Thursday, June 30, 2011


 Rowling launched the site via YouTube. She'll be selling all seven HP novels as e-books and audiobooks....(That's right Pat, She's also going to divulge some secret background details on characters and settings.  Details, Rowling says she's been “hoarding for years.”...She's been hoarding!!!

Wow!!! I have to say, I am soooo excited about this. I can't wait until October. Here is the link to the registration page. You can leave your e-mail and they notify you when everything is up and running. 

It also says Come back on July 31st (Harry's birthday) to find out how you can get the chance to enter Pottermore early. Apparently, a chosen few (let it be me, let it be will have the opportunity to experience the incredible world of Pottermore before all others.
And look, you can follow on twitter as well...@pottermore

IMO....Great Idea. As long as the attention to detail is there, I believe it will be a huge hit. Who knows, maybe someone will create a site like this for other beloved series as well :D

Sunday, June 26, 2011

MGoW - Artist Spotlight

This idea came from Chelle over at Persephone Reads. She does a feature aptly named I ♥ This Art which I thoroughly enjoy.
As a result I thought I would periodically spotlight a piece that calls to me...moves me...stirs my emotions in some way. A work that I believe needs to be shared :D

Todays Artist Spotlight Is...

by ~IllusiveBlue

E. M. Lawrence is a self-taught, published illustrator. She resides in a story-book style haunted house with her partner, and far too many pets .

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sister of the Dead-Book Three of the Noble Dead series

Written By: Barb & J.C. Hendee
Copyright: 2005
Publisher:  Penguin, ROC
Pages 416

This is the third book in the Noble Dead series. My first two reviews can be found here, and here.

This story is a continuation of Thief of Lives. No time has elapsed since the ending of our last story. 

Magiere, Leesil and Chap are still looking for answers, both to Magieres true origins, and to the fate of Leesils mother. 

Magiere is a Dhampir, created of a noble dead father and human mother. Her one and only purpose in life, (or so she's been told) is to hunt and kill vampires. 
What little information she has about her history and purpose, has come from Welstiel Massing, a man who seems to know too much about her, and whom she has discovered is actually a noble dead himself. 

Leesil, a halfblood elf, is on a quest of his as well. He desperately seeks to  discover the fate of his mother, who he believed had been killed as a result of his own actions. A guilt he has lived with for years.

Chap, a fey, self confined to the body of a large wolf-like dog, wants nothing more then to stop Magiere from finding out the horrifyingly brutal details of her past. 

They are joined on this journey by Wynn, an apprentice sage who is able to understand Chap, and who's knowledge of histories and languages may hold the key to revealing the answers they seek.

After some debate, our uncomon crew decide to travel to Chemestúk as it is on their path North to the Elvin lands. This is the place of Magieres upbringing, the place where she was hated and shunned. Yet, here we meet the one person who loved and accepted her, Aunt Bieja. 

The clues found in Chemestúk drive them even further from their Elvin destination, much to Chaps dismay. As they journey onward, they happen upon a dying town in desperate need of the hunters help. The choice to aid this town and it's people, brings our crew face to face with an undead vampire the likes of which they have never seen. One who is able to draw the life-force, not only from humans, but from the very world around it.

Believing the creature destroyed, they finally travel to the place of Magieres creation. As the atrocities committed to bring her into existance are revealed, she is confronted by her true enemy. 
Will she follow this entity and fully become the monster within...?

The way I see it: The bond between Magiere and Leesil is cemented in this sequel, and the vital importance of that relationship is revealed. Chaps role as puppet-master and his conflict with his fellow fey are brought to light with much more detail this time around, (something I enjoyed) All of the gory components involved in the making of Magiere are laid out before us as well. Wynns true role and that of Leesils mother are yet to be uncovered.

The bad, the bad, and the ugly: Trying to put this into words...Oh, I know...this was the longest 416 pages of my life. It seemed to me that there were parts of this book that were completely out of place, almost as if they were just thrown in to up the page count. It detracted from the story to such an extent, that there were times I actually dreaded picking the book up. As a matter of fact, If I wasn't so enamored with the main characters, I wouldn't have.

Love it or Leave it: I can't say I loved it :( I can say this, If about a hundred pages of randomness were edited out, It would have been fabulous, and of the same standard as the first two books. 

Will I purchase the next in the series? Not right away, but I believe I will eventually. I enjoyed the first two very much and I did love the parts of this book that focused on...well, the storyline.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My First OUaT Challenge Completed :D

The Once Upon a Time challenge is hosted by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings.
I participated in: The Journey, (By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing toread at least one book within one of the four categories during March 21st to June 20th period. Just one book.)

