How to Convert your EPUB file to PDF format after removing the DRM protection

Recently an author’s publisher released a book in hardcover and it wasn’t available to my area. The book only seemed to be available for order online but the e-book  was available to order and was cheaper. I figured this was a much faster way to get my long awaited book release.  So I decided to purchase my first e-book online – and I don’t own a Kindle or a Nook. Everything I read said I didn’t need to own one. That I could download a free app for my computer or cell phone and I could have instant access to my e-book. I thought it would be nice to have a file I could load on to my cell phone and computer or MP3 player and take with me, so I went online and downloaded the free reader PC app for Kobo and purchased my first e-book.

Little did I know the trouble I was going to find with this simple supposedly portable concept for books.

After I purchased the e-book, I wanted to download a PDF file. I found out that I couldn’t download the file to my computer unless I downloaded and installed Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). It took me a little bit to find this software for free and install it. Then I found out I had to create/register a free account to activate the ADE program. Finally, I logged back into the online Kobo account I had set up to purchase my e-book and downloaded the EPUB file to my computer – not realizing this wasn’t a PDF file.

I struggled for a good number of hours trying to find the right software that would convert an EPUB file to a PDF file and then I found out that the very EPUB file I wanted to convert was protected by DRM (Digital Rights Manager). The DRM protection prevented me from converting a legitimate e-book  – that I had paid for and downloaded via a reputable bookseller –  to a PDF file. I then had to search again for a one-step solution to remove the DRM protection so that I could convert the EPUB file that I owned to a PDF file via software that was free and didn’t require me to pay later to get the full program to work .

This truly was a test of techie abilities and I am proud to have figured it out as well as I did. I just want to save all of you the hell I went through since it took me several Google searches, several false advertising ‘free’ software download installs and unstalls and 3 different software programs to get a simple e-book into a PDF file format.  I decided to post this blog in the hopes that I could spare anyone else out there who has or will come across this problem.

In this post is information and links on how to 1: download the correct software to read e-book EPUB files on your computer and then 2: how to convert them to a PDF file after removing the DRM protections so that you can transport the converted PDF files to other PDF file compatible devices. I just went through hell figuring all of this out – I really hope you find this post before you go through the same trial and errors that I did.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of this post. The good news is that you only have to install these programs once and after that,  it’s a click and go process that takes just seconds to do: (don’t forget to click on the image for a clearer view of the screen shots)

Step 1: INSTALL Adobe Digital Editions onto your Windows PC

First you need to install Adobe Digital Editions which can be downloaded for FREE  (no trials, no pay to have the full program work – completely free) from here:

Click on download now or scroll down to the download now button

Install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) and register for a free account and activate your ADE.

ADE looks like this once it is properly installed: (hint – if you click on the image, it will pop out in a new window in a larger readable view)

Step 2: DRM removal: How to Remove DRM from EPUB files using ePubee DRM Removal:

1. Install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) v1.7.1 (restating this step since its very import to do first – if you don’t, the DRM program won’t work)

Authorize your copy of Adobe Digital Editions, download the EPUB files to your desktop PC, make sure the EPUB files can be opened on ADE.

2. Install ePubee Drm Remvoal which you can get here for FREE:

The installed program looks like this:

When you install the program, Run ePubee Drm Removal to remove DRM from EPUB files:

Next step is to Input files as follows:

Click on the “browse” button to choose your EPUB e-book / input folder. You’ll find it in “My Documents\My Digital Editions”.

If you just can’t find the EPUB e-book, open Adobe Digital Editions and find the path in the properties of the e-book.

You do not need to find the EPUB Files one by one, just choose the folder which the EPUB files were saved in, the ePub Drm Removal software helps you decrypt tens of DRM protected EPUB files at one time!

Click “unDrm directory”, this removes the DRM  from all of the EPUB files in the folder listed above (“My Documents\My Digital Editions”.

The decrypted EPUB files will be saved to another folder (if ePub DRM Removal installed in D:\program files\ePub Drm Removal\, the DRM-free EPUB files will be saved to D:\program files\ePub Drm Removal\Decrypt\), no change to the source files

Open your newly created DRM-free EPUB file with your favorite application (on whatever device you like).

If you don’t do the above ‘Step 2’ first,  the next product won’t work.

Step 3:  Download and Install Calibre

Next download and install Calibre for FREE (again – no trials, no pay later for the full program to work)  which can be found here:

After installing Calibre, run the program and add your EPUB ebook file to Calibre. If you installed the program correctly and added the EPUB files correctly as well, it should look like this:

Once you have added the file, you have the option to convert your e-book files.

While highlighting the EPUB file you want to convert to PDF format, click on the icon that says: Convert Books, as shown here: (don’t forget to click on the image for a clearer view of the screen shots)

A new window opens up that looks like this:

In the upper left and right corners you have the input file (original file format you added into Calibre) and the output file. These can be changed via the little black arrow down button. Be sure to check that the input file says: EPUB and the output file is changed to say: PDF (since for the purpose of this blog tutorial is to convert the EPUB file to a PDF file. If you want another file you can play around with those once you’ve done this first test run to a PDF file).  Once you have verified the correct output file, click the okay button in the lower right corner. Calibre will convert the file to a PDF format in just a couple of minutes or less.

Once the conversion is completed, you can highlight the book that you just converted and to the left of the window, click on Formats. As you can see in the image below, on the right, the E-book file by Laurie, Victoria is in both an EPUB format and PDF format. If you ‘click to open’ as it says next to ’ Path:’– a new window will open which will show you where the PDF file is stored on your PC.

