RECAP: The Walking Dead Episode 502 or as I like to call it “What is This Fresh Devilry?”

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!

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Well. Where shall we start with this one?

While this didn’t carry the same non-stop action as last week’s season opener, my blood pressure was still all over the place and I was stressed out and tense the whole episode. Why? The whole time I kept waiting for something to happen. Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn’t. The show, as I’ve mentioned, cares nothing for my nerves.

I have to start by saying this had one of my favorite openings – but only because it made Rick look baller. They were slowly walking up a hill and there was some epic theme music. You can’t go wrong with that. Just saying.

As I mentioned, it was slower, so the first part of the episode showed different conversations going on. We see Tyreese and Carol discussing what they’re going to share with the group versus what they aren’t. I had a hard time concentrating though, because the whole time I was focused on the stream water they were filling their water bottles up with and ALL THE GERMS. Um. nasty. There could be walker germy germs in there people. Carol asks Tyreese why he doesn’t want to share about the girls (and seriously, why the hey would you?!) and his response is “I just need to forget.” I don’t blame him.

They continue showing the group walking through the forest and we see Michonne reach for her Katana, but nope…the Termites took that one. No worries though, she takes down a walker with no problem.

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I don’t know what weapon makes Michonne scarier, but this is definitely doing the trick! Photo by Gene Page/AMC

We continue to see Rick and Carol interact and he even looks to her, asking if she “will have them.” I appreciate his outreach, but let’s be real, Rick’s the leader. The next conversation we zoom to is between Carol and Daryl. Nothing much is said (they almost don’t need to) and Daryl promises not to push. Carol then steals Tyreese’s line and says “I just need to forget.”

Just when I’m thinking this episode will just be a bunch of catch up convos, Daryl senses a presence and we see a creepy shadow/figure pass through the night. What joy is mine.

Enter in Father Gabriel. He’s on top of a rock trying to kick off walkers. Our crew comes and saves the day and it’s clear this fella has no idea what to do with walkers. I kind of believe him when he says he’s been hiding, because who throws up after being attacked at this point in the game? I did have to chuckle at the look on everyone’s face. Not only were they skeptical, they definitely had a WHO IS THE GUY? look.

I don’t blame them for being skeptical. Even after the episode finished, I still don’t know what to think of him.

People are just as dangerous as the dead. Don’t you think? – Father Gabriel
No. They’re worse. – Daryl

Rick decides to let Father G take them to this church of his and he cracks some terrible jokes along the way. Awkward.

They reach the cute little church and go through making sure there isn’t anything shady. I wish I could hear their thoughts as each looked at the drawings, the Last Supper image, Bible verses…in such a twisted world. They’re expressions certainty pointed to much deeper thoughts.

We learn Father Gabriel survived by himself for so long because the church had just finished a canned food drive before it all hit the fan. Sounds like a bunch of shenanigans to me. Where did the rest of his “flock” go then? Wouldn’t a few have survived? I sense something fishy is afoot. At least the whole group is determined to stay together though. The splits STRESS ME OUT.

Rick doesn’t trust Father G (don’t blame him) and has a chat with Carl about protecting Judith. He reminds him no matter what, he is not safe. Never let your guard down. Yet where do we find Carl when Rick comes back? Outside in the back where no one can see him. Some things haven’t changed.

Then there’s Bob. Probably the most random character of the group. He’s become Mr. Optimistic and spouts off random things. I can’t deny him that, but I’m thinking it means he won’t be around much longer. Daryl and Carol are off getting water and he’s talking to her about second chances. Tara and the two lovebirds are off to find ammo. I can’t tell you much besides that because I kept expecting things to pop out and people do be attacked.

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Oh Glenn….what’s in store for you? Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Finally Rick and team come across the place Father Gabriel was talking about with the extra food. We also comes across a bunch of creatures from the blue lagoon. Let me tell you, those were the nastiest walkers yet. EW. The team decides to jump in the water with said creatures (sounds like a good idea, but not really) and we learn Father G cannot even kill a walker. How has he survived this long? Seriously. He’s either the world’s biggest liar or just really lucky.

Then Bob. Of course it would be Bob. He gets attacked by most disgusting walker of all time. He manages to get away, but we also aren’t too sure he came away unscathed.

This episode has produced more questions than answers. Like the mysterious sign at the back of the church:

“You’ll burn for this.” I mean, wha???

We get a break in the stress of the episode while everyone is eating a nice hearty dinner. Abe toasts to survivors, while making his case for DC. We also get Mullet Man’s one line of the episode claiming there’s infrastructure set up that’s able to withstand the epidemic. Tara also comes clean to Maggie and all is well between the two (which I’m glad, there’s enough stress going on. I don’t need more internet).

I have one quick question. I need to know why windows shades are open with candles glowing. Calling all walkers!!! Come surround our little church please! Survival 101, team. Pay attention.

Then the last 8 minutes of the episode decide to get all kinds of batty.