Quest The First, (Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.)

And Finally, Quest on Screen,  (To participate in this quest simply let us know about the films and/or television shows that you feel fit into the definitions of fantasy, fairy tales, folklore or mythology that you are enjoying during the challenge.)

For The Journey I read The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

I then continued on to Quest The First which included:
Dhampir by Barb & J.C. Hendee
The Dark Griffin by K.J. Taylor
The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
Thief of Lives by Barb & J.C. Hendee
of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht

For Quest on Screen I reviewed:
Seirei no Moribito

I had oh so much fun participating in this challenge. Thank you Carl for being such a lovely host.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

On My Wishlist - Spellbound

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. 
I'm not as diligent as BCC, but I do try to post these as often as I can :D

Author: Blake Charlton
Cover Art: Todd Lockwood
Hardcover: 416 pages
Release Date: September 13, 2011

This is the sequel to Spellwright, a book that I very much enjoyed. It was brought to mind by my friend Pat over at Here, There, and Everywhere 2nd Edition. Spellwright was one of her latest acquisitions, and if she ever gets through her TBR pile and is able to read it (lol) I hope she gets as much out of it as I did :D

Oh, BTW...Love, Love, Love the cover art <3

Summary: From The Signed Page
In a world where one’s magical prowess is determined by one’s skill with words and ability to spell, Nicodemus is a wizardly apprentice afflicted by a curse that causes him to misspell magical texts. Now, the demon who cursed him has hatched a conspiracy to force Nicodemus to change language and ultimately use it to destroy all human life. As Nico tries to thwart the demon’s plan, he faces challenges from all sides. But his biggest challenge is his own disability, which causes him to create chaos wherever he goes. And the chaos surrounding Nico is affecting the world so profoundly that the kingdom to which he has fled to gather strength is on the brink of civil war, and he suspects that his closest allies—even Francesca, whom he loves more than life itself—may be subject to the demon’s vast powers. As Nico tries to forestall the apocalypse, he realizes that he doesn’t know if he can fully trust anyone, not even the woman he loves. And if he makes one wrong move, not only will his life be forfeit, he may end up destroying all mortal life as well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Weekly Books Around The House...Edit

As I was straightening up this morning I realized that every week I go through the same process. I put away the majority of the books that have collected around the house throughout the week, only to find an entirely new set the following week. Because we are a family of seven, it's always an eclectic array, and as I looked upon them this morning, I thought to myself...If my family enjoys reading them....they deserve to be mentioned :D
So here they are....dat, da, da, daaaa!!

Title: Franny and Zooey
 Author: J.D. Salinger 
Publisher: Back Bay Books/Little Brown And Company
Copyright: 1955...1989
Considered one of Salinger's most popular works, Franny and Zooeywas initially published in the New Yorker as two separate stories entitled "Franny" (1955) and "Zooey" (1957). 
Franny Glass, a young college girl, has a nervous breakdown and turns to saying the Jesus Prayer in an effort to purge herself of the phoniness and ego she finds in herself. Her brother Zooey, equally troubled by religious angst, probes into her psyche, confronting her faulty thinking and leading her to some measure of peace.

Title: Train Your Brain 
  Author: Joel Levy 
Publisher: New Holland Publishers
Copyright: 2006
The brain is like a muscle, so a fit and healthy mind needs time spent working out - what Joel Levy calls 'Braintenance'! In this book, he takes the reader through a series of puzzles designed to maintain and improve brain function and intellectual health. These games and teasers help the reader with verbal, numerical and spatial aptitude; mental speed; logic; creativity; lateral thinking and memory. They range from word and picture puzzles to well-known favourites, Sudoku and Kakuro. With tips on how to build these exercises into everyday life, hints on how to approach problem solving and background information on the science behind the puzzles, "Train Your Brain" has everything you need for a complete mind workout. Like an intellectual gym, it can help you build your mind power, stretch your brain's agility and tone your thinking!

Title: The Exotic Pet Survival Manual 
  Author: David Aldertom
Publisher: Barron's
Summary: Herp Supplies 
More than 200 entries give facts on the most often collected reptiles, amphibians, insects, and arachnids, with emphasis on behavior, feeding, breeding, and maintaining a healthful environment for the animal.
The creatures covered in this manual include ants, beetles, 16 kinds of spider, four kinds of scorpion, lizards, snakes, tortoises and turtles, frogs and toads, salamanders and newts. More than 250 full-color photos and illustrations, plus quick-reference question-and-answer panels. 