Now that you’ve installed all 3 of these software programs, you can download all your EPUB e-book files and convert them to PDF files with ease. If you have any questions or issues trying to use these programs, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be happy to try and help you out.

Of course, I did all this to load the e-book onto my cell phone only to find out that the fileviewer on my phone doesn’t work properly. My next step is going to be converting the PDF file to an MP3 file that I can load onto my cellphone and be able to at least listen to the book while I am stuck in line somewhere🙂 .  I’ll probably post the instructions for that in another post here.

In the meantime, welcome to the world of PC e-books without a Kindle or Nook and Happy Reading!!

I Am Number Four – a quick post DVD review

The choice to run and live another day or combine forces and stand your ground. The day to decide is here...

I saw the previews. I heard the chatter. Despite some naysayers about it being an teen angst film – I still wanted to see the movie. I waited and finally it was released on DVD. I Am Number Four was very much worth the wait. I really enjoyed the plot, the story line, the characters, the graphics and the actors. This is a movie for fans of sci-fi, Superman and Marvel Comics movies.

A really brief summary:

A distant planet called Lorien was destroyed by Mogadorians. In order to save their race, the Loriens sent 9 children to Earth with guardians to protect them before their planet was destroyed.

As the children grew, so did their alien races abilities. Unfortunately, the Mogadorians discovered the children were sent to Earth and have begun to hunt down each child that can only be killed in a specific order.

Alex Pettyfer plays John who is number four in the order of the alien children. He and his guardian are located by the Mogadorians in one of their many secret locations and they are forced to move after the third alien child has been hunted and killed by the Mogadorian leader, Commander. John and his guardian move to Paradise, Ohio.

Here, John must again try to fit in and not be noticed. All the while his powers are coming into maturity and he is battling controlling them so as to not draw attention to himself. John makes unlikely friends with another social outcast at his school, Sam Goode, played by Callan McAuliffe,  who is being victimized by a bully.  John catches the eye of the bullies girlfriend, Sarah Hart, played by Glee Actress Dianna Argon.

Another alien child, Number 6, loses her guardian and decides to fight the Mogadorians rather than run and hide. With this goal in mind she works to find Number 4. Meanwhile, John and Sarah form a bonding love and things start to heat up in Paradise as the Mogadorians hone in on John’s location.

I am going to cut off that summary there so that if you decide to watch this movie you can watch it free of spoilers. I just have to say I loved the Chimera. I am eagerly awaiting a sequel – not sure if there is going to be one but if there is, I am so watching it!! I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did🙂

Beastly – A DVD review quick post

Love is never ugly...

Hello blog website -I am finally back again after a brief hiatus. While I was on break from blogging, I most certainly wasn’t on break from reading or watching movies.  I’ve decided since time seems to be a major factor in getting out my more thorough posts, I am going to try and do some quick posts reviews for the books, movies and TV shows that I have been following recently.

What better way to start than with a classic fairy tale remake of Beauty and the Beast. In case its not apparent by now, I’m going to re-state that I am a fan of fairy tales and fantasy and love to see classic tales re-told time and again. While the Cinderella tale seems to be the leading contender for people to remake, Beauty and the Beast seems to be a close second runner up.

The recently released DVD, Beastly, does a great job of revamping this classic tale. The lead actor Alex Pettyfer (I am Number Four and Beastly) plays the main character,  Kyle – a young man whose sole definition is based on his looks, wealth and what it can buy him.  Following the classic fairytale, Kyle runs afoul of a witch that decides to teach him a lesson about what life is really about and curses him. Kyle has one year to find someone to love him in his newly disfigured form.

The witch is portrayed as a social high school outcast – ridiculed by her fellow classmates while feared for her rumored magical abilities. Mary – Kate Olsen did a stellar job in her role as Kendra, the

Kyle approaches Kendra to try and ask for more time...

Enchantress, and her ability to show strength, daring, cunning and compassion while bestowing a life lesson to someone who seems so lost in his self importance. I am giving out props to the films make-up department because they did a wonderful job of creating the outward dis-figuration of the rather yummy Alex Pettyfer. The makeup department also managed to do a good job of not overdoing the gothic bent for Mary-Kate Olsen’s character as well – making her looks changeable and versatile – hmm, maybe a play on the whole beauty-is-not-all theme of the movie.

Vanessa Hudgens plays the lady fair that sees beyond the outer image and into the soul of what a person can really be – as Lindy. The movie finds interesting ways to follow the fairytale to where the lead female finds herself in the care of the ‘beast’.

The movie follows Kyle through his tormented dealings and his coming to terms with his new world and having his basic beliefs redefined by one fateful encounter. We get to see him develop a heart and build a soul on more than looks alone. A bright comedic relief in the movie is the blind tutor played by Neil Patrick Harris that offers another eye opener for the twisted visage of Kyle. Something about watching a man so full of himself be so humbled by those around him draws me into this movie. Honestly, for a movie that did not get a lot of promotional hoopla, I was quite pleased with how well done it was in a simple non-overblown dramatic way.

Without giving away too many details – I highly recommend this movie for a sweet, simple, soul redefining couple of hours enjoyment. If you do find yourself enjoying this fairytale remake, here are a few other recommendations: Snow White: A tale of terror (1997), The Brothers Grimm (2005), Ella Enchanted (2004), EverAfter (1998),  Red Riding Hood (2011) and Tangled (2011).


