Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Curse Ebay!

Or maybe not! Won some stamps tonight...and yes that's a good thing, but I really need to stop spending and start producing! LOL!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Links to posts!

I've been posting a bit all over the place again!

This is a link to my review of Kleypas - Lisa - Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas. I will update this post until I catch up again!

**************Edited to say******************

Updated to add that here is a link to my review of The Dawn Stag by Jules Watson.

A question though....when I went to add a couple of new posts today I noticed that the Edit Posts section has changed, and you no longer have any formatting options, including adding pictures etc. Has anyone else's Blogger account changed like this? I hope they change it back again because even after doing this for over a year, I am still HTML challenged!

And edited again to say.............

This is a link to Ill Wind by Rachel Caine, the first book in the Weather Warden series...and book number 200 for this year!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Moving House

I made this for someone I work with who is moving house this weekend. Normally I wouldn't have even bought a card for this but I thought I would make one! Guess that means I am getting the bug.

I am not really that happy with it. This was made before I got the trimmer so the paper isn't quite cut straight and it probably needs something to tie it all together between the squares. I do like the different papers though. Maybe it would have been better with a different colour card....but I don't have any other colour card yet!

Birthday Card

It's my grandmother's birthday this week. She has always had a thing for purple.

At the card making night I went to last night I very generously gave my sister the purple stuff that I was going to use, so then when I went to make my own card I had to think of something a little different to do. That is, of course, code for go and buy more things and spend more money! So I bought the paper. I pretty much like the way it turned out, although I am not sure that that is the right flower for the card. To tie it in, I put a flower inside the card as well. Now I just have to remember to post it!

I need to get some invisible tape or something if I am going to continue to use this kind of paper. I think it shows up more in the photo than it does in the flesh but still.

Christmas cards

One of the first kits that I got had a Star punch in it, so you will notice quite a few stars featuring. It also featured Red, Gold, Green and Silver card, along with sticky paper and glitter. This card is just some purple and glittery stars with an off cut off of the side of the card. Making this card confirmed to me that I can NOT cut in a straight line. Luckily I got a trimmer just yesterday so hopefully things will improve in this regard!

More stars - this time cut out of the side of the card, which I think looks cool, but I didn't know what to do underneath. The other thing that happened when making this card was that I got distracted when putting the gold star on the red part of the card, so it isn't exactly where I would like it to be, but it was already stuck!!! Oh well! Sorry about the flash glare!

Secret Santa Christmas 2006

These are actually some small cards that I have made to send along with a Secret Santa card that appears below. These cards are just something little that I am sending for the kids! I like the way that they look.

And this is the card I made for the Secret Santa recipient (let's hope she doesn't click on the button for this blog...I know she occasionally looks at my reading blog!)

I am pretty happy with this one as well, although in the photo you can see that I haven't quite got the gold ribbon cut correctly. The ribbons came off a hamper that I won in a door prize a couple of days ago! Handy huh? On the inside there are a couple of little Christmas type embellishments!

Paper Piecing

First attempt at Paper Piecing

Had to go and buy paper specifically to do this one! I ended up sending it to a friend when I lent her a book! Actually, I was pretty pleased with the way that this looked on the outside. I didn't do anything on the inside other than write a short message.

As you can see, I hadn't quite figured out the whole taking a photo thing yet. In fact, I'm not exactly sure I have yet, but I'm sure I will figure it out eventually!

Starting out

My sister, some friends and I are just starting out in card making.

So far there has been lots of expense, and not much output, but we are getting there slowly.

This blog is going to be used mainly as a guide to the kinds of cards I have already created, and hopefully will show an improvement, as both we get a better range of equipment and more confident in what we are doing!!

At first there will be a dominance of Christmas themed cards, but I guess that that is understandable given the time of year!

I wish I had of taken pictures of the first few cards that I have made and sent already! Oh well...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Dissection of a sleepover

Warning.....a post that sounds suspiciously like a rant coming up!

My son had a friend over for a sleepover last night. I've met this kid a few times and he's been here to play before, but I have to say he's not my favourite kid, so maybe that colours my judgement but still!

It all starts in the organisation stages. Even when he is asking if he can come over here because his mother is going out, his mother doesn't even have the courtesy to ring me to make arrangements. Everything is all done through the kids. No different for a sleepover. After numerous messages from my son, I ring her up to make arrangements to take him home from school when I pick my own child up, check with her that there is nothing that the child can't eat, shouldn't do etc etc. All clear!

So I pick the kids up, and they go and start playing. Being boys, playing involves wrestling, punching, squashing each other etc etc. Leave each other alone for goodness sake!

Dinner time - What do you want for dinner, other than McDonald's. Pizza? I don't like pizza. Chicken? I don't like chicken. Well how about I cook pasta. I mean you can't go wrong with pasta can you? So I cook pasta and put a very plain tomato pasta sauce on it. First of all he doesn't want to eat because he's not hungry, even though 20 minutes before they were both going where's dinner. then, he doesn't like the sauce. I don't want to eat it. Sulk, sulk, sulk. Fine...I'll cook more damn pasta and you can eat it plain.

As a treat I thought I would take them to the ice cream parlour, but it took so darn long to eat dinner that that is now closed so we'll go through the drive thru for ice cream instead. But I want a sundae - you can both have the same thing. Oooooohhhhh. Even in the car they need to be fighting each other.

More playing, wrestling, start throwing things around the room. That got stopped pretty quickly but now they are both sulking. Arrgghh.

Getting close to bedtime. You can have a shower, clean up the toys and go to bed. I don't want a shower. I want a bath, but I don't want to share a bath. I want to go first..no, I want to go first. Just get in the friggin' shower.

Surprisingly enough, they both went to sleep soon enough.

Okay, so pasta was a problem for dinner, but breakfast has to be pretty safe doesn't it?

What do you want for breakfast? There's Weetbix, Cornflakes, Oats, FibrePlus. I don't like any of those. All right then...how about toast? I don't like toast. Okay, do you just want some bread with jam on? What flavour jam? Strawberry or Raspberry. I don't like either of those flavours. Do you want eggs or something then. No. Oh for god's sake, you can have breakfast when you go home to your house then!

I had said to them that we could make cards this morning. My son loves to do it, and I thought it would be fun. I don't want to. Friggin' fine....watch the damn TV then. I am going for a shower.

68 minutes to go - there's always tears when someone gets hurt! It was bound to happen!

49 minutes to go - child is still not dressed, hasn't eaten.

40 minutes to go - it's only 10.20am. Is it too early for me to open a bottle of wine or a beer? Especially bearing in mind I have to drive to go and vote at our state election today.

22 minutes to go - is it wrong to be counting down? Would it be wrong of me to take the child home before the agreed time?

17 minutes to go - more tears. But I wanted to play with that. But I had it first.

10 minutes to go - Both of you.....CLEAN YOUR FRIGGING TEETH NOW!!!