Title: Great Pyrenees  
  Author: Juliette Cunliffe
Publisher: Kennel Club Books

Product Description: 
Describes the history of Pyrenees in the France, the US and Britain. Also includes characteristics of the breed, care, feeding, genetic issues and training.
This book also has lots, and lots of pics :D
Title: Life of PI
  Author: Yann Martel
Publisher: Canongate Pub Ltd 
Copyright: 2001 

Life Of Pi: From Publishers Weekly
A fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient, this novel is an impressive achievement "a story that will make you believe in God," as one character says. The peripatetic Pi (ne the much-taunted Piscine) Patel spends a beguiling boyhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper. Growing up beside the wild beasts, Pi gathers an encyclopedic knowledge of the animal world. His curious mind also makes the leap from his native Hinduism to Christianity and Islam, all three of which he practices with joyous abandon. In his 16th year, Pi sets sail with his family and some of their menagerie to start a new life in Canada. Halfway to Midway Island, the ship sinks into the Pacific, leaving Pi stranded on a life raft with a hyena, an orangutan, an injured zebra and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. After the beast dispatches the others, Pi is left to survive for 227 days with his large feline companion on the 26-foot-long raft, using all his knowledge, wits and faith to keep himself alive. The scenes flow together effortlessly, and the sharp observations of the young narrator keep the tale brisk and engaging. Martel's potentially unbelievable plot line soon demolishes the reader's defenses, cleverly set up by events of young Pi's life that almost naturally lead to his biggest ordeal. This richly patterned work, Martel's second novel, won Canada's 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. In it, Martel displays the clever voice and tremendous storytelling skills of an emerging master.

Title: Love Will Tear Us Apart
  Author: Sarah Rainone
Publisher: Three Rivers Press 
Copyright: 2009

Love Will Tear Us Apart: From Publishers Weekly
Rainone's fun and poignant debut novel centers on a group of longtime friends who reunite for a wedding in their small Rhode Island hometown. As Dan and Lea's wedding day approaches, four of their friends share narration duties, reminiscing on collective youth, lost innocence and wasted potential. There's brash burnout best man Ben, who once had promise as a ball player but now tends bar; hippie college dropout Cort, whose dislike of her mother has been softened by her mother's illness; cokehead bridesmaid Alex, who still holds a torch for Dan; and Shawn, whose would-be musical career has devolved into a singing waiter gig at a theme restaurant. Missing from the reunion is Jason, whose death is often mentioned as the characters recall their schooldays and youths while the nuptial events unfold. Rainone does a stellar job of capturing the personalities and quirks of each protagonist, and the contrast between their bright memories and dim current realities is nicely handled. It may seem gimmicky at first (chapter headings, for instance, are song titles), but the vivid storytelling and mix of hope and heartbreak is an addictive formula.

Title: Hermit Crabs 
  Author: Neal Pronek
Publisher: T.F.H
Copyright:1982 Yes 1982

Includes information on choosing and caring for land hermit crabs. Includes 31 color and 29 black and white pics. This book, and it's photos ARE dated, but that only adds to the entertainment value for me :D 

Title: New Atlas OF Human Anatomy with Poster & CD-ROM 
  Author: Thomas McCracken and Richard Walker
Publisher: MetroBooks (NY) 
Copyright:(October 2000)

Full description for The New Atlas of Human Anatomy: Book Depository
Since earliest times we have been fascinated with the marvellous machine that is our body and have made efforts to understand anatomy and map the body and its systems. Today we are in the midst of extraordinary innovation - the US National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project has produced the first anatomically exact and complete, three-dimensional, computer-generated reconstruction of an actual human body. The amazing imagery revealed in this unique book is derived from the process of digitising the thousands of cross sections of a body and is the result of years of painstaking research combined with innovative computer-modelling techniques. This process comes closest to achieving the ideal of anatomical representation - which is to re-create visually the exact forms of the body and all its parts.

 This is what my children have been perusing in their spare time this week. As their mother, (and being totally unbiased...NOT!) I'm delighted with their choices :D 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why Do You Blog?

I've been contemplating this lately, and I quickly realized that it was a two part question. Why do I write Blogs...and why do I read them?

Why I write them:
At first I merely wanted to have a convenient way to access other peoples blogs.

Then, I began writing a few everyday events to share personal experiences that I thought might help others.

