Monday, September 29, 2008

It's either ...

Very quiet in blogland or Bloglines is down. I haven't had any new feeds come through in more than 18 hours. Very unusual!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekly Geeks #19 - Best books published in far!

Even though I didn't do so well on last week's WG task, I think I can do this one, although it does feel a little early to be starting doing best-of posts!

I’m not asking for any specific number of favorite books, because some people don’t read many brand new books. If you’ve only read two 2008 books this year and hated one of them, then just mention the one you liked. Please limit your list to 10 books, though, if you read a lot of new books. You don’t have to put them in any certain order, either.

1. Compile your list of favorites. Please be sure that books you choose actually were published in 2008, or at the very earliest in the winter holiday season of 2007. Sometimes books that come out then are left out.

2. Come back and sign Mr Linky with the url to your top books of 2008 post.

3. If you happen to see any non-WG bloggers making similar lists, please grab the url and come put it in Mr Linky for them. Let them know you’re doing that, please, in case they have some sort of objection; if they do, they can ask me to remove their link. I’ve already seen a couple favorites of 2008 posts, which is another reason I wanted to get started early.

4. Feel free to make changes to your list if you read something new in the next few weeks. After about October 25, I can’t guarantee your changes will be reflected in the master list. We’ll probably start compiling lists around then.

5. Please consider whether you’d like to help me compile lists.

So far this year I have read 29 books that have been published this year. There are six stand out books so far, and then quite a few honourable mentions. It will be hard to limit those honourable mentions but we will see how we go!

The six standout books are:

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
Delicious by Sherry Thomas
Let Sleeping Rogues Lie by Sabrina Jeffries
The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

The honourable mentions are:

Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Kleypas
The Romanov Bride by Robert Alexander
Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong

I am surprised that there were that many reviews to link to. Whilst I am not in a reading slump, I am definitely in a reviewing slump. I've lost my reviewing mojo! Oh no.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What was I thinking?

The High School Musical Singstar seemed like a good idea at the time. Now... I am not quite so sure! There are some very strange noises being amplified through the house at this point. Oh wait...that's singing!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It was 10 years ago today...kind of!

If we want to get technical then it was actually 10 years ago tomorrow, but that's only because my boy was born at 4.58pm on Friday 25 September in Sheffield, England. Here in Australia that would have been 1.58am on Saturday 26 September!

Happy birthday baby boy. Of course, he's not really a baby anymore. He is going to be taller than me within another couple of years...and I am not really that short! It's not my fault that everyone else in the family are giants!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's on Your Nightstand and some blog pimping!

Something moved off of the nightstand since the last time I did this meme. Actually two things moved!

Still on the nightstand are:

The Traitor's Wife by Susan Higginbotham
Archangel by Sharon Shinn
Mistletoe Kisses anthology
The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe
Dagger-Star by Elizabeth Vaughan
Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh
Just One of the Guys by Kristin Higgins

So the books that moved were Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason and Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong.

There would also be Fear the Darkness by Sherrilyn Kenyon except I was just reading it, so it's not there!

Now for some pimpage.

Stuff I Read is a new blog that features a lot of historical fiction and some non fiction as well. If you are looking for more bloke-ish historical fiction then this could be a good resource (not that girls can't read these types of books too - I am reading a Flashman book at the moment - but you know what I mean I am sure!)

Another new blogger is Heather who has just started her blog at The Readers Word. Drop by and say Hi!

My final act of pimpage for today at least, is to mention a new challenge. Kerrie from Mysteries in Paradise is hosting her first challenge called the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. The idea is to read all of the works by the great mystery author! For full details check out Kerrie's blog here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

This week my teaser comes from page 171 of Flashman and the Dragon by George Macdonald Fraser

The others turned in early, except for Parkes, who had invited one of the lesser mandarins over for a chat, so I retired to the verandah to rehearse my anxieties for the umpteenth time, able to curse and sweat in private at last.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekly Geeks #18 - Catching Up

I haven't done a Weekly Geeks for a while, but this week's encompasses something that I really need to do anyway, so I am joining in again!

This week’s theme is: catch up on… something.

Weekly Geeks #6 was catch up on reviews week, but so many of you organized bloggers were caught up with reviews that you chose to catch up on other things. So I kept in mind that a catch-up week every now and then will probably be welcome. At this point, I’m very behind on several blog tasks, so I thought maybe you might be, too!

