Game Review: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Closed Beta

I spent my Sunday flying a helicopter, riding a dirt bike off of huge cliffs, and stopping drug lords. 

I was lucky enough to receive and invitation to play the new Ghost Recon Wildlands Closed Beta – and I can definitely say this is a game I will be purchasing.

Watch the trailer here: Ghost Recon Wildlands Trailer


Photo: Ghost Recon Wildlands Website


Pros: Easy to understand controls, fun to play, good character customization, fun co-op game play

Cons: enemies can be a little buggy (to be fair it was a BETA)

The Beta was available for the weekend starting Feb 3 and ending this morning (Feb 6). I started yesterday evening and was pleasantly surprised. This game can be single player or online co-op. You can drive vehicles, fly helicopters, build your guns and fight the Cartel.

The game starts with character creation. The first option is Male or Female. You can then choose from a number of pre-created heads available.You’ll then choose hairstyle and color… after that you move on to choosing shirts, backpacks, plate carriers, accessories and tattoos.

The first mission is a rescue mission and is pretty easy. I was playing co-op with two other high level people though, so that could be why. The missions go from pretty easy to harder as you progress – and the story is interesting as well. Besides the main story mission, you have a number of (sort of repetitive) side missions to choose from.

The mechanics of the game are comfortable and easy to work with. You level up fairly easily, and there is a leveling tree with a number of options to boost your character. You can be more resistant to bullet damage, have better stamina, heal teammates faster, equip night vision for your Drone and so on and so forth. This menu is also where you will find gun and character customization and mission information and files.

One of my favorite parts of the game is the drone (I LOVED taking over enemy drones in Black Ops 3). You get your character close-ish to the group of enemies, release your drone and mark enemies on the map. Once an enemy is marked the whole team can see what they’re up against. You can also mark an enemy for a team mate to kill, which is useful if you are trying to stay stealthy but have to enemies standing near each other. By the way – Stealth seems to be the way to go! I’m no good at it, but I was pretty good and hanging back and marking enemies while my team mates did their thing. If one of us got busted I “Rambo-ed” right in!

The guns are ones you would find in real life and are pretty cool!  Obviously in the last couple hours of the Beta I didn’t have enough time to unlock them all, but I unlocked a couple and enjoyed the ones I was using. I also found a sniper that worked fairly decent. One of my team mates had unlocked the grenade launcher from the level up menu and it came in handy. It demolished enemy helicopters and vehicles.

That’s another part of the game I really enjoy – the vehicles. You can find some on the side of the road and drive them to any location without consequence (don’t run over civilians though) or if worst comes to worse you can commandeer one from a local. There are cars, vans, trucks and dirt bikes available for your driving needs. A word of warning though – if you are crossing a street on foot, look both ways. If you get hit by a car it’s an instant down (something that happened to me like 3 times).

Overall, my experience with Ghost Recon Wildlands was positive.  I love the game play, the mechanics, the story line and the co-op. It has a lot of positive qualities and I for sure will be purchasing it when it releases on March 7th!


Book Review and Synopsis: The Girl With All The Gifts *SPOILERS*

You, dear reader, are about to venture into Spoiler territory.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The Book The Girl with All The Gifts by M.R. Carey is an awesome read.

The main character is Melanie – a genius, super strong, super human Zombie. As we learn we also know that she has a photographic memory (comes with the genius title) and can experience a wide range of emotions. She develops a deep infatuation with Helen Justineau, a “teacher” at Melanie’s “school”. At this school for genius zombie kids is also a scientist; Caroline Caldwell. Another character is Sergeant Parks – the man who disciplines the zombie kids.Each day the kids are chained and bound to a wheelchair to attend their lessons. Sometimes a child will get wheel away by Sergeant Parks to Caroline Caldwell’s lab – and they don’t come back. It is assumed that Caldwell is experimenting on these children.

Something happens at the school one day that changes Melanie and everyone else’s life (I’ll try not to give too much away, but beware this review will contain some spoilers) and Melanie, Miss Justineau, Sergeant Parks, Doc Caldwell and a soldier called Gallagher are on their own trying to survive in the post-apocalyptic world. They have to all learn to trust each other and try and fight to stay alive. This is hard because 1. Sergeant parks does not trust Melanie. He keeps her chained and bound for awhile because he’s terrified she will eat them the first chance she gets and 2. no one trusts Dr Caldwell.



Just to warn you.


In the end though – only Melanie and Miss Justineau survive. They learn exactly how the Apocalypse happened and what caused it; something called Ophiocordyceps. Melanie and Miss Justineau learn that Melanie was born as a Zombie… not made. They learn this when they find a group of children like Melanie, but living in the wild.


