I Tried, But I Just Can’t Do It! James Potter #2

You will see why I could not read another word of this second book of fan fiction. I also think I am done with fan fiction. Just not my cup of tea.

So, I started the 2nd book, and after the first couple chapters, I have decided to keep reading it. I say this because very early on in the story, there are 2 people who tracked down a goblin to fix a painting. A moving painting, of course. A painting of Voldemort that is basically in shreds, but can still communicate.

Really? REALLY? I actually said to myself “Come on! You’ve got to be kidding me.” Sorry Mr. Lippert, I just personally feel that this is a ridiculous way to take a story line, even if it is fan fiction. And yes, it is strictly my opinion, and not worth a can of pork-and-beans, but I find this almost comical.

 

Be aware, spoilers are ahead, and likely quite a few of them.

The first one being….

Arthur Weasley is dead. Yep, he had a heart attack. Killed him off, right at the beginning of the book. During his surprise 78 ½ birthday party. That’s probably normal for wizards, right? Molly said it was the only chance they had to surprise him, and he still got one over on them.

So we have the funeral, Draco and his wife show up, James gets his 1st pair of glasses, and he is NOT happy, and there is some type of shadow stalking him and causing all kinds of ruckus.

Then it is off to school for James’s 2nd year at Hogwarts, and Albus’s 1st year. Of course he is a nervous wreck, convinced he will get sorted into Slytherin, and James of course teasing him about it. An interesting fact, Albus Sirius Potter, ASP, is one of the most poisonous snakes in the world. This of course is why he is getting teased as bad as he is. I thought it was quite the coincidence that his initials worked out like that, when JK was the one who gave him the name. Was there a reason for it?

So, on the train, James and Albus both see the shadow again, and chase it throughout the train. Having it cornered, and it trying to remove the pin holding the cars together, James prepares to stun the shadow, just as Merlin grabs his arm and points it upward, telling James he shouldn’t do that to the Borley. Yes. The Borley. A form of Shade; shadow creatures. Completely magical beings. They grow from magic, so when someone does magic in front of them, they grow larger and stronger. What do they grow into? Wait for it….

Dementors.

Albus manages to get in a squabble with Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son. Soon enough, they reach Hogwarts, and are sorted. Scorpius Malfoy is a Gryffindor, and Albus Potter is a Slytherin.

So, I left off with Albus in Slytherin, and Scorpius in Gryffindor.  Back in the common rooms, the 1st years of Gryffindor refuse to let Scorpius bunk with them, so he goes into the 2nd year’s room and takes James bed. James goes back to the common room, where he gets to be a look out for who knows what kind of trouble these kids are about to get in to. They won’t even tell James, letting him know that this way he can honestly plead ignorance.

Merlin asks for assistance from James, Ralph, and whomever else James chooses. James chooses Rose, and they go on a journey to retrieve some of Merlin’s belongings. (I am sure this will be important later).

As the school year gets to a start, the 2nd years seem less than impressed with their new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Kendrick DeBellows. He is teaching class in the gymnasium (apparently none of the students knew Hogwarts had a gymnasium either) and requiring everyone to get into fit shape before learning the spells.

Albus seems to be taking to the Slytherins rather sportingly, and I am not quite sure if he told his parents yet. He has every intention of trying out for the Quidditch team, an idea that James is none too thrilled about.

Professor DeBellows is not teaching D.A.D.A. spells to the younger students, which has many asking James to form a group like back in his father’s day, when Umbridge wouldn’t let them use spells, and they formed Dumbledore’s Army. James bright idea on who to teach it? The ghost of Cedric Diggory. Yes, he is still floating around the castle, not sure why he is still there, and not sure where he is expected to go.

And this just takes the cake, and I cannot finish this story. While James Sirius Potter is talking to a painting, who is about to tell him some very, very juicy information, he gets a stabbing pain in his forehead, the same spot that has been itching for weeks. What is this, the scar we couldn’t see? Cedric the Ghost can see it; it glows green. Way to be original. And with that, folks, I am done. If you want to know how this ends, if is called James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper. It’s free (It would have to be!), and you can find it on Goodreads.com

I apologize, but I can only handle so much ridiculousness. And yes, this is strictly my own opinion.