Make It or Break It Season 2 Episode 8 – Rock Bottom

Okay, so after a little recap of the events from Episode 7,  Make It or Break It, August 17th airing of Rock Bottom, Season 2 Episode 8 starts with Lauren and Steve Tanner having it out over his sponsoring Emily Kmetko. Steve essentially tells Lauren he kept it secret because he didn’t want to deal with her reaction, that he donates to charities all the time it doesn’t mean he loves them more than her. Lauren points out that  Emily is her competition.  They continue to argue and Steve tries to help Lauren understand that the Kmetko’s were barely getting by. Lauren points out that the money Steve was giving to Emily helped Emily to steal the best choreographer right out from under Lauren, who then storms off as the doorbell rings. 


Emily hands Steve Money Season 2 ep 8

Emily hands Steve Money Season 2 ep 8

Steve Tanner opens the door to find the very person they were arguing about on his door step.  Lauren struts back on to the scene and takes a couple of digs at Emily about working at the Pizza Shack. Emily calmly hands Steve $1,243.00 and tells Steve that she’ll pay back the rest of the money as soon as she can. Who knew slinging pizza got such good tips?   Steve tries to tell Emily she doesn’t have to do that.  Steve asks Emily how her mom feels about all this and Emily replies that she agrees completely, that he lied to them and there is no going back from that.  

         The scene moves to Payson waking up and smiling dreamily over Sasha’s gold medal and her put it on. Kim is in the kitchen trying to drum up support for the president of the Rocks Parents board. Her husband is not too happy that Kim is getting involved in the politics of the gym. Payson comes happily into the kitchen and her dad notes she’s wearing Sasha’s medal.  

Austin helping unstable Kaylie Season 2 ep 8

Austin helping unstable Kaylie Season 2 ep 8

       Kaylie arrives at the gym and is helped by Austin when she almost passes out getting out of the car. Austin notes that her hands are freezing. He is another person taking notice of Kaylies unhealthy weight loss. Kaylie makes a point of telling Austin that the kiss they shared didn’t mean anything to her. 
             Chloe confronts Lauren and tells her that if she doesn’t tell Steve she was sleeping with Carter, then she will.  After stating she didn’t know that Steve was funding the endowment and that secrets have a way of coming out, Chloe tells Lauren she can not keep the secret about Lauren and Carter having sex.  Lauren accuses Chloe shes’ doing this because the money is no longer coming in. Chloe tells Lauren its about doing the right thing and that she has a choice, either she tells her father that she and Carter are sexually active or she will.  
                 Sasha continues to help Payson work on her artistic Gymnastics. He tries to tell her that while she is perfecting the techniques, he wants to see the emotions behind the movements. Kim’s husband Mark’s comments that getting politically involved in the gym is not a good idea and Kim tells Summer she doesn’t think she should run. Summer tries to tell Kim that if Steve wins, he and the other board members could try to get rid of Sasha. Kim points out that Summer might be a bit biased since she is dating Sasha. Summer counters winning the board presidency is more about Sasha being a good coach than anything else and that he is the right coach for the girls and that he needs to be protected.  
      Kaylie and Emily discuss how much a fool Emily feels after finding out that Steve was backing her. She says the funding made her feel like she was something real and that someone believed she had a chance of winning the Olympics. Kaylie assures Emily she is real – that she is worthy of the Olympic Dream.  
     Austin helps Kaylie after she asks him to share the training cam. He offers to help shoot her vault run. While filming Kaylie doing her vault, we see Austin’s concern with Kaylies weight and how thin she is getting. Not to mention that she could hardly keep from passing out after her vault.  

Chloe forgives Steve season 2 ep 8

Chloe forgives Steve season 2 ep 8

      Steve and Chloe meet up to discuss the money/endowment issue. Chloe forgives Steve for trying to do something nice for her and Emily. She mentions that Emily is proud and asks Steve to respect her wishes from now on.  
       Lauren plots to continue to cause problems for Chloe after telling Carter that Chloe threatened to tell Steve about them having sex. Carter tries to man up and tells Lauren that she and Carter need to tell her dad first. That they will assure her dad that they are being safe and that they care about each other. Summer walks by just as Carter walks away and asks if Lauren wants to talk about the money issue. Lauren continues to push Summer to come back and date her dad. Lauren really wants Summer and Steve to get back together.  
       Sasha tries another training method with Payson to help her feel her artistic dancing and have her movements show more as fluid, flowing lines to the audience. He tells her to close her eyes and think of something that made her happy, angry, joyous or sad. He asks her if she has the feeling and when she says yes, he tells her to dance while painting. Payson creates a colorful canvas with her graceful dancing.  

What Payson painted while dancing

What Payson painted while dancing

        We next see Emily and her mom fighting while Emily tries to find money for the bus to get to work. During the fight, Emily finds out that Chloe has forgiven Steve for the money. Emily angrily complains that her mom has continually made bad choices in the men she dates and why doesn’t her mom help out and get another job. Chloe tells Emily that she starts her new job tomorrow night as Emily storms out to catch the bus.  
        Kim and Mark weigh the pros and cons of Kim running for the Rock Parents Board President back at their home. Payson walks in while they are discussing the cons and what would happen if Steve Tanner wins instead of Kim.  That Steve probably wouldn’t keep Kim as office manager and what would happen if Steve sent Sasha packing. Payson says then they’ll follow him – that he is the only coach that would train her right now. Her parents tell her that they can’t follow Sasha around the country. Payson points out that is exactly why Kim needs to run for president of the Rocks Parent Board. Payson leaves to secretly take a dinner to Sasha, she feels he needs to have someone feed him since he has cereal for dinner. Payson unwittingly interrupts Sasha and Summer having dinner. Payson awkwardly covers up her true feelings and reasons behind bringing the dinner to Sasha. Summer points out that Payson is very fond of Sasha after Payson leaves. 

