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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Final Review for the year 2007!

Touchstone by Laurie R King... (release date: Jan 2nd)
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Bantam (December 26, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0553803557

When this book arrived, the first thing I noticed was it was heavy! Hmmm, a tpb this heavy? Ah, well I see now.. 560 pages! Still, it felt heavier than it looked.
I stroked my hand over the very smooth cover. I liked the feel of this book. I wonder if this is how all ARC books look and feel?
Then I opened the book. The pages seemed thicker than normal, and the pages were white. I mean REAL white, not a cream color like all the other books I own. The print was super clear.
Before I read the first word about this mystery book, I felt the book itself was a mystery!

There have been a number of books for which I wish I knew how to do a proper review, to do them the justice that they deserve.... this is one of them. Therefore, before I speak of it for myself, this is the editorial review Amazon gave it. At least it's more professional than I can do..
Hailed for her rich and powerful works of psychological suspense as well as her New York Times bestselling mysteries, Laurie R. King now takes us to a remote cottage in Cornwall where a gripping tale of intrigue, terrorism, and explosive passions begins with a visit to a recluse upon whom the fate of an entire nation may rest—a man code-named . . .It’s eight years after the Great War shattered Bennett Greys life, leaving him with an excruciating sensitivity to the potential of human violence, and making social contact all but impossible. Once studied by British intelligence for his unique abilities, Grey has withdrawn from a rapidly changing worlduntil an American Bureau of Investigation agent comes to investigate for himself Greys potential as a weapon in a vicious new kind of warfare. Agent Harris Stuyvesant desperately needs Grey’s help entering a world where the rich and the radical exist side by side—a heady mix of the powerful and the celebrated, among whom lurks an enemy ready to strike a deadly blow at democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here, among a titled family whose servants dress in whimsical costumes and whose daughter conducts an open affair with a man who wants to bring down the government, Stuyvesant finds himself dangerously seduced by one woman and—even more dangerously—falling in love with another. And as he sifts through secrets divulged and kept, he uncovers the target of a horrifying conspiracy, and wonders if he can trust his touchstone, Grey, to reveal the most dangerous player of all ….

Building to an astounding climax on an ancient English estate, Touchstone is both a harrowing thriller by a master of the genre and a thought-provoking exploration of the forces that drive history—and human destinies.

Ok? Good.. now let me say how I felt about it.
First you must know, this is a suspense mystery with much political background. NOT what I would ever pick up and read!
Keeping this in mind I have to say that Laurie R King is such a magnificent writer that she kept me reading this book weather I wanted to or not!
This lady writes the most wonderful and interesting characters, that even if I am not 100% thrilled with the subject matter (politics in no shape or form !) she keeps me reading!
This book in many ways is no different than what she did to me in her Mary Russell books! She made me like it!
Although Harris Stuyvesant is the investigator, and main character, she had my heart go out to Bennet Grey. Not only was he heart-wrenching, he was a living time bomb waiting to explode! (there's a pun in there, but you'll have to read the book to understand it!)
Stuyvesant is an American working for the government, who travels to England to find a man he suspects has set off a number of bombs in America, one of them all but killed his brother, and this was a personal matter. He has come at a turbulent time in England with miners striking and Unions ready to wage war.
He is led to a man named Major Aldous Carstairs.. whom you will dislike immediately! And not without reason!.. With Carstairs "help" he is introduced to Bennet Grey (who will steal your heart in one way or another). With Grey's help Stuyvesant believes he can infiltrate the group of people surrounding a man named Brunson, who he believes is the bomber. Grey introduces him to his sister Sarah, (a noticed beauty to Harris), who in turn introduces him to Laura Hurleigh, daughter of a Duke, mistress to Brunsen, and a very highly intelligent and political person herself.
I can't begin to tell you the twists and turns this story takes! The homework Laurie King must have done to describe every moment in England and every detail of the House of Hurleigh must have been horrendous, because, trust me on this.. you think youare there!
I won't even mention the twists and turns that happen at the end of this book! I highly doubt you will figure it out along the way! If you are even remotely interested in suspense thrillers, this book is for you!
I doubt I ever would have sent for this book on my own, but I am very happy Vicki found me and offered me this ARC copy.. and I'm very happy to have it among my collection of Laurie R King books.
I will leave this review with a small, but significant, piece of Ms King's wonderful work. It's the scene where Carstairs brings Stuyvesant to meet Bennet Grey. To me, it was one of those "hooks" that says... ok, this is going to be interesting! They stand a distance apart facing each other, Grey has an ax resting on his shoulder....
Major Aldous Carstair's lazy smile deepened, and his voice when he spoke was low, almost intimate. "Captain Grey, it is so very good to see you again. May I present Mr. Harris Stuyvesant from America? Mr. Stuyvesant, Captain Bennett Grey."
Stuyvesant looked from the sharpened steel on the man's shoulder to the expressionon his face, and decided not to offer his hand. "hi," he said, his fingers sketching a wave.
Grey still hadn't taken his eyes from the Englishman. "Major."
It wasn't that Carstairs didn't hear that raw threat, Stuyvesant thought: The man's face might be arranged into the fond expression of a parent indulging a child's whim, but Stuyvesant was close enough to feel his tension- the muscles beneath that fancy coat were just waiting for the command to dive for the car. Anyone less cold-blooded than Aldous Carstairs would have been sweating into his well-ironed white shirt.
But give the icy bastard credit: His voice gave away no trace of fear as he said, " I believe, Captain Grey, that your precise words were, 'If I lay eyes on you again, be prepared to die.' However, before you come after me with that archaic weapon, I should hope you might listen to a request. It concerns... your sister."

