Monday, March 24, 2014

Firemonkeys Sims FreePlay

I am a huge fan of EA's Sims. I have been playing for years and own the games. I spend more time, (and money), than I really like to admit to on them. So when I discovered Firemonkeys, (Real Racing 3), made an app game I can play on my Kindle Fire I was so stoked! I have been playing day and night since.
The game features my beloved Sims, though a smaller selection, and a Sims neighborhood. I can make a Sim, and build a home like I do in Sims 1,2, 3 and soon to be 4, (again on a smaller scale). Much like Sims Medieval, Sims FreePlay has Quests and tasks to do. I personally love doing the Quest play as much as I love just doing my own thing on regular Sims play. I think Firemonkeys have done an awesome job with game play on the app.
I had an issue with the game. It was something I brought to the attention of Firemonkeys and they fixed immediately, (it concerned their bundles of Simoleons/Life Points for purchase on Amazon)! Yay! Yeah! Go Firemonkeys!! Having dealt with EA regarding game play on Pogo.com I really was not expecting much at all from Firemonkeys. When I received an email from them regarding the issue and then saw that they fixed the issue, I was impressed. Nina Nikolic over at Firemonkeys has it going on! They weren't the easiest to contact as I did not have an account set up on https://firemonkeys.zendesk.com. I think I ended up just leaving a message on Facebook or Twitter so getting the email was major. It meant someone in that company cared about the game and consumers. I'm totally excited about these Firemonkeys and would definitely trust them for future games.
There is an issue dealing with the quests. I call it an issue because I have read so many gripes about it. For me, personally, I see it from both sides and normally it doesn't bother me. The issue is the length of time to complete taking longer than possible without using Life Points. Life Points, (LP), as well as Social Points, (SP), and Simoleons, (a form of cash Sims can earn during normal game play), can be purchased using real money, (you can also earn small amounts of both LP and SP in the game. Sims earn Simoleons in various ways). Parents, take note of that. You may want to put a parental lock on if you don't want to be surprised. If you complete the quest on time, you receive a reward. You can still complete the quest even without the time. Most of the time you can purchase the reward in the Sims store. Since it may involve LP or SP it could still cost you money. My opinion on this is that the app is free. The developers need to make money somewhere. I'm mostly cool with it but today I wasn't. More on that later.
The quests are set up as three different types, Quests, Weekly Tasks and Social Tasks.  I'll start with weekly tasks.  If you complete it you gain a key that you can save or use to purchase mystery boxes. I love these tasks and am excited to get new ones each week. You can keep playing these tasks after you earn your weekly key but you get no credit for them. Sometimes I choose to do them just for the challenge. They are fun to do and along the way to the key you can earn Simoleons and LP. Woot! Woot!
Quests are opened up one after another and follow levels. These are usually the ones that get the gripes. I am on An Alien Concept: Weather Machines. If I complete it in time my reward is winter clothing. It would be cool to get it. This quest will also give the option for a weather machine that you can use to bring on rain, snow or sunshine. I think that is awesome. The quests, once completed, unlock new quests. You can look on the Quests page in game and see what Quests are coming. For instance this quest will unlock Multi-Story Renovations, (allowing 2 story homes FTW!), Teenagers, Higher Education, The Road to Fame and Adulthood. My issue today dealt with the quest task of End Is Nigh On A Soapbox, a task that takes 12 long hours to complete. I had 2 hours left when I went out of the game. An hour later I went to check on my Sim and collect my game goodies when I discovered all my Sims were just standing around. I have no idea what happened but I lost 10 hours from the quest. No way am I completing it in the allotted time without a major LP investment now. So that sucks. Major sucks. I was already figuring I would need to use a few LP to complete everything in time, (the quest I just finished I had to shave a few hours off of by use of LP so it stands to reason I would again), I just wasn't counting on these lost hours. So now I have another Sim on the task and will see how it goes. Really sucked that every single Sim was taken off tasks so that those who were working went home with no pay and those who were working on hobbies lost credit. Hopefully a one time glitch. At any rate, you do not have to complete the quests within the time frame if you do not want the reward. You will still unlock what needs to be unlocked and most quest rewards do become available in the store later on. So if you don't want to purchase LP you don't have to. It is your choice.
The third type is Social Tasks which you receive Social Points for completing. These are fun and involve your friends. You don't have to have neighbors as there is a Sim Town but not everything is available in the Sim Town so neighbors are awesome. I try to set up my towns with my neighbors in mind. I have a pool with inflatable toys, I try to have at least one 3 star furniture of each type so that visitors get faster times on tasks and I am steadily working on the mountains on my islands. I have my neighbors from Facebook. I believe you can get neighbors through the Firemonkeys forum too. I just haven't accessed that yet. In case you are wondering what SP are good for - really cool stuff for your Sims home.
I love this game, even with today's glitch. I am impressed with the Firemonkeys team. The additional purchases of Simoleons, Life Points and Social Points are optional. However, the purchase does support the developers so if you really like the game it is an easy way to send your support. Well that's how I justify my purchases anyway. LOL.  So I give this game 5 stars and really hope they keep it going. It is a lot of fun.
Firemonkeys have a YouTube Channel where you can keep up with changes, see houses, walk through game play, learn about other games and even meet the developers. Pretty cool stuff there. The video below is from that channel. Be sure to subscribe. http://www.youtube.com/user/FiremonkeysTV