The Girl with All The Gifts does not need a sequel because we find out that  before Melanie’s generation of born Zombie kids, Ophiocordyceps was only transferable through blood and saliva (like your average Zombie infection). However, events lead to Melanie releasing the virus which has adapted to be airborne… this will turn the remainder of humanity into “hungries” which will eventually adapt, evolve and become more like Melanie.


This book is an interesting take on Zombies, and I enjoyed it a lot. I am a sucker for Zombie stories and this is one of the top ones I’ve read!

5/5 stars!

I’ve also learned that this book has been made into a movie! View the details HERE



Short Story: Bar Napping

Chapter 1:

When I come to I’m in a room that is dark and dank. The smell of mold fills the air and I have a hard time catching my breath. I sit up, which causes a spot on my head to pound.

What happened to me?’ I wonder. I look around. I feel a little dizzy, but I figure that’s the effects of my drinks. Other than that I seem to be pretty sober.

There is one window in the room, but it’s covered by a dirty, half ripped curtain. There’s an old bed frame with a mattress on it and a brown spot. I scoot closer to get a better look and feel my stomach heave. It’s dried blood. I look around some more to try and get my bearings back. The room is square, and the bed is up against the wall and in one corner. Across from it is a brown wood door with an old round door handle. The floor is wood flooring, however you almost can’t tell because the amount of dirt in here. Other than the bed the room is empty.

I try to think back to what happened. I was walking home from the bar… I’d been there with Elise. She left me alone and I didn’t want to drive, so I walked home. I figured it wouldn’t be too bad because I’d only had 4 drinks and home was only about a mile away. I was walking in front of the old distribution center, when a man stepped out of it… and then everything is black. I pull myself into a crouch, and trek over to the window. I pull the curtain open. It’s dark outside and there is what looks to be a forest. ‘Where the hell am I?’ I wonder. I realize that I’m in the back of the warehouse… but a couple of floors up.

Suddenly, I hear a door creak open in another room. I gasp and let go of the curtain, and crawl over to the bed. I get against the wall at the foot of the bed and try to make myself as small as possible. I look around – there is nothing to defend myself with. I strain to hear and hear a slight whisper. Heart pounding I tell myself it was my imagination. But it wasn’t, because I hear a bang a little ways away from the room I am in. Panicking I pull my jacket off and twist it as small as I can. I quietly crawl to the area behind the door, and stand with my feet apart and the jacket in my hands. Whoever is coming is going to get blinded. From there I have no plan but to kick and run.

The floor creaks outside of the door, and the handle starts to turn. My adrenaline is pumping, and I can hear my heart pounding in my ears. I know the blood has drained from my face. Suddenly, the door gets slammed open…

Chapter 2:

I’m standing at the bar when the blonde I chatted with stumbles out the door with her friend. I can hear her from in here saying she’ll walk home and be fine. I sigh and rub my temples. Why do people have to announce to the world that they are intoxicated and vulnerable?

I’ve seen her in here before, even talked to her a bit, and usually she calls a cab. Instead, she takes off across the street and starts down an alley. On a whim, I decide to follow her. I don’t want her to freak out and think I’m some type of murderer though. So I’ll just stay behind… make sure she gets home okay. I realize to myself that I sound a little like a creep, but I don’t care. I would like to see her here again, and making sure she gets home safe is the best way for me to take control of that situation.

I cross down the street and get to the start of the alley just as she’s rounding the corner. ‘You can do this’, I think to myself. I get down to the end of the alley and see that there are really no buildings here. There is one empty warehouse about 100 yards ahead of me that the blonde is now almost to. I duck behind a wood fence so she doesn’t see me, and wait a minute.
Suddenly, the front door of the warehouse slams open and a big man with a shotgun steps out. The blonde goes to scream and he hits her in the head with the butt end of the gun. I jump up and start to run towards the building. I’m almost there, and I can see him pull her into the front door. When I reach the door I stop… I have no plan in mind but to save the drunken girl… I’m just going into this with no other thought, and no way to defend myself. I don’t have time to run back to my car, so I just go in.

The warehouse is dark and silent. I stop for a minute and let my eyes adjust to the darkness. I can see small drops of blood leading to the back of the warehouse, so I follow them. Along the way I pick up a metal pole. When I reach the back there is a metal staircase leading to a second floor. I look around before I decide to follow it up.