         We next see Sasha watching Payson do another floor routine. He again attempts to get her to tell a story with her routine. He foolishly walks her through an example of using her favorite story Romeo and Juliet to help her tell her story, deepening her crush for Sasha.  

       Austin convinces Kaylie to go on a picnic with him. He reveals the tragic story of his sisters eating disorder brought on by her competitive need to be better at gymnastics and how it destroyed his sister’s life. Kaylie listens but even this sad story and Austins obvious concern regarding Kaylies weight do not deter Kaylie from continuing to lose weight.  
       After Carter tries to confirm they he and Lauren will confess to her dad that night. Lauren gets all suspicious that Carters more concerned about getting kicked out of the Rock. Lauren turns to Summer and confesses all and lies about Chloe Kmetko knowing about it and encouraging it. Lauren tells Summer this to try to drive a deeper wedge between Chloe and her dad. Summer tries to tell Lauren she needs to tell her dad about all of it. Lauren asks Summer to tell her dad for her, says she can leave out the part about Chloe knowing it. Summer says she can’t promise that.   
       Chloe goes to visit Steve. She finds Steve looking shocked and asked  if he is okay. Steve tells Chloe that he found out that Carter and Lauren were having sex and  Chloe knew about it and didn’t tell him. Chloe asks if Lauren told him that Chloe told Lauren to tell him about it and if she didn’t, Chloe would. Steve reveals it was Summer who told him. Steve tells her he can’t trust Chloe with Laurens’ well-being and that he doesn’t think he trusts her at all. Chloe tearfully asks for Steve’s forgiveness and he says he doesn’t think he can forgive her. Chloe gives Steve back the key to his house and runs out in tears. 
      Emily comes home to the lights being out, the a/c being shut off and the bills not being paid. On top of that , her brother is showing seizure symptoms and his meds are not refilled. Emily helps her brother to the floor and gets someone to watch him while she runs to the pharmacy. At the pharmacy, Emily find out the meds are $220.00 and that her insurance doesn’t cover the meds. The pharmacist tells her to wait until tomorrow to contact her insurance to verify coverage. She argues she can’t wait until tomorrow and asks how much 2 pills will cost. The pharmacist tells he can’t sell her 2 meds, he’d lose his job. Emily begs him to check again and while he does that, she snatches the medicine and leaves the $15 copay she expected to originally pay.  

       Carter shows up to tell Laurens dad about the sex. Lauren reveals Summer already told her dad about them. Carter is upset because he could get kicked out of the Rock if Summer tells Sasha about it. Lauren angrily accuses Carter of only caring about the Rock and not really loving her. That she isn’t stupid. She asks how long it took him to fall in love with Kaylie. That he only told her he loved her until his place at the Rock was threatened.   
     Mark and Kim are still going over whether or not Kim should run for the Parents Board President. They discuss Paysons’ changing hormones and how losing Sasha as coach would affect Payson. We cut to Sasha using the training cam to record Payson performing a truly graceful floor routine. With the camera still running after Payson’s routine, Sasha enthusiastically hugs Payson and twirls her around. He steps back after the congratulatory hug and tells Payson she finally told a story and that the performance was truly inspired. Payson breathlessly tells Sasha  with her eyes shining with all her feelings – its him, that he inspires her. Then Payson rushes up on her toes and kisses Sasha. 

Payson kisses Sasha

Payson kisses Sasha

 He does not return her kiss but, shocked by it,  he tries to disengage himself from her embrace by pushing her away. 

Payson kissing Sasha - he's pushing her away

Payson kissing Sasha - he's pushing her away

Payson is embarrassed and runs out of the gym.  
         Emily comes home and gives her brother his medicine. Their neighbors gave them some light. Emily asks where her mother is working. Her brother doesn’t know and ask why she  wants to know. She says because she hopes it pays really well since they need $220.00. There is a knock at the door. Emily goes to answer it and it is the police. The police  have come to arrest Emily for the theft of the medicine. 
        The episode ends with Kaylie noting calories in her journal, debating if she should work off the calories of the food she just ate  or not. She starts to leave the room, and losing the battle to not work out, Kaylie climbs back on the treadmill.  
This is a truly griping  and powerful episode that shows how much Emily is struggling just to honestly make it as an Olympian. It is amazing how much MIOBI can fit into one episode. The dynamics are compelling. Young crushes, youthful indiscretions, unhealthy decisions and the battles these girls are going through. Definitely a must see!

Make It or Break It Season 2 Episode 7 – What are you made of?

I have got to say this season of Make It or Break It is really fabulous! The way the series holds up so many story lines really keeps me watching. The track that Payson is on now trying to become a more graceful gymnast over a power gymnast is interesting to watch especially with the special encouragement Sasha is giving Payson.  In Season 2, Episode 7, What are you made of? airdate August 10th, 2010, many plot twists come to light.  

National Team's Last Practice

Kaylie and Beals discussing Kaylie's progress

 The Rock girls prepare for the final National Practice to be held at the Rock Gym. Emily is considered the under dog after what happened in Paris and she expects she’ll have to pull out all the stops to make the cut for the Worlds competition. What she didn’t expect was that Beals would go after her so doggedly and with such prejudice.  