Now, I write strictly for the sheer enjoyment of it. Much like building things around the house, It's a constructive outlet for me. As a dyslexic child writing was, (to put it mildly) a challenge, and as an adult....It still is, but it no longer holds the negative connotations it once did for me.

Do I write As a matter of fact I pale in comparison to so many that I read. I write much the same way I talk. There's no poetry in it, no beautiful flow of music to my words, It's simply something that makes me happy.
To quote Jehnna, from Conan the Destroyer "I go where I feel myself led"...and I am...led to blog. I geek right! But it's always been one of my favorite

Now, why do I read Blogs? Soooo many reasons, but I'll just skim over a few.

To see what's new and exciting :D I'm always looking for new books, not only for myself, but for my children as well. I have found a plethora of bright new additions to our library through the blogs I read. And because the posts are so varied, the fact that my kids enjoy different genres than I do is never an issue.

Someone else can be my guinea pig...uh...I mean...can give me their opinions of a book before I decide to purchase No, but all kidding aside, seeing a book through the eyes of someone whose opinion you respect is an incredible perk when making a decision to buy.

Once more with the dyslexia: I was unable to read when I was younger. As a result, I understand that what comes easily to many is coveted by those with the inability to partake. It's a privilege that I now take full advantage of. Whether It's reading Blogs, books or cereal boxes..It's something I do every day.

Last but not least: Many of the posts are so incredibly well written, they can be almost as rewarding as reading the book. Though they don't offer any spoilers, the descriptions of characters, story, setting and even the bloggers personal feelings experienced while reading the book, offer vast amounts if insight. Their pure talent leaves me in awe, and I am humbled by their mastery of the written word.

Why do you blog?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On My Wishlist -The Tempering of Men

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. 
I'm not as diligent as BCC, but I do try to post these as often as I can :D

The Tempering of Men
The Iskryne Series, Part 2
By: Sarah Monette, Elizabeth Bear
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: August 16 2011

From the time I read A Companion to Wolves I have been waiting with bated breath for a sequel. wait will come to it's end on August 16th :D

     If it is anything like it's predecessor, this book will not be everyones' cup of tea. A Companion to Wolves presented readers with a bonding of man and wolf much like that of rider and dragon in the Pern series. However, Companion softens no edges when it comes to the brutality that bond may entail.  Wolfcarls are men....only men, and they bond with both male and female wolves, sharing all of their emotions and experiences. There were parts when I cringed...there were parts when I was, shall we say...slightly uncomfortable, yet the rush I felt as I sped through Njalls' story was one I haven't often experienced. 
August can not come soon enough for me :D

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Covers That Make Me Say...Really??

  I'm writing this post because there are sooo many book, magazine, video, and even game covers that truly make me say....Really?? So I've decided to share :D
   In complete fairness, I'll also add information, and/or reviews on the current apple of my eye. For although their covers may be an enigma to me, that is not to say that they aren't amazing works. Dhampir...Thief of Lives Apparently, this will be a recurring

   So, I've been reading the Nobel Dead series by Barb & J.C. Hendee. I was just about to start the third book and  needed a cover pic to update my currently reading gadget.
As I said in my last review, the characters look so much better in my head then they do on the books themselves. Although I'n not completely averse to Magieres' outfit in book
Back on I'm looking for images I see these beautiful pics of what can only be Magiere, Leesil and Chap....yes...the ones I've been envisioning in my head!!! That was my "Really??" moment.
Needless to say I clicked on the link and....low and behold, there they were....the covers that should be on these books!! At least in my opinion ;)
Do you know where they're from?.....The Czech Republic. I'm including US and Czech pics...I'd love to hear your views :D
US Cover Art.

Czech Cover Art
Thief of Lives
Sister of the Dead
And just for fun, here are the German covers as well. I'm not as much of a fan of these...They look scarier then the books actually are.

of Blood and Honey

Written By: Stina Leicht
Copyright: 2011
Publisher:  Night Shade Books
Pages 293
Cover Art By: Min Yum

This will be my fifth book in Quest The First.
Quest The First : Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres

I shall start out by saying that I purchased this book for several reasons. 
One, the cover. The dog with the red glowing eyes and the shadow of a man...who could resist? Also the blood droplets and bloody hand print on the back...Ok, so I thought it was cool...geek
Then of course I read the summary on the back. Fallen angels..check
 Fey...check Unknown father, got a little mystery there....check Sounds like my kind of book :D
Last but not least was the fact that I had been to the book store many times and always found myself coming back to it. It drew me I took the plunge

The story begins with Liam in his early teens. November 13, 1971. Chapters are always headed with location and date, which I enjoyed. Anyway, as I was saying,  the young Liam begins this story with a gun to his head. He had gone to see the riot at Aggro Corner, and was detained by the BAs (British Army). Unwilling to disclose the names of the rioters, Liam finds himself imprisoned in Long Kesh. 
Before he is taken however, he looks up to see a mysterious man in a cap the color of dried blood, teeth filed to points and eyes that glowed red, watching and smiling at him.