James Potter and the Hall of Elder’s Crossing

James Potter and the Hall of Elder’s Crossing

 

G. Norman Lippert

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Not usually one to get myself involved in fan fiction (No, I do not have anything against it) I came across James Potter and the Hall of Elder’s Crossing. It had numerous reviews, mostly positive, some complainers, and there are also more books to this “series” as well.

 

James Potter is the oldest son of Harry and Ginny (Weasley) Potter, and older brother to Albus and Lily Potter. This book begins in James’ 1st year at Hogwarts, and it appears that the more things change, the more they stay the same, i.e., some talk of Voldemort. Yes, he really was killed, and will not be making a guest appearance in this story (at least he hasn’t yet!)

 

James immediately makes 2 friends, Zane, who is in Ravenclaw, and Ralph, who is in Slytherin. Ralph is quiet, reserved, and not the “Slytherin” type, so it will be interesting to see how he grows in these stories.

 

Some things at Hogwarts have changed, such as this trio tends to hang out in all of their common rooms, depending on what they are up to. A Gryffindor and Ravenclaw in the Slytherin common room takes a bit to get used to!

It seems as if James cannot get out from under his father’s shadow, but we do not hear too much about the “old” Hogwarts students, except for small mentions here-and-there.

It seems as if Merlin himself was a horrible magician, and he has a couple people who are trying to bring him back from the grips of death. The alignment of the planets, along with his staff, robe, and throne are all that are needed for him to come back to life on Earth.

But as usual, all is not as it seems at Hogwarts. Merlin does make it back, but it certainly wasn’t what I expected.

So, the storyline seemed to revolve around how a muggle news reporter was able to gain access to Hogwarts. After sneaking in a couple times, Mr. Prescott was apprehended and questioned by the staff. They let him go, knowing he would bring back the video cameras to reveal to the world that there were witches and wizards among them.

The staff of Hogwarts however, used this to humiliate Mr. Prescott, making everything look like bad magic tricks. The source of the leak was revealed, and of course, all that was wrong was put right again. Hufflepuff won the house cup at the end of the year (I would have never saw that coming!) They were the only house to not lose significant house points due to being involved with the whole Merlin conspiracy.

It seems as if Headmistress McGonagall is looking to retire and they are going to have Merlin be the next Headmaster. Everything gets neatly tied up in the end, and the school year comes to an end at Hogwarts.

 

It was a good read, obviously different from the Harry Potter books, but a good story none-the-less. I will likely read the next book he wrote, as soon as I figure out what it is!

The Color of Heaven

After it taking me weeks to finish “Dead on Demand”, I literally started this book as soon as I finished that one, and had it completely read before sun-up. It was a wonderful story, sad, beautiful, heartbreaking, and full of more emotions than you could imagine. It is a story that goes full circle, pulling in a few others while that circle is making its way around.

 The Color of Heaven – Juilanne MacLean (writing as E.V. Mitchell)

Sophie had the perfect life, a wonderful husband and beautiful daughter. Michael and Megan were everything to her, and then Megan got sick. At the too-soon age of 5, Megan passes away. Sophie cannot cope, and Michael drifts away. After losing her daughter, she loses her husband to his pregnant girlfriend who wasn’t afraid to move forward. She wasn’t even angry at him, because she understood.

Julianne MacLean
Julianne MacLean

 

A car accident that leaves her upside down in an iced over lake begins the changes in her life, the things that she will learn, the things she always knew but couldn’t bear to face, and the fact that it is okay for her to be happy.

 

Her relationship with her father has been irreparable ever since she was 14 and her mother left her, her sister, and her father. It is well past time for her to fix the things in her life that truly need fixing.

More to come later 🙂

Another New Character in Dead On Demand

I’ll get to that person in a minute. I didn’t get a lot read last night, I spent about 6 hours working on z-scores, t test, and null hypothesis.

So, Where was I? David Morton (police) had his technician sifting through all of the CCTV (closed circuit tvs) from the park where Eleanor was killed. He saw her going in, passing some cameras, and did notice that while she had a key around her neck while jogging, they did not find it on or near her body.

Edwin still has messages pouring in concerning his “ad” he placed, and he starts thinking that he is just going to find someone to take care of Vandi’s problem for him, he will completely screw that person, and he will technically not physically kill anyone (sounds to me like he has his hand in a whole lot of deaths though!)

