RECAP: The Walking Dead Episode 512 or as I like to call it “Will You People Shower? Thanks”

Welcome to another Walking Dead recap! As always, this post has spoilers from the episode, so if you haven’t seen it yet, feel free to read previous recaps first!

BooksandBevs-WalkingDead(3.0)

Alright. Alright. Let’s see what Alexandria has for us.

“We brought dinner.” – Only Daryl

See? Isn’t that nice for our crew to bring snacks?

I need to throw this out there: Why do these new people ask for their weapons? As if they’re just going to hand them on over. Why are they shocked? They’ve been watching them, so they should know better. These people don’t answer to strangers.

The house has books!! Let’s stop and talk about all the books!!!

Back to these new characters. We meet Diana Monroe and she interviews Rick on camera and we get a bit of background story. She worked in Congress and was forced to this place when they were trying to get out of VA. She needs to stop smiling. She’s at a lost of what the world really is right now. She’s never even left the compound. I mean yikes. Although she exiled three men. I wonder if they ended up as Termites?

“I want you to help us survive.” Diana to Rick

Diana is such the politician, but I don’t think she’s Gov material.

They eventually give up their guns. I have a feeling this will come back to haunt them. Not so much because of the people inside, but when some new crazy comes to attack the place. You know that’s bound to happen.

Walking-Dead-512-Crew

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Aaron gives them two houses and says they can explore, check things out and they won’t have people bugging them. The house Carl and Rick explore is nice! I get why they were running for $800K.

And oh my word – SHOWERS people. SHOWERS.

Jessie shows up all neighborly, cuts Rick’s hair and says her sons can hang out with Carl. I don’t know if I can fully trust a group of people who have never been on the outside after everything hit the fan.

Can we all take a moment to appreciate that Season 1 Rick is back (and the hashtag #CleanCutRick)! But more importantly why haven’t the rest showered??

We don’t get too much more. Daryl is ansty in his video interview and refuses to sit down. Then he decided to cut open din din on the porch. Bruh. Gross. There’s some creepy noises and Carl comes across an abandoned attic.

Diana fully approves of Rick’s new look. Let’s be honest, who wasn’t?

In Michonne’s interview, she makes it clear this is what they want. Rick has a freak out moment when he can’t find Carl and Judith. They were hanging out with some g-rents, so all is well. Jessie is a bit pushy with the friendship, but Carl hangs out with her boys and a really angry teenage girl. Carl has a freak out moment, but gets no compassion from Edith.

Rude.

He also is real honest in his interview, the whole “I killed my mom” thing. I get not holding back though. They need to know exactly who they are, in case they try to do anything shady.

“They’re weak. I don’t want us to get weak too.” Interesting Carl, interesting…

But seriously, WHY HASN’T EVERYONE SHOWERED? I’m sorry I keep bringing this up, but I can’t be the only one who thinks this.

Rick decides to go for a night walk after a quick chat with Michonne. He stumbles upon Jessie’s husband. He’s just creepily sitting on the porch, smoking and provides the most non-genuine welcome I’ve ever witnessed. I bet he’s a bowl of cherries.

We cut to Rick laying down and then suddenly popping his eyes open like he’s just remembered something. Great. Just great. What did he remember?!

These interviews are interesting. It’s a good look at where people are at and what they think of this place. What’s Carol’s play? She still misses her husband?? Homegirl. You’re better than that. Although I haven’t decided if that’s an act or not. Daryl’s reaction to Carol’s new look and job? “You look ridiculous.” Only Daryl.

“We need to make this work because we were almost out there too long.” Glenn

Rick goes outside to explore the walls and Carl spies Edith (angry teen) climbing over the walls. So naturally he follows. He hasn’t learned since season two.

Glenn, Tara and Noah meet some of the guys and they go on a dry run. Rick goes back to retrieve his gun in the blender and it’s missing. Hmmm…..A bunch of walkers come, Carl shows up (Rick is no longer surprised) and they stab them all, even the one hiding underneath the blankie. It seems like they enjoyed killing them with the knife. Maybe so they don’t forget or get “weak?”

The two guys on the run turn out to be total jerks. Ew. They left one walker hanging (why would the other walker have eaten him though?? They don’t eat each other…), Aiden admits he’s a jerk and they’re ridiculous. They think this is all a game. They have no idea. Plus they almost got one of my people killed. Nope.

