At the End of Magic: The Book Club on Skype

book club
Photo credit: Stephanie at Bad Mom (Click photo to visit blog)

At the End of Magic by Mary Petrie was the subject of our most recent online book club on Skype with the author.  We began by sipping coffee as Mary graciously read us an excerpt from the novel.  Following that, Mary told us the incredibly uplifting story of how her novel was published, which I encourage you to read HERE.  Mary also answered questions about her writing process, the inspiration for her characters, and plot development.

We also came up with a cast for the movie adaptation of Mary’s novel.  Julianne Moore and Julia Louis-Dreyfus were ideas for Leilani.  Claire Danes for Leilani’s sister, Anna, and Paul Rudd would be her brother, Seamus.  I can’t remember who we said would be Delphi, but I think someone mentioned the actress from The Killing, who IMDB tells me is Mireille Enos.

Obviously, Mary must have a cameo (or more!) in her movie because other authors like Stephen King, Hunter S. Thompson, Kathryn Stockett, and S.E. Hinton got cameos in the movie adaptations of their books, that’s why.  I would like to be Mary’s PA because someone thought of Sam Shepard to play Rocco and I would like to be on set for that.  PLEEEEASE MARY!!!

Mary, thank you so much for participating in our book club.  And thank you to the wonderful women who joined us for a delightful hour of discussion and friendship!

You can read my no-spoilers review of At the End of Magic HERE.

You can see Wil Wheaton holding a copy of At the End of Magic and not even suing me HERE.

If you want more of Mary’s writing, she blogs at Minnesota Matron HERE.

Last but not least, you can buy a copy of At the End of Magic HERE.

NOTE from Blog This Mom!®:  I do not receive any compensation if you purchase At the End of Magic except for the warm and fuzzy feeling I will get knowing that you enjoyed Mary’s book.  Besides, I have policies about reviews, you know, because this joint is a serious operation with policies and official legal language.

It Could Happen: Adam Lambert & Cheri Hitch a Ride

If you’re going to be in an animated feature film, it’s probably a wise move to go with Pixar Animation Studios in California, which has produced fourteen feature films that have grossed over $8 billion worldwide, including Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Up, and Finding Nemo.

Pixar is said to be releasing Inside Out in 2015, a film in which the emotions inside of a girl’s brain are portrayed by Amy Poehler (Joy), Mindy Kaling (Disgust), Bill Hader (Fear), and Phyllis Smith (Sadness).  In 2016, Ellen DeGeneres will be back for Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo.  I’m in to see both.  How about you?

The studio boasts over two dozen Academy Awards, as well as numerous Golden Globe and Grammy Awards.  Pixar began as Lucasfilm’s computer division before Apple funded a corporate spin-off, with Steve Jobs as the major shareholder.  In 2006, Disney purchased Pixar, which was then valued at over $7 billion.

Tow Mater Adam Lambert and CheriHowever, industry awards and big money is not what drove Adam Lambert and me to hitch a ride with Tow Mater.  My little grandson loves the movie Cars, and especially that good ol’ boy, Mater, Radiator Springs’ only tow truck.  Mater is the deuteragonist to Lightning McQueen’s protagonist.  Mater is a bit of a rascal, very friendly and helpful, even if he is a rusty old 1955 Chevy.

Much to my grandson’s delight one day, I discovered that Mater is the protagonist in his own series of shorts called, Cars Toons, which can be found on the Disney Pixar website here and at various spots on YouTube including here.  Cars Toons features Mater telling tall tales of adventures he’s been in such as being a matador (El Materdor), firefighter (Rescue Squad Mater), and rock star (Heavy Metal Mater).  In each story, Mater finds himself in a predicament.  When Lightning McQueen questions the veracity of Mater’s tale, Mater replies, “Don’t you remember?  You was there too!”

One of Mater’s signature lines is “If I’m lyin’, I’m cryin’!”  Mater’s Tall Tales and Cheri’s It Could Happen are like peas and carrots, if you ask me.


Blog Feed

After that time I forgot that I had a blog for two and a half years, I remembered that delicious recipes are shared in the blogging community by people who either have food blogs or randomly post recipes that they have usually tested and oftenly (that should be a word) photographed.  This helps my family get fed delicious food, which isn’t to say that during the two and half years I forgot that I had a blog anyone starved or anything.  There’s such a thing as take-out.  Sheesh.

One of my all-time favorite bloggers is Gary Rith, the famous potter, whose multiple talents include being a badazz in kitchen.  Gary is a vegetarian, and so is my youngest daughter, so we are always delighted when he shares his kitchen magic.

spaghetti pieRecently, Gary posted a photo and recipe for spaghetti pie, something I have never made.  It’s super easy and lasagnaesque (that should be a word).  So I made some and my daughter loved me it!  I took a photo of it baking in the oven and emailed it to Gary.  He wrote back, “Some might suggest there is a blog post in this . . . .”  Gary has lots of good ideas, as you can see.

Gary’s idea gave me the idea to start a blog feed.