And now we meet Barry Chambers. Was he mentioned already? I honestly can’t remember, and if he was I lost him somewhere in the crowd of characters in this story. So Barry is sitting in a restaurant, 3 hours alone, waiting for his girlfriend Jessica to show up. With a ring in his pocket, anxious to propose. She never does show up. By the next weekend he finds out why. She says they just aren’t working, and can they at least be friends? This is the last we hear about these two for the moment, but I have a strong suspicion that Barry is going to be looking for a way to get rid of Jessica.

Edwin finally gets called in to ID the body of Eleanor, unknowingly being videotaped by the departments top psychologist. Everything he has said on the phone has been taped as well. The psychologist is already seeing some things that do not add up. Cry and sob all he wants, I don’t think he is going to get away with this for too long.

I am only on page 58 of over 260, and I cannot even guess how many more people are going to get tangled up into this web. I got a good jump on my statistics homework, I think, so I should be able to get through a good number of pages, and likely a few more bodies, in the next day.

Have a happy Sunday, with sunshine and a great story to read!

Dead on Demand – and on we go……

We catch up with Edwin on a flight to Vancouver, where his job prospect in Human Resources is located.

It hops right back to Vanhi, in the middle of a nightmare, seeing nothing but a pockmarked-faced man who has her bound and gagged. Waking up, and finding no cocaine to ease her nerves, she decides to get on her darknet account and find an anonymous dealer. Of course, she finds Edwin’s posting about needing a problem taken care of. Vanhi decides she has a problem that needs to be taken care of as well; Mr. Pockmarked-face. She quickly replies with her own message.

And we are back again to Edwin, who nails his interview for the HR position, and returns home to see his computer flashing with a received message.

OK, now here is something that really bugs me when I am reading. When something seems to just fall out of the sky and right into the story. Like facts, or information. Here is the next part I read, word-for-word.

Seems like a fair swap. What is your problem?’ he read.

Did she understand what she was proposing? Was she an undercover cop? Did it make a difference even if she was? He was, after all, anonymous (Campbell & Campbell, page 30).

How does he know that the person replying is a woman? (I re-read this section several times thinking I had to have missed something where she identified herself to him as a woman. Nope). Did she sign her name? Attach a picture of herself? This is the kind of thing that bugs me. I am used to the grammatical errors that seem to be in every single book I pick up lately (Do we not hire editors anymore people?) but random stuff like this is just ridiculous.

…….OK. Putting my soap box away…….

Back and forth Edwin and Vanhi continue to message. It seems like they can both close on this deal. Vanhi has a picture of Eleanor and her morning jogging schedule. Edwin decides to hang out in Vancouver for a while longer; not only for an alibi, but also because he needs to start getting used to his future home.

Vanhi preps a hypodermic with cocaine and ethanol, enough to get the job done. She starts staking out Eleanor’s morning jogging path, vowing to herself to take care of the problem the first clear chance she gets. She has a week to get it done and over with.

Dead on Demand..I continue on

The beginning of Chapter 2 introduced Yosef, and his first born son. We learn that as time passes, at a very young age, his son is diagnosed with Tay-Sachs disease. It is incurable, and his son will slowly lose his sight, hearing, and the ability to move and breathe on his own. He will die very young. They will make him as comfortable as possible, but he vows to himself he will not let his son suffer in agony. (We all see where this is going, right?)

Back to Edwin, who decides to not off his wife, because of course he is going to get caught. Yet as the debt piles up, he again revisits the idea, and posts a straight-to-the-point post looking for someone to do the deed for him. He gets a reply rather quickly, and starts figuring out how he would pay for this service. In between all of this, he is job-searching, and has a great prospect lined up.

Realizing he cannot pay cash or touch any money in his bank, he decides the best option is to trade one favor for another. He now has to post a new advert on the internet.

At the beginning of chapter 4 we are introduced to Vanhi, a prostitute in central London. (Did I forget to tell you that this story takes place across the “big pond”? Sorry about that.) After she takes care of a client, she cleans herself and her apartment up before Jaison, her boyfriend?, gets back from work. He is a cleaner.

I am sensing an Alfred Hitchcock story going on here. Strangers on a Train, anyone? I love that movie 🙂

So I will keep plodding along on this story. Apparently it was written in less than 90 days (intentionally) and has seriously mixed reviews online. Apparently numerous spelling and punctuation errors as well, which I haven’t seen yet.

That Book I Can’t Put Down!