6 minutes to go - Through gritted teeth...I said clean your teeth and pack your clothes up.

Child has been taken home. Apparently he had a good time.

It's going to take me all weekend to recover! LOL!!

Another reading challenge?

Saw the details of 2007 TBR Challenge over at Literary Feline's blog.

Now, this month I have done appallingly at the two challenges that I have signed up at. I haven't read any of the books that I said I would read for the November Challenge, and I am yet to read any of the books that I said I would for the From the Stacks challenge. Admittedly I still have a couple of months for that one but still...haven't even started!

In light of that I am not going to sign up just yet for the 2007 TBR challenge, although it is tempting...let's see if I can resist it! It doesn't often happen that I can!

Friday, November 24, 2006

To Sir Phillip With Love by Julia Quinn

Sir Phillip knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he'd proposed, figuring that she'd be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except… she wasn't. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her…and more.

Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn't marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking…and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except…he wasn't. Her perfect husband wouldn't be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled…and when he kissed her…the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn't help but wonder…could this imperfect man be perfect for her?

I actually finished reading this a couple of weeks ago but as I have mentioned before I am really behind in my reviewing, so now I am sitting here scratching my head trying to think what I really wanted to say. The thing is, I am not all that sure that that wouldn't have been the case even if I had finished the book an hour ago. For the first time since I started reading this series, I was completely underwhelmed by a Bridgerton book.

There are so many reasons for this. Firstly, I found Phillip to be really hard to relate to you. Phillip is a widower with two young children. His wife had died a couple of years ago, and Phillip had basically been distant from his children both before his wife's death and after, and he is not only remote himself but he seems to be distant in terms of who he has hired to care for his children. As a consequence, his children are pretty much hellions and are really horrible to Eloise when she gets there. Of course, because she has so many siblings she was able to fight fire with fire and get back with her own practical jokes.

It was difficult to see Phillip unwinding enough to fall in love with Eloise and it really wasn't until her brothers arrived that I began to see how any bond would be formed between them.

The other thing that I found strange about this whole book was that the early events in this book corresponded with the latter events in Romancing Mr Bridgerton, and yet when Colin enters the story in this book there was absolutely no mention - surely a close knit family would have chatted about something as big as his wedding to the huge society event that happened the night that Eloise ran away. And about that as well, would a sensible spinster really run off from London to go and stay with a man she has never met at all. Didn't really work for me.

I have however heard good things about When He Was Wicked, which should be in at the library for me in the next few days.

Rating 3.5/5

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden. Usually, all it takes is a wave of her hand to tame the most violent weather. But now, she's trying to outrun another kind of storm: accusations of corruption and murder. So, she's resorting to the very human tactic of running for her life...

Her only hope is Lewis, the most powerful warden known. Unfortunately, he's stolen not one but three bottles of Djinn-making him the most wanted man on earth. Still, she's racing hard to find him-before the bad weather closes in fast...

I am sooo far behind on my reviews you wouldn't believe it!! When you add that fact to the fact that I don't seem to be able to do any formatting, spell checking, adding pictures (fortunately I had added the picture for quite a few of my outstanding reviews including this one before the change was made), anything at all in blogger...except type really.....it means that I am kind of distracted. If this continues, I might also need to brush up on my HTML skills....Uh-oh! It is a shame to be losing focus on this book a little, because not only was this a very enjoyable introduction to a new series that I am definitely planning to keep on reading, this was also book number 200 for the year for me!!

My reading goals for this year were to read 200 books, of which 25 needed to be books that I already owned at the beginning of this year. Whilst I have managed the 200 books with room to spare, I am not sure that I am doing quite so well on the 25 off of the shelf....I actually have only read 11. A while ago my plan was to reach 200, and then concentrate on reading some that meet the already owned criteria, but there are just so many other books that I want to read before the end of the year that I don't think I am going to make it!

Anyway, enough about that! Perhaps I should post something about this book!

Joanne Baldwin is on the run. She has been accused of the murder of one of the most powerful weather wardens in the world, and unless she can get help she is very quickly going to find herself either stripped of all her powers and a shadow of her former self, or really really dead! Joanne believes that help in this case will come in the form of Lewis, the single most powerful warden, but finding him means driving cross country, with not only her fellow weather wardens chasing her, but the storms themselves closing in on her. Then she picks up a sexy hitchhiker who seems to be too good to be true. Is it possible that he is the answer to her prayers, or is he really just as he seems.

This was an action packed read - not only are there the paranormal elements, but when the very weather is against you, what hope is there! I liked Joanne as a character. She was quite feisty and she was prepared to fight. It would seem that in some way she has some issues in relation to her judgement calls, but there would be no story otherwise! I have to say, without spoiling anything, the ending was a really big surprise to me, and gave the series additional longevity I think.

This is definitely a series that I plan to continue reading....I already have the next one out of the library to get to eventually.

Rating 4/5

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Dawn Stag by Jules Watson

This is the second book in the Dalriada trilogy that started with The White Mare

AD 81. Agricola, the ruthless governor of Roman Britain is intent on capturing the last unconquered territory in Britain - Alba, Scotland.

Rhiann is an Alban priestess and princess who submitted to a political marriage to Eremon, an exiled Irish prince. Out of duty, grew love - a powerful and desperate love that will bind them together through conflict and betrayal. Now in them lies the hope of a nation. For Agricola's army is formidable - brilliantly armed and heavily supported. To the people of Alba it is a wall of steel and fire advancing across their homeland, bringing with it desolation.

The predestined day draws near: the armies of Alba and Rome will meet in an epic battle to decide the fate of a country. Rhiann searches for guidance in the spirit world, little realizing how big a part she will play in this endgame. Eremon knows only that he must risk - and sacrifice - many lives, perhaps even his own.

I read The Dawn Stag a couple of months ago and was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Whilst I like the idea of reading about Rome, I haven't actually read that many! But combine Scotland (or Alba as it is known in this book) and Rome and I am definitely interested.

This book takes up where The Dawn Stag left off and covers a period of approximately three years. In the summer months there are battles to be fought against the increasingly frustrated Romans, and in the winter time to recover and to be together, focussing on what it is that they are fighting for - a free Alba.

Whilst the story of Rhiann and Eremon is definitely interesting, and one that I wanted to follow, the author does not forget about the secondary characters. There is love and there is loss, happiness and heartache. The other interesting character was Agricola, the leader of the Romans. He is facing a huge loss of prestige and reputation if he cannot defeat these uncivilized warriors and soon, yet he gets drawn into losing battle after losing battle, and becomes increasingly frustrated.

I have to say that to me it felt like there was a greater focus on the mystical in this novel. Rheann is Ban Cre - not only the carrier of Royal blood, and possibly mother to one of the next leaders of her people, but also their spiritual leader. It is Rheann who must reconcile herself with the events of her past and find her way back to the Goddess, who must draw the other tribes together to fight in unison with the forces led by her husband to give them any chance to defeat the enemy, who must fight to save lives, including some of those that she loves.