When I get to the top I see that it’s just a hallway with two doors about 10 feet away from each other on the right hand side and then it turns left at the end. I walk to the first door, hesitate, and then open it. All I can see is a bed, and there is a figure on it. I whisper, “Hey”…. To which there is no reply. If she got knocked out, she should have woken up by now. I get my pole at the ready and walk up to the figure, only to realize that it’s the body of a dead girl, half decayed with the clothes ripped up and a knife in her throat. My stomach lurches and I step back. I turn on my heel and leap into the hallway, pulling the old door shut, which results in a loud bang. I crouch down and look around, making sure that no one heard me… after I think I’m safe I walk a little ways to the second door. As I’m getting ready to open it I hear trumping up the stairs behind me. I panic and push the door open…


Chapter 3:

As soon as I enter the room something flies into me and knocks me down.
“Hey what the hell?!”

The blonde girl is on top of me, wailing on me with her fists. Unable to grab her wrists I struggle under her and whisper, “Hey I’m not the dude! I’m not him! Come on! Get off… I’m here to help.”

She stops hitting me long enough to notice who I am.

“Wait… you brought me here?” She asks. Her blue eyes are looking at me quizzically and her dirty hair falls into my face.

I sigh.. How in the hell do I explain myself?

“I know this is probably pretty confusing…” I begin.

She scoffs. “Well, yeah. I saw you at the bar and you were so nice.. different from all the other guys there. I didn’t take you for the kidnapper type.”

“It wasn’t me who kidnapped you!” I exclaim. “I was.. well I was following you home from the bar…” Her eyes widen and she gets up off of me.

“No, it’s not like creepy or anything,” I say, “I just wanted to make sure you got home safe.”

She scoots a little bit away and goes to say something when we hear footsteps down the hall. She looks at me and I motion for her to get in the bed. When she does I crawl under it and push myself as far against the wall as I can. I’m just small enough that no one could find me underneath unless they bent down to look.

It’s then I realize that the bar I picked up is still in the middle of the floor. I suck my breath in as the door slowly opens.

The big man steps in, and I feel the blonde on the bed above me go completely still, most likely pretending to be asleep.

The man steps right over the bar and walks to the bed. He reaches his hand out and I can hear him mumbling under his breath.

He pushes his other hand in his pocket and pulls out a dirty, lethal looking knife. He raises his knife arm up and takes a step back, only to step on the pole. ‘shit‘ I think.

He stops for a minute before bending down to pick up the pole, and that’s when I act. I swing my leg out and connect with his face. He makes a growl noise, stumbles back and grabs his face. Quick as a whip the blond grabs the metal pole and swings it down on his head. He drops to his knees and she hits him again. I then shove him out of the way of the door and jump into the hallway.

“Let’s go!” I yell. She hits him one more time and follows me out the door. We don’t have much time though, because I can here him starting to get up behind me.

I let her go first and make the mistake of looking behind me.

He’s right there and grabs my hair and tugs me to the ground. Suddenly, everything goes black.

Chapter 4

I’m running as fast as I can when I realize that there aren’t footsteps right behind me. I turn around and see Mr Creepy pulling the dude from the bar by the hair back into the room.

Do I run? Do I go get him? I wonder. Well.. he came and saved me I guess – even if he was following me.

Before I go I realize I need to have a weapon. There’s a door on next to me and I open it. On the bed is a girl who looks to have been dead. I repress a gag, but grab the knife that was lodged into her. Poor thing. I will have to come back and see if I can find any ID later. I sneak back out into the hall and hear scuffling in the room.

Quickly and quietly I make my way up. I peek around the doorway. Mr Creepy has bar dude on the bed and is holding a knife over him, but he is knocked out.

I take a breath and leap over to him, knife in hand. As quick as I can I plunge it into his back. He groans and turns around and back hands me.

Reeling, I take a step back.

“You asshole!”

I gather my balance and run at him again, this time fists out. I start punching him where-ever I can manage. He swings and misses continually, and I realize that he’s big and slow. Perfect.

I kick him hard in the back of the knee, and he drops. I take this moment to start punching his head. After a couple of blows he falls down.

Holy crap‘, I think. ‘I knocked him out.’ I take enough time to pull the knife out of his back, and then rush over to bar guy on the bed.

“Hey, wake up!” I say. No response.

So I slap him.

He jerks and then his eyes open.

“You didn’t have to hit me” he says.

“Yeah well while we’ve got a minute, lets get out of here!”

He gets up and looks at the creepy dude.

“Wow, good job. How’d you do that?” he wonders.

“Punched him a lot.”