 Beals torment of Emily and her total disregard for Kaylies weight loss was noticed by Marty who finally stepped up and stood up for the girls especially after Beals made Emily do a routine just after landing wrong on her ankle. Too bad for Marty though, Beals one upped him and fired him as the coach. His replacement – get this – Beals herself.   I truly loved it when Marty gave Emily that speech about how he saw the Olympian in her and that she shouldn’t let anyone keep her from her dream. Emily truly stepped it up.  Here is a link to the YouTube video of Marty’s speech:   

This link is like the best 8 minutes of the episode. It shows Emily turning her ankle, Marty standing up for Emily and getting fired, it shows Beals being truly evil to Emily. Who is funding the special ‘secret’ endowment that Emily is receiving  is shown when, yep, you guessed it, Beals handed Lauren an envelopment with canceled checks with  her dad’s , Steve Tanner’s, signature on them.  With proof that her dad was funding Emily’s endowment, Lauren didn’t hesitate to let Emily know who her sponsor really is. Emily is now forced to make the decision to keep the money or find another way to afford her Olympic dream. Lauren spitefully tells Emily that her dad is funding Emily’s life and it’s not because he believes in her but because he is having sex with Emily’s mother.  

In shock and disbelief, Emily storms out of the National practice before her floor routine. Her mom runs after her and is just as completely shocked to find out that the money was coming from Steve. After a resounding pep talk from her mom, Emily is faced with performing despite the drama that is going on and finding out that she, Emily,  does believe in herself. She storms back into the Rock gym just in time to perform a stellar Floor routine. This is seconds after Kelly Parker tries to tell Beals that Kalyie is getting way too thin.  At the end of this National Practice, Emily manages to make the cut of 10 girls going to compete for the 6 spots on the World team, along with Kaylie and Lauren.  

It is obvious that Payson is getting a bit too much out of Sasha’s encouragement especially after he gives her his Gold Medal to remind her that she will make it to the Olympics. As Payson’s mom said, Payson is learning to deal with a womans body now, both physically and mentally.  

Sasha joins Payson at the bars in her Ballet class

Sasha joins Payson at the bars in her Ballet class

After finishing the National Practice, Emily confronts her mother, Chloe, about Steve funding her endowment. Emily tells her mother they have to give the money back. Chloe know this but they still have to figure out how to make ends meet. Chloe tells Emily she doesn’t know what to do and Emily storms out saying she knows what she has to do. The new dream of having a nice home and a room of Emily’s own is now just that for Emily, a dream.   

Cut to Summer, Sasha and Kim, Payson’s mom, discussing the meet and Marty’s warning to Sasha to watch his back. Summer points out that Beals could plant a mole. Summer mentions that Steve Tanner is having private meetings with Ellen Beals. The three of them come to the conclusion that someone has to run against Steve for the head of the board and Kim is volunteered.   

The episode ends with views of Lauren crying over her dad’s supposed betrayal by financially supporting Emily, Kaylie inspecting her too thin body, Payson sleeping with Sasha’s Gold Medal and Emily returning to work at the Pizza Shack.   

If you missed this episode, I hope this recap filled you in since there was a lot happening.

Bullet, Anita Blake Series Book 19 – Laurell K. Hamilton book review

Okay, I had high hopes for the next book, Bullet, in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton. Well, to be honest, not that high but lets just say – hopeful. I was really hoping LKH would get back to the style of writing I fell in love with in the first Anita Blake books. The wonderful mystery, the sexual tension, plot not centric on sex and characters that didn’t constantly mope or fall into Emo fugues – the basics that really drew me into Anita’s world. Gone are her friends like Dolph, Zerbrowski and what happened to Larry Kirkland? We rarely hear anything anymore that has to do with these peripheral characters that supported Anitas’ world.

book cover for Bullet, the nintenth book in the Anita Blake series by LKH

Book cover for Bullet, the 19th book in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton

I guess the answer to these missing characters is that Anita’s world has greatly changed and for the reader that means either you have to move with these changes or essentially mourn the loss of our Anita, as we knew her, because this is the direction Laurell K. Hamilton is going. She has fully embraced the sexual side of Anita, even if Anita still sometimes struggles with her growing harem of men.

This book could have had a 70’s porno theme track to go with it for the amount of sex we, the reader are treated to. And not just the straight Vanilla sex the average romance reader expects. Oh no, LKH and Anita are falling into a ‘try-anything’ catergory and she’s getting her freak-on like nobodies business, because, let’s face it, there’s always someones life depending on it.

I’m not a prude mind you. A tastefully done sex scene works in most romances, paranormal, historical or otherwise but I don’t normally sign on for what has gone far beyond Erotica to Porn. Maybe its shock value, maybe its Laurell sharing the world she lives in vicariously through Anita but I don’t want to know about Anita having sex with women or Anita have sex with 2 or 3 men having sex with each other in that kind of detail. I get the whole Succubi angle but I think the phrase ‘less is more’ actually would work better for this series because right now the plot is suffering terribly for Anita to get her jollies on to save a life. Even though we lose some semi-key characters in this novel of the series, I can barely remember the story line for this book because the main thing that stood out was sex, sex and more sex.

Not to mention the ridiculously docile and complacent switch we have with the oh-so-troubled Richard. It is like he had a lobotomy or else was body-snatched when we weren’t looking. He’s done a complete 180 and have miraculously come to terms with almost every one of his annoying hangups. I know, I said annoying, so I should be happy with this turn-about but the way it was done was so out there I kept waiting for it to be a weird dream sequence or some vampire power messing with him and it wasn’t. He really is a new man – just what Anita’s been asking for. Isn’t it nice how the ardeur keeps fulfilling all of Anita’s wishes and fixing her life so it works?

In the mist of Anita’s sexual revolution, we’ve got the return of Mommie Dearest and she’s not playing around now. She’s out for a new body and she’s looking for Anita to be her chassis. Marme Noir is using other master vampires of her line to feed and amass enough power to take over Anita. Some masters are scared. Some masters are willing to run free under Marme’s rule. And this is where our miniscule mystery comes in, such as it is, since we know the whole who-what-when-where-and-why of it almost from the first mention of the murders. See, that’s about all I can mention of it because that’s almost all that LKH devoted to the mystery. Oh, and some assassins were hired to take out Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard.

