Tag: Best

Book Review ~ Reviving Olivia by Becca Jameson

Book Review ~ Reviving Olivia by Becca Jameson

HOLY S***! That sums this book up in two words. I just thought the other six in this series got their claw into me, nope. Reviving Olivia was like a drug. I had to finish, I could not put it down, I could not sleep until it was over. Everything comes together and I was speechless. Olivia is the key, the question is what does she unlock. She was a nurse who was frozen but wasn’t sick. Why? What does she have to do with everything? No spoilers I promise. Damon is responsible for keeping her safe. He was responsible for bringing everyone else back to life, but can he keep her alive. Almost from the time Olivia woke from her coma Damon was drawn to her. Next is Spencer, he is the hacker of the group and use to work for the enemy. Shy in a way, and he craves both Damon and Olivia. He is there because there are questions about Olivia’s past. Particularly who is she really. The heat between these three is off the charts! Is that because of adrenaline or is there something between them. The goal is to stay alive then maybe just maybe they can explore more.

This series is best read in order as each has info that leads into the next. If you want to start this series, Reviving Emily is the first and is currently free on Amazon.

This book was provided from the Author for the purpose of providing a review. Regardless of how any book is obtained, all views given are my personal and honest opinions. Please assume all links in this post are affiliates and Booked & Loaded has the potential to receive monetary gain from any purchases used via the links. These purchases help support the blog and help pay for the cost of running this site…

Book Review: “Stop Working…Start Living: How I Retired at 36 Without Winning the Lottery”

Book Review: “Stop Working…Start Living: How I Retired at 36 Without Winning the Lottery”

As you can tell from my (arguably generous) “three-and-a-half-star” rating of this book, I do “like” it. Indeed, I deem it a somewhat more engaging read than many (but not all) other, comparable “early retirement” books I’ve encountered.

In fact, being myself (at age 54) an “early/frugal retiree” for six years already, I can personally relate to many commonsense things the lovely Diane Nahirny advocates throughout her narrative [the earliest portions of which comprise largely autobiographical content (regarding the phases of Ms. Nahirny’s own gradual emergence from “wage slavery” to “early retirement”) that just might inspire you to yawn rather than cheer]. Just as Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin (in their 1993 bestseller Your Money or Your Life [ISBN: 0140167153]) generally advocated distinguishing between your actual requirements and your fleeting desires, Ms. Nahirny makes clear her belief that needs and wants aren’t always synonymous. Analogously, she stresses what most of us already know (but don’t necessarily practice): continual “comparison shopping” and “frugal living” are equally important for stretching–and living within–one’s budget.

I appreciate how Ms. Nahirny enthusiastically cites examples of her having maximized the use of such things as freebies and credit-card perks, not to mention consumer-product rebates, special offers, or coupons. Believe me, I can relate; indeed, in the current economic climate, many folks could do worse than to review the assortment of consumer tips to be gleaned from a patiently attentive reading of this book (not that Ms. Nahirny’s collective advice in that vein even remotely approaches the breadth of what Amy Dacyczyn had already compiled three years earlier in The Complete Tightwad Gazette [0375752250])

However, in the spirit of providing a “reality check”, I feel inclined to point out several cold facts to prospective readers of Ms. Nahirny’s book.

First, “American” (i.e., U.S.) readers should bear in mind that Ms. Nahirny is a Canadian, and therefore her routine health-care expenditures are surely only a fraction of what they’d be were she to purchase the typical American’s level of health insurance. (We’ve all heard of the “free” national health care available to all Canadian citizens.) Mind you, I myself spend only about $90 monthly for my American health insurance, but that only buys a rather bare-bones, “$5,000-deductible” policy. Hence, even though I’m in good health (knock on wood!) and generally only require a tiny handful of visits to the doctor yearly, between those inescapable, ever-rising insurance premiums and the rare office visits, I still end up spending at least a “noteworthy” sum for health care annually. [I dread to think about the sum that any comparably frugal American having major, chronic health issues must spend! And, in this election year, I can’t fathom how obdurate many fellow Americans–including more than a few having only modest and precarious sources of income–remain regarding the very notion of a significant revision of the fundamentally “for-profit” nature of this nation’s health care system. Many ordinary folks seemingly have had fewer and less strenuous objections to being heavily taxed to fund an ill-advised, unwarranted, destructive, protracted invasion of a “harmless” nation than being taxed to fund sensible health care coverage for themselves and their fellow citizens… but that controversial topic is fodder for another day, another post.]