Some suggestions:

Catch up on….

…organizing your sidebar
…updating lists of some sort (I need to deal with my giveaways list!)
…making links wherever (challenge lists, monthly reading summaries, etc.)
…your TBR pile
…your library books
…updating your blogroll
…updating your reader

How to:

1. Decide what you need to catch up on.

2. Write a post if you feel like it, telling your readers what you intend to catch up on. If you do that, you can sign Mr Linky right away with the link to that specific post.

3. Catch up!

4. Write a post near the end of the week (Thursday or Friday) summarizing how your catch-up week went. If you didn’t sign Mr Linky with your intentions post, sign it with your summary post.

5. Don’t forget to visit other Weekly Geeks and encourage them in their catching up!

Whilst there are numerous things that I could catch up on, what I have decided to work on is reviews for challenges. I have a number of challenges that I am very near to completing. I just need to write the reviews.

I am not sure how many I will get written because I still have visitors (a fact that I am reminded of as I sit here and listen to my brother snore like a freight train!), and lots happening this week, but we will give it a go.

Ahoy there me hearties!

So Friday was international Talk Like A Pirate day! Before you can be a pirate though, you need to get your pirate name:

My pirate name is:

Mad Dog Bonney

Part crazy, part mangy, all rabid, you're the pirate all the others fear might just snap soon. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate's life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Thanks to Bookwyrm for
the link!

Of course, talking about pirates I could link up to pictures of Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom, but if you have had small kids any time in the last 10 or so years, and you have had any exposure to any of the songs by the Wiggles, then you may be just as familiar with this pirate ... Captain Feathersword!

My favourite line in this song? Watch him dance in his pirate pants!

New Oprah Bookclub Pick

A while ago I used to read along with the Oprah Book Club, and used to have some amazing discussions on her boards! These days, I am not as involved but I do keep an eye out to see what book it is that she is promoting. Yesterday she announced a new pick - The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. I did really enjoy it when she was picking classics, books that I would never necessarily pick up and read myself, but this is the debut book from this author, and was only originally published a couple of months ago.

I have heard of it before, but not much. Anyone read it? Anyone going to read it?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wicked was great!

Wicked was GREAT! Now I just have to make it through the work day!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New author blog!

I know that there are likely hundreds of new blogs every day that if I just knew about I would be happy to read, but today there is just one that I wanted to share!

One of my favourite authors, Paullina Simons, has just started a blog! Wooo-hooo!

Now I have no idea how often she is going to blog, or about what or anything like that. I just know that there is an opening post, and there is a now a place where we can hear from Paullina herself about what she is working on etc.

The opening post already has some news in it about future books! It is probably a bit early to start anticipating, but I can't help it!

Edited to add: I suppose a link would help!

Edited again to say the link works now!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!
This week's teaser is from page 210 of Michelle Moran's The Heretic Queen:

Ramesses glanced away. But when I pushed back the long linen curtains of the balcony and saw the tribute the women had left for Iset, I brought my hand to my mouth. The heavy bronze bars were twined with flowers, and lilies, the symbol of rebirth, stretched as far as the eye could see beyond the gates.

Speaking of Michelle Moran, her week over at Historical Tapestry is well and truly under way. So far we have there has been an interview, a review of The Heretic Queen by Kailana and today Michelle has guest posted about history's surprises. Be sure to head over and check out all the great posts, and if you leave a comment you go into the draw to win one of two signed copies of the new book!

I hope everyone is having fun with Book Blogger Appreciation Week. It is proving really difficult to keep up with everything that is going on because I have visitors from interstate. Everyone started to go home again on Sunday but until then it is busy, busy, busy!

You may have noticed not many reviews lately here on the blog. I am still reading loads, but that final step of sitting down and writing the review is just not happening at the moment. I have at least two that I really have to write and soon, but I don't think it is going to happen tonight, and certainly isn't going to happen tomorrow night because I am going to go and see Wicked! Can not wait! I will try to tell you about it over the weekend at some point!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's going to be a huge week in book blogland....

With all the great giveaways and events planned, the Book Blogger Appreciation Week gets underway soon, and excitement does seem to be building!