On top of all this, Anita is supposed to be meeting the other tigers that her little queen called. Obviously this means, yea, more men for Anita and more working through the issues the new men could come with, no pun intended. The masters who are running scared offer themselves up to Jean-Claudes triumvirate. Apparently, there are rumors going around that Anita may be the new Master of Beasts. That all she needs is the last tiger color of gold to move up to that power level. This meeting cumulates into so many things that if you do read this next installment of the series, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Would I recommend this book for die-hard Anita fans?

For something to read, sure. For entertainment value, not so much, unless reading hardcore porn scenes is what you are looking for.

Will I read the next Anita Blake book?

The jury is still out on that…

New Crafting Addiction – Quilting!

Okay, I know I haven’t posted in a really long while and we’ll just leave it at – I got really busy with a lot of things so I am doing a quick post to make up for my lack in posting lately.  I do hope to have a bunch of book reviews posted soon. I had a recent wave of new releases to feast upon and have been reading like a fiend. As soon as things slow down a bit around here, you’ll see some movie and book reviews.

About my new crafting addiction, here is some background:

I like long skirts. Always have and I think I always will. A couple of years ago, I got the brilliant idea of trying to make my very own skirt. I went out and bought pretty fabric, thread and other sewing paraphernalia and brought them home all excited to get to work on the new skirt. When I got home, I pulled out the new purchases from their bags and as I spread out the fabric preparing to cut it and then sew it together, I soon discovered I knew next to nothing about making skirts.  

My fabric was see-through and I didn’t buy enough to do a double lining of the fabric so that all my unmentionables wouldn’t be on display. I had no idea how to cut the fabric – what shapes to use or how to put it all together. Plus, what was I thinking about when I thought I could sew this skirt together by hand? I basically wound up putting my new purchases back in their bag and stowed them in my arts and craft bin to be brought out when I finally had a clue. 

Fast forward a couple of years to a day when I discovered the circle skirt! My cousin has an Esty shop and she creates patchwork dresses and clothing and looking at her dresses, I figured I could actually try to make my skirt after all these years. The fabric I bought a while ago was still see-through so I went to the nearest fabric store and picked out a bunch of fabric squares and bought myself a cheapo handheld stitcher because I didn’t want to go overboard only to find out that once again I’d have no clue how to make a skirt. I brought my fabric home, cut it into even – what turned out to be – rectangles and sewed the first row together. I then went on to sew the second row together but could not figure out how to make the circle skirt – well –  a circle.  I couldn’t figure out a number of the steps so I turned to the web and found a couple of really nice DIY websites. Some many hours later, a phone call or two to my aunt trying to figure out how the hell to gather without a sewing machine (funny thing that I found out from my Aunt was that gathering is easier done by hand) and some reading on the web and I made my first circle skirt of rather bright purple, green and pattern fabrics. I was pretty proud of myself. 

Of course, I figured out after I sewed the skirt together that hemming is better done before gathering and sewing the tiers together. A handheld stitcher holds a thread worth sh*t. But! I had made my skirt. Since the colors were not the most desired for a circle skirt, I went and used the other fabric I purchased this time around and proceeded to make my second circle skirt and I have to say, I am now hooked on these skirts. They are so comfortable. And if you have a couple of hours, they are not that hard to make once you figure it all out.

I have since finished my third circle skirt and have the tiers all sewn together for my fourth one. Not only am I hooked on the circle skirts but I have sewn my first 3 baby blankets as gifts for friends. I am working on another baby blanket and a quilt with a design I created as well. It’s a lot of work but I find it really fun to see how each piece turns out. I now have a whole new understanding of people who quilt and how much satisfaction comes from finishing a piece. A really awesome co-worker thankfully loaned me her sewing machine and it has made the work go a lot faster, plus my stitches are not as loosey-goosey. I am looking forward to finishing my fourth skirt so I can work on my next one – a micro-suede fabric. I need to figure out how to back the quilt for my friend and I need to finish the Winnie-the-Pooh quilt for another friend. I’ll post some pictures of the current works in progress my next time online. I’ll even take some pictures of my fourth skirt before its finished so you can see the before and after. I found the best thing to do is cut your squares first. I’ve spent more money on this craft then I ever expected to but its like buying a new skirt when I get down to the actual cost of fabric, if you don’t include my time putting them together. I was so happy with my efforts that I went out and bought a cheapo camera to share blurry pictures of my work.  I am sorry the pictures are a little sad-looking. When I typed ‘cheapo camera’, I wasn’t kidding but at least you get an idea of what some of the crafting projects look like. I might even go so far as to set up a DIY page for the circle skirt so others can try their hand at the craft. I do have to warn you, it can be addicting.🙂






Flirt – by Laurell K Hamilton, Book 18 in the Anita Blake series – book review

Flirt by LKH Anita Blake book 18

We're all flirts at heart.