I have noticed that there are some small differences depending on what you are playing on. So not everything you see may be available to you if you play on a different tablet. Also have a charger handy. LOL.

You can also follow Firemonkeys on

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheFiremonkeys

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFiremonkeys

Instagram: http://instagram.com/thefiremonkeys


Do you play Sims FreePlay? Do you play any Sims? What do you think? Leave a comment if you need a neighbor! 


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review of Come Home to Me

Come Home to Me (Whiskey Creek, #6)Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This installment of Whiskey Creek deals with Presley. If you are already a fan of the series then you know Presley is Cheyenne's sister and not a major player in the clique of friends. We learn some of Presley in Book 2, When Snow Falls, which is Cheyenne's story. I wasn't certain Presley would be included in the series but was hoping. I think the relationship, and how it came to be, between Cheyenne and Presley is interesting and perhaps a bit difficult to understand. I try to avoid spoilers for those who haven't read the books, so this may be left mysterious for some but others know why I say that. It is the background you read of in Book 2 that lays the foundation for this strangeness. I would definitely suggest you read Book 2 before you read this book, if you haven't. There are things going on that influence heavily the decisions made by Cheyenne. If you love Chey you may hate this book. It definitely shows her in a human, flawed light. I personally loved this book. I thought the lying and scheming done brought up some of the psychological issues that are a part of Chey and Presley. While it may bring Chey down to some, I feel it shows how the past can influence you into doing things you usually wouldn't. For me, it made Chey more human, less perfect.Presley changed a lot from where she was left in Book 2. Her return brings her into contact with Aaron again, who has also been making changes in his life. It is difficult for Presley to accept Aaron changed enough to accept her and her son. I think this is a multifaceted issue. I believe that part of her difficulty was her own shame and guilt over her lie. One she really had no clue how to rectify and defend herself at the same time. This may have influenced her beliefs about Aaron, distorting the way she saw him. When you don't really forgive yourself completely your vision is distorted. I'm not certain what was going on with Riley and his sudden deep interest. Perhaps it was what I call, desperate single father syndrome. DSFS is what influences single dads to obsessively seek a "mom" for the family. I have known men who have raised their children to adulthood who are still seeking the "mom" to the family. These men, (not every single dad falls into this category), tend to look for a woman who has a child and then make decisions about her based on her mothering. I think Riley may be going through that and it is why he instantly fell hard for Presley. In my opinion this book is well done. It explores how our past influences our decisions no matter if we are the main character or the sister supporting her. I think it will be difficult for those who have put Cheyenne on a pedestal but for me it was perfect. I think Cheyenne and Presley have a unique bond that is very difficult to understand fully. It will be interesting to see how things go between them as they mature more with life's challenges. This is one series I definitely find fascinating. It is due, in part, to the author not being afraid to explore darker things and in part, to the author not being afraid of her characters falling down. No one is perfect though some are perceived that way. When their flaws are exposed it always brings out strong, intense emotions of like or dislike. This book will bring that out, for sure.

View all my reviews

*I was given an advanced ecopy of the book for review purposes. The author, nor anyone affiliated with her, requested a "good" review. Nor did they influence or compensate me in any way. All opinions and thoughts are my own.*  

Complete, (so far), Whiskey Creek Series covers.