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mail and Movies

The three standing books, The Search for the Red Dragon, Dragon Harper and Dragonhaven are what I bought with my gift certificate from my son and daughter in law! Not a cent was spent by me!! (ahhhh)
The book on it's side, The Masterharper of Pern, I did buy. It's a used book and only cost 2.98! I love all the Pern books and slowly but surely I am getting most of them in hardback. This one is in fine condition for the price. I will never be able to afford the original 3 books in hardback. IF you can even find someone selling them, they are in the hundreds of dollars.
I plan to reread the first 6 Pern books (Dragonflight/ Dragonquest/ the White Dragon) and the 3 small following books (Dragonsong/ Dragonsinger/ Dragondrums) very soon and so this addition makes me feel good. I may even have to toss this one in with the 6 others, heh. Masterharper Robinton, (the main character of The Dragon Harper of Pern) is one of those characters I fell in love with and have never forgotten.
I read these books for the first time so many years ago I can't even remember. My first copies of them, which were in paperback, have turned brown and brittle.. that might give you a hint of how long ago I first read them. I replaced the original paperbacks with a one book (hardback), long long ago, put out by Doubleday. This too is beginning to deteriorate, but not yet brown! So.. now they only sell them in TPB, at good prices though. Something like 12.89 for a single book with the first 3 stories and 5.98 and 2.98 for the other three.
I hate to have to replace them again with paperbacks, even though they are at least TPB size. These books are SOOOOOOOO WORTHY of republishing in hardback, the way they did for Dragonlance. Ah well.. fersure, 3rd time in tpb will not be the charm, but one must do what one must do for those absolute favorite books!
Along with the reread of the 6 Pern books, I hope to reread a few other old series. Among them will be the first 6 Dragonlance books. by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman,the original 3 Sword of Shannara books by Terry Brooks, and hopefully the 6 Thomas Covenant books by Stephen R Donaldson, and the 5 Belgaraid books by David Eddings.
When I look at my TBR pile, I wonder if this is possible!
I do know that it's time for me to revisit them, of this I have no doubt. Wish me luck!
On a side note I watched the Stardust dvd (that i bought for my brother) on Saturday!

When it began. and even the first half hour or so I found myself wondering if anyone who hadn't read the book could follow it. Of course I had no problem since I did read the book. Overall I enjoyed the movie, like most movies from books, they left out some details, but the main parts were there and played by some very fine actors and actresses. I enjoyed the movie.. I do have to admit that I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when the witches boobs "drooped" LOL.. even thinking about it now makes me laugh lol..
It was a good Saturday. Books and a good movie, can't ask for much more than that!
ps: I wrote this post on Saturday for posting today... before the day was over I finished reading Touchtone by Laurie R King which I'll post about tomorrow, then the series Dinotopia came on the sci-fi channel, in it's entirety (4 hrs) and I watched the whole thing!! It's not the first time I've seen it. Anyone else see it? I thought they did it pretty good for a television series, which it was originally.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Reading In The Year 2007

