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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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pickford or Thief?

I began this book over a week ago and have only managed 100 pages.  That's not like me.  I'm not sure if it's my own mood through Thanksgiving or if the book is "boring". All I know is that I am setting it aside for now and will try more of it at another time.

There were some small parts of interest  however they were more about the "time" than Mary Pickford herself...

"Short films had entered Vaudeville as early as 1896, and the nickelodeons by 1905.  By 1907 there were ten thousand nickelodeons in the US selling 2 million tickets a day.  Most were converted storefronts, filled with chairs and hung with muslin or a sheet for a screen."

"Thomas Alve Edison patented more than a thousand inventions in his lifetime, including the phonograph, the microphone, and the incandescent electric light bulb.  But initially he showed no interest in the movies, or in efforts of previous engineers to animate photography with movement.  He claimed he worked only for the dollar, and he considered the movies uncommercial. ( Edison also saw no future for the airplane)."

For Now I am going to close that book and try another  ..

... we'll see if this one gets my interest better than the other.  I really do dislike giving up on a book, and it happens rarely (thank goodness).    And although the author doesn't seem to have found whatever it is that makes a biography interesting as did Simon Louvish with "Stan and Ollie", I do think my mood has a lot to do with it also.

Here's hoping The Good Thief shakes me out of the funk the other book seems to have put me in.

Meanwhile I have been enjoying movies!

As you saw in my last post I went to see Australia and it was enjoyed to the fullest!

On the "home front" David bought some movies and we've been watching them too.  First we watched Wall-E.  I now want a toy Wall-e!! Too darn cute! hahaha.. I can relate to Wall-e never getting things to work out they way he hoped, but never giving up either!

Then there was Kung Foo Panda.  It was cute, but not nearly as good as Wall-E.  In the wings we have Journey to the Center of the Earth with Brendan Fraser.  Then TCM showed two more Basil Rathbones Sherlock Holmes movies yesterday... so it's been a good few days for movies.

One last note here.. I woke early, as I always do and was on my computer as "daybreak" approached.  It was very cloudy and didn't get very bright.  I was reading some of my normal blog stops when something out of the corner of my eye made me turn and look out the window...

... that my friends is snow!  Yep it snowed like hell for about 20 minutes, then slowly turned to rain. :o(    But I ran out to the deck in the back and took this photo of what snowflakes managed to stick to the railing before they disappeared!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Australia is a winner!

Oh man!...  I saw Australia today!  This movie will get some nods from the motion picture academy that's for sure!

I mean.. look!  (doing a little drooling here and it's not for Nicole!)

The cinematography was outstanding for this movie!

Young Brandon Walters, will steal your heart!

... and David Gulpilil has to do nothing but stand there to get his message across!  ( you may recognize him from Crocodile Dundee, or maybe Beastmaster. I recognized him from a show I saw in California but I don't think it ever aired on the east coast, called Snowy River: the McGregor Story.)

Director/producer/writer Baz Luhrmann (R) is joined by Aboriginal actor David Ngoombujarra

Anyone recognize this person?...

  Faramir/ Lord of the Rings... better known as David Wenhem.  Well, I got shocked seeing him in this movie... as one of the Bad Guys!  Our Faramir!  A bad guy! aggggggggggggh!

It's a long movie (2 hr 45 min) but to be honest with you.. it could have even been longer and it would have been fine with me!

It's a story about doing what's right.

It's a bit of a Western.

It's a bit of a love story.

It's got Hugh Jackman!  What else could you want??   :o)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Did You See That?

Ok.. so.. how many of you watched the Macy's Thanksgiving day Parade??

For as long as I can remember the parade is always on the television in my house or where I am living.  But, since I am generally the cook, I only see "bits 'n' pieces".  I can't remember ever having seen the entire parade!

This year I did catch something of interest to me though.  Seeing as I am old enough to have my birth certificate carved out on stone, I found one band of particular of interest... they are called The Second Time Arounders Band.  If anyone looked closely they would have noticed that most of the band members had white hair! 

What? A marching band of old folks?

Why, yes!

Does this mean some old folks can actually do some things the younger folks do?

Why,... yes! (amazing isn't it?!)

For years now (since I reached old age) I wondered about some things concerning "old folks". 