The relationships are well written, and the events, about which is really known, feel real and compelling. The only thing about this book that concerned me was really the ending. There is a third book out in this trilogy in May next year called The Boar Stone, but it really felt as though the story was all wrapped up in this book. Having read the synopsis I guess I have an idea of how the third book will tie in with the first two books, but I suspect that for the most part we have seen the last of Rhiann and Eremon, and the other's that we have come to know and love from Dunadd. If not for the ending, this book probably would have ended up with the same rating as the first book, which was 4.5 out 5.

Instead, I am giving it a rating of 4/5

What to read...what to read

I have just checked and I have 10 books that I need to have finished by 30 November which is when they need to be returned to the library. The books are

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin - started this one already

Dreaming The Eagle by Manda Scott - just finishing a book about Roman times so might need to read this one in a few days time

In the Prince's Bed by Sabrina Jeffries - Never read this author but have heard good things.

The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan

The Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters

The Observations by Jane Harris

The Dawn Stag by Jules Watson - just finishing this one off

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine - really want to read this series

Light in Shadow by Jayne Ann Krentz - Highly recommended by quite a few people

Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes - Last book in the Walsh sisters series, and then I would be completely up to date with that series.

To Sir Philip with Love by Julia Quinn - really enjoy this romance series

Note that there is no mention in there of any of the books that I said I would read for either the November challenge and only one of the From the Stacks challenge!

So the question is....what do I read next? I'm thinking that I am going to have to return at least a couple of these! Oh...the shame! And then I will have to reborrow them at a later date!

What Kind of Reader are you?

Saw this on Dylan's blog and thought I would share here!

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas

A noblewoman of frail beauty and exotic mystery fakes her own death to escape the gallows. And now she must flee. In disguise and under a false identity, she finds unexpected sanctuary in the arms of a handsome and arrogant yet gallant British lord—who must defy society to keep her safe . . and overcome a tragic past to claim her as his own.

This is one of a few Lisa Kleypas books that you never really see mentioned all that often in blogland. When I read it, I was kind of surprised because although it isn't the best Lisa Kleypas book I have ever read, the heroine was very unusual, and also part of the book was set in St Petersburg in Russia, something that is once again unusual.

When the book opens, our heroine Tasia is in prison awaiting execution after being convicted of murdering her fiance. Tasia can't actually remember anything about the murder. All she knows is that she was found near the body, holding the murder weapon, and covered in blood.

In order to escape from her fate, she fakes her own death, and escapes Russia to England, where her cousin agrees to help her. They have a friend, Lord Stokehurst, who is in need of a governess. He lives away from London so there isn't much chance that she will be found there. Somewhat unwillingly, Luke agrees to take "Miss Karen Billings" on as governess for a period of one month, and one month only. Luke's daughter, Emma, immediately likes Miss Billings, even if the other staff in the house do not, and gradually Lord Stokehurst begins to have feelings as well, even though he is aware that there is something about her story that is not quite right.

Eventually the truth about Miss Billing's identity comes out, she gets found, and Lord Stokehurst needs to travel too St Petersburg to save her!

While I liked Lord Stokehurst, he was in some ways a shadow of some of the other Kleypas heroes. He was a widower who had lost his hand when he tried to save the life of his wife and child some years before, and had had no intention to marry since the death of his wife. He did have a mistress during the early parts of this book, so it wasn't that there was a complete lack of interest in women, which would have been a similar story to something else I have read lately.

As for Tasia, she was very young - only about 18. She was also a bit too good to be true. More than once during this novel she practically nursed other characters who were her enemies.

As I said before, this book is not the best Kleypas I have read, but it wasn't too bad. The ending was a bit rushed and a bit too obviously setting up the next book, but I did put the grade up a little for something that is a bit different!

Rating 4/5

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

This month's TBR challenge, was to read a book that was originally published in e-book format.

A fresh new talent in the realm of paranormal romance, Nalini Singh dives into a world torn apart by a powerful race with phenomenal powers of the mind - and none of the heart...

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation" - the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was...

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion - and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities - or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

Title: Slave to Sensation

Author: Nalini Singh

Year published: 2006

Why did you get this book? I've read such good reviews that I just had to add it to my list.

Do you like the cover? Yes, pretty much. Nothing that we haven't seen before though.

Did you enjoy the book? Yes

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? This is a completely new author to me, and I will definitely be getting the next book in this series!

Are you keeping it or passing it on? I have a real hard time letting go of books at the best of times, but this time it is a definite keeper.

Anything else? This is one of the most unusual storylines I have read in a long time. Sascha Duncan is Psy, one of a race of people who have successfully managed to ensure that they feel no emotion. They are perfect in business, and in life, but Sascha knows that she is flawed. She feels a way that no Psy should, and it only gets worse after she meets the were-panther Lucas Hunter. Lucas has such strong emotions, bonds of strength with his pack, terrible memories from the past, hope that he is able to get it together with the Psy woman that he knows is much more than just Psy.

As Lucas and his pack try to stop a vicious Psy killer, Sascha learns about her people, and learns to allow herself to feel in every way. The only problem is, can she survive away from the Psynet that she has been linked to for her whole life.

I really liked both the characters of Lucas and Sascha. Lucas gradually realising that he is going to have to learn to trust someone else, and Sascha learning to trust her emotions...really, really good!! And it didn't hurt that Lucas was hot either!!

Rating 4/5

Friday, November 17, 2006

Queen of Swords by Sara Donati

It is the late summer of 1814, and Hannah Bonner and her half brother Luke have spent more than a year searching the islands of the Caribbean for Luke’s wife and the man who abducted her. But Jennet’s rescue, so long in coming, is not the resolution they’d hoped for. In the spring she had given birth to Luke’s son, and in the summer Jennet had found herself compelled to surrender the infant to a stranger in the hope of keeping him safe.

To claim the child, Hannah, Luke, and Jennet must journey first to Pensacola. There they learn a great deal about the family that has the baby. The Poiterins are a very rich, very powerful Creole family, totally without scruple. The matriarch of the family has left Pensacola for New Orleans and taken the child she now claims as her great-grandson with her.

New Orleans is a city on the brink of war, a city where prejudice thrives and where Hannah, half Mohawk, must tread softly. Careful plans are made as the Bonners set out to find and reclaim young Nathaniel Bonner. Plans that go terribly awry, isolating them from each other in a dangerous city at the worst of times.

Sure that all is lost, and sick unto death, Hannah finds herself in the care of a family and a friend from her past, Dr. Paul de Guise Savard dit Saint-d’Uzet. It is Dr. Savard and his wife who save Hannah’s life, but Dr. Savard’s half brother who offers her real hope. Jean-Benoit Savard, the great-grandson of French settlers, slaves, and Choctaw and Seminole Indians, is the one man who knows the city well enough to engineer the miracle that will reunite the Bonners and send them home to Lake in the Clouds. With Ben Savard’s guidance, allies are drawn from every segment of New Orleans’s population and from Andrew Jackson’s army, now pouring into the city in preparation for what will be the last major battle of the War of 1812.