The year has nearly come to an end. Gads, where does time go?? (and why does it go so fast for those of us of an older generation!?)
I noticed some other bloggers are summing up their year of reading, and thought I'd give it a go also. I thought I had read 69 books but I noticed a book I didn't put on my list.. then as I scanned over my books that are all around me, I did some checking and rechecking and found that there were a few others that somehow missed my list, and I knew I read them this year!.. I must have come upon a senior moment..or two.. or three. heh.
Anyway, I thought I'd begin with my top 10 list. It turned into a top 12. And I was doing good keeping it to that, for I really enjoyed nearly every book I read, and that made me feel good ...not to have spent money and not enjoy a book is a bummer.

Top 10... (in no particular order)
Inkheart: Cornelia Funke
Inkspell :
Cornelia FunkeI will say these two Funke books were my Favorite of the year! I would attribute the fact that she writes so well and I enjoyed these books so much, that they made me read more books by YA authors!

Here There Be Dragons: James A OwenA YA book that I totally enjoyed, with a bit of a surprise ending! The second in this series was just released! In Search of the Red Dragon and I can't wait to read it!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: J K Rowling
What can I say? Harry, Harry, Harry.. got to love the kid! I am saddened that there will be no more Harry Potter books to look forward to.

The Thirteenth Tale: Diane SetterfieldMajor surprise for enjoyment! I will read this again! A gothic type story with mysteries to be discovered as you go along.
The Moor: Laurie R King
Another shocking surprise to myself! I never thought I'd like to read Sherlock Holmes, but Laurie King made him come to life again for me, and I really love the character of Mary Russell, Holmes' wife!! Most excellent writer! (honorable mention goes to 3 other of her Mary Russell books that I read: The Beekeepers Apprentice, A Monstrous Regiment of Women, and A Letter of Mary.)

Water for Elephants: Sara GruenA sometimes sad recollection of a man who once worked for a circus. An Excellent book with moments of sad truth scattered throughout!
His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman
(The Golden Compass/The Subtle Knife/ The Amber Spyglass)
I wasn't sure I'd like these books, but I did! Very much so!

The Hound of the Baskerville's: Arthur Conan DoyleThanks to Laurie R Kings books I attempted my favorite Holmes movie to read. I wasn't disappointed!
Bridge to Terabithia: Katherine PattersonI had no idea what this book was "really" about when I started to read it. It deserves the honors it has gotten!
and for simply entertainment and humor: Gil's All Fright Diner: A Lee Martinez
I don't "do" vampires and werewolves... but then ..I never thought they could make me laugh either!

Total books read in 2007... 73! (my all time highest !)
Short Stories..
2Bio/ non fiction: 2..Novels:

This coming year I am determined to reread some old favorites in between books from my TBR pile.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas came...

It seems that the same Fire Houses that came around just last week, were going around and giving out some presents to some less fortunate kids, and when I heard sirens ..again.. I looked out and this is what I saw! Besides continually trying to save lives they have big hearts wouldn't you say?!!

So.. Christmas came..
Besides the 3 Stroud books from my girlfriend Annie, and the ARC book from Laurie R King, (which I am reading right now) I also managed to get an Amazon gift certificate from my son and daughter in law!! Today I intend on sending for the new McCaffrey book, Dragon Harper, and the new James A Owen book, Search for the Red Dragon. After that I have enough left over to get Dragonhaven ! (and I don't have to spend a cent!!!)
So, it was a book kind of Christmas! (no complaints here!) My brother and David gave me money. (always a good gift!) So of course I made a small order from Bookcloseouts (cheap!) Heh.. Ordered 3 books.. Rocketman,(Pete Conrad's ride to the Moon) Hood, and a book on Peter Jackson. So... my TBR pile will have grown considerably!!
Now, strangely, one might think I am going to read one new book after another.. and normally, this would be true... but.. for some time now I've had this urge to read some old friends. (re reads) and as soon as I am done with what I am reading now, (Touchstone) I think I will grab a hold of an old friend and do a little rereading. And then some new.. and then some rereads.
I think I've read so many new books this year (and have enjoyed just about every single one), that I feel as if I am loosing the books that got me to love reading so much. I miss so many characters lately, and I want them back, firm in my mind again. There are a few trilogies I want to reread so I really think I'm going to start that and just alternate back and forth between new and old for a while.
I will also cut back on new purchases, at least until March, as I am trying to save some money so I might go to the Trek Convention due around the 7th of March. So cross your fingers that I can accomplish this ! (of course this does NOT mean that I won't continue adding to my wish list!! heh.) So.. we shall see ...
Anyway, Christmas was quiet and good..(the only Christmas movie I saw today was Patrick Stewarts version of Scrooge) just the way I hoped it would be, and now it's on to the New Year! (groan) I can't believe another year is gone!
I hope everyone had a most wonderful Christmas, and that the year to come is the best one ever!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Second Attempt at Short Stories