When We Touch (Whiskey Creek, #0.5) When Lightning Strikes (Whiskey Creek, #1) When Snow Falls (Whiskey Creek, #2) When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek, #3) Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek, #4)   Take Me Home for Christmas (Whiskey Creek, #5) Come Home to Me (Whiskey Creek, #6)  

You may find out more about the series and the author, Brenda Novak by visiting:


https://twitter.com/Brenda_Novak

https://www.facebook.com/BrendaNovakAuthor

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12937.Brenda_Novak

http://www.amazon.com/Brenda-Novak/e/B001IGNW9G/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

This author is linked to the charity For The Cure and does an online auction during the month of May. For more information or to get involved please visit:

http://www.brendanovakforthecure.org/

For more information on Diabetes please visit: 

http://www.brendanovakforthecure.org/resources.html

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Review: Cooper's Grove by Ann Werner

Cooper's GroveCooper's Grove by Ann Werner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was epic! I was quickly drawn in. It is a love story and a ghost tale. Absolutely storytelling at its finest! This was my first book by this author. I was intrigued by it when I saw it here on Goodreads. I thought it would be a good book. I was totally not expecting how much I would fall in love with it. From its opening sentence, "They call me the Witch Woman.", I was hooked. I knew from it I was in for a haunting treat. I did not realize how much I would be swept away. I was left wowed at the end of it all. I needed to breathe. The love story was so amazingly beautiful. I was touched by it. I could relate to all the characters, even the two I disliked.The characters were written very realistically, actually, for me, the entire story was realistic. I have loved someone for 40 years. I am not with him though I hope. May be this had something to do with my loving this story so much. Truthfully though, I believe this story will sweep you away. If you like paranormal romance that is excellently written. If you desire a real story with real emotions. If you want to escape into a love story that contains real, solid romance. If ghost and haunts intrigue you. Read this book. The book has many places I highlighted but my favorite was the final paragraph.

"But the next time you think you see a flash of color, remember that feelings have a way of emanating from us, both the good and the bad . Or if you think you hear a voice whispering in your ear, or feel a phantom touch, remember we are never totally alone and we never really die. We merely exchange realities."

Werner, Ann (2013-12-29). Cooper's Grove (p. 248). ARK Stories. Kindle Edition.

I get the shivers every time I read that. Absolutely beautiful. I highly recommend it.

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sundy Best - Bringing on the Music

Today I am going to take one of my side trips and write about some music I really enjoy. I know I so rarely write about anything other than books that you are asking if I am reading anything at all. The answer to that is yes. I am currently reading the following:

Pigments of My Imagination    Cassie Scot Adrian's Undead Diary Book 1

But this week I got a new album on my Amazon Music Cloud and have been playing often...loudly. The guys are Sundy Best and the album is Bring Up The Sun. Sundy Best is comprised of two boys, (okay men but I'm going to keep calling them boys cause that's just how I talk), from East Kentucky. They are Kris Bentley and Nick Jamerson and yes they are hot, (but since they are from home and I am probably closer to their mom's age, just saying that feels wrong) and really good guys who make awesome music. Bring Up The Sun is their second album, (I'm old school - I know it's a CD), just released on iTunes, Monday, where it shot straight to the top of the charts within hours of its release and on Amazon Tuesday. Huge disappointment for me, Amazon. I consoled myself by playing their first release, Door Without a Screen, and drowning myself in Twizzlers and Mountain Dew. Thankfully it hit my Cloud at midnight and everybody living around me knew it. What can I say, it's good music and I was totally wired from the Mountain Dew. 

Sundy Best 
Sundy Best 
Photo from Sundy Best.Net (click the photo to go there)

The music these boys make is unique. The sound, to me, brings up country, bluegrass, southern rock, (I don't know but at times when I listen to them I am reminded of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers) and 70's classic rock, (Eagles, Bob Seger). All the songs on the albums are, I believe, originals, (except for My Old Kentucky Home on Door Without A Screen). Thank you boys for including that song. It is close to my heart as I am currently so far from home. I'm going to post a couple of videos here so you can see why i am so excited about these boys. They are amazing! I'll start with Until I Met You which is off their new release, Bring Up The Sun. It is one of my favorites off that CD.


Now I will share the song that gets played often on weekend nights, super loud and several times a night during poker games and parties. Drunk Right. Like Skynyrd says...turn it up


For the final video I had a time of it choosing just one. I wanted Home because I truly do wanna go home. Then I thought maybe Kentucky Women because it is live and really gives you a feel for the boys. I considered Mountain Parkway but then decided on These Days


If you liked what you heard and want to hear more or know more about Sundy Best, please check them out on the links below. I definitely invite you to join the Kinfolk Movement where you can meet up with other Sundy Best fans and keep up with the boys. Jake is the admin over there and is a truly awesome guy. 

WHERE TO FIND SUNDY BEST:


https://www.youtube.com/user/SundyBestOfficial






http://officialsundybest.tumblr.com/





And here is where you can get an autographed CD, bundles, tshirts and other goodies


Album covers:





Thanks for stopping by!