This book is the fifth book in the Into the Wilderness series by Sara Donati. The series in order is:

Into the Wilderness
Dawn on a Distant Shore
Lake in the Clouds
Fire in the Sky
Queen of Swords

Like many other readers of this series that I have chatted with over time, I first read these books after I read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and wanted to read something else with a similar time frame. While I liked the first book, I think that my enjoyment of the series has been building and building, and Queen of Swords continued that trend. It was a very, very good read.

As I have mentioned before, I have a lot of reading time when I am on the train commuting to and from work, and normally whenever I finish a book I have the next book I am going to read already in my bag. I finish one book, and pick up the next straight away. When I finished this one, I picked up the next book, but couldn't start reading....I needed some time to actually revel in the reading experience that I had just had. Reading on the train also means that I laughed out loud, and teared up several times throughout the book in public!

The book opens with Luke trying to rescue his fiancee from a man who kidnapped her nearly a year before. Accompanying Luke is his half sister, Hannah, a soldier by the name of Kit Wyndham and a group of loyal men. Rescuing Jennet, they find that in order to protect him, Jennet has given their son to a man by the name of Honore Poiterin, asking him to take him away from her prison like island. Now, the Bonners must try to get their son back, and their journey takes them to Pensacola and then to New Orleans.

The Poiterins have taken the baby and spread the story that he is the son of Honore himself, and they are not going to give him up without a fight. The Poiterin's are one of the Creole first families in New Orleans, and they have many allies, meaning that it is not always going to be a fair fight either.

As Jennet becomes more and more desperate to regain custody of her son, and as Luke and Jennet try to rebuild their relationship after the traumatic events of the past year, they find themselves having to make allies in a city where there is much uneasiness, for it is 1812 and the war between the English and the Americans is right on their doorsteps.

I have to confess that I know very little about the war of 1812, although I have read a couple of books that are set around that time. I certainly had no idea that there was so much fighting around New Orleans. I guess I just assumed that most of the fighting occurred on the East Coast and didn't really spread all that far from there.

The highlight for me in this book was getting to know Ben Savard, and seeing the way that he helped Hannah move forward with her life, without disrespecting her past or dominating her present. It was an interesting parallel to me that even though he too was biracial like Hannah, that one of the biggest traits that they shared was that they both had been bought up and accepted by their respective families, in stark contrast to the treatment of some others like them. To an extent these relationships were also reflected by society as a whole, with Hannah finding it much harder to exist in the city of New Orleans than she normally did.

By moving the action away from Paradise (where most of the other books take place), Sara Donati has managed to bring a completely different feel to this book, without losing any of the integrity of any of the characters. Whilst many of the characters we have come to love in previous books were offstage during this novel, we did get glimpses of them through the letters that were received, and there was a welcome cameo from Nathaniel and Running Bears as well.

I really do recommend reading this series if you enjoy historical fiction set in the early days of the US.

Sara Donati is just starting to work on the sixth book in this series, and I for one cannot wait to read it. In the meantime I am so tempted to actually reread the whole series....and I don't really do rereads normally!

Rating 4.5/5

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nancy v Trixie

Colleen Gleason had a fun Thursday Thirteen up this week....advocating the teenage sleuth Trixie Belden over her more famous colleague Nancy Drew.

Now I was a huge Trixie Belden fan for all of the reasons that Colleen mentioned...most especially Jim Frayne....my first red head literary crush, but not my last by a long way. I think I actually have all of my books in a box around here someday! One of these days I will get around to unpacking them all!

As for kids books, I really loved Enid Blyton's books. The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair were among my favourites. The way the kids were able to be transported to whole new worlds, and never knowing quite what they would fine was amazing to a little girl who just wanted to escape!

So, two questions. What kids/teenage books do you remember reading and loving? And who was your first literary crush?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich

Miami is still freakin' humid. The nights are even hotter. And there's a body on ice. And that's just the beginning of this adrenaline-rush of a hot-wired ride from phenomenal number one New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.

A woman with a taste for speed and a talent for breaking the rules, Barney also knows a little too much about cheating. First there was Hooker and that salesclerk. Now she's convinced one of the competitors is up to no good on the track. Snooping to find evidence, Hooker and Barney "borrow" a NASCAR hauler. Turns out, the hauler is carrying two race cars and a dead guy. It looks like Barney and Hooker are facing multiple counts of grand theft auto and homicide.

So buckle up as Barney, Hooker, a 150-pound bundle of Saint Bernard love named Beans, and the Super Cigar Ladies Felicia and Rosa shift into gear on a wild race around South Florida and Concord, North Carolina.

Everything you always wanted to know about righteous indignation, stealing an eighteen-wheeler, and sex in the fast lane.

What to say...what to say.

This is the second book in what are apparently being called the Barnaby Novels, after Metro Girl. Alex "Barney" Barnaby is working as a spotter for Sam Hooker - NASCAR driver. Now I have to admit that I don't know the first thing about NASCAR. Whilst I have been to a couple of Formula 1 Grand Prixs it is impossible for me to tell who is winning when all those cars are going around and around such a small track! Maybe I was a little lost right from the get go in this book.

Whilst Barney and Hooker have been a couple in the past they are no longer, but they still flirt like crazy, which is understandable since Hooker is apparently completely irresistible to all women everywhere. There are a couple of things from the past though that I know that some people won't like, most notably an episode where he was unfaithful some time before.

With dead body after dead body, incompetent bad guys, and lots and lots of goofy characters, this is pretty much standard Evanovich fare, but nowhere near as funny or as comforting as a Plum read. I guess in a way I feel a bit guilty saying that as I am sure that Evanovich wants to write things other than Plum and have everyone enjoy them.

Will I read the next Barney novel? Probably. Do I expect to absolutely love it. Probably not.

Rating 3/5

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Snake The Crocodile & the Dog

Amelia Peabody is unashamedly proud of her newest translation, a fragment of the ancient fairytale 'The Doomed Prince'. Later she will wonder why no sense of foreboding strikes her as she retells the story of the king's favourite son who is warned that he will die from the snake, the crocodile and the dog. Little does Amelia realise, as she and her beloved husband Emerson sail blissfully towards the pyramids of ancient Egypt, that those very bests will be part of a deadly plot...

Leaving their delightful, but catastrophically precocious, son Ramses back in England, Amelia hopes that this romantic expedition will rejuvenate her thirteen-year-old marriage. She and her dear Emerson are returning to the remote desert site where they first fell in love. but their return will threaten not only their marriage, but their very lives, with perils as chilling as a mummy's curse.