First, Rick warns Father G that if his secret harms his family/crew, he’ll kill him. No big deal. Carol tries to run away (WHY?!), but Daryl stops her. They see the kidnap car and off they go in the middle of the night to chase it and hopefully find Beth. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that. Bob is outside the church crying and then gets knocked out by a mystery man. I have no idea why he was outside by himself. The only reason I can think of is he knows he was scratched or something by the water walker.

Why end on that note though, when the Termy psychopaths can end things for us! You thought last week was disturbing. Silly readers, that was nothing compared to what we see. They have Bob tied up and cut off his leg and had a little BBQ.

Vile.

Why not top it off with Gareth telling Bob how tasty he is as he takes a bite. What in the actual fresh Hades Internet? Creepiest scene ever.

P.S. The dude Tyreese thought he killed isn’t dead. Cool.

Alright readers, all you – what are your thoughts? Join in the comments or on Facebook!

(If interested in previous recaps and Walking Dead discussions, just go here!)

Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin | Book Review + Giveaway

“If we deny God, our lives aren’t worth living.”

I feel smarter after reading Lynn Austin’s books, I really do. Especially with her latest series, The Restoration Chronicles. She has the incredible talent of packing her novels with historical research that would make my grad professors proud and yet not drowning the reader or overwhelming them. It’s the perfect blend of a master storyteller and bringing to life the Old Testament.

In Their Darkest Hour, Where Would Hope Be Found?

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king’s palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year.

Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future–of family and love–seem impossible.

In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God’s unwavering love for His people.

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As I mentioned when reviewing the first in this series (Return to Me), this story is so rich.  From the background (I found the viewpoint of the exiles during Esther’s story fascinating), to the characters and their individual paths. Also, as with the first, this isn’t a fast read, but you’re so drawn in, you don’t notice and I was sad to see it end.

It’s also amazing how we can learn from the characters in this story with the historical era and culture being so different. Yet, that’s what Austin is able to do. While keeping her story accurate, the characters are relate-able and you find yourself connecting with many of them on a deeper level; understanding their struggles, feeling their pain and again deepening your faith. Can you tell I’m a fan of Austin? :)

If you’ve read this one from Austin, did you have a favorite character? Do you find yourself drawn to biblical historical fiction?

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

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Christian Books

Lynn Austin is back with the next book in The Restoration Chronicles series, Keepers of the Covenant. Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God’s unwavering love for His people.

Lynn is celebrating with a Kindle HDX giveaway and a live author chat webcast on October 21st.

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One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • Keepers of the Covenant by Lynn Austin

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 21st. Winner will be announced at the Keepers of the Covenant LIVE webcast event on October 21st. Connect with Lynn for a fascinating evening centered around God’s unwavering love for His people. She’ll be hosting a Biblical fiction book club discussion, giving away prizes, answering your questions, offering an exclusive peek at the next book in The Restoration Chronicles, and much more!

So grab your copy of Keepers of the Covenant and join Lynn and friends on the evening of October 21st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


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Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 21st!

Kept by Sally Bradley | Book Review

If you’re into losing sleep, go ahead and read this book. A few bloggers had already shared how they stayed up into the wee hours of the morning reading Sally Bradley’s debut novel, but I thought to myself, I’ll totally be able to stop at a decent hour. Totally.

The dark circles under my eyes said otherwise.

The next day I was legitimately angry I had to go to work. Clearly they did not understand my desperate need to finish this book. Life can be so unfair.

Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman. Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again. When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.

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Kept is one of the most honest novels I’ve read and not in a “share inappropriate details or use language for shock value” kind of way. It doesn’t need that, yet it doesn’t shy away from discussing how life is lived for many people today. It’s real life and shows how messy that can look. This isn’t a book where only one character needed redemption either. They all did in their own ways.

And that’s the beauty of this story and why I stayed up WAY too late reading it.

Yes, some of the characters were already believers, but last time I checked (meaning when I looked in the mirror), accepting Jesus is only the beginning. Life will continue to happen and we will always be in a refining process. We can sometimes be quick to judge, not want to understand or just wash our hands of things and people, but it’s often when we check our hearts and see people how God does, that we’re humbled and get to see transformation happen. And Miska’s story? So beautiful!

While this story falls under Contemporary Romance, y’all it is so much than a love story. It’s a wonderful story and a beautiful picture of redemption. This is a fresh and much need voice in the CBA market and I look forward to more of what Bradley writes!

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a book? I love when a debut book turns into an incredible surprise!

(With thanks to the lovely author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Where to Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien | Inklings Series Discussion

(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)

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“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

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J.R.R. Tolkien was truly a master story teller. Not only is this tale entertaining (the narrator made me laugh quite often), so many lessons come from the pages of this book. How greed can change a person, bravery, courage and how we might not think we’re ready for an adventure, but often we just need to step outside the door and go. Sigh…I can go one for days about this little gem of a book.

I not so secretly love Hobbits and how Tolkien describes them. Bilbo’s initial resistance, like the fact that going on adventure makes you late for dinner (a totally legit concern if you ask me ;))  is one of my favorite parts of the story. Not only because it makes me laugh (and we learn how golf really came about), but it makes his change all the more lovely.