Being an avid reader and lover of movies, one thing that always got to me was that the fantasy books I read, and movies I see rarely star the older person. (not never.. but rarely)

They don't star them, and at times barely mention them.. yet, there they are.  In the same story.  Often doing the same things the younger folks are doing.  But somehow, they seem to always just be, the token old person.

Ok, I will admit that it's true, that the body begins to break down as you grow old!  But, many older people are very active and can certainly keep up with the younger generation in many things.  This band I saw was great to me!  They are every bit as good as any high school or college marching band...  yet they were ...well... not young!

If you read fantasy fiction, have you ever noticed that there are often wizards and such going along with the adventure of the younger folks, having to be every bit as vital and strong as the younger protagonists?  But why are they so rarely "the star"?

It upset me so much that some years ago I wrote my own trilogy (amateur) just to have most of the "stars" of the older generation!  It felt good!

Occasionally the movies get it right with pictures like, Cocoon, and Fried Green Tomatoes. There are a number of excellent movies like those.. but they aren't the money makers that the studios want and so, once again, those movies are few and far between.

That fact also leads to all the actresses getting all that facial surgery so they can continue to play parts for younger actresses.  And that, of course, is because no writer wants to write a story starring older people.  (American writers are obsesses with young skinny beauties)

Concerning this, I believe the Brit's are much smarter than the Americans.  They have never been "obsessed" with the skinny, young, beauty.. they want a good actor and looks are secondary. (I've got to move to England! )  Of course they have their share of gorgeous actresses and actors, but it just doesn't seem to be a "must" to be beautiful, nor a "must" to be young to be talented enough to keep on working in the industry.

So...  here I am on a soapbox! How did that happen?

geez! I never thought I'd get off on that subject!  So much for watching The Macy's Parade!  That,... or... it just made me feel good not to have the older generation shoved into oblivion.

Tale of Despereaux

I was taken by surprise to see a trailer for Tale of Despereaux on television!  I didn't even know they were making a movie from this book!  When I saw a trailer of this cute little mouse with oversized ears I grinned from ear to ear... take a look, maybe you will too!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Dragonheart by Todd McCaffrey

Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (November 11, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0345491149

Product Description

The grim specter of sickness looms over the Weyrs of Pern, felling fire-lizards and posing a potentially devastating threat to their dragon cousins, Pern’s sole defense against the deadly phenomenon that is Thread. Fiona, the youngest and only surviving daughter of Lord Bemin, is just coming of age, and about to assume the duties of a Weyrwoman, when word spreads that dragons have indeed begun succumbing to the new contagion. With the next season of Threadfall quickly approaching, and the already diminished ranks of the dragons once more under siege, every Weyr across Pern is in crisis mode. It is hardly the time for disturbing distractions–such as the strange voice Fiona suddenly hears in her mind at the darkest and most urgent moments.
Circumstances and the mood of the weyrfolk worsen when advance patrols relay the dreaded news that black dust–the unmistakable herald of falling Thread–has been sighted. As more dragons sicken and die, leaving only a new generation of weyrlings too young to succeed them, Weyrleader B’Nik and queen rider Lorana arrive from Benden Weyr to comb Fort Weyr’s archives in a desperate search for clues from the past that may hold the solution to the plague.
But could the actual past itself prove the pathway to salvation for Pern’s stricken dragons and the entire imperiled planet? Guided by a mysterious ally from a wholly unexpected place, and trusting in the unique dragon gift for transcending time, Fiona will join a risky expedition with far-reaching consequences for both Pern’s future and her personal destiny.

Ok.. it's official I just finished reading my 22nd Pern novel. Never in my life would I have thought that I would read 22 books about the people and dragons of a planet named Pern!

1968 Dragonflight
1971 Dragonquest
1978 The White Dragon
1976 Dragonsong
1977 Dragonsinger
1979 Dragondrums
1983 Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern
1986 Nerilka's Story
1988 Dragonsdawn
1989 The Renegades of Pern
1991 All the Weyrs of Pern
1993 The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall (a collection of short stories)
1994 The Dolphins of Pern
1997 Dragonseye (published as Red Star Rising in the UK)
1998 The Masterharper of Pern
2001 The Skies of Pern
2002 A Gift of Dragons (a collection of short stories)
2003 Dragon's Kin (by Anne & Todd McCaffrey)
2005 Dragonsblood (by Todd McCaffrey)
2007 Dragons Fire (by Ann & Todd McCaffrey)
2007 Dragon Harper (by Anne & Todd McCaffrey)
2008 Dragonheart (by Todd McCaffrey)

This book, written by Todd McCaffrey, isn't a slam-dunk, as many of his mothers books were to me.