An old enemy is determined to learn Amelia and Emerson's most closely guarded secret: the location of a legendary long-lost oasis and a race of people bedecked in gold. So cunning is his scheme that Amelia could overlook - until it is too late - the truth about the mysterious cat called Anubis, the identity of the spy among their retinue, and the nature of the stunning blow with the power to rob her of all she holds dear.

The Snake, The Crocodile And The Dog is the latest bestselling novel from Elizabeth Peters to feature the intrepid Victorian adventurer Amelia Peabody and her archaeologist husband Emerson.

This is the seventh book in the Amelia Peabody series, following on from The Last Camel Died at Noon and there are quite a few references to the events of that book in this one, which would mean that it probably doesn't work all that well as a standalone book. Having said that, there is almost a return to Amelia and Emerson's early days of courtship which would make it seem as though it could be a standalone! Then again, I don't really understand how people knowingly pick up books and start reading half way through a series!

Amelia and Emerson are on the way to Egypt for the season, and must to Amelia's delight their precocious son Ramses has stayed behind in England, meaning that for the first time in years there will be time for Amelia and Emerson to relight the spark that their early days of marriage had. Not that they were falling out of love or anything like that - more that the passion had dimmed. In my eyes, Amelia is a very lucky woman to have Emerson.

Before things get a chance to hot up though, Emerson is kidnapped, and whilst Amelia and their men rescue him, not before he has amnesia and can't remember his wife. As they try to work out who is trying to attack them, Amelia is forced to contemplate what will happen if he can never remember her or Ramses, and to wonder whether she can make Emerson fall in love with her all over again!

Once again, there is lots of fun, adventure and danger waiting in Egypt for Amelia and Emerson, although this time they don't have to worry about how much trouble Ramses is going to get into. Whilst Ramses is not directly part of the action, he still forms part of the story through his very amusing and entertaining letters from home (and there is a great twist at the very end of the book that involves him as well).

There are the usual archaeological discoveries, dastardly enemies, and there are plenty of suspects as to who the bad guys may be! Once again, this was a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to reading more of the series.

Rating 4/5

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts

Reece Gilmore has come a long way to see the stunning view below her. As the sole survivor of a brutal crime back East, she has been on the run, desperately fighting the nightmares and panic attacks that haunt her. Reece settles in Angel's Fist, Wyoming - temporarily, at least-and takes a job at a local diner. And now she's hiked this mountain all by herself. It was glorious, she thought, as she peered through her binoculars at the Snake River churning below.

Then Reece saw the man and woman on the opposite bank. Arguing. Fighting. And suddenly, the man was on top of the woman, his hands around her throat . . .

Enjoying a moment of solitude a bit farther down the trail is a gruff loner named Brody. But by the time Reece reaches him and brings him to the scene, the pair has vanished. When authorities comb the area where she saw the attack, they find nothing.No signs of struggle. No freshly turned earth. Not even a tire track.

And no one in Angel's Fist seems to believe her. After all, she's a newcomer in town, with a reputation for being jumpy and jittery-maybe even a little fragile. Maybe it's time to run again, to move on . . .

Reece Gilmore knows there's a killer in Angel's Fist, even if Brody, despite his seeming impatience and desire to keep her at arm's length, is the only one willing to believe her. When a series of menacing events makes it clear that someone wants her out of the way, Reece must put her trust in Brody-and herself-to find out if there is a killer in Angel's Fist before it's too late.

I only started reading Nora Roberts just over a year ago, and had only read one standalone title, and none of her suspense titles, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book! What I got was a solid read, that was much better than the other stand alone book that I read!

Reece Gilmore has been trying to piece her life back together after barely surviving a horrific crime two years previously. She suffers regularly from panic attacks, nightmares, and hasn't settled in one place since she left Boston. But she is getting stronger all the time. She's a strong believer in signs, and when the signs point out that Angels Fist might be the kind of place she could spend a little time in, Reece stops, intending to take things a day at a time. Before long she has a job working as a cook, spending time in a kitchen for work for the first time in a couple of years, she has started to make friends with the locals, and she feels safe.

Before long she meets the local writer, known to everyone by his surname Brody. Brody lives a little way out of time in a little cabin. He is brusque, almost rude, he is infuriating, and he is just a little sexy - something that is a little surprising to Reece to acknowledge because it has been so long since she even thought about anything like that.

One day, whilst out hiking, Reece witnesses what appears to be a murder. Brody assists Reece, and believes her, but by the time the local police arrive, the murder scene is as tranquil and peaceful as it has ever been, and there is no trace of a missing woman. Worst of all, as Reece continues to insist that she saw what she saw, someone starts playing with her mind, making her doubt that she really had made as much progress as she thought she had.

With Brody's support, and those of a couple of other newly acquired friends, Reece continues to grow stronger despite the problems that she is having, but the question is..did she really see a woman get murdered and will she have a future in Angel's Fist?

I thought that Reece's character was really well written for the most part. The picture that was painted was of a woman clawing inch by inch by inch up the mountain that is life. Every now and again, she got to rest on a mountain clearing, enjoying the fresh air and views. Other times the way was hard, and there were times when she temporarily lost her hand grip, but then she knew that in order to reach the summit she had to keep going, no matter what it cost her.

As for Brody, I totally got that he was hot! Character wise he was a bit taciturn really, but I liked that Brody was, for want of a better expression, a man's man, and yet he gradually came to care for Reece and to be prepared to allow himself to become the nurturer. In short, he knew when to support and nurture Reece, but he also knew when to annoy her, and taunt her and goad her into continuing forward motion.

There is a whole cast of small town locals to populate the background in the novel, and they are well drawn, and full characters. The author resisted the urge to populate Angel's Fist with caracitures and cliches...thank goodness. There is a secondary romance, which I am not 100% sure of, but it was still sweet to see come to fruition.

The mystery was taut, and overall I really enjoyed this. The only reason why my grade is probably a little lower than it could be is that there were some times where I felt the book was a little overlong and my attention got more easily distracted than usual. But overall, it was a very enjoyable read.

Rating 4/5

Something for Rosario

I finally posted my review for The Silver Rose!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November Calendar

Deb over at Chappysmom is having a contest where you need to post the November picture from your calendar because as she says quite often the picture for November can be pretty dreary.

Whilst most of the calendar pictures being posted are very attractive, mine is not as pretty as everyone elses but the message is a good one for us here in drought stricken Australia. It comes from a calendar given out by one of the water companies here and focusses on water conservation.

Editted to add: Just a quick anecdote! I have to have words with my brother in law. He apparently told my son that you are only allowed to have 52 showers in a year because of the current water restrictions! Of course, the 8 year old completely believed him, and it has been a real battle to get him in the shower the last couple of days! LOL!!

It's my party..

Happy blogiversary to me!!

Or is that blogging anniversary....or blogging birthday.

Whatever it is, I started blogging one year ago today.

