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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, June 30, 2008

Engulfed in Flames

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (June 3, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0316143472

Amazon Product Description
"David Sedaris's ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art," (The Christian Science Monitor) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.
Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring" (Seattle Times).

Life, as seen through the eyes of David Sedaris... If we all saw life in such a way, depression might be a cured disease.

Book quote about wearing glasses: High school taught me a valuable lesson about wearing glasses: don't wear them. Contacts have always seemed like too much work, so instead I just squint, figuring that if something is more than 6 feet away I'll deal with it when I get there.

His view on the spiders that his sisters were afraid of: Come bedtime I'd knock on my sisters door and predict that the spider (that dad let loose) was now crawling on the top of the house, where he'd take a short breather before heading down the chimney. "I read in the encyclopedia that this particular breed is known for its tracking ability, and that once it's pegged its victims, almost nothing will stop it. Anyway, good night."

Something like that would be equivalent to signing a death warrant!

It seems that everyone who has read this book mentions the chapter where he sneezes and a lozenge he has in his mouth flies out, bounces off of the back seat in front of him and lands on the lady next to him... the then tries to figure out the choices he has... I'll admit that I think that was the best chapter in the book.

This is a good book when you want something lite to read. Each chapter is a different "essay" and so one chapter does not necessarily lead to the next, yet they all (comically) tie into his life.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Question and the Hulk

Nicole from Word for Teens is posing what I think is a great question.. one that would make a great post!

Her Question is this:

If you could be any character in a novel, who would you be and why - and include somehow acting like that character!
Be creative. Don't say Bella from Twilight because she's in love with Edward - say Lessa from Dragonflight because she manages to run a whole Weyr in the face of failure. Take the character into consideration, not who she's in love with! (And you can still use either of those.

I think this is a great question! And if you'd like to post on it please use her link above so that you leave a link at her blog! The reason I think this question is so good is because it's kinda like: what's your favorite food? For surely there is more than one answer!

At times I think we all wish we were someone else or some place else, and then there are times when you just need to escape life in general.

Even if a person doesn't read a lot, there are (and have been) so many books made into movies that they'd still have a character that they just can't forget that they'd probably want to be.

It makes me wonder:

How many guys wouldn't want to be a superhero?? or a sorcerer like Gandalf? Want to be like Indiana Jones? Or maybe flying through space as Hans Solo? Or maybe someone just wants to be "anywhere but where they are", and a home in the trees like the Swiss Family Robinson, really doesn't sound too bad !

I'm not sure could even do this. Most of my favorite characters from books (and movies) are men .. or dragons.. neither of which would quite be right, if you get what I mean. So if it sounds interesting to you please do a post on it and link to Nicoles blog by leaving a comment!!

Now... since I mentioned super hero's... and since the new movie "The Incredible Hulk" is now out in the theaters I thought I would post a few photo's of Lou Ferrigno, the Original Hulk!

I had the pleasure of working with Lou at an autograph show, way back when I lived in California. Lou shows up at shows here in New Jersey fairly regular and I always visit with him. He is one phenominal man! He looks exactly the same as he did 9 years ago!! (and let me say this: no one should look this good at 57 yrs old!)

Here's the autographed book by Lou that I have and some photo's of him when he played the Hulk with Bill Bixby....

... and since I have this "thing" for beards (and always have).. here's on of him as Hercules!

... last but not least... (oh to be this thin again!!)

(broke my heart hanging on to those thighs, but someone had to do it! LOL LOL!)

I found out that Lou does the voice of the new Hulk and has a small part in the new movie... It's nice to see that they haven't forgotten Lou after all these years.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What I Need Is A Few More Book Reviews to Read

I don't know who coined the words, "book porn", but it seems there's much of it going around.

Normally, book porn (especially my own) makes me smile. Makes me want even more! Normally.

So, when a box arrived (from that place that I wish I had stock in) from Amazon, I got out my trusty little camera and took this photo... porn is what happens when you read Carl's Book Challenge Reviews...

Five out of the six of the above books are here because of book reviews. (*rolling my eyes* shaking my head*) Instead of putting the blame on 5 different people for 5 different reviews.. I'll just blame Carl!! (Someone started the blame game, Maybe Debi? But whoever.. it works for me!)