For the four of us that post at Historical Tapestry, it is a big week ahead too. Not only do we get to see who wins the Best History/Historical Fiction category in the BBAW Awards 2008, we also have Michelle Moran Week on the blog. There are going to be reviews, an interview, a guest blog and a giveaway of two signed copies of Michelle's new book, The Heretic Queen, which is officially released this Tuesday.

I hope that you come buy and visit us during this exciting week!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


It has been a really bad season for illnesses in our house this winter. From infected ears, fingers, skin and colds, I have had a lot of time off work. One of the pitfalls of being a single parent is that if your child is sick, you are the one who has to look after them. And if you are sick yourself, there's not a whole lot that you can do about that either. For the first time since I was 18 I have run out of sick leave. The first year out of school I ran out (I may have chucked one or two sickies!) but since then never ran out.

This time last month I posted about my ills then. Now, I have tonsilitis. The irony is that I haven't ever really suffered from this. When they were teenagers my sister and brother both used to suffer from it a lot, but not me.

I am supposed to go back to work tomorrow but we'll see. At the moment it still hurts to swallow, but not as badly as it did a couple of days ago.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

This week's book is from page 105 of Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland

The dogs played their part beautifully, huddlind in the distance like a flock of new-mown sheep. All except for old Leather, the attack dog, who couldn't help himself and was curling an upper lip in a manner most un-sheeplike.

BBAW Contest for Book Blog Readers

Are you one of those people who read book blogs, but who doesn't have your own blog (yet?). Then as part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, there is a special contest just for you, and it's pretty easy to do, with some great prizes too.

In order to win, you just need to send an email to say why you read book blogs. Sounds easy? Well it is.

You can get full details, including details of where to email, and what the prizes are going to be over at Literate Housewife's blog.

Click here to go there now!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Season over

September in my part of Australia means just one thing - footy finals. Unfortunately, just like last year, our boys fell at the first hurdle, which means that for the rest of September we get to watch some of the other teams go round instead.

I attempted to take advantage of the good weather that we had here over the weekend, particularly yesterday, by mowing the lawn. It would have been great, except that I couldn't get the darned lawn mower to start, so I still have a jungle out there. Instead I went for a walk yesterday morning, and then today I went for a bike ride with my son and his friend, and then sat and watched the lake while they messed around.

I have to say though, exercise cannot possibly be good for you. If it was, it wouldn't hurt so much now.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Voting is open for BBAW

Voting is open over at My Friend Amy's blog for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Amy has put so much work into this so far. The best thing about the voting list is that there are quite a few blogs on there that I haven't heard of before - yay to new blogs to discover!

The other best thing (if that is possible!) is that Historical Tapestry got a nomination in the Best History/Historical Fiction category!

You can check out the list of all the nominated blogs and vote by clicking on the link below:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong

Hope Adams, tabloid journalist and half-demon, inherited her Bollywood-princess looks from her mother. From her demon father, she inherited a hunger for chaos, and a talent for finding it. Like full demons, she gets an almost sexual rush from danger - in fact, she thrives on it. But she is determined to use her gifts for good.

When the head of the powerful Cortez Cabal asks her to infiltrate a gang of bored, rich, troublemaking supernaturals in Miami, Hope can't resist the excitement. But trouble for Hope is intoxicating, and soon she's in way too deep.

With a killer stalking the supernatural hot spots of Miami, Hope finds herself dangerously entangled, and has no choice but to turn to her crooked werewolf ex-boyfriend for help. What started as a simple investigation has spiralled into chaos. And Hope finds chaos irresistible....

For a woman who didn't know what she was getting into, there's only one way out: it's time for Hope to unleash her most potent primal instincts and open herself, mind and body, to everything she most fears - and desires.

After starting out reading this series two years ago, I now have a problem. I am all caught up and that means that now I have to wait for each successive full length book to come out! Fortunately at this time it is only a couple of months, but it is going to get worse as the wait between each book gets longer. I did however discover that I have missed a couple of short stories so that should tide me over for a little while.

We first met Hope Adams in a short story in the Dates from Hell anthology. She is a half demon whose special talent is the sensing of chaos. If she walks into a room where something bad has happened, or is going to happen she feeds off of the chaos vibes. Given that she was raised away from other supernaturals she is still trying to understand her nature.