Furthermore, U.S. readers should bear in mind the modest-yet-noteworthy monetary difference between Canadian and American dollars. On pages 98 through 101, Ms. Nahirny discusses her net worth, and she states that, as of 2000, it had risen to $300,000, which, in American dollars (as of this writing) would actually be roughly equivalent to “only” $293,333.90. Furthermore, she makes clear that her equity in her house (amounting to $170,000) made up the largest portion of her net worth. In other words, the REST of her assets amounted to only $130,000 (Canadian), which would be equivalent to only $127,094.49 (American). [Note that these monetary discrepancies were substantially greater a mere year or so ago, before the U.S. dollar’s newsworthy plummeting.] In any case, “do the math” (not omitting inflation and taxation, and factoring a realistic, safe rate of return on assets), and you’ll quickly perceive that that amount of money (starting in the year 2000) wasn’t likely to finance genuine retirement for any “middleclass” citizen in Canada–much less the USA–for another three decades or longer. [If I’m missing something here, somebody please bring it to my attention.] Of course, Ms. Nahirny could always sell her house and thereby derive more interest income per year; but she doesn’t sound inclined to do so any time soon. Therefore, take her touted claim of being literally “retired” with the proverbial grain of salt. “Semi-retired” would seem more accurate. I suspect she’ll be continuing to engage in some part-time employment for years to come–unless, that is, she’s received an inheritance (or other windfall) since her book was published …

How to Create Bookmarks with OpenOffice Writer

How to Create Bookmarks with OpenOffice Writer

When you think of inserting a link in your OpenOffice Writer document, most people think of a hyperlink to a website. However, you can also create links to other parts of the same document. Why would you want to do this? For short documents, such as a three page document, links are not that beneficial. For a longer document, such as an ebook, links, also called bookmarks, are a major time saver.

Getting Started

The best way to create bookmarks in OpenOffice Writer is to first create a list of bookmarks, such as a table of contents. This page will be near the beginning of your document for easy access. You can also create a glossary or index at the end of your document. No matter how you want to do it, having all your bookmark links in one place makes it easier for your reader to find exactly what they need quickly.

Once your bookmark page is created, complete the rest of your document. Until you have the rest of your document written, it is hard to know exactly where to link your bookmarks. For instance, in an ebook, it is hard to guess where Chapter 2 will start until it is written. You can create bookmarks as your write, though.

Create a Bookmark

When you are ready to create your first bookmark, place your cursor at the beginning of the text or line you want to bookmark. For instance, in an ebook, you would likely create a bookmark for each chapter. In this example, you would place your cursor at the beginning of Chapter 1 and repeat the process for each chapter. You can divide bookmarks up however works best for your document.

Select the Insert menu and choose Bookmark. Enter a name for your bookmark in the first textbox. The name can be anything you want, but to make the next step easier, use a descriptive name. For chapters, you may want to use the chapter name or chapter number.

Press OK to add the bookmark to your document. Every new bookmark you add will be listed in the textbox below the bookmark name box. Delete a bookmark at any time by first selecting it from the list and choosing Delete.

Link to a Bookmark

Creating a bookmark does you little good unless you link to it. Navigate to your bookmark list page that you created initially. Highlight the text that matches your first bookmark. This text will serve as your hyperlink. Press the Hyperlink button or choose Insert and select Hyperlink.

Select Document from the left side of the screen. Beside the Target box, press the button that looks like a target. Select Bookmarks from the list. Choose the correct bookmark from the displayed list. Press Apply.

If you have multiple bookmarks, this method can become tedious. Luckily, you never have to close the Hyperlink window. If you have used descriptive names that are easy to remember, you don’t actually have to select Bookmarks either.

