A-Z Challenge - Alaine, Annatto & Angela

Sunday, April 1, 2012


My version of the A-Z Challenge will be about people, places and things Jamaican. Wish it could have been something writing related, but anyway, all this good stuff will come in handy in the setting department. I also have a review of Wanted: Dead or Undead (scroll down) written by Angela Scott, which ties in nicely with my 'A' theme. Look smart, here we go:-

Alaine
Alaine: (Alaine Laughton) is a singer and songwriter who lived in the United States and wrote and sang back up for artists such as Cam'ron and Freeway. In 2004, she settled in Jamaica. Her hits include Sacrifice, No Ordinary Love and Forever More (featuring Tarrus Riley)


Annotto Bay: lies along the North Coast and in the early 20th century was a busy shipping town from which banana was exported.  The major portion of the town is nestled between two tributaries of the Pencar River. Both tributaries empty into the sea east and west of the town centre. 

Annotto Bay Baptist Church
One fascinating landmark is the Baptist Church. It is a red-brick building with stained glass windows. There are quotes from scripture engraved in the building’s trim. Local legend has it that the minister who built it cut and installed all the stained glass himself.


Annatto: is a fruit that Jamaicans have used for hundreds of years. It is known as ‘roucou’ or ‘achiote’ in the southern and eastern Caribbean. This fruit bears spiny seed pods that encase bright orange seeds. Annatto is almost tasteless. Amerindians used the pigment it produces to paint their faces and to die cloth. Like the Indians of yesteryear, Jamaicans today use Annatto to add a reddish colour to food like ‘Run Dung’. 


And now for my review of Wanted: Dead or Undead.

STORYLINE:  Trace Monroe is an adventure seeker and is handy with a deck of cards. While gaming inside a saloon, he runs into a gun-wielding, red-headed cowgirl.  What’s unique about this no-nonsense female is that she knows how to kill the living dead.  Trace latches on to ‘Red’, despite her aversion to him, and soon discovers her well-kept secret. Knowing what he does, will he forgo the price on her head and let his protective instincts win or will he give in to greed?

PLAYERS: Red is smart, self-sufficient and prickly. She prefers to work alone killing zombies. That’s until Trace comes on the scene and refuses to be shaken loose. Red has a hard exterior that comes from necessity, and hides her vulnerability well.

Trace, at first glance, is an opportunist. He too is smart, but he’s also caring and takes family, friendship and responsibility seriously.

I LIKED: so many things about this novel. How Trace eventually wormed his way into Red’s confidence through persistence and handles responsibility when it is thrown at him. The writer shows how good things come from cooperation and builds a strong bond between the characters, who come from diverse backgrounds.

I COULD HAVE LIVED WITHOUT: the ‘eeewww’ factor that comes with zombie novels, but feel free to ignore this particular comment. That’s why this is a zombie novel, right? The author does a good job bringing across the gooey, nasty, stink factor that is synonymous with zombies.  

OVERALL COMMENTS: Wanted: Dead or Undead is very easy to read. The writer tells an intriguing story, the pacing is good and the characters are people I’ve come to care about.  The writer painted vivid word pictures of the world that is the Wild West and made the zombies fit right into the landscape.  She created such an interesting cast of characters that I can’t wait for the second book in the series to come out. I’m not a fan of zombie fiction. I couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about and I never thought I’d say this, but Ms. Scott has ‘turned’ me into a zombie fan. Do yourself a favour and download this novel, if you haven’t read it already.

COVER NOTE: I like the cover and think it represents the story well. Also had a peek at the cover for the Upcoming Story, Survivor Roundup and think it’s pretty cool too.

Thanks for stopping in. Do make sure you visit the other participants in the A-Z Challenge. 

59 comments:

  1. I met you last year during the A to Z Challenge, Joy! How quickly time flies. :)

    Wonderful theme and I'm looking forward to your posts!

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    1. Hey, Laura, it's been a pleasure following you. Yep, the time does go by quickly.

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  2. I'm going to enjoy this theme Joy! We use achote in the VI and Puerto Rico as well. And I've even been able to find the seeds here in Texas from time to time and make the oil I use to flavor and color rice in dishes like aroz con pollo.

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    1. Bish, it'll be good to have you along I'm sure you see many more familiar items here.

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  3. Zombie west, huh. I love the idea, though I think I'd be like you and cringe at the ew factor.

    http://weavingataleortwo.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi, Donna,
      I haven't checked out your blog in a while. Wanted was an interesting concept. Zombies in the wild west is not something I'd ever think about write about, but it goes to show ho creative writers are.

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  4. What a fun way to learn about Jamaica.

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    1. Thanks, Mary. Hope you have fun during the month.

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  5. I just love your reviews! I think the like and don't like sections are smart.

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    1. Hey, Clarissa, thanks so much for dropping in. Glad the review work.

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  6. Replies
    1. It does its bit to make other dishes pretty too!

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  7. Oh, I have wanted to go here for so long! Can't wait to see what you have to share! New follower :)

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    1. Thanks, Tasha, hope you enjoy the 'trip'.