The 6th book, "Monkey Business" by Simon Louvish is a used book, there because I enjoyed his book on Laurel and Hardy so much. Thought I'd test to see if my enjoyment was a fluke, or he really writes well enough to make me enjoy it.

This pile of book porn also upgrades my TBR list to a grand total of 42!

Not to mention that two more books I've been waiting for will be released within the next 2 weeks.

1--- The Dragon's Lair (The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme)
by Elizabeth Haydon July 8
The Magician: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
by Michael Scott June 24

(*bad amazon wish list! bad! bad!)

Even with the porn it isn't my best day. Everything is driving me nuts!

I've gained 8 lbs since I stopped smoking 19 weeks ago today. (notice I didn't say "quit" yet! I don't think I've beat this yet) Do you have any idea how hard it is to loose 10 lbs? "those last 10 lbs"... someone having to loose 100 lbs would have an easier time! And I'm still more than willing to smoke again in order to do this!

Lessee.. oh, then there's this pain on the top of my foot. A foot doctor stuck it with a needle and wanted me to get some "medicine pads" to put on it... 365.00!! Hello?!! NOT!

Oh.. and it's mammogram time again... gosh I am so freaking thrilled I can't begin to tell you!

So....... I'm told this David Sedaris book is funny......... all I can say is: IT BETTER BE!! I need a good laugh about now!

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the hell happened.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mr Sebastian and the Negro Magician

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician by Daniel Wallace (author of Big Fish)

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (July 3, 2007)
ISBN-10: 038552109X

From Publishers Weekly
An inept African-American illusionist is dogged by the deal he struck with the devil in Wallace's fourth novel, a circus picaresque that barnstorms its way through the 1950s American South. Henry Walker, once the "greatest magician in the world," has been reduced to a minstrel show–like novelty act in a traveling circus. Henry's story, told by a succession of narrators—including members of the circus and a private detective—begins during the Depression, when Henry's family fell on hard times. While down and out, Henry meets and apprentices with the devilish magician Mr. Sebastian. Henry learns the secrets of magic, but his ambition and ability are crimped when his beloved sister, Hannah, disappears. The truths of Henry's and Mr. Sebastian's identities and the fate of Hannah are gradually revealed, and what appears to be a Faustian tale of a pact with the devil turns out to be something more tragic. Wallace (Big Fish; The Watermelon King) skillfully unravels the tale, and though the conclusion is both startling and inevitable, and Henry is as beguiling and enigmatic a character as Wallace has created, the milieu of carnies, hucksters, tricksters and wanderers isn't as sharp as it could be.

I've never read any Daniel Wallace books before, although I have seen the movie Big Fish which was made from his book. I saw this book reviewed by Nymeth, . Between her review and the fact that I enjoyed the movie, Big Fish, I thought I would send for this book to read.

The book does not disappoint. It is the life story of Henry Walker (and his family) told by more than one person.

First was young Henry wanting to be a magician. His mother dead, his father poor.

Then there was the Henry who went to war. No one who stayed close to Henry died in the war.

Then the Henry that returned from war and once again dabbled in magic. Can someone be brought back from the dead?

And last but not least the Henry of the time of the writing, which was around 1954.

I can't say it was what I expected. And I don't want to give away the magical secrets of the book, but I will say Mr Wallace has many things to write about, and many ways to write them.

It's doubtful you would find this book a total disappointment. If you ever read Big Fish or saw the movie, you already know that Mr Wallace knows how to tell a story. (also the author of Watermellon King)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another Mary Russell Mystery

Justice Hall by Laurie R King

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (January 16, 2004)
ISBN-10: 000711138X
A lost heir, murder most foul, and the unexpected return of two old friends start Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes--spouses and intellectual equals--on an investigation that takes them from the trenches of World War I France to the heights of English society. In this sixth entry in Laurie King's award-winning series, fans will find the Baker Street sleuth mellowed by age and marriage yet still in possession of his deductive abilities and acerbic wit, and, in Mary Russell, a surprisingly apt companion for the legendary detective.
Justice Hall brings back two colorful characters from earlier in the series: Bedouins Ali and Mahmoud Hazr (now known as Alistair and Marsh), who last appeared in O Jerusalem. At their request, Holmes and Russell take up the trail of the doomed heir to Justice Hall, who has been executed for cowardice in the bloody trenches of France. As the detectives strive to make sense of his death and to locate another heir to the family title, an attempt is made on the life of the man who's soon to be welcomed as the new duke. Holmes and Russell soon realize something sinister is afoot, and that they must untangle a web of deceit to discover which of the many suspects is taking steps to shorten the line of inheritance. Once again, King's satisfying tale stays true to the spirit of Conan Doyle's original stories while extending them into new terrain.