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Yep, that’s it! This book has been occupying all of my time; my free time, my wish-it-was-free-time, and my should-be-sleeping-time.

I could probably put it down if I was not determined to get a B or better in this class (paying for it if I get a B- or lower is the best motivator!). I have to say, the more I read it, the more it makes sense.

But I will be glad to move beyond null hypothesis, random samples, z-scores, and confidence intervals. 4 more weeks to go, and then on to hopefully a less grueling human resources class. I will never again forget what the mean, mode, and median are 😀

I apologize for my lack of posts, my blogs are my relaxation time! I do plan on starting a new story tonight; a light, fun read, likely a mystery. So as I try to get smarter, I will make sure I still make time for “me”.

Are you reading anything right now because you have to?

That’s It For This Edition of Janet Maple

The Bad Guy Is Caught

Janet and Dean/Dennis keep working the case together, although she will not cut him a break and stop being angry with him. She just cannot see that he truly does like and care for her; something he had promised himself would never happen again.

The next step to find the missing link? That is with Tom. And who is going to work over Tom to get this much needed information? Right again: Janet. (She is sorry she even asked!) She sees it as much needed punishment for herself though for what she is doing to Lisa. They may have their issues, but she was still her best friend, and likely about to ruin her wedding plans and lock up her fiancé, even though he appears to be as clueless about the situation as Lisa.

Janet calls up Tom to have him meet her at a bar; Dean/Dennis just happens to show up there as well. An earlier deal with the bartender had Tom sloshed beyond belief and Janet and Dean/Dennis sober as a church choir. They get Tom’s drunk self home, and rush back to Janet’s with Tom’s laptop in hand. Dean/Dennis has no trouble getting past the initial password, and finds what he was looking for.

Apparently Tom can handle his liquor better than anyone thought; barely minutes after they hack into his laptop and get what they need, he is ringing Janet’s intercom, asking to come up to her apartment.

Back to Jon in the office. The first lawsuit comes in, as well as a subpoena from the SEC. He knew this was just the tip of the iceberg, and left work for the day. As he never leaves work for anything, his wife knew there was something terribly wrong, and he spilled everything to her. She vowed to stand by him, no matter what, and told him he needed to do the right thing and confess everything, likely for a more lenient sentence.

And now we’re back to Lisa. Sitting in her office, daydreaming about her wedding. Until her paralegal brings in a copy of The New York Post. She plays it off as nothing to worry about, until she is again alone in her office. Then the panic sets in.

Janet meets Dean/Dennis’s boss, and he offers her a job at the Treasury. She is too shocked to answer, but takes the envelope with the details of the offer with her and promises to call. And she still will not forgive Dean/Dennis, whom she also just at that very moment found out his real name was Dennis. Why don’t you add some more fuel to the fire, Dennis?

So how does it end? Hanging. Dennis asks Janet out, and she agrees. And that is it. There is no resolution to what happens to Bostoff Securities, Jon, Paul, or Lisa. Does this bother me? Not at all. It was a good read, easy and fun, and I will definitely be reading the next one in this series, “Catching the Bad Guy”. An except for book 2 lets us know that she did indeed take the job at the Treasury, is working with Dennis, they are strictly friends, and they are also both attracted to each other but refuse to admit it.

What Have You Gotten Yourself Into Janet Maple?

ImageThe Jack Russell Terrier? That’s Janet’s dog, Baxter. He does not help solve any crimes.

It seems as if Janet Maple is realizing she should have stayed unemployed, instead of taking a job with her friend Lisa Foley.

Some more of “To Catch a Bad Guy” by Marie Astor….

Immediately at the start of Chapter 7, Janet is trying to figure out if Bostoff is a clean company, or if they are crooks. After a week on the job, she had not had 1 single task that she could take credit for.

In the meantime, Lisa gets engaged to the Boss’s son, Paul Bostoff, just as she predicted. Likely something to irritate Janet some more, no doubt. Big brother Jon isn’t too thrilled about it either.

An upcoming SEC audit has Janet looking over some client files to verify everything is in order; missing addresses and ownership information was not a good sign.

And then we are back to Dean/Dennis for a moment. He begins contemplating bringing Janet in on what he is doing there; he believes she would be a good ally and could help him blow the case wide open.