Let me say this about myself first: I am not a picky person (at least I don't think so). This goes for both, movies and books I might add. In movies, I don't notice the mistakes made that some people seem to find. ("did you see the shadow of the camera in that shot??") They seem to pass me by as I am much to interested in the story and what's going on.

That being said, I shocked myself when I couldn't get past some things that Mr. McCaffrey did in this book.

The first few books he wrote about Pern, the people there, and of course the dragons, he wrote in collaboration with his mother, who is the person who first brought Pern and the dragons to life. Then he did write one alone.

I guess my biggest problem (if it is one) with the books written by both mother and son, was simply getting used to the fact that it was a different TIME in Pern that they wrote about and NEW Characters. (loving the original characters as I do this was no simple thing to get over, but I figured if Todd kept writing about the "same new characters" that eventually I accept them and all would be well in Pern once again.

As a good point for this book, I will say that Todd had some good characters, that I quickly began to like and was interested in what they did and said.

The seeming "star" of the book, Fiona, who became Talenth's rider was shaping up nicely. So was Xhinna, her female friend. Cisca and K'lior, the Weyrleaders, I would like to have known better, but they were also good, as was T'Mar, Zirenth's rider.

But some non-consistencies just jumped out at me..... One in particular was, Tajen (T'jen)who's dragon went between due to an illness. In other books if a dragonrider lived when his dragon died he was depressed a long time, did not want to try to impress another dragon and overall never got over the loss. In this book T'jen looses his dragon and not long after is happily helping others. This compared to Lytol, in The White Dragon, who lost his dragon and had to leave the weyr because he could no longer be around dragons, and who then for many years became a drunk, before finding a reason to live again. (Raising Jaxom) That was a huge thing to me to not keep consistent with other happenings.

This story wraps around the fact that the dragons were dieing of an illness. As I read of the deaths I couldn't help but notice that they talked of the losses as if it didn't bother them: "I think we are going to lose Yerinth and Casunth today." This sort of thing was written over and over. The sadness and the lose of both dragons and their riders just wasn't there. Instead what was talked about was how few they had left to fight thread. It may well be just me, but I just felt that there was something missing. Like a story was being told without sympathy.

(example:) "What if something goes wrong?" Xhinna asked. "What if they can't come back?"

Fiona shook her head. "In that case, we'll think of something." (I felt no sadness from the characters)

Something else I couldn't grasp was that Fiona and her queen Talenth go back in time with a mysterious weyrwoman. It is never really explained who she is or where she came from. (ok, so this might be saved for the next book).. however, once they went back in time there was no more mention of Cisca and the time they were in or the sick dragons. You'd think a small chapter would have been written about how they wonder where they disappeared to? But, nope. Nothing.

This is so unusual for me to find so many small things that bothered me, yet I kept on reading. Behind it all there is a decent Pern story with some new and interesting characters... I'm certainly not one who wants only Anne to write about Pern, after all, she can't go on forever. So I DO want her son to be able to take over and continue more stories. So far, he's not the writer his mother is. But I've given him a chance with the books he wrote WITH his mother, and I've read his other book he wrote alone called Dragonsblood... and undoubtedly I will give him yet another chance in hopes that I will find out about all the loose ends he's left dangling!

But beyond the faults, I did still have to say that (for the most part) I enjoyed the book. Like I said there are some good characters and I hope he answers the million questions he left hanging... so yeah, I'm waiting on the next book once again!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Basil as Sherlock

As has happened to be on other occasions.. after having just read two books about Mary Russell and her husband Sherlock Holmes, what should come on Turner Classic Movies but two old, black and white, Holmes movies!

The first one was called Secret Weapon. 1942

Holmes was smuggling a man from Switzerland, who invented a bomb-site, into England to make them for the war.

But what got to me about this movie was the hairdo that they had given Holmes! For some reason I think I have a memory of it, but I'm not sure! One side of his hair was brushed forward and the other had a curl onto his forehead. It was so unusual that I couldn't stop watching his hair during the whole movie!

I think my enjoyment of the old Basil Rathbone Holmes movies though was how entertaining Nigel Bruce was as Watson.