To continue, click your document and highlight the next bookmark text. This refreshes the Hyperlink window. In the Target text box, enter the # symbol plus the name of your bookmark. For the bookmark Chapter 2, you would enter the text #Chapter 2. Press Apply. Repeat this process. Please note that the name of the bookmark must be spelled exactly as it was original created. For Chapter 2, you couldn’t type chapter 2 or chapter2.

Adding bookmarks is much quicker this way. It also prevents skipping bookmarks in your bookmark list. After you’ve adding your bookmarks, click each link to make certain it works. Mainly, make certain it links to the correct spot in your document.


Romance Land Drama – A Reader’s Perspective

There has been so much romance land drama this year, it consumes entire visits with friends that read. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are luckiest reader alive, I envy you and I want to know how your secret. Also…don’t read this article. Seriously, ignorance is bliss.

You are still reading, and I will assume that you know at least some of what the drama is. This post is a reader’s perspective about how the drama is affecting me. How are readers feeling? What are bloggers doing different?

This post isn’t about the specific authors or many issues. So many others have brilliantly reported on all of these issues. There is literally nothing I could add. This post is simple. It is about how all of the drama affects me, as a reader. It is about how all of the drama affects me, as a blogger.

Having the drama (which appears to not be slowing down anytime soon) on a constant loop across every social media outlet is exhausting. Unfortunately, it also is anything new. From plagiarism, harassment, siccing “fans” on other authors, trademarks and catfishing….there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. I feel like the current issues hit a little harder because of the legal aspects and CLEAR ridiculous ripple effect of authors. For some unknown reason, going “ohhh that was a great marketing tactic” and following the lead of the circus master right into the fucking funny car. Only, it isn’t funny. It is stressful. I know it is stressful on the authors and I think that no one really seems to talk about how the stress has trickled down to the readers.

Witnessing readers gently pointing out that reactions from the crazy drama lama is not productive and they were bothered by it, seemed to create conflict and justifications from some authors. The problem is, those authors are not listening. Others seem to be a little oblivious. Others seem to take the possession of THIS IS IMPORTANT, so readers need to get over it. We get that it’s a big deal. We get why you are upset. The reality is…there isn’t a lot we can actively do about it. When every author everywhere is screaming over the internet about the same drama over and over…it diminishes the value of the real issue. Desensitizing readers with petty drama lama blog posts or social media posts, doesn’t add anything to our concerns. Do we want to be updated about the legal issues, sure. Realistically for every event, we probably get 1,000 updates. Regardless, important legal updates are not the same thing as every bizarre or inappropriate action.

Reading is an escape. Escaping into a world where love wins, fantastic creatures roam and kicking ass is the where we want to be. When you end up absorbed into the business side, it becomes hard to disconnect from it. Losing the value in the escape we desire and creating a deafening white noise effect of worry. What if this author actual plagiarized? What If I love this book and find out he/she is really a damn psycho and tomorrow they are going to show their true colors? What if this author is really a racist? What if this author…… Maybe this isn’t everyone’s internal dialog, but you know what I am saying here.

The effect on me is huge. It is affecting my book purchases, my ability to review and honestly…even my actual enjoyment of reading. Especially reading romance.

I mostly purchase the books I read. Publishers provide a small percentage of the books I read and are an exception, rather than the norm. Budgeting is also is a factor and although I used to be very liberal with purchases, time has shown that only a small percentage of the books I purchased were being read and changes were made to this habit. Now, I tend to make lists and when I am ready to read a new book I scroll through my list and purchase the book right before I read it. Yay, adulting.

Currently, almost all purchases are on hiatus. Being overwhelmed with all of this has pretty much shut me down on buying or reviewing books from anyone new, especially Indie. Many authors out there have a consistency about them and those I trust. This starts at the top of well-known large pub authors and down into Indie authors. The crazy isn’t isolated to one or the other, but it is certainly becoming a more predominate “trend” within in the Indie community – especially Romance. Indies have always made up a huge part of where I spend my money. That is how I have shown support, in addition to reading and reviewing. The random crazy didn’t really affect my personal habits …