I knew there was something wrong. Our crew was quick to respond though. At least Diana recognizes that’s what they needed – you know to be knocked out by Glenn (and Aiden is her son). Finally, Rick accepts her job offer and puts his badge back on. It’s fitting. Makes me a bit happy.

“If they can’t make it, we’ll just take this place.” Just in case people forget who Rick is.

Hmmm…a bit of a slower episode again, but I’m okay with this. I need time to scope this new place out. Alright, what do you think? Sound off below or on Facebook.

God’s Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert | Book Review

The stories and history of Vikings definitely gets filed under “things Jamie knows nothing about.” There’s no real reason this has missed my history radar, but I guess you can’t read everything about every time period right? Lucky for me I had the chance to dive into the world of the vikings with Heather Day Gilbert’s God’s Daughter.

One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America. In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a voyage to North America. But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself–and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart. Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir–daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America.

Gods-daughters-heather-day-gilbert

This was an interesting read for many reasons. I learned quite a bit about the viking culture (from marriage, to the roles of women, to duty and loyalty) and am so thankful my birth year was 1982 ; ). Gilbert provides vivid descriptions, often bringing to life all of your senses. While it was a bit slow in the first half, the second half picked up quite a bit and had my full attention.

The novel is full of unique, misunderstood, brave and interesting characters and circumstances. Their personalities, their actions, their struggles, all come together to make for one intense tale. Plus there’s a look at Viking pagan traditions (what were people thinking?!) and a bit of spiritual warfare. What an era that was!

Have you studied much on Viking history? I admit, I’m a bit more interested in The History Channel’s “Vikings” now…

(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Meet Lydia of The Overweight Bookshelf | Blogger Interview

Y’all, I’m so excited for this post! First, because I love posting these blogger interviews and second? Lydia is fabulous and if y’all already don’t know her, you need to! Thanks to the internet, we connected over a love of books and now I get to serve with her on the INSPYs Advisory Board and it’s so much fun. I love working with her and reading her blog, so enjoy!

lydia-book-blog

Fast 5

1. How long have you blogged?
My long and varied blogging life began 8 years ago in my grandparents basement when I found a terribly pink blog template and wrote the first (now deleted) post for Perfectly Imperfect Beauty. The Overweight Bookshelf followed two years later and it’s the blog that I write that brings me the most joy and sense of contribution.

2. What’s your favorite genre (or at least one of them)?
Historical romance without a doubt! History has always enthralled me and I am a romantic to my core.

Sidenote: I have a friend who refuses to read historical books because she claims everyone in history reeked from infrequent bathing. I get a kick out of baiting her with the era of my latest reads.

3. What are you currently reading?
I have a terrible habit of reading multiple books at the same time. Sitting on my nightstand at the moment are Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund and Esther by Angela Hunt.

4. What’s another blog you enjoy?
Do you mean besides my regular jaunts to Books and Beverages?? (Editor’s note: You’re so sweet! : ) I hit up RelzReviewz to indulge my book hoarding, The Every Girl for lifestyle posts and She Loves Magazine for encouragement.

5. What’s something you enjoy outside of reading?
I have a chronic, incurable case of wanderlust. Aimlessly wandering through a new city or exotic location armed with just a notebook and a camera is my idea of the ultimate vacation. When I’m not daydreaming about hypothetical vacations, I’m trolling Pinterest for my next decorating DIY.

4 Questions

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
5 years ago I was happily ensconced in my city life in Montreal starting my career as a high school Social Studies and English teacher. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be back living in a suburb of Vancouver and teaching in French. God took one look at my life plan, snorted and said, “Isn’t that cute? She thinks that’s the best she can do.” It has been 5 years of testing, stretching and surprises to say the least!

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I would go back and tell my teenage self to CHILL OUT SISTER. I pushed myself to the brink of sickness determined to finish a five year degree in four years. I wish I had taken more time to breathe and live outside of libraries and lecture halls and not let my perfectionism get the best of me.

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
One of the happiest moments in my life was my university graduation. Walking the processional across campus behind bagpipers and into the convocation tent was a surreal moment. It wasn’t just a rite of passage, but the fulfillment of a dream. I now get to live out that dream every day when I walk in to my classroom and face a room of people that bring me daily doses of happiness and hilarity.