This is my 6th Mary Russell book and my 7th Laurie R King book.

Before Carl's RIP challenge last year when I sent for a used copy of Laurie R King's "The Moor" for read for the challenge no one could have told me that I'd enjoy reading Sherlock Holmes or more to the point Sherlock Holmes wife, Mary Russell!... but ohh, how I've enjoyed this group of books! There are 2 more in the series which I don't have at the moment but I assure you I will have them eventually!

I was quite surprised that Ali and Mahmoud Hazr, from the other book O Jerusalem were reintroduced for this book. Of course they were no longer the men they thought they knew but instead were proper Englishmen of some prominence. Quite a contrast from when Mary and Sherlock had first met them.

This was yet another gripping story told by Laurie R King. A little less of the more playful exchanges between Mary and Holmes that I've enjoyed in the other books, but a gripping story to keep you glued to the book none the less.

I could do no less than to say that this whole series of books has been enjoyable and I'd recommend them to anyone who does, or may, enjoy Sherlock Holmes type mysteries.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Laurel and Hardy

Stan and Ollie by Simon Louvish

Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (June 23, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0312325983

From Publishers Weekly
Louvish has written a biography of Laurel and Hardy that brims with affection and still preserves an honest, unbiased view of their creativity and personal traumas. He presents a fully rounded, well-paced portrait of their contrasting backgrounds (Laurel was born in England; Hardy in Georgia), early separate careers and eventual union in a Hal Roach production, 45 Minutes from Hollywood, in 1926. Roach claimed to have discovered them before reluctantly conceding partial credit to Leo McCarey, who directed many of the duo's best movies. After appearances in five undistinguished pictures, their careers soared with such classics as Duck Soup (not to be confused with the Marx Brothers version) and The Second Hundred Years. The two saw themselves as working actors who happened to hit on an incredible streak of good luck. However, their off-camera lives were anything but lucky, and Louvish, in his chapter "Multiple Whoopee or Wives and Woes," poignantly chronicles each man's domestic catastrophes, with particularly painful emphasis on Hardy's marriage to his alcoholic second wife, Myrtle Lee. Laurel, after four disastrous unions, finally found happiness with Russian opera singer Ida Kitaeva Raphael. Thanks to Louvish's erudite yet accessible style, in-depth studies of Laurel and Hardy films are even more absorbing to read than their marital conflicts. A touching example of Louvish's deep feeling for his subjects occurs when he describes Hardy's huge 150-pound weight loss, in which he concludes, "it probably never occurred to Oliver Hardy that his fans actually considered him beautiful." It's clear the author does, and this tender admiration invites the reader to share his view.

I know it's hard to believe but the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy was actually (mostly) before (even) My Time! (this small fact makes me smile. It's hard to grasp anything being older than I am... and a blessing besides!)

I had found this book at bargain price and having enjoyed Laurel and Hardy as a kid I thought I'd send for the book.. after all, sometimes I read biographies, how different can this be?

Once here the book sat for some time. Partly because I was doing Carl's Fantasy Challenge, but that was an excuse, as I had read way more than needed for the challenge. I have to be in the mood to read something like this.

I picked it up and flipped the pages, looking to the back to see how long the book was.. oh gawd 544 pages!? Do I want to attempt this now?? (I didn't think so) With a big sigh I thought, let me read a few pages, just to see what it's going to be like. Yeah well.. that was 544 pages ago! Yeah.. it grabbed me. I must have been ready without knowing it!

I think I read about 40 pgs and had to set it down to do some work. I quickly found that each time I came back into my room I was heading to sit on the bed and read some more! That was my second surprise!.. I mean, it's not really a cliff hanger or anything! I just couldn't leave it for long!