When the movie concluded it asked that you go and buy War Bonds!!

The second was called: The Woman In Green. 1945 (I was one year old!)

For this movie Basil had a normal hairdo, and I was glad of that!

Basil was not what I think of as handsome but, to me, he really carries off the persona of Holmes! With each Mary Russell book I read I heard Basil's voice as Holmes. I guess it was ingrained into my mind from the time I was young and would see the Sherlock Holmes movies on television. (this was BEFORE they had to be restored! *I can't believe I said that!)

(Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce or rather Sherlock and Watson)

Sherlock Holmes.

I know there have been many other actors who have portrayed Sherlock over the years, but I believe Basil Rathbone will always remain the definitive Holmes to me.

A small piece of trivia before I close this post...

Many only know Nigel Bruce as "Watson", but over his career Nigel acted in 78 movies and most were not Holmes movies! Here's a bigger surprise... he was born in Baja California!

Rathbone made 119 movies, and was born in Johannesburg South Africa.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Locked Rooms

Locked Rooms by Laurie R King.

Hardback 402 pages
Publisher: Bantam (March 28, 2006)

From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell are at it again. Having just traveled to India in The Game (Bantam, 2004), they are stopping in San Francisco, Mary's hometown, before returning to England. It is 1930, 24 years after the great earthquake and 10 years since the death of Mary's brother and parents, and her removal to Anglia. Ostensibly, she is going to wrap up some business interests and sell her parents' house, but she soon becomes aware of strange goings-on there and what seem to be attempts on her life. This is a more character-driven title than many of the previous Russell/Holmes outings, and Mary's emotions and fears are in the forefront. The story is told in alternating sections, by Mary in the first person and from Holmes's point of view in the third. This tale is self-contained, but does explain Mary's origins and probes many secrets she has kept hidden, even from herself.


Yep, that's my book review.. "excellent!"

I loved learning all about Mary's youth.  The suspense begins to build almost immediately and never lets up.

Did someone try to kill Mary and Holmes in India? 

Why is Mary having nightmares and what do they mean?

Was the accident in which Mary's parents and brother died 10 years ago really an accident? Or was it something else?

Why can't Mary remember more of her youth with her parents?

Who is the man without a face?

With Mary at the center of things, going to her parents home in California, and being totally distracted with feelings of guilt, Holmes is on his own to find out about the past that she talks so little about.  Since Mary is no longer available to him to help him sold the mystery he calls on his brother Mycroft and old friend Watson for a little outside help.  I love that Laurie R King manages to incorporate the characters from Doyle's Holmes Mysteries!

While Holmes searches for answers, Mary is doing the same with the help of a childhood friend.  But she is so deep into her childhood depression that she almost misses the clues.  But like a locked door opening... Mary finally realizes the truth in time to help Holmes put her fears to rest.

It's ongoing mystery and Mary and Holmes are at the center of it all. (naturally) I loved it.  I think this book rates up in the top 3 of the series.  I'd say "what a way to end a series" but in April, after a long absence, a new Mary Russell book will be appearing at the local book stores, and I could not be happier about it!

This book differs from the other mystery novels in that it gives us a look into who Mary is  examining part of her youth.  Since I am character oriented I enjoyed this book immensely . If any of you have read any of the Mary Russell books I can say, that this one will not disappoint. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Little Porn Here... A Little Porn There...

So.... I was resisting posting this porn photo.  Only because I think I've finally gone overboard with my tbr pile.   I now have 54 books in my pile!

I am going to make a concerted effort to get the pile down and not let it get any higher!  I'm sure my amazon wish list will grow considerably.  Truth be known, I have about run out of room to put them.  I keep getting told to box up the ones I've read and put them in the basement.. and that's NOT going to happen!   Not even a consideration since the basement is very damp and would ruin the books.

Anyway.. you can see I have a variety here.  American Prince (Tony Curtis) is an autobiography and NIV (David Niven) a biography. In the Woods is a mystery, Dragonheart is Fantasy (not to be confused with the Dennis Quaid Dragonheart movie) and The Keystone Kid is a book about some of the very early movie actors in Hollywood.

I think the only reason I sent for the Tony Curtis book is that I saw him on the View talking about it. Although I've liked his movies (and he's also quite an artist) I never had that much interest in him.  Oh well, maybe it will surprise me! 