I just finished reading The Dragon Quintet by multiple authors. They were: Orson Scott Card, Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee, Elizabeth Moon and Michael Swanwick.
I really like the cover on this book.. and the fact it was to be stories about, or concerning dragons drew me to purchasing it.
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (January 13, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0765311364

I won't report on all of the stories, but I'll mention a few here...
The first story was by Orson Scott Card, a favorite author to a number of folks I have gotten to know.. the story was called In The Dragon's House.
This was (to me) a strange story, centered around the house itself, which was a big old Victorian mansion containing turrets, steep pitched roofs, and gargoyles, one of which is a dragons head, and a young boy who had come to live with distant relatives, at a very young age, when his parents died.
The boy has a spot on the stairs, that when he sits there he becomes warm feeling and thinks he hears and see's things that he doesn't fully understand. When he becomes a bit older he finds his way up to a attic room where the original builder of the house had electric trains set up that seemed to come to life.. along with what he see's as a tiny miniature dragon. He knows then that the feelings and things he's seen have come from this room and the dragon and is drawn it. What he doesn't know is that it can take over his life.
I can't say the story drew me in.. or that I felt I would have liked to read more.. I guess I was a bit disappointed. I'm not sure what I expected from the short stories in this book, other than they would be about dragons.
In another story, by Elizabeth Moon, called Judgment, a young boy, named Tam and an Elder find a smooth stone that looks like an egg. When they find a second such stone the Elder breaks it open to find "pretties" (crystal type inners) he gives a shard to the young boy as a present, saying they are valuable, and since he is to marry the Elders daughter it will help them. But soon after the Elder begins to change from a kind person to one of meanness and power hungry.He accuses the boy of being a thief and takes back the shard and has Tam and his mother expelled from the town. As Tam and his mother wander, looking for a place to live some Dwarves find them and ask for what is not theirs to be returned to them. The find out that the round stones are dragon eggs and each little shard will in turn take over a humans body and become a dragon.
This story I enjoyed a bit more. The characters were more to my liking and so was the story.. but still it did not make me want to read more than it was.
The only story in the book I can say I felt as if I wanted to read more of was the one by Mercedes Lackey called Joust. Joust is about a young boy named Vetch, who is a serf to a man who like to beat his help. While his master is beating him a Jouster named Ari see's it and takes the boy with him to be his helper with his dragon Kashet. As the story unfolds Vetch learns much from Ari on why he is different from the other Jousters and why his Dragon Kashet is much tamer. Vetch takes what he learns and puts it to his own advantage and by the end of this short story has bonded with a baby dragon.
I knew before I even looked around in Amazon that Mercedes had a group of books out called Joust and so I searched them out to see that indeed her first "full book" is a full length of this same short story.. there are 4 books to this series and I read the descriptions of them and, for now they are on my wish list...but still not really certain I will wind up getting them. But of all the stories in this Dragon Quintet, Joust was (to me) the best to my liking.
I think I've learned my lesson though.. I've always said short stories are not my thing and since trying this twice (once with a book called Wizards, and now this one) I am sure I won't get more books of short stories. Though I have enjoyed a number of them overall I am more disappointed than I am happy I've read the books, obviously, they are not for me. That being said, I do feel that if you are someone who enjoys short stories, and like stories that concern dragons, then this might be a book you'd enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

From the Corners of My Mind..