I had been reading a few blogs for a little while before I started blogging, but wasn't going to start because I didn't really think that anyone would want to read what I have to say. When I talk to non blogging friends they say stuff like "I don't have a life so I have nothing to talk about" and that was exactly the kind of thing that I was saying to myself. So twelve months on, I still have no life...and that's okay. I have a few regular people who stop by and read my sometimes nonsensical ramblings! Of course I think my blogging has improved since that very lame "this is my first post" post that would not have set the world on fire in any way, shape or form!

To be honest, this blog has become so much a part of my reading experience that I don't feel like I have finished a book anymore unless I have taken the time to record my thoughts about it here. There are a few other things that I have to do as well after I finish a book - cross it off my TBR list, add it to the read list, rate it on Amazon and AmazonUK so that I can see how it affects my recommendation lists and then post here and add it to the Index of Reads. All sounds a bit anal really, which is okay. The strange thing is that I am not anal about anything else in my life...weeds in the garden, that's fine, dirty dishes, clothes to be folded up...all fine! Strange huh?

The other thing that blogging has done is brought me into contact with heaps of people that I will probably never met but who I get to interact with on a semi regular basis. People who stop by here and leave comments, and I read their blogs and leave comments for them as well!!

Over the last twelve months both the way that I write my reviews has changed (and there is more than a tip of the hat to Rosario because I did pretty much emulate her format with just a few tweaks here and there!), I have posted just under 300 times I think, I have read and shared some great books, changed the blog template and switched to Beta (without buggering it up!), written a few joint reviews and just generally enjoyed many hours both here and at other places out there in blogland. According to Site Meter I get around 300-350 visitors a week (although quite a few of those visitors are most likely me! LOL!!) and a total of 11000 hits.

The other thing that I have noticed is that both my buying habits and my reading habits have changed a lot over the last year. I kid myself into thinking I have stopped buying books (but we all know that that is not really true!) but I have definitely reduced the amount of books I buy, and increased exponentially the number of books that I borrow from the library, as evidenced by my completely out of control library list! As to reading patterns, I hadn't read a paranormal before June this year, now I am part way through several series! There are other examples of how my reading has changed, but that is probably the biggest change.

There are only a handful of books that I have rated as 5/5 since I started reading, but there are plenty that were close to that mark as well. The 5/5 books are:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Poison Study by Maria V Snyder
Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop

So, what about the future? As I said this has become part of my book reading experience, so I don't see it changing anytime soon! I do want to change my template again, but I think I want to get a bit more experience with html so that I can make it more personal. I have started thinking about what my reading goals are going to be for next year, and I am definitely planning to at least finish a couple of those series that I am half way through at the moment! And I am thinking about getting an ebook reader......I have to think about it some more, but I think it will probably happen some time next year! Maybe I will work on using less exclamation marks per post as well......maybe!!

So my blogging buddies join me in a toast (with your coffee cup, your orange juice or your glass of wine or whatever it is that you are drinking).....

To blogging!

A bit of vampire fun

Over at Southern Fried Chicas.

Particularly for those fans of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dragonswan by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The third instalment in the Dark Hunter series after Fantasy Lover and The Beginning.

Praised for novels that are "fun, sexy, wild, and fantastically different from anything else" (Romance Readers at Heart), New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon now delivers a special collector's-edition tale of unexpected passion woven from the mysteries of a celebrated ancient tapestry.

Beautiful scholar Channon MacRea has spent years studying the legendary Dragon Tapestry, devoting days and nights to deciphering the impenetrable Old English symbolism. Then one evening the unnaturally handsome Sebastian appears. He claims to hold the key to solving the tapestry's mysteries. Bearing magnificently taut and tanned flesh marked by intriguing scars of battle, he also claims to be a dragon slayer trapped between two worlds.

For Channon there's only one way to finally uncover the secrets of the intricate embroidery-by following the seductive stranger into a fantastic alternate world of magic, danger, and erotic adventure.

This is a rereleased novella, similar in fashion to one I reviewed not long ago by Karen Marie Moning called Into the Dreaming. In fact, both of these stories were originally in the same anthology called Tapestry that also featured novellas by Lynn Kurland and Madeline Hunter. Maybe I should see if their stories have also been rereleased so that I can say I have read the whole anthology!

Channon has been studying the legendary Dragon Tapestry for years, and one night she is studying it when Sebastian appears. His intention is to take the tapestry, as it is required to be the ransom to save his brother's life. He does have a few hours before he has to return to his own time, and so he spends it basically seducing Channon, who is portrayed as a somewhat scatterbrained academic. However just as he is about to leave Channon behind, he finds out that the Fates have decided that she is his one and only true mate. For his people, they have one shot and one shot only at love. If he leaves Channon behind he will never love again, but he can't take her against her will.

What follows is Channon's dream come true! She gets to spend time in a true medieval village, as she is taken back in time, but Sebastian still needs to protect her from his enemies.

This story was just okay for me. I had read a story about an inner beast that wants the girl not too long ago (JR Ward's Lover Eternal). I think I just need to get into the series proper.

One other comment to make though - it does tend to throw me out of a story when the author puts the couple into anatomically impossible sexual positions. I mean, in this book, the only way I could see one of the positions working was if she had three legs...and there was no mention anywhere else in the book to suggest that that was the case! If I have to think about how the position would work, chances are I am not that immersed in the book.

Rating: 2.5/5


Is this the only place in the world where you get a public holiday for a horse race?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

It might sound like a man's favorite fantasy - to live forever, destined to be the lover of thousands of women. But for Julian of Macedon, it's a nightmare. Once he was a proud Spartan general, now he's a love-slave, his essence magically held captive in a book, cursed to spend all eternity pleasing women. Then, one day, Grace Alexander summons Julian to fulfill her passionate dreams - and sees beyond the fantasy to the man himself.

Long years as a sex therapist, listening to other people's bedroom problems, has taken a lot of the fun out of the physical side of love for Grace. She's remarkably understanding about Julian's situation - and that's disconcerting for all concerned. With or without sex, the rules of the enchantment cannot be changed. Julian is hers for the next month. And, as their time together slips by, Julian and Grace find more to share than sympathy and conversation - and they begin to wonder if love might be within their grasp. That leaves only one question. Is love enough to break a 2,000-year-old curse?

I have read nearly all of this author's books writing under the name of Kinley Macgregor, but this is the first time I have tried any of her Sherrilyn Kenyon books, and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. The reason why I picked this book up now is that The Book Bitches have selected five of the books from the Dark Hunter series of books as their books of the month for October and November. The five they chose were:

Night Pleasures (no. 4 in the series)
Dance with the Devil (no.7 in the series)
Night Play (no. 10 in the series)
Seize the Night (no. 12 in the series)
Dark Side of the Moon (no. 15 in the series)

Now, if you have been reading my blog for any length of time you will know that it would just about give my poor overworked heart a coronary if I just picked my way through a series like that, so I started at the beginning!

