBR list for August

What’s your favourite genre to read?

Where do you get your books?

Best read of 2017 so far?

Favourite author?

Favourite book cover design?


Preferred book format? (ebook, print, audio)

How do you organise your bookshelves ?

Favourite book to movie adaption?

Most evil villain?

What’s the best plot twist you’ve read?

13th August http://www.cjbrightley.com
Favourite fictional character?

14th August www.JustBJordan.com
Best fictional friendship?

15th August  www.saderena.com/blog
Best book series?

16th August http://www.angelaguidolinauthor.co.uk/blog
Most thought provoking book you’ve read?

17th August  www.tabithacaplinger.com
Top 3 books you think everyone should read

18th August www.skyehegyes.com 
Where do you post your reviews of books you’ve read?

19th August www.landsuncharted.com
What was the last book you gave a 5 star review?

20th August  kmcarrollblog.wordpress.com
Which book do you wish had a sequel?

21st August www.upstreamwriter.blogspot.com 
Which author would you most want to interview and why?

22nd August www.JoLinsdell.com  
How often do you go to the library?

23rd August www.belindabekkers.com
Goodreads challenge/reading goal for this year? On track so far?

24th August www.FabianSpace.com 
Do your family/friends support your reading habit?

25th August  http://theliteraryapothecary.blogspot.com 
Do you enter book giveaways? Last prize you won?

26th August  www.JustBJordan.com 
Name a book that made you cry

27th August  www.jebraunclifford.com 
Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself being an author in the future?

28th August www.brandypotterbooks.com
When did you get into reading?

29th August www.skyehegyes.com 
What do you do to get out of a reading slump?

30th August www.brandypotterbooks.com
If a genie were to grant you 3 bookish wishes, what would you ask for and why? 

31st August  www.landsuncharted.com
Do you take part in readathons? Why? If yes, which are your favourites?