The book begins by alternating chapters between the birth and upbringing of each of these very talented men.

In 1890, Arthur Stanley Jefferson (Stan Laurel) was born in Ulverston England , and in 1892 Norvell ( Babe) Hardy (Ollie) was born in Harlem Georgia.

With travel nothing like it is today what were the chances these two men would ever meet?

Simon Louvish (author) did a very good job describing both England of the 1890's and down trodden, klu klux klanish, Georgia of the same period.

This was also the time of the beginning of motion pictures, or more correctly silent pictures, most of which may have been only one reel long ( 20 minutes)!

I think this book was written really well. It gave you just enough of how things were that you could follow easily. Actually, it has the benefits of more than one author.. how is that? you ask... well, quite often the author quotes paragraphs from other authors who have written about Laurel or Hardy or both or the era in which this is all taking place. So you get more information than maybe one author could find... not a bad deal.

I want to share bits of information from thebook, and even some quotes. I hope this doesn't get toooooooooooooooooo long... but no promises!

FYI: Did you know that Stan Laurel worked with and roomed with Charlie Chaplin, before Chaplin or he ever came to America? (cool huh?)

FYI: in 1921 Laurel and Hardy actually made their first movie together... but it was far from when they would become partners.

Quote from the book:

It must have been a good Christmas for Stan in 1922. He already had another "burlesque" in the can. When Knights Were Cold was a pastiche of When Knighthood Was in Flower, which starred Marion Davies, and had opened earlier in the year. Stan was Lord Helpus, a Slippery Knight, and Mae was Countess Out, a Classy Eve. The character's names: Earl of Tabasco, a Hot Knight; Duke of Sirloin, a Tough Knight; Rainy Knights, Foggy Knights and Knights of Pity Us.. look eerily forward to our contemporary Monty Python's Holy Grail exploits, as does the scene, described by Stan in later years, in which the knights advanced on paper-basket horses, much as the horseless Pythons of our day.


Producer Thomas Ince moved in and built a studio which was later to become the mighty Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Roach, having freed himself of former partners, bought nineteen acres to set up the Hal E Roach Studios, in what was soon to be called Culver City. Roy Seawright's father was Roach's chief architect, but died tragically in a work accident before the studio was completed. The Buildings were ready in 1920, and Roach began to gather around him the coterie of crew and actors who would become his regular stock company. Harold Lloyd was still his main star, though he worked with is own autonomous unit, and when Stan joinedLloyd was riding the crest of his wave with his feature masterpiece, Safety Last. "Snub" Pollard was still going strong and Roach had already launched what would become his most lucrative franchise, the "Our Gang" films in 1922.


1925- a vintage year in America. Cool customer Calvin Coolidge was the new man in the White House. Ace airman Charles B Lindbergh flew alone across the Atlantic on the same days in May that Stan Laurel was directing his second film for Hal Roach in Hollywood- a Jimmy Finlayson vehicle called Unfriendly Enemies. Later in the year the Marx Brothers opened the The Cocoanuts on Broadway. F. Scott Fitzgerald published The Great Gatsby, W.C. Fields was starring in the annual Ziegfeld Follies and then shooting his first feature film, for D. W Griffith, the circus tale, Sally of the Sawdust. In Tennessee, John Thomas Scopes went on trial for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in high school. Knute Rockne was riding high as the football coach for Notre Dame, and Babe Ruth was still the name in baseball. Around the world, things were pretty confusing as usual, what with Mussolini trying to make the trains run on time in Italy and a recently released jailbird, Adolf Hitler, trying to set up his own political party in Germany. But back on Wall Street, stocks were up, up, up.

FYI: Laurel and Hardy made 32 silent movies together. 40 short talkies. and 24 feature films. Separately, they appeared in 340 films, in total 440 films.