Chapter 10 pretty much clears the air that Jon and Tom are both the ones behind whatever the illegal activity is that is going on, and Paul really doesn’t know anything about it at all. (I’m getting the feeling there are going to be a few people in this story who were in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time, including Janet and Lisa).

Next we dig into a bit of Dean/Dennis’s background, and learn that he himself was once in finance, he went to work for a less-than-honest company. Once he was let in on the secret, he was approached by the Federal Government before he could find employment elsewhere. They offered him a deal to help them with their investigation, give up his securities licenses, and they would not prosecute him any further. He really had no choice.

Janet brings up her concerns to Lisa, who could not care less; telling her to let the operations department deal with it. Janet tells operations she was granted access, so operations hands her a password to information she really shouldn’t be seeing.

An engagement party at Lisa’s parent’s home, and a cousin of Lisa’s who turned into the same jerk he was when they were growing up put quite the damper on Janet’s evening. Lisa doesn’t seem to think she is responsible for anything, and the two end up barely speaking.

Jon Bostoff agrees to take part in a shady deal with a client, for the largest amount of money he’s ever risked. This could be the one that brings him down.

Janet meets Dean/Dennis at a bar, not knowing he knew she would be there and he planned it all. After a pleasant evening together, she asks Dean if he noticed anything odd about the company they work for. He chose that time to say his good-byes for the night.

Tom later spends a quiet evening trying to woo Janet, but his intentions are mainly to make sure she knows nothing about the scheming Jon and he are doing. Dean/Dennis tells Janet who he really is, and she is furious; feeling as if she had been used for information.

Now she needs to tell Linda, who won’t shut her mouth (my words) about her wedding. Janet tries to tell her; and never gets the chance. She agrees to help Dean/Dennis, but only if he keeps Lisa and Paul out of Jail. Lisa he can promise to, but not Paul, he is too high up on the food chain, even if he really knows nothing.

So, the fall is about to happen; how many are going to get taken down?

I will have this finished up tonight, and will be moving on to another book 🙂

Beginning of “To Catch a Bad Guy” by Marie Astor

This book seems like it is going to be a fun read. I have to say though, I did read a sentence that made me cringe.

“Her shoulder length blond hair was flowing down her back.”

Huh? How could she write this sentence, and how in the world did the editor miss it? LOL Anyhow, what I’ve gotten through so far….

Janet Maple-29 years old, a law-degreed professional, about to start a new job working for her high school best friend, Lisa Foley, the “Queen B” as Janet puts it. A downsizing at the District Attorney’s office became known to Lisa, who called and offered Janet a job just as she was losing hope.

Enjoying her new office, and her new raise, she is on the job a few minutes when Lisa lets her know they are having a business meeting with a man who she may be interested in. (Lisa was always controlling, and apparently she still is). Tom Wyman is his name, and as she tells herself she will not date this man, she finds him appealing just the same.

We briefly meet Dennis Walker, disguising himself as a computer ”geek” (his words, not mine!) to start working an investigation case involving Bostoff Securities. (I wonder what that’s about?). As Janet meets him while he is sitting at her desk the next morning, he introduces himself as Dean Snider, IT Analyst.

As Janet learns the in-and-outs of Bostoff from Tom, who is a legal counsel for Bostoff as well, she is uneasy about the fact that all transactions are taken care of in off-shore accounts. Tom telling her it is all completely legitimate does not ease her mind.

We go back to Dennis/Dean, who bugged all the necessary computers, and is watching as live data is being fed to Treasury office computers. He is looking for a money laundering scheme, and he is looking at Bostoff.

Janet remains uncomfortable, and goes to Lisa’s office, asking about the structure of the company. Lisa tells her to not worry about it, Tom does all the work, and they are basically there for appearance sake. Oh. And Lisa’s mom called Janet’s mom. That is why she now has a job. Yes. Janet is furious. It seems like Lisa is just as clueless about what is likely going on at the company as Janet. (At this point, I am saying that Tom is knee-deep in this mess, orchestrating it from behind the scenes).

Not being one to sit around and do nothing, Janet is determined to learn everything she can about Bostoff. (Nothing bad can come of that, right?) After meeting the powers-that-be, we sit in on a conversation where they are not happy with the new hire, and what if she is a whistle-blower? Hmmm.

There is some background information on the Bostoff family and where they came from, but nothing that I think is going to have any bearing on the story. If it does, I will fill you in!