Okay, so I read the most recent Anita Blake novella, Flirt , by Laurell K.  Hamilton, a while ago. I have to say, it failed to ‘wow’ me. It’s definitely a filler book and,  if you plan to follow the Anita Blake series, not one you can really skip because we wind up with a new member to Anita’s ever-growing harem of men.  The novel focuses more on Anita’s moral standards with reasons why she’ll raise a zombie and what reasons she won’t raise a zombie for and its centered around a little luncheon flirtation after Anita is asked in two different client meetings by two very different people to raise two zombies for reasons that Anita can’t, won’t and isn’t willing to do for no amount of money.  One of those clients doesn’t take Anitas’  no for the answer it is and, having throughly researched her, hires some not so friendly werelions to persuade Anita to change her mind. The lions, Jacob and Nick, corner Anita back at the cafe she had her friendly flirtatious lunch at and Anita picks up on their ‘bad news’ mojo right away. Her lion also perks up and through a series of conversational foibles, Anita finds out her Regina is in heat and sending up the red flags for ‘Come and get me’. While fighting for control over her Regina, Anita finds out her client went to some very big extremes in order to ensure her cooperation with the raising of the zombie and now her lovers are in danger.  Skip a few pages of big font and Anita finds herself cut off from her men and in need of a feeding and normal food won’t cut it. Anita has to choose between the two lions that first accosted her and settles on Nick since he seems the most drawn to her and the most willing of the two to share her with other men. Lions are extremely territorial wereanimals and sharing is just not in their natural makeup. The other lions feel Anita and Nick hopping on the aurder feeding wagon and try to stop them but wind up losing one of their own badies. The power of a wereanimal death gives Anita what she needs to free herself, break the spell the werelion witch had cast that blocked her from her men and, oh yea, raise an cementary to take care of her pesky client.

This story was brief, filler fodder and seemed only to answer the Cookie/Haven dilema Anita has been struggling with. The cartoon at the back was almost not necessary but Laurell seemed to want to share the background for her idea as much as tell a story. Would I recommend this? For something to read while waiting for better, yes. And I guess, I’d almost have to recommend it for anyone following the series otherwise we’d be missing some important pieces when Bullet comes out. Do I wish it had more of the first Anita novels? Hell yea. I don’t mind Anita becoming more comfortable with the life she has and the gift she has but I miss the mystery. I miss  the suspense and the tension of sexual possibility. Now its just an inevitable occurance and a rather graphic one at that. I am happy though that Hamilton has toned down a smidgeon the sex machine that Anita has become over the last couple of novels. Here’s hoping Bullet brings back some of what I fell in love with in the first novels.

Pick up a copy of Flirt and the first  six Anita Blake novels by clicking on the images below and ordering one from


Beyond a Reasonable Doubt on DVD – movie review

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt on DVD

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt on DVD

Broke down and rented the movie Beyond a Reasonable Doubt from Redbox – I got tired of waiting for it at the library. I really wanted to see this because I like Amber Tamblyn, known for her role in Joan of Arcadia and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and am depressed her TV series keep getting canceled so any chance to watch her is good for me. Plus Michael Douglas, known for his role Disclosure and Romancing the Stone, was in this as well as Jesse Metcalf , known for his role in Desperate Housewifes and John Tucker Must Die, (not too much of a positive for me but he does a decent job in this movie). Overall, I’d categorize this movie as a Corrupt Law Murder Mystery with a twist. I did enjoy this movie better than Law Abiding Citizen and it didn’t have nearly the violence as Law Abiding Citizen or the action but you actually are given a character background with this movie so that you care what happens to the characters. And what I really liked about this movie was that it was throwing hints and clues my way the whole time and they didn’t hit me in the face until the end of the movie. Then I was like, ohh, that why he was limping when he got out of bed and oh, that’s who kept calling him and little things like those that tied the movie together when that final climatic scene was played.

The general synopsis of the movie plays out that a news reporter from Buffalo gets his big break after winning an award for a documentary. The news reporter C. J Nicholas, played by Jesse Metcalf, is trying to make it big and thinks he’s found his news story in a theory on how a high-profile criminal lawyer is winning all of his cases by planting evidence after the murder has happened. This Criminal Lawyer in question, Mark Hunter, played by Micheal Douglas, is running for Governor. Jesse strikes up a relationship with the Hunter’s Assistant D.A., Ella Crystal, played by Amber Tamblyn.

Unbeknown to Ella, Jesse finds his job in jeopardy as cut-backs are being made. Now, despite his bosses telling him to let his theory about Hunter being corrupt go since he doesn’t have proof, Jesse set out to find proof. He convinces his photojournalist coworker to help him frame himself for murder by documenting C.J. purchasing pieces of evidence after a murder has happened and setting C.J. up for a crime he didn’t commit – they just have to wait for the perfect crime to come up. And gee, imagine that, one perfect crime comes along rather quickly for C.J. He and his partner work fast to plant C.J. at the top of the suspect list and it works. Ella is shocked by C.J.’s arrest and sets out to investigate C.J.’s claims that Hunter works with a head detective and somehow they are planting evidence after the crime occurs to get Hunter’s convictions in court.

Amber Tamblyn plays Ella Crystal in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

Amber Tamblyn plays Ella Crystal in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

C.J. Nicholas played by Jesse Metcalf in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

C.J. Nicholas played by Jesse Metcalf convicing his co-worker to help C.J. frame himself for murder

The drama and tension builds as we watch Amber sift through the evidence and work towards proving C.J.’s innocence. Hunter and the head detective pick up that something is off with this murder and work fast to enter evidence after the fact during the trial – incriminating blood found on the pants that C.J. was to have worn during the murder. All the data that C.J. and his partner recorded as proof that they bought the supposed evidence after the crime is lost in a horrific accident. Now its a matter of life and death after C.J. is convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection. I was really into this movie and enjoyed watching it unfold. I won’t share too much more but I hope I shared enough for you to want to go out and get a copy.