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  8. Cool 'A' post, Joy! The picture of the church is beautiful, and I've never seen berries that look like Annatto.

    I meant to email you the other day but got busy and it slipped my mind until now. My new copy of the RWA mag (I think it's technically called Romance Writers Report) came a few days ago and on one of the pages was a picture ad from Wild Child publishers with Hardware on the top row! How cool is that!

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    1. Thanks for letting me know, Tina. The publisher did tell me that it would be out in April.

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  9. What a beautiful colour that fruit is, so pretty.

    I've heard some great things about the Angela Scott book,it's creating a real buzz.

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    1. Sarah, it does die food a pretty colour.
      Yep, I really liked Angela's book. Good stuff!

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  10. I have never been to Jamaica, so I know I'm going to enjoy your virtual tour of it. That Baptist church is lovely.

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    1. Susan, I'll do my best to pick some interesting places. Time just runs. I fully intended to have maybe half my posts done but that didn't happen. I guess I'll do my normal frantic sprint through the month.

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  11. I love your theme for the A-Z Challenge! I'm looking forward to getting to know more about Jamaica.

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    1. Thanks, Lynda. Popping over to see what you chose to write about.

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  12. Great A-Z theme! It will be interesting to learn about Jamaica. :)

    And I love your new blog look, BTW. Very clean and sharp.


    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

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  13. Wish I could visit Annotto Bay Baptist Church...such a beautiful building. Thanks for sharing and informing. :)

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    1. Glad to share things Jamaican, Linda. Thanks for dropping in.

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  14. I think I first found your blog during last year's Challenge, I'm glad you are doing another round! I always love learning about Jamaica from your posts, so I am looking forward to what you share for each letter. Love the picture of the church!

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    1. Hey, Julie, I want to do some really interesting places this time around.

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  15. We are going to be so educated about Jamaica when this is over. Love that Baptist church--it actually doesn't look like a church.

    Lee
    A Few Words
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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    1. Arlee,
      Thanks for dropping in. I know how busy you must be. I didn't think it looked like a church either. :)

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  16. just saw your comment on my blog; thanks for stopping in! I have a friend at work who is Jamaican, and I really want to visit the country sometime. Looking forward to your posts!

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  17. Oooh, this is fun and informative. I have heard of annatto before (actually I think I have seen it on ingredient listings) and didn't know what it was!

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    1. Glad to have shared info you didn't have before.

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  18. This was great--a little something for everyone! Music, architecture, food and books--you brought it all to day one.

    If the legend about the minister cutting and installing the stained glass himself is true--wow. What a multi-talented guy he must have been. The church is stunning, as is the anatto (a fruit I've never heard of.

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  19. Hi, Kern, thanks for stopping in. Yes, that minister would have been multi-talented, but you know how legends go, you're hardly likely to prove them true.

    I should say the Annatto is not something that we eat, but it does go into food as a colouring.

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  20. You packed a lot into your A post. I guess Annatto is like Tumeric. I wonder if they're different names for the same thing.

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  21. Tumeric is a lot more flavourful and is used to help spice up curry. Dunno if maybe they're from the same family, except Annatto is bland in terms of flavour.

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  22. Looking forward to your posts, as I know little about Jamaica.

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    1. Hoping to share some interesting stuff!

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  23. Oh WOW! All sorts of wonderful things that start with A! I love your theme. Very inspiring. Great stuff! :)

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    1. Leigh, I figured that people would probably be interested in some of the stuff that goes on around here.

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  24. Fun facts about Jamaica. Second person to talk about this book. I may need to put aside my Zombie 'thing' and check it out.

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    1. I don't think you'll regret reading it. I wasn't a zombie fan either. Didn't get how there could possibly be any enjoyment in reading a book that had zombies in it. :) I think I'm riding the back end of the zombie craze. Also came across another interesting one written by a blogger buddy. That one's called My Zombie Dog.

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  25. Thanks for the info about Jamaica. I was wondering what Annatto tasted like, but then saw how it's practically tasteless.

    I enjoy zombie films and books, but they are gruesome.

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    1. I've only read a couple of zombie books now. The dynamics are the same as with telling other stories, but the gross factor is way, way out there! :D

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  26. I didn't know Annatto had no flavor. Interesting! Thanks for the facts about Jamaica! I look forward to learning so much more about it.

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    1. Hi, Corinne, I guess that's why we use it here mainly as colouring. I'm looking forward to some of the interesting stuff I'll come across in my search too. :)

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  27. Thanks so much for including me in your A-Z challenge (and for daring to read a eeewwww zombie book). I appreciate you words and your kind encouragement--starting a while back in the blogging world :)

    I can't wait to learn more about Jamaica through the challenge!

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    1. No problem, Angela. The first segment online grabbed me and so I figured it would be a good read. Thanks to you, I'm an official zombie convert.

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  28. Love your A-words, and the review :)
    Look forward to your challenge posts all over again, Joy, loved AZing with you last year!

    --Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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    1. Same here, Damyanti. You're off to a great start.

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  29. This is a great way to do the A-Z Joy. Interesting info and great review.

    Denise

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    1. Thanks, Denise. I hope others find it interesting too.

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