I am watching the View on television while at the computer. The topic they are talking about is being a celebrity and how fans ask for photo's and such when they are out and about the town they live in. The topic went a bit farther when Joy mentioned being at an airport and when she had her luggage being scanned and such the lady watching the machine noticed her and began to talk to her. Joy mentioned the fact that she wished she'd watch the scan for bombs rather than notice her!
When she talked about the airport it brought a memory to mind.. a time when I was at a convention DeForest was doing. It was to be one day in Tampa Fla. and the second day in Ft Lauderdale (I think).. anyway it was one day on each coast of Fla. I was to fly with De and Carolyn in a small propeller (38 passenger) driven plane from Tampa to Ft Lauderdale
When we were going thru the scans, De set off the alarm. Carolyn and I chuckled. It seems De had metal on his cowboy boots... but the folks dealing with the alarm kept him chatting a bit longer than necessary, and of course, (but it wouldn't be done now!) wound up not making him take off his boots.
Then we got to when we were entering the plane. Again, Carolyn and I went in first, followed by De. Well, we thought he was following! About half way down to the plane we realized De was not behind us and we backtracked. We stopped as soon as we had sight of him... which was at the ticket holders, who had his ear, chatting about how much they love Star Trek and "especially" Dr McCoy. Again, Carolyn and I stood there chuckling. Well.. I chuckled.. Carolyn giggled. Which made it worse for me, because Carolyn's giggle just made me laugh harder.
De remained the southern gentleman he has always been and he stood there until they finally let him go.
Now, let me say this.. I was less than thrilled to be going on an airplane with propellers! De and Carolyn picked up this fact rather quickly! I think it was when I said something like: "oh shit I hope they don't fall off".. heh.
Once in the plane I was sitting several rows in back of De and Carolyn, who of course were sitting in (and I use this term loosely!) first class. Which was nothing more than 8 seats divided by a curtain, which they did not close.
After we got into the air, Carolyn turned to find me and called out for me to come up to them. There were empty seats and I kneeled on the one in front of them to talk. Every few words I'd say I'd peek out the window at the propeller... Carolyn would giggle and De would smirk. "did it fall off yet", one or the other would ask. I'd mumble something like "smartass", which would set Carolyn to giggle yet again.
Finally De asked the definitive question:
"So, Pat, what would you do if the propeller DID fall off?"
I was straight faced and looking right at him, only arms length away...
"You mean AFTER I sh*t in my pants?"
Guffaws followed and we all laughed our way to Ft. Lauderdale.

The above memory all came to me because of watching the View... Thank you "the View" and especially Joy for mentioning celebrity and airline in the same sentence!

Any happy memory is a good memory!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Yet Another Great Read!

Well, I finished reading yet another Mary Russel book. This was another good one! I don't think I've found a "bad one" yet! I do have favorites but they all have kept me steadily reading right up to the end.

A Letter of Mary: by Laurie R King
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Picador;(October 30, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0312427387

I still can't believe how much I've enjoyed these books! I guess I never realized how much I liked Sherlock Holmes, and I have found I really love Mary Russell! I went so far as to buy a huge Holmes book containing many of his stories that I haven't read yet, and I already know as much as I may enjoy those stories, I will miss the fact that Mary Russell won't be in them! But I have found used copies of the other 4 Mary Russell books and sometime after the holidays, I plan to order them.
I love the way Laurie King writes her characters. I don't think you could ever separate HER Holmes from Doyle's Holmes! I also love the way she tosses Watson in the mix now and then and even Conan Doyle. In A Letter of Mary I even had to smile when this sentence appeared as Mary was speaking to her husband Holmes.. "Had a nice chat with a few friends over a pie and a pint, and met an odd man named Tolkien, a reader in English literature at Leeds who has a passion for early Anglo-Saxon poetry and runes and such." (my, my! That would be our very own J R R Tolkien! haha)
This particular "case" surrounds the death (murder) of a lady that Mary and Holmes had met briefly in Palestine, who is an archaeologist. She gives Mary a box containing a papyrus supposedly written by Mary Magdalene and within a day she is reported as having been killed, being struck by an automobile.. thus begins the mystery of finding out if it was a murder and why.
As always there is the marriage/ partnership between Mary Russell and Holmes. I love that Holmes continually calls her "Russell" as a term of endearment.
All I can really say about this book (and the other Mary Russell books) is that if you like mysteries and solving them and tossing in some British humour these books are a "must read"!