FYI: During this same period of time some of the stars fighting for contention were: Buster Keaton..W C Fields..Charlie Chaplin.. Harold Lloyd... the Marx Brothers.. and Mae West

FYI: Some of the established regulars in Laurel and Hardy movies were:

Billy Gilbert Mae Busch

Edgar Kennedy Jimmy Finlayson

and Thelma Todd


By 1934, the Hollywood studios had recovered from their worst depression blues, and were producing, on average, about 50 movies each per year. MGM, in any case, had been least hit by the massive dip in profits that bettered the other major studios in the first years of the decade. The studio that had "more stars than there are in heaven" had the added asset of the young Irving Thalberg, registering hit after hit. From Grand Hotel in 1932 he continued to Queen Christina in 1933, and films such as Mutiny on the Bounty and David Copperfield, in 1935, would maintain MGM's firm lead. Hal Roach Studios, nestling in the crook of MGM's distribution arm, was in a pretty comfortable, if at times pungent position.

I have to say that I enjoyed this book way more than I thought I would! Maybe because the author didn't wind up basically just listing their movies and telling me about each and every one, but described each of their lives leading up to their meeting and then talked about their successes but intermingled it with their life at that time and other people that touched their lives. This was truly a good book!

I remember seeing their movies on television when I was young. Now and then one will still pop up, but not often. There was a lot of silliness in their movies, but you always had to laugh or keep a smile on your face.

It's good to be a comedian... because nothing but good can happen when you laugh.

Ollie: Where were you born?

Stan: I don't know, I was too young to remember.

Stan Laurel: June 16, 1890 - Feb 25, 1965

Oliver Hardy: January 18, 1892 - August 7, 1957


Now this is weird!! Rarely are Laurel and Hardy movies on television... today, Saturday June 21st... two of their movies will be on TCM !!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Relief.. of sorts...

This week we are getting a break!

Last week it was a heat wave... and it was nasty! Temps exceeding 100 degree's!

This week, after a severe thunderstorm (they are all severe normal rain allowed, they have to have high winds capable of up-rooting trees, along with possible hail and lots and lots of lightening.. and yep it uprooted trees and there was hail, and there was enough lightening to read a book by in the night!)

For this we dropped down into the 70's. But... (have to love the but's right?).. it also means we have quick (severe) storms each afternoon or evening.

I know I shouldn't complain. The house I live in with my brother and David and 6 cats is not 6 feet under water , or floating down a river, or in a fire zone, or earthquake zone,.. and there was a time I could say, not a tornado zone, but anymore who knows? We do get tornado warnings now and then with these severe storms.

I wonder: where will this all end?

I know that on my little SS check there is no way, should something happen that at my age and income I could "start over", the way thousands of people will be doing from the floods and tornados etc.

I find my mind slipping backwards to when I had a job in California in which I cried each morning before going to work... the difference is now I am afraid to enjoy a day without disasters happening because I know it won't last. Yep.. sad, I know. But the times I forget and enjoy a nice day are getting fewer and fewer and that scares the doo doo out of me!

This may well be part of the reason I have been lax at blogging a whole lot except for the books I read. I want to say "bear with me, this too will pass"... but will it?

What are your thoughts about natures disasters lately? Why are we getting this extreme? Can it be changed? If so, why isn't something being done about it?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Final Book for Once Upon a Time

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas.

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (June 3, 2008) YA
ISBN-10: 006137587X

Product Description

In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Conn should have dropped dead the day he picked Nevery's pocket and touched the wizard's locus magicalicus, a stone used to focus magic and work spells. But for some reason he did not. Nevery finds that interesting, and he takes Conn as his apprentice on the provision that the boy find a locus stone of his own. But Conn has little time to search for his stone between wizard lessons and helping Nevery discover who—or what—is stealing the city of Wellmet's magic.

What a surprising little book! And it is a little book, even for a hardback! The dimensions are 7.2 x 5.8 x 1.6 inches, the sentences are double spaced, and there is nice artwork at the beginning of each chapter. Therefore, this was a fast read... but also a story that made me keep reading. (I like those sort of books!.. a lot!)

Conn was a young thief who reached into an old mans pocket one day and stole a stone.. or rather a locus magicalicus. An object to focus magic. It should have killed him according to Nevery.. but it didn't. (what is that saying? What doesn't kill us makes us stronger? Might have some truth to it!)

It seems once Nevery decides to keep this orphaned thief, good (and bad) things begin to happen to him.

He finds his calling.. he wants to become a magician like Nevery. But he can't until he finds his own locus magicalicus. And that's not as simple as it sounds.