We start to exit the room before he stops. He grabs the bar that is still on the floor and when we walk out of the room he bars the door.

He then manages to pull out a cellphone and dials 911.

As he is answering questions, I wander down the hall and open the door to the first room.

I know the girl is dead, but I whisper “Don’t worry. We will get you found.” I hear bar dude come up behind me and say, “We are supposed to wait here. They’ll be here in 5 minutes.”

Chapter 5

The cops show up and arrest the asshole who kidnapped the blonde. After asking me what happened, they tell me that he is a wanted serial killer.

‘Great’. I think. ‘Just how I wanted my Friday night to go.’

Blonde girl is taking things extremely well as far as I can see. She is in the back of an ambulance answering questions and being examined.

They offered me a chance to get looked over, but I figured that aside from the headache I’d be fine.

They found the body of the girl, and it turns out she had been missing. It’s sad to see that she didn’t survive this, but at least she has some sort of justice.

It’s about 4 hours later when they tell blonde girl and I to go home. As we are walking back towards the bar, I look over at her.

“Do you need a ride home?” I ask

She looks over at me and nods.

“That would be nice. Thank you.”

We walk to my car, and she tells me where to go.

As we pull up in front of her house and she thanks me, I look over.

“Hey do you… do you wanna maybe get a drink sometime?”

She smiles at me and says,

“So long as it’s any other bar in town, I’m in.”

The Top Five Video Games I Played in 2016


I have never played another game quite like this.

I started it when it first came out, gave up and it took me a year to play again.

This game is hard.

There are no in world save points (sort of) and if you die you lose all the money or “Blood Echos” you got during the time you were in the nightmare (actual game world)

The only reason I started playing again is because my husband and our friend helped me through it. You can “Summon” friends at lamps that can help you. They helped me defeat bosses, get good weapons and make it through the game without giving up completely. There are times when you have to get through parts and you can’t have help – and I’ll tell you if it wasn’t for my spouse playing through those parts for me (I usually gave them a good 3 or 4 tries) I would have never gotten as far as I have in the game.

This game is dark, a little gruesome and a lot of fun. It’s definitely better with friends and has a very exciting online aspect as well. Other players can join your world to kill you and make you have to start over. That sucks when you are by yourself, but when you have two high level friends in your world it’s quite neat to have other online players with murderous intentions invade!

This is one of my favorite games ever – and I recommend it!


Destiny: Rise of Iron

When I was younger I played a lot of “Halo” on the XBOX. We switched to PS4 and I much prefer it, but was a little sad about the loss of Halo. Luckily Bungie created Destiny.

I love Destiny. I am not a year one player (someone who has been playing since it released), but I’ve done all of the missions. I played the original and all of the DLC’s released so far. I actually play in a clan called “Overwatch Actual” with my husband and some friends of mine.

For Player VS Enviornment: We do extensive puzzle like 6 person missions called raids, 3 person strikes (which are original missions but made harder), and nightfalls (a regular 3 person mission but much harder) ETC. It’s a fun game, but definitely better with friends.

for Player VS Player: We play against others. This is probably one of the most frustrating parts of the game. I love to play against other online players, but sometimes it tends to make your blood pressure rise slightly.

Destiny is probably one of my all time favorite games! I recommend it for anyone who loves first person shooters and sci-fi. You are an advanced warrior (Human, Alien or Robot) fighting aliens to take back what once was Earth.


PlayStation VR The Playroom

For my 2016 birthday my husband got me a PlayStation VR. I think the playroom (FREE!) is one of the most played games. I love all of the different little missions, the feel of the VR and I love how cute some of the little quirks are. Each character is cute but fun! I’ve played this with a 5 year old and she loved it as much as the adults did. Definitely a family friendly way to experience the magical-ness of the VR.


Rise of Tomb Raider

I have the Tomb Raider right before this one, but this is the one I started with. The 20th anniversary edition comes with a VR compatible exploration of Croft Manor. As cool as that was it was not my favorite part of the game (and it also made me a little sick, so if you tend to get motion sickness playing VR take caution)

Main Story: SO GOOD. Lara Croft is a badass explorer with a plethora of moves and good motives. I loved all of the climbing puzzles, enemy fights and cut scenes. A well developed, beautiful game for lovers of Tomb Raider new and old.

Endurance: This is a 2-player survival mission. You and another person (optional) are dropped as Lara in the middle of the Siberian Wilderness to survive for as long as you can and collect as many relics as you can. At the begging of the game you can choose “cards” (awarded for various in game missions or can be purchased) and they can affect what happens in the game.  The longest my husband and I have survived is 11 days, with 60 relics. It gets quite repetitive after awhile, but it’s a lot of fun having to keep Lara warm and fed (she will get cold and hungry – and you have to hunt and build fires)

I loved this game. It has a high recommend from me.


Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition

In the Elder Scrolls Series I’ve played Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim when it first released.

I loved Skyrim on the XBOX. I got to level 65 and had all of the main story missions beaten. And then we sold our XBOX and now have a PS4.

I was SO excited when I learned that it was coming to PS4.

Basically everyone in my house (So my husband, sister and I) were cracked out on this game and played nonstop for about 2 weeks. I still love it.

First person RPG (at least I think) where you can choose to be a weapon warrior, a mage or a sneaky archer. I always end up an archer. You slay dragons, lead the thieves guild, dark brotherhood (a group of assassins) and can be the Arch Mage of the Mage’s guild.

It’s a great game with incredible graphics for it’s age and has an awesome gameplay. Another one of my favorite games ever.



Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Just a little info: The original Borderlands is the very first video game I played with my Husband. So this whole series – besides being awesome and hilarious – holds a special place in my heart.


Elder Scrolls Online




No Man’s Sky


Book Review: The Troop by Nick Cutter


5 Stars for the Troop. SPOILERS TO FOLLOW:

So I started reading this book expecting creepy. I can handle creepy. Stephen King is one of my favorite authors.  This book does creepy, and it does it well. When I wasn’t reading I was thinking about the book, and itching my skin and looking for worms (which to be fair, I finished it in about 5 hours but still – during my breaks it was all I could think about)

The Troop messed with me.

When Tim (The Scout leader) let the man into the cabin I knew everyone was toast. That’s the thing about creepy skeletal strangers in the woods… YOU DON’T INVITE THEM IN. At least I don’t, because I’ve seen enough horror movies to know better.

But I digress. The book is excellent! It gave me the creepy crawlies, had me looking at other people in case they were too hungry and trying to see if I could feel worms in my skin.

If you are looking for something that’s icky, makes you want to keep reading and creeps you out – this is the book.

Some Taylor Thoughts (Taylor Thoughts are when I stop reading and ponder something about the book)

These will make more sense if you’ve read the book 🙂 

* PAGE 12: “All boys gave off a scent, Tim found..” Do girls give off a scent? What would my scent be?

*PAGE 16: When the creepy guy is eating a sand crab. My first thoughts were “Okay, ew”.

*PAGE 46: “Who’d win in a fight: a zombie or a shark” A legit question! Who would win?

*PAGE 66: When Shelley is killing the cray fish… that’s when I knew he was a messed up kid. It’s also when I knew I would only skim the Shelley parts. Good thing too. I like animals too much, and that little future killer creeped me out more than anything else.

*PAGE 144: “What you should do is get some candles and blankets and head down to the cellar… I think… I’ll stay right here, Max.” I like the Scoutmaster. I like that his conscience stayed with him WAY longer. I like that even though he was creepy and sick, he still put the boys worries above his own. I’m glad he died pretty quickly.

*PAGE 193: AKA the chapter I mostly skipped over. Shelley is creepy. I hope the virus gets him.

*PAGE 212:  This is what overthinking gets you. Poor Ephraim.

*PAGE 224: The difference between Max and Shelley? Remorse. That poor turtle.

In conclusion: Shelley is especially weird – he enjoyed being infected TOO much.

Kent didn’t deserve what he got, neither did Ephraim or Newt. Newt was the saddest. I really liked his character.

In the end – The worms must have gotten smarter, no? I mean.. Max was tested and tested and then one day.. .BOOM. Back to the Island cause he’s hungry. But he’s looking for solitude. Good kid to take himself to an isolated Island though.

10 Favorite Books (or series) of All Time

I’ve been having a bit of writer’s block lately… because there’s a story I want to write down and it’s all I can think about when I go to write something… however I know I’m not ready to write it yet.


So instead, I’m found a writing prompt and am going to use that to write. Without much ado, here are my 10 favorite books of all time – in no particular order.


The Martian by Andy Weir

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Marley and Me by John Grogan

Egghead by Bo Burnham

The Sea of Trolls  by Nancy Farmer

The Divergent Series By Veronica Roth

Serena by Ron Rash

Bunnicula by James Howe (Listen, it was my first and favorite chapter book as a kid)

Firebringer  by David Clement-Davies



I have a lot more books that I absolutely adore, but these are the ones I could think of off the top of my head. And of course if you would like a book recommendation let me know! I’m good at those!