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
It isn’t until you pry open your fist and offer control of your life to God that you can experience the fullness of His blessings and glorious plans. Our greatest hopes and dreams don’t even begin to scratch the surface of His provision and purpose for our lives.

Thank you so much for joining in Lydia! It’s a pleasure hosting you here! Alright friends, be sure to connect and say hello in the comments. As I say about every three seconds – the book blogging and readers community is such a blessing!

Where to find Lydia around the web
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Children’s Bibles | Book Review

Holidays and family times are so much more fun with little nieces. With Easter just around the corner, it’s time for another Auntie package to send to my girls! I’m sure you won’t be surprised, but every gift I give my nieces includes books. Plus my sister tells me how much they love reading them, so who am I to deny right? Anyway, I recently came across these new gems from Zonderkidz just in time for Easter! Both are toddler/pre-school age and both are fabulous.

A bear to hug, a Bible to love, and a promise to treasure: God loves you! Tiny Bear’s Bible is a warm and fuzzy reminder of how God loves his children—in a format kids can cuddle. Together with their friend Tiny Bear, children discover eleven Bible stories in a book they can carry with them wherever they go. Bestselling author, Sally Lloyd-Jones presents some of the most familiar Bible stories to children, which provides parents and grandparents lots of teachable, cuddly moments as they explore God’s love together.

I really liked Tiny Bear’s Bible, but I love everything Sally Lloyd-Jones writes for children (author to the fabulous Jesus Storybook Bible and Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing). In her classic fashion, Tiny Bear’s Bible is full of God’s promises little ones can trust and treasure in their hearts, right along with the beautiful illustrations (by Igor Oleynikov).

tiny-bear-bibleB

tiny-bear-bibleA

The Little Chick’s Bible is a soft, cuddly Bible that children age 2-5 can call their own. Throughout this plush-covered book little ones learn that they’re loved and cared for by God as they hear about God’s faithfulness in stories from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. With sweet, rhyming text and colorful illustrations, this soft and cuddly character storybook Bible is sure to become a classic with preschoolers.

Little Chick’s Bible (by PJ Lyons and illustrated by Melanie Mitchell) is also a fabulous introduction to popular bible studies for kiddies to enjoy with rhyming lines, colorful illustrations and another soft and cute cover they’ll love to keep with them. This is a great resource for little ones, to start teaching the stories from the Bible.

little-chick-bibleB

little-chick-bibleA

What are some of your favorite Easter gifts to give?

(Thank you to Zonderkidz for a copies of each book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy Tiny Bear’s Bible: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Books

Where to Buy Little Chick’s Bible: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Books

Rebellious Heart | #HedlundChallenge2015 February Discussion

(The 2015 Jody Hedlund Challenge is a monthly series featuring the novels of author Jody Hedlund, hosted by Cassie of Bookshelves and Windows and Jamie of Books and Beverages. We invite readers and bloggers to join us in reading and discussing these books together. Every month, we’ll announce the book about four weeks before the discussion post will go live (alternating between Cassie and Jamie’s blogs). The following month, after everyone has read the book, we will discuss and interact with each other about our thoughts on each book with special appearances throughout the year! If you’re on Facebook be sure to join our group!)

Hedlund Logo

Hello everyone! I’m so excited to host this month’s read for the Jody Hedlund Challenge 2015! As I’ve mentioned before, Rebellious Heart holds the top spot of Jody’s novels and after re-reading it, this fact has been confirmed. This month we’re also getting a sneak peek of the design process, so let’s dive right in!

rebellious-heart-jody-hedlund-blog

“We’re all created equal…and I can’t sit idly back and let men or kings deny us our fundamental and unalienable rights.”

As I mentioned, this is my favorite. It helps knowing it’s based on John and Abigail Adams (high five to one of our founding fathers). Their relationship is such an example. They had a solid friendship, they learned to encourage each other’s strengths and helped change a nation. I’m reminded and encouraged by this: Be the woman God made you to be. Whether married or single, you have gifts that God has incredible plans for. If you are single and marriage is part of your path, trust that the Lord will bless you with someone who encourages those gifts and doesn’t shut them down.