While he is studying to become a magician it seems the magic is disappearing all around him. Nevery is trying to find out how and why this is happening. But Conn decides he's been chosen to be the one to find out.

This was a very enjoyable book. I guess I like things not too complicated. Double spaced helps a lot! Short chapters keep me reading well beyond books with long chapters. (I know, it makes no sense but I read more pages if they are short chapters, whereas I tire easily if they are like 20 pg. chapters.. go figure ) Then of course it helps to have a good story with interesting characters! And I do believe Sarah Prineas filled the bill nicely.

I also want to mention the Illustrator Antonio Javier Caparo, who certainly made this book more enjoyable by the super cover and by the artwork throughout the book.

This is my absolute LAST entry for the Once Upon A Time Challenge!

Once again Carl has held a terrifically fun challenge! I hold a love/ hate relationship with this particular challenge!! heh.. I love it, I love it! But my wish list grows so darn long I can't stand it!!

After the initial books that I listed I would read, quite a few that came after were books that others had reviewed . Of 28 books only one disappointed me.. I think it's safe to say that I"m pleased with those odds!!

I don't know if Carl does any challenge over the summer but I do know he has the RIP Challenge that comes up around Halloween, which is another enjoyable challenge! I'm not into blood and gore, or vampires like many people are but thanks to Carl I did discover some mystery/gothic like: The 13th Tale, which I loved and so I hope I have found another like that to read for this year called The House at Riverton. And A Lee Martinez has one more book I haven't read called A Nameless Witch. (and I really really liked his book of Gil's All Fright Diner!) I also have the Historian in my tbr pile.. so I think I'm ready!

Thanks again Carl... you manage to make reading just a little more enjoyable!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Winner and a Review

Well, I didn't get a big amount entering the book giveaway... but that gave each person a better chance at winning!

This is how the winner got chosen:





KARMYN! the new mommy won! Karmyn recently had her 3rd baby, is it no wonder she could use a good book for a diversion? Well..if she has more than 5 minutes at a time for herself that is! Congratulations Karmyn! I will send you J. Scott Savage's email address so you can send him your name and snail mail address that he can mail the ARC copy of Far World: Water Keep to you!!

For others who did not win: keep your eyes open because sooner or later Chris and Carl will both be having a contest to win an ARC copy of the book! There are many others too.. if you want to keep tabs at J. Scott Savage's blog you will see in comments when someone ishaving a contest for the book. Many chances to win so don't give up trying!!


Ok.. on to yet another book review!

One more time??... well.. nah.. no way I can read 5 books before next Friday ! (I could if I had graphic books, but sadly... none around) But this is Fantasy Fiction so I will still put this in the challenge as........... an extra! heh..

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (April 21, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1590388984

Product Description
In the third volume, the peril escalates as an unexplained darkness infects the creatures of Fablehaven.

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague is the third, (but not final book ) about Fablehaven.

In this book the preserve that was once beautiful is turning dark.

Nipsies, are turning gray and warring with each other, Fairies once all beautiful colors are turning dark and evil. Even human helpers who can help them are slowly being turned into shadows with no substance.

Fablehaven is falling apart at the seams, evil is taking over!. The question is: can it be saved?

Kendra becomes a Knight of the Dawn and is sent on a mission to another preserve with another new recruit named Gavin who can tame dragons. While Seth remains with his grandparents trying to fight this dark plague.

The kids come back together on the preserve and everyone sets out to try and discover who the traitor is and how to stop the plague.

Well, three out of three books, and all of them enjoyable! I think it's safe to say that anyone who's read these books will already be looking forward to the next installment... I know I am!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

This World.. That World.. Far World !

I got this young man... (don't look at me like that!).. he's a writer. He's up and written a book for Young Adults... or so he says!

Pshaw, ...I've read his out of this world story, and ya know what? It ain't jest fer kids.. don't let him fool ya. We of the older generation can enjoy this just as much as any kid can.

So, this young man, his name is J. Scott Savage. Do you believe that?? Sounds like a cartoon character ta me! Who has a real name like J. Scott Savage?? I think he's pulling my leg, but hey, at my age even that feels good!

J. Scott sent me his book to read... he also said he'd give me a second one ta give away to someone who thinks they might enjoy reading an ARC copy .