Right now I am reading another Mary Russell book by Laurie R King, Locked Rooms.  I thought I would do like the small meme that goes around and randomly open my book to any page, count down 10 lines and write the next few lines:

So I told him that someone I knew had died there, and with that his words began to flow.

It seemed that he was an insurance investigator looking into a death claim that might have been faked.  It also seemed that this corner was infamous as a killer of motorcars.


He finished his cigarette, and by the looks of it the driver's flask, then with a tip of the grey fedora he climbed into the back of the van.  The other man slammed the door behind him and hurried around to the driver's side; in moments he had the van turned around and headed back north.

I'm glad there will be a new Mary Russell book out next April!!

On a totally different note..

We are having snow flurries!!   I do love to watch the first snow that sticks to the ground, but this is awfully early for snow!  Thankfully, it's just flurries and nothing is really sticking. We usually don't have a snow that amounts to anything much before Christmas, I hope it stays that way!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Game

The Game by Laurie R King


Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Bantam (March 2, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0553801945

From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–Once apprentice, now investigator, Mary Russell travels to India in 1925 with her former mentor, now husband, Sherlock Holmes. In this seventh adventure, the duo is searching for Kimball O'Hara, the Kim of Rudyard Kipling's eponymous novel. On a mission from Sherlock's brother Mycroft, long involved in British espionage, they are tasked with finding Kim or evidence of his status as victim or traitor. Sailing to India on a luxury liner, they meet an American family with a debutante daughter, a social-climbing mother, and a left-leaning son, who of course reappear at a strategic moment. Upon their arrival, Mary and Sherlock disguise themselves as native traveling magicians and seek out an anti-English and very sadistic maharaja, "Jimmy." With her usual thorough research, King imbues the mystery with lots of historical detail and a real sense of time and place. This is one of the best in the series and can easily be read on its own, though readers will then want to go back and see how the strange, but surprisingly plausible, meeting and union between a young Mary and a considerably older Holmes actually occurs. Likewise, a previous reading of Kim is unnecessary, but teens will likely be intrigued enough to go on to read that as well. A sure bet for mystery lovers and historical fiction



What can I say?

It's Laurie R King, doing her thing with Mary Russell and Sherlock once again.

At first I thought it was beginning a bit slow.  I kept waiting for it to take off and it wasn't.   But then,.. suddenly... it took off like a shot and I couldn't put the book down!

This was sooo cool ! I mean, they were looking for "Kim".  RUDYARD KIPLING'S KIM! That was just too awesome lol.

I have to admit that Amazon tells it like it is this time around.  Much more can't be said without telling everything there is to say.

I have to say it again ...  I do really like this series of books, and I really like how Laurie R King writes them!   Also... I know I like how she writes even if it isn't Mary and Sherlock (though what's not to like with those two?), because I really did like her last book she put out called Touchstone.  All new characters and an all new mystery.. and I loved it.

It never ceases to amaze me because other than watching Basil Rathbone movies as Sherlock, I can't say I was ever a Sherlock "fan", but meeting Mary Russell changed all of that.  I have but one Mary Russell book left to read, "Locked Rooms" and then I will have read them all.

I can thank Carl for all of this.. (hmmm, maybe I should send him the bill for the 7 books!) because I came across her book "the Moor" to read for last year's RIP and became hooked.    Thanks Carl. (no even a hint of sarcasm there.. I've liked all the books that much!)

So, if you like mysteries.... you might want to try one or two (or more) of Laurie R King's books.  Oh, and just so you know... If you don't think you want to get 7 books, they are all individual mysteries, so it is possible to read just one. (about as likely as eating just one potato chip!)

Now, I think I will go and begin the last of the Mary Russell books, Locked Rooms.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ye Ol' Wish List


So far I have only found release dates for 4 more books coming out this year that are from series of books I am reading.  (I do know that the second book by Scott Savage (FarWorld) will be out but no date  yet, that would make 5)

Amazon "wish lists" (and you can have more than one) certainly can get out of hand without even trying!   But for the most part they are really good to have.

For one thing it helps your forgetful memory..heh.. this way you keep track of books and movies that you hope to get one day.