The funny thing is that when the girls provided us with the list of books in the series, they said about this book "You can skip this, worst in the bunch". Now either the other books in this series are going to be exceptional, or we have different taste in reading because I really liked this book...well, most of it anyway.

I'll start with the one thing I didn't like. Grace Alexander...sex therapist. Sex therapist who seems to have only had one sexual experience, and that one wasn't good. Sex therapist who has intimacy issues! Someone in one of the groups I was in said that this character seems to be quite common, particularly in contemporaries, but given that I read so few contemporaries, it isn't one that I was familiar with. I did find it quite unbelievable though, especially with the crazy stalker that was introduced.

Which is quite strange that I should say that Grace's character is unbelievable, seeing as Julian is the son of a Greek God, immortal warrior cursed by a jealous minor god to spend eternity stuck in the pages of a book, only being released occasionally to perform sexually for whichever woman calls his name three times.

The only way to break the curse is for Julian not to sleep with a woman from Alexandria (and luckily having a surname Alexander is close enough to satisfy) and then to join her on the last night of their time together for about 6 hours without losing their physical connection. Sound easy...well, kind of. Except that the torture for him will nearly send him insane. In the meantime, he teaches Grace how to receive pleasure without having sex, in some very hot scenes!!

With appearance by various Greek gods, with their petty arguments and long held grudges, this book was a lot of fun. To be honest I am not exactly sure how this fits in the series but I guess I will find out!

I also read the short story called The Beginning that gives the start of the Dark Hunter series. It didn't do much more than whet my appetite, but I definitely will be reading more!

That leaves just one more thing for me to say:

Julian of Macedon, Julian of Macedon, Julian of Macedon.

Did anything happen?

Maybe he's still walking from the train station.

Rating 4/5

Stacks Winter Reading Challenge

Do I need another reading challenge? Probably not, but you know that I can't resist! The idea, as proposed by the bloggers over at Overdue Books, is to read 5 books between 1 November and 30 January that you have had on your TBR shelf or list for a long time and haven't yet read.

I am going to give this reading challenge a historical fiction focus. My five books will be:

Dreaming the Eagle by Manda Scott
The Rose of York: Love and War by Sandra Worth
Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B by Sandra Gulland
Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis

Edited to say....of course, as soon as you write a list like that you think of all the books you should have chosen - The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory, the Laurien Gardner books, Jean Plaidy...well the list is nearly endless!

Edited again to say....Helen Hollick, Sara Donati, Elizabeth Chadwick...it can't be healthy to torture myself like this surely! LOL!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich

Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, where bounty hunter Stephanie Plum's life is about to implode.

FIRST A STRANGER APPEARS While chasing down the usual cast of miscreants and weirdos Stephanie discovers that a crazed woman is stalking her.

THEN THE STRANGER REVEALS HER SECRETS The woman dresses in black, carries a 9mm Glock, and has a bad attitude and a mysterious connection to dark and dangerous Carlos Manoso....street name, Ranger.

NEXT, SOMEBODY DIES The action turns deadly serious, and Stephanie goes from hunting skips to hunting a murderer.

SOON, THE CHASE IS ON Ranger needs Stephanie for more reasons than he can say. And now, the two are working together to find a killer, rescue a missing child, and stop a lunatic from raising the body count. When Stephanie Plum and Ranger get too close for comfort, vice cop Joe Morelli (her on-again, off-again boyfriend) steps in. Will the ticking clock stop at the stroke of twelve, or will a stranger in the wind find a way to stop Stephanie Plum....forever? Filled with Janet Evanovich's trademark action, nonstop adventure, and sharp humor, Twelve Sharp is Janet Evanovich's wildest, hottest novel yet!

So I have had this on my TBR shelf for a while, and as I am lending it to someone I thought I should read it before I send it on, so I picked it up last weekend.

I had seen quite a few reviews that suggested that this was one of the better Plums for a while, and whilst it was good, it wasn't great. It didn't have me rolling around laughing, with tears running down my face as I have been in the past with other Plum books. Maybe that is more about me than about the book, but that's my reaction.

As for the plot...does it really matter. This is Plum after all! Actually it wasn't too bad. A woman turns up at Stephanie's work claiming to be Ranger's wife, and threatening her. So Stephanie has a stalker for a few days..that is until the woman is found dead, and all the clues point to Ranger being the one who killed her. To top things off, somebody close to Ranger has been kidnapped, and it looks like that was Ranger too. Either Ranger has been a very busy boy, or there is more than one of him around!

All the usual gang were here. Lula and Sally Sweet, Tank and Grandma Mazur, fortunately very little mention of Stephanie's sister and family, and all the normal things happen. There are bombs blowing up, FTAs to catch, Ranger and Morelli to choose between. Oh, that's right, she doesn't have to choose between them. I don't know what' s taking her so long. It's a no brainer for me!! Just call me cupcake!! I'd be happy having some of Joe's cake in the morning! It has to be said that one of the funniest scenes in the book for me was when both Ranger and Morelli are wanting to move into her apartment with her. Poor Rex...all that testosterone!

As for character growth, well, there's not a lot of that either! Stephanie still is terrible at her job, Lula and Tank appear to have got it together, Ranger seems to be getting a little softer and Grandma Mazur joins a rock band.

So if there is little character development, all the usual characters and events is it worth reading. I'd still say yes, although I don't know for how many more books.

It's interesting to note that not too long ago it was announced that Janet Evanovich is going to be working on a new series in collaboration with Stephen Cannell. (I originally saw something about this over at He Wrote,She Wrote, but then they also blogged about this over at Dear Author as well.) Not being a huge fan of her collaborations with Charlotte Hughes, I guess that I will be reading the book, but it will be from the library. Speaking of which, Motor Mouth is waiting for me to go and pick up!!

Rating: 3.5/5

November Challenge

So ignore what I said here about not participating in Kailana's November Challenge!

I have decided that I am going to participate and my three books are going to be:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory
The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bloglines/Blogger Beta

Bloglines doesn't seem to be picking up any new posts I do? Is anyone else having this trouble? Could it be related to switching to Blogger Beta?

Have to say that I am loving the tags feature in Blogger Beta, so much so that I was up until 1am putting tags on past posts....yes, I know...very sad! LOL!!

Designer book covers

Saw these book covers over on the Penguin blog - especially commissioned to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of Penguin classics.

Very, very nice! Probably a bit out of my price range though!

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Dad drove through the dark slowly so as not to alert anyone that we were, as he liked to put it, doing the skedaddle....Once on the road, to distract us kids, Mom got us singing songs like 'Don't fence me in' and 'This land is your land'.

'Where are we going, Dad?' I asked.

'Whereever we end up,' he said.

Later that night, Dad stopped the car out in the middle of the desert, and we slept out in the middle of the desert, and we slept under the stars. We had no pillows, but Dad said that was part of his plan. He was teaching us to have good posture. The Indians didn't use pillows either, he explained, and look how straight they stood. We did have our scratchy army surplus blankets, so we spread them out and lay there, looking up at the field of stars. I told Lori, my sister, how lucky we were to be sleeping out under the sky like Indians.