You know what an ARC copy of a book is don'tcha? It's where they print up the book before they find all the mistakes he wrote, hehehe.. anyway, this Scott guy, he calls himself an author and then he goes and gives books away! How crazy is that?!

So, now I need ta hold some sorta contest so there can be a winner for his book, and just so ya know, the book is called Far World: Water Keep.

I thought about holding an essay about how gorgeous I am.... but then I'm sure there would be more than one winner. So, we really can't do that!

So here's what I thought we'd do...

First off: I will leave this post up all weekend.

You have until Sunday night to leave me a comment here saying that you went and visited J. Scott Savage's blog and left him a message that I sent ya there to meet the author of Far World.

Then Monday morning I will write down the names of everyone who left a comment and draw a name.

Then I will ask the winner to send their name and address to J. Scott so that he can send you the ARC copy of his book.

Sound like a deal? Cool!

I hope a bunch of ya join in and visit Scott... " Make Scott's world, your world!"

(U.S. and Canada only.. sorry!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Today is the 9th anniversary of the death of my dear friend DeForest Kelley.

I didn't want it to go by without a little something to remember him by... so i went to You Tube... gosh, is there anything you can't find there??? (not likely)

Of more to choose from than I care to think about, I chose these four tributes to DeForest.

The first one is all about his days Before Star Trek...

The other 3 are really well done tributes to him as Dr. McCoy... please enjoy them, he's worth the rememberance and certainly worth the view!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Consider This...

Kiva left a comment on the post showing some of my vhs tapes. She was wondering what the movies were that were in the "for your consideration boxes".. so I thought I'd show it in a post.

The first photo is a scan of the front of the box. As you can see these particular movies in this particular year were put out the the Disney Company. This was the only studio to put them out with this particular cover. (note that it is a photo of part of the Disney Studio itself)

At times the movies sent out to the "voters" were only put in plain covers, and yet others had the cover that the movie would be marketed in.

Up Close and Personal....

(actual cover...)

This is a telling of the Jessica Savitch story, the newswoman who, in the 1970's, became the "First Woman Anchor". Sally/Tally is taken under the wing of Warren in a Miami newsroom and becomes a news star on TV. Despite her love for Warren, she takes the big chance and moves on to Philadelphia, where he follows to rescue her faltering career at the cost of his own - as she rises he falls.

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Sally Atwater, who is a young woman, looking to become a star in the news and television industry. She sends out a tape to a lot of stations, but only one answers it. She first becomes a secretary, and Warren Justice (played by Robert Redford) later makes her a weather person, and then finally a real news person.

Next, the back view... Since each studio wants to be considered for everything about any movie they did in any given year, some list all the names on the back cover. (then again.. some are blank)

The War at Home..

(actual cover..)

Jeremy Collier is a Vietnam veteran who has returned home and is struggling to cope with the war experiences that haunt him. He is also at odds with his family, who cannot begin to understand what he has been through. Jeremy's battles with his family finally spiral out of control on Thanksgiving Day, when a bitter secret is revealed.

Sometimes the studios used gimmicks to try to vide for attention and did fancy boxing of the movies. They also (according to DeForest) always sent ALL the movies that studio made that year. Which made sense to me since I remember watching some movies I had never heard of! And in all honesty here.. some of those were better than the one's going up for the Oscars! Most of those would be their smaller budget movies. That also meant they weren't "marketed" all over, possibly only released in a small amount of theaters.

I do know that, back then, when I had access to all the movies from all the studio's via De, that I got to see some really good movies that I am sure I would have missed!

One gimmick that Paramount did in 1993 was to send DeForest a box with their releases in it... it even had his name on it! (see below)

The inside looked like this:

In the see-thu envelope on the top it had mini posters of each of the movies.

Below: close up of the movies..

(oh gee.. look at that! Another Harrison Ford movie! heh.)

Anyway, that just goes to show you some of the degrees studios will go to in order to get your vote!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Dragon Outcast

Quest the First...

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II 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.

Book : 5 Dragon Outcast by E E Knight

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Roc Trade (December 4, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0451461851

Amazon Product Description
Dragon Outcast continues E.E. Knight's thrilling fantasy series about a brood of young dragon siblings-each unique, each powerful, and each fated to battle the other to the end. Here, the darkest of the dragons is introduced as he strives to make himself the strongest-and the last-of his brethren...