.... oh me, oh my.. Christmas Eve is but a week away!...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cold Weather and Reading Go Together

Well, New Jersey can now be added to the ranks of those that received sleet and ice!

A Monstrous Regiment of Women: by Laurie R King
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (October 2, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0312427379

I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying this series of books! Never did it enter my mind to read Sherlock Holmes or this character of Mary Russell! I have Carl to thank for this! His Halloween Challenge asking us to read Halloween type books or Gothic.. well, I saw this title "the Moor" and figured it had to be somewhat scary and so I bought an old used copy and began to read... I have to thank Carl for pushing me into finding a really great set of books!
Laurie R King has surely made a "female" Sherlock Holmes in the name of Mary, and then brought her and Holmes together.
After The Beekeepers Daughter in which Holmes meets Mary at a teenager and tutors her highly intelligent mind into becoming a detective "such as himself", King then takes them on a series of cases to solve.. Along the way a "sort of" love story also enfolds. In all of the pages where these two characters are together Kings writing is nothing short of brilliant! So far I've read 3 of her series and found myself thoroughly enjoying each one.
In A Monstrous Regiment of Women, A series of murders claims members of a strange woman's organization's wealthy young female volunteers, and Mary, with Holmes in the background, investigates, little knowing what danger she personally faces.
Along with the mystery to be solved Holmes and Mary are realizing they are falling in love... this is surely the strangest "courtship" you will ever read ! .. I loved it!
Of the 3 of Kings books that I've read I still have to say I enjoyed The Moor the best, followed by The Beekeepers Daughter and now this one. Next up, I have yet one more of her books called A Letter of Mary.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Blue Christmas

I was sitting and looking at a picture of the snow falling...
It reminded me that the color blue has always been my favorite color for Christmas. For as long as I can remember I've always decorated my trees (when i had them) with blue lights, and sometimes some white.
I think the fascination with blue lights began when I was quite young. Each year my mother would load my brother and I into her car and drive to Wyoming Avenue and some other streets in (I think ) Short Hills and Livingston NJ, where the rich lived. They were known for decorating their homes really pretty and my mother would take my brother and I in the car and drive up and down the streets to see all the lights.
I can't remember how old I was, but I do remember one time she took a road that became a dead end. At the end of this road was a home decorated in all blue lights. This was back in the day that "outside lights" were those big bulbs, nothing like today's small glitter lights.
Every seam and corner of the house had lights on it. Every window was adorned with the same lights. The blue lights reflected off of the snow that was on the ground. And off to one side was a small pen set up with two baby lambs in it for petting.
I remember feeling like I stepped into a dream .. and I never forgot that house. I don't know if we went back the next year or not.. memories fade when we age..heh. But I never forgot the feeling of it being a dreamy fantasy.
I guess over the years I'd try to get that feeling back from when I was a kid and saw that house. I'm not sure I ever really got it back, but I do know the very few times I tried to use a different color lights, or multicolored lights, on my Christmas Tree, it just never seemed right to me.
I guess that's odd, as I still enjoy looking at everyone else's tree's no matter how they are decorated.... but mine always had to be blue.

Me and Charlie Brown...
There was a time when I was living in California.. money was tight and Christmas was upon us. I managed to buy a small (maybe 4 ft) tree to set on a table.. that made money even tighter. I went to a store and found some lights on sale since Christmas was so close, they were trying to get them sold. (blue lights of course!) Then I searched the store and found these really big bags of cotton and purchased them.
After I put the lights on the tree, I took the cotton and branch by branch dragged the cotton over them hoping it would look like snow on the branches. I wish i had a photo of that tree (laughing here).. I guess you'd call it my own personal "Charlie Brown" tree lol..
But it was BLUE!
And if you got really far away it even looked like snow on the branches LOL.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All's Well that Ends Well

The Beast of Noor by Janet Lee Carey
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Atheneum (July 11, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0689876440 