As a result of the events that occurred during the previously mentioned anthology, Hope and werewolf Karl Marsten owe cabal leader Benicio Cortez. When he decides that it is time to call in that debt, Hope finds herself adopting a new identity, and trying to infiltrate a young gang of non-cabal supernaturals who are giving the established cabals (think mafia families with supernatural powers) some trouble. When Hope's friends Lucas Cortez and his wife Paige Winterbourne find out what is going on, they too become involved. Lucas is Benicio's semi-estranged son, despite the fact that he has long been named the heir of the Cortez cabal, much to his older brothers' distaste.

Disguised as society girl Faith Edmonds, Hope finds herself involved in some petty criminal acts with her fellow gang members, and also finds herself drawn to Jaz, a charismatic man whose initial supernatural skills seem relatively tame. It is only when Jaz and his friend Sonny appear to have been kidnapped by the cabal that things start to really heat up.

By this time, werewolf Karl Marsten has turned up, determined to protect Hope from herself and from any other events that might cause her to be placed in danger. Karl is somewhat conflicted when it comes to Hope. Whilst he is extremely protective of her as well as possessive, he doesn't really appear to have known what he wants in relation to her in the past as he had disappeared from Hope's life leaving their relationship somewhat unresolved. When he sees Hope canoodling with Jaz he is determined to get her out of the situation she is in for a number of reasons, but Hope is equally determined to see things through to the end, albeit with additional levels of protection.

The chaos gene/skill/talent is quite interesting. It can help Hope to identify if something has happened, or is going to happen, but it also can drive Hope over the edge to the point where she can't necessarily control her thoughts and, perhaps, her actions as she is feeding on the chaos around her.

As Hope must learn to understand her nature, Hope and Karl and Lucas and Paige must do everything they can to stop the killings, and to learn exactly who it is that is targetting the cabals in Florida, and why.

I must confess that I have a soft spot for Karl, despite the fact that he was in effect one of the bad guys in one of the earlier books. In my mind I kind of imagine him as a Sean Connery as Bond kind of figure - suave and debonnair - and yet he is a thief. I loved the explanation that he gave for why he hunts his prey as he tries to help Hope to understand how to use her skills without having them overwhelm her.

There was a pretty major change in this book compared to the other Otherworld books in that there were two narrators throughout the novel. Now that might not necessarily be that different from other books, but the fact that Lucas (i.e. a man) is one of those narrators is unique to this book in the series so far. Hope is the other narrator, and for the most part this dual narrative works, especially as it enables us to be in two places at the one time throughout the story. The fact that Lucas did narrate this book, opens the doorway for the Men of the Otherworld book which will be out next year.

I did like the ending of this novel, especially as it appears to add in some new elements for future books in terms of who the bad guys can be. The conflicts between Lucas and the cabals will no doubt still be a part of the future books but the options are expanded to include at least one more possibility.

Whilst this wasn't my favourite Otherworld book, it was once again a very entertaining entry in one of my favourite series.

This book is my first completed book in the RIP III Reading Challenge.

Other Blogger's Thoughts:

Romance Rookie

Super Commenter Award

Teddy Rose from So Many Precious Books, So Little Time was very gracious and awarded me a new award - the Super Commenter Award!

Now, I want to pass it onto to some super commenters msyelf! I love checking my blog every day to see who stopped by and left a comment. Gives me a thrill every time...especially lately given that my blog has been a little light on content for the last couple of weeks! I have been spending lots of time getting Historical Fiction Online up and running, but I think we are getting there now, so I should be able to start posting more regularly here!

Anyway, on to my seven nominations (which is the one rule that goes along with this award - pass it on to at least seven people):

Kerrie from Mysteries in Paradise - not only is she a super commenter, she was also fun to meet up with in real life last week during the Melbourne Writer's Festival.

Stacy from Stacy's Place on Earth

Stephanie from Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic

Rhinoa from Rhinoa's Ramblings

Iliana from Bookgirl's Nightstand

Wendy from Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Bybee from Naked Without Books

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser this week is from Lauren Willig's The Seduction of the Crimson Rose:

She might even, Mary thought, her head spinning with possibilities, be able to do away with the indifferent chaperonage of Aunt Imogen. At Vauxhall, hooded, masked who was there to recognize her and go tattling back to society.