By putting it on a list it also allows you to "think about it".  I've actually been known to delete some of the items I've put on the list! (rarely, it's true, but it gives you time to ponder)

Some of the SERIES (shaking my head) of books that I am waiting for the next installment of are:

1- The Magic Thief: Lost (Magic Thief) by Sarah Prineas  due out: May 12th (book 1: The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas)

2- The Sorceress (Secrets Imrtl Nicholas Flamel) by Michael Scott due out: May 26 (book 1: The Magician: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott   Book2: The Magician: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott )

3- A Forthcoming Wizard  by Jody Lynn Nye due out: April 14 (book 1: An Unexpected Apprentice )

4- The Lightning Key: The Wednesday Tales No. 3 (Wednesday Tales) by Jon Berkeley due out: Jan. 27 (book 1: The Palace of Laughter: The Wednesday Tales No. 1, book 2: The Tiger's Egg: The Wednesday Tales No. 2 )

5- The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition by J. K. Rowling Due out: Dec 4 (7 Harry Potter books) This, obviously, is not a continuation of HP but someone who's books I have read.

Actually, it's a pretty short list!!  That always helps! Of course it's not my entire wish list... just the books for "series".

I also keep a list of some movies I want.  Actually, this is a short list.  I could list hundreds of movies that I'd love to have, that I already have in vhs form but would love as a dvd, if for no other reason than the space 500 vhs tapes takes up!  So, this small list of movies are some I don't have at all but want!

Earth 2 - The Complete Series 

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

David Copperfield (the version with Daniel Radcliff)

King Kong - Extended Cut (Three-Disc Deluxe Edition)

My House in Umbria

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Curtain Call

The Millionairess 

Tea With Mussolini

Lily in Love 

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Full Screen)

Love Actually (Full Screen Edition)

Flushed Away (Full Screen Edition) 

Gods and Monsters (Special Edition)

From the Earth to the Moon - The Signature Edition

Jim Henson's Fantasy Film Collection - (Labyrinth / MirrorMask / The Dark Crystal)

Do you keep a wish list on Amazon or some other book seller?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sometimes Possibilities are Endless

I recently ordered a DVD from Amazon.  Somewhere hidden in my boxes of VHS tapes I have the television version of it called: The Search for Ancient Astronauts.

I read the book many years ago when my kids were fairly young.   It impressed me quite a bit.

Ok, I lie.. it impressed me a LOT!

Chariots of the Gods: (the book) by Erich von Daniken


Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (January 1, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0425166805

Product Description
Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods is a work of monumental importance--the first book to introduce the shocking theory that ancient Earth had been visited by aliens. This world-famous bestseller has withstood the test of time, inspiring countless books and films, including the author's own popular sequel, The Eyes of the Sphinx. But here is where it all began--von Daniken's startling theories of our earliest encounters with alien worlds, based upon his lifelong studies of ancient ruins, lost cities, potential spaceports, and a myriad of hard scientific facts that point to extraterrestrial intervention in human history. Most incredible of all, however, is von Daniken's theory that we ourselves are the descendants of these galactic pioneers--and the archeological discoveries that prove it... * An alien astronaut preserved in a pyramid
* Thousand-year-old spaceflight navigation charts
* Computer astronomy from Incan and Egyptian ruins
* A map of the land beneath the ice cap of Antarctica
* A giant spaceport discovered in the Andes
Includes remarkable photos that document mankind's first contact with aliens at the dawn of civilization.

I'm a pretty open-minded person. (on occasion I can be stubborn though)  And a theory is just that "a theory".  What makes me open-minded about von Daniken's theory is that, first of all, I do believe we are not alone in this universe, and that we have been visited before and maybe "still" are.

But again.. it's just a theory. Something to make me think.  Something to make me wonder over and over during my long life "could it really be?"

Chariots of the Gods: the movie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chariots of the Gods?: Unsolved Mysteries of the Past is a book written in 1968 by Erich von Daniken. It is centered on the hypothesis that many ancient civilizations' technologies and religion were given to them by space travelers  who were welcomed as gods.

The movie version of the book is, as I remember, excellent.  But having an old lady memory (or lack of) I want to refresh it so have sent for the DVD.

I have no problem though remembering key places and things that are shown as "possibilities" that there has been aliens visiting here for some time, and that we are their descendents.  To be honest he theorizes that we are their mentally unstable relatives.  He points out that with our large brains only a part of it is functional and works, whereas aliens, as superior beings that can travel thru space use their entire brain.  And we are also the only "animals" that kill each other for reasons other than just food for survival.  He does have some theories that ring true.