This is my second book by Janet Carey (the other being: Dragon's Keep). It is an action adventure for YA, and I have to say I enjoyed it!
The story itself began a tad slow for me, I thought I may have gotten a book where the writing was younger than I would appreciate. But it soon escalated and continued to do so making it more "exciting" as it went along through the entire book.
The family of the Sheens have always been considered outsiders because legend has it that a Sheen brought a monstrous killer of a dog, the Shriker, to the woods 300 years ago. Although the beast disappeared for a long time, it has shown up again in search of human prey, and when a local girl's bones are found in the woods, the villagers blame the Sheens.
15-year-old Miles Sheen and his 13-year-old sister, Hanna, become determined to break the family curse and they wind up traveling between two linked worlds, as Miles is drawn into the Otherworld in pursuit of the Shriker, and Hanna follows. The Otherworld they go to is divided into two: one is like a fairyland, all things beautiful and bright and the other a dark world filled with creatures and evil.
I can always tell if a story holds my interest because of how often I pick it up "just to read a chapter or two" (heh) and I flew through this book fairly quickly. I will say I had help in that area though, because although it states over 500 pages it is a true YA book having the type just slightly larger and sentences double spaced, which makes for faster reading! (at least for me it does) It was an enjoyable read, but when I find myself comparing it to others I'd have to say a "medium read".. I've surely read worse, yet I've read others that have characters I just don't want to leave when the book is over.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Another Book Bites the Dust

His Dark Materials: Part III: The Amber Spyglass

Well, well, well........ what can I say except : I can not wait to see the movie!
Part III, The Amber Spyglass, moved very quickly! Something was always happening with Lyra and Will or a half dozen of the other characters that managed to infiltrate my life while reading this book.
A favorite character, who made his appearance even in book III, is the king of the bears Iorek Byrnison. Fantastic character! (for the first movie he is voiced by Ian McKellan!) Yet another who filtered into Lyra and Will's lives (and mine) was Mr. Scoresby, who flew a balloon, and was a friend to Iorek Byrnison. Oh and I can't forget the witch, Serafina Pekkala. I really liked these characters!! Actually, there are too many characters and too many worlds to name .. and yet they all had important parts in the whole trilogy.
This was, as I said, a fast paced ending but not without a slew of things going on. The subtle knife cutting through to other places, finding new and interesting beings, even traveling to the land of the dead!
Throughout the entire book there was always hope, anger, death, fear and even love. Pullman manages to take you through all your emotions while telling his fantastical tale.
When I began this book, I wasn't sure I'd like it...( it was that first 100 pages.. just didn't grab me tight like other books have).. but then it took hold, and I'm more than glad it did because I totally enjoyed this entire trilogy!
I know a day will come when I read it all over again! Yeah, it was that good.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Last night I was reading blogs when I came to Chris's entry..
He had posted a photo of his pile of To Be Read books.
Now, if you read at all, most people have a few of those around the house. And if it isn't a new book, then maybe a book or two that you've been meaning to reread because you remember how much you enjoyed it.
Well, I have some of those too. But I have to say Chris beats my To Be Read Pile by a long shot! I actually started laughing my fat butt off looking at his photo! At first I laughed from the shock of it all... and then I looked at my To Be Read Pile and thought, "geez, at the rate I'm going... that could be me soon!" Then I had to fan myself from the vapors I was feeling!

Then I counted them..
Yikes! I had 25 books! (I will admit to having read some 250 pgs out of Jonathan Strange and setting it aside. For some reason it wasn't grabbing me, but I do intend on giving it another shot)
When did this happen?!! And How?!!
If I think about it, I can actually answer that... it happened because I started reading Carl's Stainless Steel Droppings while he was having one of his challenges, that just so happened to be a challenge to read Fantasy and Sci Fi books. Well, Fantasy is my main diet! I began reading all the reviews people were giving on the books they read and before I knew it I was looking them up at Amazon and ordering them! Hello?! Me?! I only, and I mean ONLY, read books by my favorite authors because it seemed when I'd pay what little money I had on something new I'd be disappointed. Back then, I only had the cover of books to let me know what the book was about. And it goes without saying that if you give me a choice (under those conditions) I always choose wrongly!
The other blogs started sounding good to me.. so I sent for a book here and there. Without realizing it I got sucked into Young Adult authors who were writing some darn good books! And, oh forbid, they be stand alone books! Of course not! They had to be trilogies, and some more than that!
Slowly,.... the pile got bigger.
And so did my wish list at Amazon! *sigh*
So.. there you have it. My 25 books to be read!
Oh, and lets not forget that I really want to do some rereading! I counted them up in my head... that would be another 26 books on top of the pile!
Make that 27.. I really should reread the Hobbit too. *groan*
I'll never catch up!