This third and final book of the trilogy speaks of the crippled, no named, hatchling that escaped the family destruction, that HE himself had set in motion.

It was a story of survival, and of working with, a not so perfect body. It encompassed danger, a real struggle to survive and making more of himself than he ever believed could be.

There are parts in all three of these books that make me think, that although there are many life lessons hidden in these books, there are some parts that I don't think would set well with young adults... mainly some description of killings and death by the dragons. As for myself, it even made me a bit uncomfortable, but each story was told so well that they kept me reading, even knowing there would be more of the same before their story was told. I think that it was put in for some realism and in that way it worked well.

After the first book I didn't think the author could write another book following a second hatchling and keep it interesting ... but he not only wrote a good story for the second book, but for the third book as well.

It surpised me that I was kept coming back to read these 3 hatchlings stories..

Well done E.E. Knight... well done!

This concludes the 5th round of Quest the First!!... I can't begin to tell you how much I've enjoyed Carl's Once Upon A Time Challenge!!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Dragon Avenger

Quest the First...

Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II 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.

Book 4: Dragon Avenger by: E E Knight

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Roc Trade (December 5, 2006)
ISBN-10: 045146109

Amazon: From Publishers Weekly.....
Knight chronicles the gritty coming-of-age story of the dragon Wistala (sister to Auron, from 2005's Dragon Champion) in the second Age of Fire novel. When her young family is betrayed and decimated by a clan of dwarfs while father AuRel is away, Wistala must carry the awful news north to him. But she finds AuRel badly wounded after running afoul of the very same dwarfs, and before she can nurse him back to health, a hunter called the Dragonblade kills him. Once again, Wistala must run for her life, vowing vengeance, even though she knows a year must pass before she's grown enough to carry out her revenge plan. Befriended by the elf Rainfall of Hypatia, she matures and gains the wisdom to temper her plans.

These Dragon books by Knight are different from any books on dragons I've read before. He certainly gets a plus for being so original.

All three of these books are divided into 3 parts. Hatchling (fairly new from the egg, cannot breath fire, has no wings), Drakka (growing in size and can now breath fire) and Dragonelle ( full use of first stomach and now has wings and can fly)

This book is about Wistala, sister of Auron, who escaped together when their family was killed by dwarfs. Wistala is a green dragon, and unlike her brother she has scales. (a normal dragon). When they escape Auron sends Wistala after her father who was seen escaping the caves but injured. Auron tells her to find him and together she stands a chance at surviving.

Wistala, finds her father and nurses him back to better health, but not full health before they are discovered and the dwarfs manage to kill the ailing father, while Wistala manages to escape.

This tale tells of her survival and the plans she has to avenge her families deaths. Along the way she is befriended by an Elf who becomes like a father to her. A large part of her life revolves around this Elf and the way she is treated by him and others. (lessons to be learned similar to hominid lessons)

I enjoyed this book. Again, I can't say it was something I couldn't put down, but it certainly held my interest .. enough so that I will be starting book 3 right away. Which should finish me for the Once Upon a Time Challenge for the 5th time.. if I can finish book 3 in time!! I do think I'm safe enough not to rush it.. if I finish in time, great.. if not.. hey 4 times ain't too shabby!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Just For Fun

This week Karen's Monday Photo Shoot is to open something (anything: a drawer a box etc) and take a photo of what's in it...

I decided to play once again... what I chose to open was a box under my bed. One of the MANY boxes I have of my old vhs tapes. I call them old because I had to pretty much stop buying movies once I had lost my job and wound up on welfare for a time and then on to social security. I do get an ocassional movie now but it's rare. And I will say in my defense of owning probably near 500 movies is that in California most I bought were "used" and others were yearly movies sent to DeForest for his consideration for Oscars.. so my "collection" was rarely bought new movie!

So I opened this box and took a photo... then I took off layers so you could see others in the box.

(just a wild guess of mine is that I packed this box when I was at my Harrison Ford movies... just a guess mind you)

Anyway.. I thought this was a rather cute idea for a photo shoot so I decided to do it... If anyone else decides to do it please leave a link at Karen's website!! (link is above)