You can purchase a copy of Beyond a Reasonable Doubt on DVD and some other suggestions by clicking on the images below:

Make It or Break It Season 1 Episode 18 – The Great Wall – TV series review

Make It or Break It - Mondays on ABC Family

Make It or Break It team

Okay, the next Make It or Break It episode aired on Monday, February 22, 2010 – Season 1 Episode 18, The Great Wall. In this episode, it seems some time has gone by and the US National Team is that much closer to competing against China in China without Emily or Kaylie. The girls are starting to realize that not going to China could ruin their careers. Sasha has promised them that China will come to them and Sasha is working the girls harder than ever to make them better than ever so they’ll beat China when China comes to the Rock to compete with Kaylie and Emily. The opening scene is Sasha timing the girls from the Rock on a 5 mile run up a hill. As they get to the top of the hill, Kaylie complains about how hard Sasha is working them and as Sasha is explaining this is how you become a champion and that is how Payson got to be at the top before her injury, who should come running up the hill at that moment but none other than Payson! She’s training again. Payson’s back surgery seems to have been a success and she is going to Physical Therapy while doing some training exercises at the Rock. Payson is only waiting on the therapist to give her the go ahead to start doing Gymnastics again.

Sasha Beloff played by Neil Jackon

Yummy Rock Coach Sasha Beloff played by Neil Jackon. I think I watch this show just for glimpses of him

Cut away to Payson’s mom on the phone discussing selling their house because the insurance didn’t cover Payson’s surgery. On top of that, we find out that if the Rock is going to host China, it’s going to cost them around $30, 000 so they need to come up with some cash to cover the cost. The Rock mom’s decide on a Bingo night raffle where half the proceeds go to the winner of the jackpot and the other half goes to the Rock. While the mom’s are deciding this, we are finding out that Sasha hasn’t even invited the Chinese to the Rock yet. He’s waiting on the hope that China will beat the US and then he’ll issue a challenge to the Chinese team – a true competition at the Rock against the better US National team members, the ones the committee held back from the competition in China. Summer is shocked that Sasha would lie to everyone especially after all the plans the Rock moms are making to earn money to host China. As the competition draws nearer, the tension builds. After the US loses, Sasha issues a challenge to the Chinese team during a national press conference, calling out the committee for leaving the National Champion behind and saying that China didn’t get to compete against the real American Dream Team. Now everyone is left waiting for the decision. And now everyone knows that Sasha didn’t have it in the bag for the Chinese to be coming to Rock. Kim is shocked that Summer knew and didn’t say anything, she even implies that something might be going on between Sasha and Summer. While all this drama is going on, the Rock mom’s and other Rock team members find out that Payson’s parents are considering selling their house and the Rock mom’s decide to rig the jackpot so that Payson’s mom wins and maybe the money will be enough to save their home.

Characters Damon and Razor from Make It or Break It

Two of Emily's love interests - Damon (on the left) and (Razor on the right)

To add to the drama, the Bingo night is going to be held at the Pizza Shack where Emily works and technically is not supposed to be working per the Rocks rules but Emily has to work to make ends meet financially at home. In walks the Rock Moms and Kaylie and her brother Leo. If you remember back a couple of episodes, Leo took a shine to Emily. And right now, Emily is not doing too well on the Damon front after he lied to her about his music gig, didn’t call her for a couple of days and then, of course, she found out he was in jail – even better. Emily is dealing with major trust issues and has 3 guys that like her, 2 of which work at the Shack. Razor finally realized that Emily still cares for Damon and is trying to do the good friend thing and step back. Leo, well, he has no loyalty to Damon and is quite happy to be seeing Emily again so when the Rock Mom’s walk into the Shack and Emily freaks out about someone blabbing about her job at the Shack to Sasha, Leo helps Emily out by giving Emily his sweater to hide her work uniform. Damon is eaten with jealously watching Leo flirt with Emily and he’s trying hard to get back into Emily’s good graces and all Emily is trying to do is focus on training and succeeding and getting to the Olympics. Leo, being a gymnast understands what Emily is going through and helps her realize why she’s having trouble landing a higher difficulty vault. Emily hugs Leo for his advice and Damon decides he’s going to stop struggling with his music and get his act together and be the guy that’s right for Emily and heads for the music studio.

The Bingo night is a success and the mom’s pull off rigging the jackpot. While the $10,000 won’t cover all the bills, it’ll help the Keeler’s out. As we’re watching Bingo night unfold, we also are watching Sasha waiting by the phone to find out if the Chinese have accepted the challenge. Just when it looks like Sasha gave up hope and was going to head home, the phone rings and – it’s not the Chinese. It’s the EVIL committee woman calling to tell Sasha he doesn’t stand a chance in hell of the Chinese coming to compete against the Rock. That he’s gone beyond the bounds of committee and there’ll be hell to pay when they get back to the US. Sasha, disappointed, closes up the Rock and heads to his trailer. As he’s walking down the stairs, the phone rings again. This time its the Chinese! They’re coming – POO on you evil committee woman!🙂

Payson’s therapist okay’s her for starting gymnastics again but she lies to her mother and doesn’t jump right up on the beam. No, this episode actually ends with Payson walking away from the uneven bars, fear evident on her face.

Sasha shares the news about China accepting the invitation to come to the US and compete against the Rock with Summer and well, let’s just say that Kim was right about something going on between these two. How Summer manages to resist him as much as she has is beyond me. I’d be on that like white on rice.

So, we are left wondering will the Rock athletes be up to the challenge against China? Will Payson overcome her fear? Will Summer leave the Rock so Kim can have her job back or will Summer stay for Sasha? There’s more drama to watch and I am looking forward to the next Make It or Break It episode. Hope you’ll watch it with me.

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