It could be like this:  We do a thing in which we write a post complaining about cooking for the purpose of sharing a few links to some favorite blog friends’ recipes.  We could also include a recipe from our own blogs.  It’s sharing the love, people because if you’re like me and never know what takeout to order to cook pretty much every single day, you’ll have some fresh ideas, that’s why.  

Or it could be like this:  We don’t all do a blog feed post, and I’ll be the only one.  It’s okay.  It happens.

Everybody's doing it!
Everybody’s doing it!

Blog Feed

Gary’s Third Pottery Blog for Spaghetti Pie

Whole Food, Great Taste for Carrot Cake Spiced Oatmeal

Idiot’s Kitchen for Sausage, Kale & Apple Hash

Future Relics for Thai Spiced Coconut Rice

Blog This Mom for Ile Flottante (commonly known as my dessert spouse)

It Could Happen: Adam Lambert & Cheri to Judge American Idol

It was announced this week that after thirteen seasons as a judge and mentor, Randy Jackson will be the second-to-last of the original cast to leave American Idol.  Apparently, Ryan Seacrest will stay on.  According to NPR, the show is in decline and Jackson is an example of what’s wrong with it.  Dawgs!  That is harsh.

I haven’t watched American Idol since Season Eight when Adam Lambert wowed me from his first audition performance of Bohemian Rhapsody until he sang with KISS at the finale.  After finishing as first runner-up, which was the result of a vast right-wing conspiracy (WHAT?), Adam’s career path has been stellar, including concerts, tours, albums, and various television roles and performances.  Adam has also returned to Idol as a guest mentor, coach, performer, and stand-in judge.

Billboard has speculated that Jackson’s departure clears the way for Adam to return to Idol as a mentor after he finishes touring with Queen in Europe in 2015.

idol it could happenBlog This Mom!® speculates that Adam, Cheri, and Harry Connick Jr. could be the next group of judges.  I don’t think Harry Connick Jr. is a judge on American Idol any longer, but if Adam and I are going to be judges next season, then we’re bringing Harry Connick Jr. back.  Wouldn’t you?  I have the power to do these things because this is my blog, that’s why.

It could happen.

Veterans Day Without an Apostrophe

lawDid you know that November 11th is Veterans Day in the United States?  It is important to note that it is neither Veteran’s Day nor Veterans’ Day.  The U.S. Government declared that the attributive rather than the possessive is the official spelling.  I’m not making this up.  I found it on Wikipedia, so it must be true.  It is also codified in Public Law 83-380, for you legal types.

World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, but fighting stopped seven months earlier on November 11, 1918 when an armistice between the Allies and Germany went into effect at 11 AM.  On November 11, 1919, President Wilson declared November 11th to be Armistice Day.  By an Act of Congress in 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday, a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.  Following World War II, on June 1, 1954, the 83rd Congress amended the original Act to replace “Armistice” with “Veterans” (no apostrophe), and President Eisenhower issued a proclamation that the day was to honor American veterans of all wars.

After that it got confusing as to whether Veterans Day would always be observed on November 11th or shifted to the last Monday in October to give people a three-day weekend.  Gerald Ford signed a law in 1975 that Veterans Day would be observed on November 11th, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls.

Here’s a link to freebies for veterans on November 11th.

Finally, I want to personally thank my wonderful son-in-law and all veterans for your service.

In other news:  Congratulations to Janet on winning an autographed copy of Mary Petrie’s book, At the End of Magic!  I will contact via email those who won a spot in the online Skype book club with the date and time as soon as it is set.

You can read my review of At the End of Magic here, which includes a link to the uplifting story of how this book was published.

You can see Wil Wheaton holding At the End of Magic here and not even suing me or seeking a restraining order.  At all.

NOTE from Blog This Mom!®:  This book review and giveaway was unsolicited and unpaid. I do not receive any compensation if you purchase At the End of Magic except for the warm and fuzzy feeling I will get knowing that you enjoyed Mary Petrie’s book.  Besides, I have policies about reviews, you know, because this joint is a serious operation with policies and official legal language.

It Could Happen: Adam Lambert, Cheri, & The Ball Pit Amalgamation

Here I am with Adam Lambert and Dr. Sheldon Cooper in a ball pit.  It could happen.  BAZINGA!


The Big Bang Theory premiered in 2007 and is currently in its eighth season.  The ensemble cast is brilliant, with Dr. Sheldon Cooper (played by Jim Parsons) at the comedic helm.  Sheldon is a high-IQ theoretical physicist, who earned his PhD at the age of 16.  Sheldon’s roommate is Leonard Hofstadter (played by Johnny Galecki), a PhD employed as an experimental physicist.  Leonard is the straight man to Sheldon’s humor, which in large part highlights the contrast between Sheldon’s academic genius and social/emotional cluelessness.  Their beautiful neighbor, Penny (whose last name on the show has never been revealed), attended community college for a while.  Penny (played by Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) is not the academic equal of the other characters on the show, but she has street smarts and good looks, which the others lack for the most part in keeping with their “geek” stereotype.