'We could live like this forever,' I said.

'I think we're going to,' she said.

While Jeannette Walls was living on Park Avenue, covering the Academy Awards and attending black-tie parties at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, her parents were living in an abandoned building on the Lower East Side.

Rex Walls, her father, was an ingenious adventurer and a hopeless alcoholic. Her mother was an artist who abhorred domestic routime and the chores of motherhood: "Why should I cook a meal that will be gone in an hour when I can do a painting that will last forever?"

When I finish a book I always come in and at least start the post by putting a title in. I had no idea that I finished this one so long ago!

Click here to read the joint review that Kailana and I have done....

Lover Eternal by J R Ward

Or this post could also be titled "Darn it...on the Wall of Shame again!". This is the book that I read for October TBR challenge, but I finished it a little late! But I hear I wasn't the only one this month!!

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious love - for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhages's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves...

Title: Lover Eternal

Author: J R Ward

Year published: 2006

Why did you get this book? I read Dark Lover not too long ago, and enjoyed it, so I am working my way through the Black Dagger Brotherhood books.

Do you like the cover? I guess so.

Did you enjoy the book? Yes

Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? No the author is not new to me, and yes I will definitely be reading more. In fact I ordered it so I should get it delivered to me tomorrow...hopefully. So much for not buying books at the moment.

Are you keeping it or passing it on? Definitely keeping it!

Anything else? If nothing else I find it interesting that Ward takes circumstances that shouldn't work and puts them into a story where it just does! For example, I could never have imagined reading a book where the heroine has cancer with all the bruises etc, and yet it is still sexy. The hero has an inner beast that comes out....and that's sexy too. At one stage he even tries to go with other women to be able to keep the beast under control. Normally cheating would bother me, but in this case it didn't!

I loved the way that Bella and Zsadist's story started to be woven through the second half of this book. Can't wait to read Lover Awakened.

Rating 4/5

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Library crazy still

It's been a while since I did this, but it shouldn't surprise anyone to know that my library list is once again out of control. A weird thing happened yesterday though...just about all of them had their due date extended to 30 November but I didn't do it!

Checked out from one library I have:

Anastasia : a novel by Falconer, Colin

Anybody out there? by Keyes, Marian

Children of destiny by Chadwick, Elizabeth

The dawn stag by Watson, Jules

Dime store magic by Armstrong, Kelley

Dreaming the eagle by Scott, Manda

The expected one by McGowan, Kathleen

Fantasy lover by Kenyon, Sherrilyn (Can't extend this one)

The glass castle by Walls, Jeannette (Finished this one already)

Holiday in death by Robb, J.D.

Ill wind by Caine, Rachel

In my heart by Thomas, Melody

In the prince's bed by Jeffries, Sabrina

The iron giant. (DVD) Not for me!! but for once there are no Pokemon books on the list!

Kiss from a rogue by Karr, Shirley

Light in shadow by Krentz, Jayne Ann

Master quilter by Chiaverini, Jennifer

Midnight angel by Kleypas, Lisa

The murders of Richard III by Peters, Elizabeth

The observations by Harris, Jane

Princess by Foley, Gaelen

The rake by Enoch, Suzanne

The right attitude to rain by Smith, Alexander McCall

The ship of brides by Moyes, Jojo (this one would qualify for the November reading challenge as well!)

The silver pigs by Davis, Lindsey

The snake, the crocodile and the dog by Peters, Elizabeth - Reading this at the moment

Something borrowed by Giffin, Emily - Can't be extended!

Taking liberties by Norman, Diana

Thirteen moons by Frazier, Charles

Through a glass darkly by Koen, Karleen

To Sir Phillip with love by Quinn, Julia

The Twylight tower by Harper, Karen

Water for elephants by Gruen, Sara (Did you hear that she got a huge deal for the follow up to this book?)

The winter queen by Stevenson, Jane

Zipporah, wife of Moses by Halter, Marek

The books I have on request are:

Angels Fall by Roberts, Nora - this is on it's way now so will pick it up tomorrow.

The ballad of Desmond Kale by McDonald, Roger

Black powder war by Novik, Naomi - on order

The Book Thief by Zusak, Markus

Cocaine blues by Greenwood, Kerry

Dance of the gods by Roberts, Nora - no. 20 on this list for this

Darkfever by Moning, Karen Marie

Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris - ready to pick up

The invisible ring by Bishop, Anne

The keep by Egan, Jennifer

Morrigan's cross by Roberts, Nora - this should come in later this week.

Motor mouth by Evanovich, Janet

Queen of swords by Donati, Sara - on order

Rebel angel by Bray, Libba - on order

Santa, baby by Crusie, Jennifer (anthology) on order

The scarlet lion by Chadwick, Elizabeth - on order

The tenderness of wolves by Penney, Stef

From the other library I have

Excalibur edited by Richard Gilliam

Mirabilis by Susan Cokal - (started reading this but it is very strange!)

So that should keep me going for a little while shouldn't it?

Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop

The Dark Court has been Formed

Jaenelle Angelline has made her Offering to the Darkness, and reigns as Queen of Ebon Askavi. No longer will the corrupt Blood slaughter her people and defile her lands. But where one door has been closed, a window may be opened...or broken through.

Even Witch cannot protect the Shadow Realm alone. Somewhere, long lost in the madness of the Twisted Kingdom, is Daemon, her promised Consort. His unyielding love for Jaenelle will complete her court and secure her power. Yet, even together, their strength may not be enough to stave off their enemies.

What a stunning conclusion to the Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop. The first two books in the series are Daughter of the Blood and Heir to the Shadows. This book was so excellent, with the suspense and the pacing building up so to an incredible crescendo. It was suspenseful and emotional (I very nearly cried on the train!) and when I closed the book it was with a huge sigh as I thought.....Wow!

Jaenelle is Queen of Ebon Askavi, but the role of Consort remains empty as every waits for Daemon to make his way out of the Twisted Kingdom. Everyone is looking for him...not only Jaenelle and her allies.

Once Daemon takes his place, both of them need to get to know each other again. Daemon doesn't want to scare her, Jaenelle doesn't know how to tell him that she wants him. And in the meantime dark forces are crossing the boundaries of Kaeleer with the aim of destroying the Queen and the Dark Lord.

With the world building pretty much complete after the first book in the trilogy, this book was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, as Jaenelle and Daemon must do anything it takes to stop a war between the various realms, that if left unchecked could destroy all of the Blood once and for all. All of the characters we have come to know are in this book, including the assassin Surreal, Saetan and Lucivar, and the other young queens.

Whilst this was the end of the trilogy, there are a couple of other books by Bishop set in this world, and I will definitely be getting those sooner rather than later.


Rating 5/5


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