It’s also Cassie’s favorite and I love her reasons (and completely agree!): “I love characters who are intelligent, passionate, who fight for justice and speak with conviction. Ben and Susanna embody these qualities, and their relationship was one filled with chemistry and based in friendship. From the small moment of Ben taking Susanna’s foot measurements to their declaration of love, I was completely immersed in this novel.”

If interested, here’s my original review and you can find Cassie’s original review here!

Alright, let’s dive into the discussion questions (some of these are courtesy of Jody’s website. You can find a full list of discussion questions here!) As always, please feel free to answer any, all and/or include any other thoughts (you’ll find mine in the comments too)!

  1. Were there any quotes that really stuck out?
  2. Susanna struggles with whether she should break the law. She doesn’t want to go against Scripture’s mandate to obey our earthly authorities. And yet, she also wants to help the runaway. Do you think it’s ever okay to break man-made laws? If so, under what circumstances?
  3. Mother-daughter and father-son relationships can sometimes be really stressful and sometimes an incredible blessing. How has your relationship with your parents influenced decisions you’ve made?
  4. Do you have a favorite character?
  5. Did you realize education of women was given such a low priority during colonial times? How do you think you would have reacted to being treated as an inferior to men?

The lovely folks over at Bethany House have hooked us up with some behind the scenes fun! Thank you so much to Amy and Bethany House for providing the insider’s look and insight!

1. I’ll start off with a general one – On average, how big is the design team? How much is the author involved?

Our in-house design team consists of our creative director and our three designers, who create the book covers and ads and website graphics and bookmarks and a million other things you didn’t realize needed to be designed. They are an amazingly talented group of people.

That said, if you’re talking about who is actually involved in the entire process, the circle widens to include the book’s editor and the Bethany House marketing team. There will usually be about three meetings for each cover—initial brainstorming, choosing from some rough options, and critiquing a more final cover. At each of these meetings, the full team is present to give feedback and suggestions to the designers—anything from what would work best for the market to which facial expression fits the character’s personality. Typically, 6-8 people attend those meetings. (Though occasionally our creative director will roam the halls of Bethany House, showing other employees two cover options to get their first-instinct opinion or asking which image of a child they think is the cutest.)

The author gives the team descriptions of the setting and characters (both personality and physical appearance), as well as any significant plot points that could be depicted on the cover. We don’t have the author sit in on the meetings, since they are A. too far away physically from BHP headquarters and B. probably a little too close emotionally to the story to make market-type choices on the look of the cover. Their editor, who has read the book, is there to be the author’s advocate, and let us know when we’re going in the wrong direction for the story or character. We do make changes to the final image based on author feedback—typical examples are things like a character’s hair needs to be more reddish, or that particular style of robe would need to be full-length for the time period.

Rebellious-heart-sketches

Early sketches

2. While in the planning and development stages of the cover, what were the most important aspects you wanted to convey about the story? Can you talk about some features of the cover that were created around bringing the story to life through this image?

One thing that was important to us was conveying the time period at a glance so that historical fiction readers know what to expect about the setting of the story (and to attract readers who love that particular era). Obviously, it wouldn’t be true to the story to show, say, George Washington carrying a musket running past the window. So the designer wanted to convey “Revolutionary War” through details like the dress, the background details, and even the font.

Also, although the story is obviously a romance, there’s some significant action and suspense going on in the plot. You’d know that if you read the back cover copy, but the image on the front should convey that as well. The photo shoot focused on Susanna holding the candle because we felt it was the most interesting, and conveyed that hint of mystery and danger. The shadows around the border of the book do the same. You may not consciously say, “Oh, look, there are shadows—this book will probably be a real page-turner,” but design influences us in ways we don’t even recognize.

Rebellious-heart-bts

Behind the scenes of the photoshoot!

3. In Rebellious Heart, the angle from which this cover is shot is different from the usual straight-on shot that is often seen on covers. Was there a reason for this?

At our first brainstorming meeting for Rebellious Heart, the marketing team requested that the designer explore new ways of showing the character to make it stand out. (The designer will go to and direct the photoshoot as well as working with the final images.) As you can see from the sketches, even at the earliest stage, this angle was considered, and it was the one the whole team liked the best.

Rebellious-heart-alternate

Alternate covers – what do you think?

Looking forward to what y’all have to say!! Thanks for joining in, these are some of my favorite discussions :)