A number of real-life scientists have made guest appearances on the show, including Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Hawking.  Also, various actors and other famous folk have appeared, such as Bob Newhart, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Wozniak, and Wil Wheaton.  Wil Wheaton appeared as himself in several (brilliantly acted) guest appearances as Sheldon’s (devastatingly handsome) nemesis; Wil Wheaton later becomes friends with the main characters in subsequent guest appearances. 

Wil Wheaton is mentioned in particular because here at Blog This Mom!® we like him a lot in the most non-stalker-y way possible.  Wil Wheaton is the best guy ever and probably should run for president in 2016 or at least governor of California, which practically has being an actor as a prerequisite anyway.  Also, this entire paragraph has nothing to do with the hope that Wil Wheaton will not sue me or file a restraining order over the photo that may end up as Exhibit 1 at my trial of him holding Mary Petrie’s novel, At the End of Magic, in which Wil Wheaton’s good looks and charm abound.  The aforementioned photo can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.  The purpose of this paragraph is to remind my nine readers that you have until Saturday, November 8th to CLICK HERE to enter to win an autographed copy of At the End of Magic and/or a spot in the online book club with the author, Mary Petrie.

Now, back to The Big Bang Theory and It Could Happen because I’m all about the smooth segue, as you can tell.  In the episode in which Sheldon ends up in the ball pit as pictured above, he has gone without sleep for several days obsessively trying to solve a problem concerning electrons.  Sheldon breaks into an arcade and asks Leonard to help him sort the balls into protons and neutrons; antics ensue when Leonard goes in after him.  Bazinga! is what Sheldon says when he’s successfully fooled someone.  Here’s a clip.  Enjoy!

What if Adam Lambert and I popped out of the ball pit?  It could happen. 

Around the Internet on Throwback Thursdays, people post old photos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  But on Thursdays at Blog This Mom!® we don’t look back.  Instead, we post photos in a series called “It Could Happen.”  It Could Happen photos at Blog This Mom!® always involve Adam Lambert because Adam Lambert, that’s why.

At the End of Magic and Wil Wheaton Are Awesome!

Dear Mary,

Did you ever read that post a while back over at The Bloggess about how Wil Wheaton posed for a photo collating papers and sent it to her just because she asked?

You know how you wrote that amazing novel called At the End of Magic that your son surprised you by publishing, and how your blogging and bookstore friends are helping you promote it?


At the End of Magic and Wil Wheaton came together in my mind at the same exact moment in time, which I think can only be explained by the fact that your book and Wil Wheaton are AWESOME and not at all because I have ISSUES and my therapist sounds like Marge Simpson.

So, I thought it would be really cool to surprise you with a photo of Wil Wheaton holding At the End of Magic because if he can collate papers in a photo for The Bloggess, surely he can hold your book in a photo for me, right?

But then I thought about it some more.  The Bloggess is brilliant and has a gazillion readers.  I have ISSUES and nine readers.  Also, Wil Wheaton and I have a history, where history equals HE IS PLAYING HARD TO GET.  Consider this evidence:  I looked ALL DAY and couldn’t even spot Wil Wheaton one measly time at Comic-Con.  So, I may not have the pull it will take to get Wil Wheaton to pose for a photo with At the End of Magic. Although, in my favor, I am the grandmother of someone Wil Wheaton loves. True story.

But still. You know that me not being popular, participating in therapy with Marge Simpson, and knowing that Wil Wheaton is avoiding me would not stop me from getting a photo of Wil Wheaton holding your book, right?  Because I have skillz that The Bloggess and Wil Wheaton could put a damper on by filing a lawsuit and/or a restraining order don’t even know about.

Here you go, Mary.  Wil Wheaton holding At the End of Magic in a photo for you.

(Original photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

You’re welcome.

Love, Cheri

P.S.  The photo of Wil Wheaton holding At the End of Magic was totally my idea, so if that strikingly handsome and wonderfully talented Wil Wheaton wants to sue anyone or file a restraining order, I hereby agree to take the rap.

Mr. Wheaton, if I have to show up in court for a lawsuit and/or restraining order, would it be possible to get a photo of you on the courthouse steps holding Mary’s book?  Can I be in the photo?  Also, could I get an autograph for my youngest daughter since she showed up at Comic-Con dressed as Deanna Troi hoping to see you, and she didn’t think the Wesley Crusher hoodie I offered to buy her made up for not seeing you?  One more thing:  Here’s another photo of @JackTheBaby dressed like Wesley Crusher because I think this photo will make you think twice about suing the grandmother of this darling child since Mary got an awesome photo of you, you should get an awesome photo too. 

jackthebaby as wesley crusher

There’s still time!  Just leave a comment HERE before 11:59 PM PST on Saturday, November 8th to enter to win an autographed copy of At the End of Magic and/or to be one of eight lucky readers to participate in an online book club meeting on Skype with the author, Mary Petrie!  Please CLICK HERE to *LIKE* At the End of Magic on Facebook!

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