The story then switches to Kathleen Kelly, Liams mother. She is a whirlwind of confused emotion. Worry for her son, guilt about her past, (and her present for that matter) and fear of what the future holds for Liam. Kathleen has never told Liam about his father and has always kept them apart. She is very...human in her feelings, and as a mother, relatable. (I've known people quite like her)

Father Murray is the family priest. He has always kept close to Liam and known the "truth" about him since he was born. The good Father is a bit of a mystery, and his true motivations are eventually revealed. Sometimes the best of intentions can lead to the most despicable of deeds.

The story continues with Liam in and out of unfortunate, often desperate situations. There are respites, (although few) when he does have some happiness in his life. In the end all of the questions are answers, the mystery's revealed and theres still an opportunity to continue Liams' story.

The way I see it: This was NOT what I expected, although that's not to say it was a bad thing. I expected this story to be more Fey/Fallen Celtic folklore war....and it wasn't. It dealt a lot with factual historical events and the effects they had on peoples lives. I loved Liam, and the fact that there was no big silver for very...Irish (fault me if you must, but we're not an, it's all sunshine and roses kinda people)

The bad, the bad, and the ugly: Harrrrsh much! Liams' story is not for the faint hearted. For me at least, its saving grace is that it doesn't go into too much detail when horrendous events do take place.

Love it or Leave it: Hmmmm, you know I had to think about that. It's certainly not what I expected, and generally not "my" kind of book, but overall I have to give it a love it. I found myself coming back to it again and again, just as I did in the book store. Also, and I quote, " sponge", I simply had to research the events and dates, and guess what? I learned a lot. 
I love it when that happens!!

Oh, one last note. The songs that were mentioned, (and there were quite a few)  soooo brought me back. Yes, I was a mere youngin at the time, but I've always loved music :D

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On My Wishlist - THE WILD ROAD

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. 
I'm not as diligent as BCC, but I do try to post these as often as I can :D

Karavans #3, THE WILD ROAD
Release Date: August 2012

I've been waiting for this sequel since 2007 and apparently, I'll have to wait some I'm not the most patient of people, but at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I enjoyed the first two books very much, and for those of you who haven' read them I've added a couple of Publishers Weekly reviews I found on Amazon.

From Publishers Weekly - Karavans
The first volume in a new fantasy saga from Roberson (Sword-Dancer) establishes a universe teeming with fascinating humans, demons and demigods, but a multitude of subplots make for a meandering start, with no real action until the final chapters. Fleeing the war-torn land of Sancorra and the bloodthirsty Hecari, who have conquered it, pregnant Audrun, her husband, Davyd, and their four children seek to travel in the last "karavan" of the season. The desperate journey to a new land is made more dangerous by the threat of nearby Alisanos, a place of doom and dark magic that can change locale at will—and for the first time in 40 years Alisanos is on the move. Ilona, a hand-reading diviner, can't see all the danger for Audrun and her family, but knows that tears, blood and grief most likely lie ahead. The karavan's guide, the mysterious Rhuan, has sworn to protect the karavan, but even his abilities may prove inadequate. Nothing is resolved by the end, but the pieces are in place for what promises to be a story of epic proportions.

From Publishers Weekly - Deepwood
At the start of Roberson's complex sequel to Karavans (2006), the mysterious sentient forest, Alisanos, which has moved for the first time in 40 years, surrounds series heroine Audrun, who has given premature birth to a daughter, Sarith. Rhuan, the demigod disguised as a karavan guide who tried to protect Audrun's family, continues to guard mother and child, calling upon his semidivine cousin, Brodhi, for grudging assistance. Other denizens of the deepwood offer aid to Audrun's four older children as Alisanos begins to transform them. In the human world, the karavan settlement has been destroyed by Alisanos's movement. Injured Ilona, the diviner, has lost her gift of reading hands. Jorda the karavan-master, Mikal the tavern-owner and Bethid, a courier, help the few survivors while furthering plans of rebellion against their cruel Hecari conquerors. Readers will be impatient to see what happens in the next volume