This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbors’ respect, but he gained – well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.

I also think this is the perfect book for readers to introduce themselves to Middle Earth. It’s not too overwhelming to tackle and you get bits and pieces of the history of Middle Earth. Of course I’m biased, but reading it definitely made me want to dive into more of Tolkien’s Middle Earth books.

I also like the glimpses into each race (elves, dwarves, humans, goblins, Wargs, etc). Not only because it’s interesting, but we get hints at a much larger story (i.e. Lord of the Rings). Alright, enough of just me talking about the book. Here’s some questions that got me thinking and please feel free (as always) to share any other thoughts!

1. Did you have a favorite passage? I cheated and picked four.
“As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and a jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

“To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more.”

“Somehow the killing of this giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark…made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. ‘I will give you a name,’ he said to it, ‘and I shall call you Sting.’ ”

“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” (Thorin to Bilbo before he died)

2. Do you have a favorite character?
I’m a fan of Fili and Kili – especially as the greed didn’t effect them as it did with most of the other dwarves. Plus the movie portrayal of them? Love them! But really, my favorite is Bilbo. At first, so resistant to going on such an adventure, yet he becomes a hero.

3. Thoughts on Thorin. Go!
My first thought is how perfectly cast Richard Armitage is for the role of Thorin. While completely beside the point, I can’t help it – I had to bring him up because he’s Richard Armitage and if I ever had the chance to meet him I wouldn’t be able to make a coherent sentence. He’s such an interesting character who I liked, disliked and ultimately liked again in the end (when he saw the error of his ways). I like that he wasn’t the perfect King of the Mountain – it makes me like the story that much more.

4. It always makes me so sad for the ones we lose in the final battle. Apparently there was a petition going around to change that in the movies. As sad as it was, I think Thorin dying is fitting. Although I’m still sad about Kili and Fili, even if they died defending their Uncle (Thorin) and showed true loyalty. It was kind of like Lupin and Tonks’ death in Harry Potter. Totally not necessary. What did you think of their deaths?

5. As always, please share any other thoughts!
Me? I want an Eagle.

Meet Wesley of Library Educated | Blogger Interview

Today y’all get the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Wesley from Library Educated! It’s only been a few months of our blogging friendship, but I’m so thankful we connected (of course over those two Inklings :)! I always look forward to her posts, insight and comments as well! Nothing like a good book chat to get you through the day right?

Plus she just celebrated one year of blogging yesterday! Woot!

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Fast 5

1. How long have you blogged?
I hit my one year anniversary on October 12th! (Throws confetti, puts lampshade on head). It went so fast! I can’t believe it.

2. What’s your favorite genre (or at least one of them)?
I feel like I’m reading a lot more nonfiction than I used to in the past. But I am always down for reading something with a historical background (fiction, nonfiction whatever!)

3. What are you currently reading?
I’m reading “Hold the Dark” (creepy, dark,short) and “The Cartographer of No Man’s Land“. This one is going not as well as I’d hoped. I think maybe I’ve accidentally read too many war books in a row, I need to take a break from those!

4. What’s another blog you enjoy? (Doesn’t have to be book related)
I wholeheartedly look forward to Inklings every month (and your posts in between of course!). I also love my friend from college Sarah’s blog: Neroli Blossoms. Sarah is smart, funny, crafty and fashionable in a very approachable every (wo)man type of way. And her rescue dog Sitka is so cute!

5. What’s something you enjoy outside of reading?
I like to sew and do various crafts (dabbling in a lot of types, mastering none!), watching movies, plotting vacations and trying new restaurants.

4 Questions

1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
This was a hard question. I think what would surprise me most would be my relationships with some people. Friendships and relationships take time and consideration by both people and when you don’t have that it doesn’t take long for friendships to change. I think I’d be surprised by the people who I used to be close with who I am no longer close with, and the people who I wasn’t super close with that I’m now much closer with. (That’s a very poorly structured sentence, I’m sorry!)

2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I don’t know if I would change anything necessarily but I’d definitely give teenage Wesley a pep talk. Something like “All of those things that you think make you weird are what actually make you awesome. Not everyone will appreciate those weird things but that’s okay. This will all make slightly more sense when you are older. Also, you’re not going to marry Brian from the Backstreet Boys, so maybe get ready for that too.”

3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
It might be cliche, but it’s probably my wedding. I didn’t really think that marriage was going to happen for me, so when it did I was surprised! Josh is a great gift in my life (except when he jabs his pointy elbows at me when he’s sleeping. I hate that).

4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
No one knows exactly what they’re doing in this life. We’re all figuring it out as we go, so don’t feel like a failure when you make mistakes because everyone else is doing it too. Treat everyone with kindness.

Where can we find you on the world wide web?
Judging by this list, everywhere apparently!
Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Thank you so much Wesley for joining me on Books and Beverages! I told Wesley I was going to marry Keanu Reeves, so I totally would have needed the same pep talk :). So glad you readers get to meet her and I hope you’ll connect with her too!