But I am not one to jump off a cliff until I know I can land safely...

So do I believe this theory? 


Well.. not yet anyway.  Like anything anyone believes in there must be enough proof to make you believe.  But I really do think it's an interesting theory.  One that could be explored for a long time to come.

The book came out many years ago and was very controversial.

Although I am a fairly avid reader, I have to admit that the visual (movie) gives the theory more credence.  It makes it harder to deny the possibility when you are seeing with your own eyes what the author is saying. 

For those who have interest in this sort of thing I do recommend you either read the book or get the movie (DVD is only 9.99) and then let you mind wonder, "could any of this hold some truths?"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Some Things I Just Don't Get..


Fact:  When shopping at Sears recently (in the men's dept) 99% of items that I handled were made in China. With a few scattered in Pakistan and Bolivia. I could find no item made in America  Do you really think that your "all american jeans by Lee or Levi is made here in America?? ... take a good look at your label!

Fact: Any time I call AOL for tech support the person on the other end of the phone is NOT located in America

Fact: Recent calls to Verizon concerning my DSL was handled by someone in the Philippines.

Fact: Recent acquisitions purchased at J C Pennies were made in Cambodia.

Fact: American car manufacturers have known for years that other countries make better quality cars than the US. They have done nothing to improve this over many, many years and now they want America to Bail them out.

I Understand: that workers in America get paid more than other countries. (maybe because it costs a lot more to live here??)

I understand: that all business (including big business's) are out to make money.  (it just seems that they have a need to make ALOT of money.. FAST.)

I do NOT understand: why America does not try to keep at least 75% of their workers here in America to keep our economy growing.  Instead they go to "cheaper countries" and when it fails expects America to bail them out.

I do NOT understand: why America has not even ATTEMPTED to make theirself "SELF SUFFICENT" and not dependant on other countries. (this does not mean America shouldn't help other countries)

I do not understand: why America does not step in and take care of their elderly. (medically)

There is so much I don't understand...  what about you?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Indigo King

The Indigo King by James A Owen.




Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (October 21, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1416951075

Product Description

"Answer the question unanswered for more than two millennia, and perhaps you may yet restore the world."
On a September evening in 1931, John and Jack, two of the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica, discover a cryptic warning on a medieval manuscript -- which is not only addressed to them but seems to have been written by their friend, Hugo Dyson! But before they can discover the origin of the strange book, Hugo walks through a door in time -- and vanishes into the past.

And in that moment, the world begins to change.

The Frontier, which separates our world from the Archipelago of Dreams, has fallen. Dark and terrible beasts roam throughout England. No one can be summoned from the Archipelago. And both worlds have fallen into darkness under the reign of a cruel and terrible king.

The only hope to restore the proper order of things lies on a forgotten island at the edge of the Archipelago, where a time travel device left by Jules Verne must be used to race through history itself -- from the Bronze Age to ancient Alexandria and the founding of the Silver Throne -- in one night. And in that single night, John and Jack will find that the only way to save their friend and stop the chaos destroying the world is to solve a 2,000-year-old mystery: Who is the Cartographer?


I don't think I can give a better product description than the one from Amazon. 

However I do want to say how very much I enjoy James A Owens writings!  James says that this third book is the reason he began the books in the first place, and I will say he does a great job at what he does.

I've enjoyed all three books, no one exception.  I love that he mingles myth, and legend and fantasy so well, and of course I have to love "who" the caretakers of the  Imaginarium Geographica really are!

I don't think I've read any books that manage to mention or use so many myth, legends and fairy tales rolled into one before I began these books!

Generally I use some quotes from the book, this time I think I will use but one.  It came near the end of the book, and although when I am near the ending of a book that I am enjoying it always makes me sad that the end is so near but this passage made me smile...

"Here," said Ordo Maas as he handed something to the Caretaker.  "I was told you misplaced something very like this a long time past, and a friend didn't want you to go too much longer without."

It was a silver watch with a matching chain and fob, and on the back was a red engraving of Samaranth.

"Is it a time machine?" Jack asked.  "Will it let us travel through time?"

"I believe it will," Ordo Maas  replied," I"ve found for every minute I watch it, I move a full minute further into the future."

Love it!  I will most likely think of it every time I look at my watch now!

Let me leave you with a few of James A Owens drawings from the Indigo King...

... of course this fantastic artwork just makes the book even that more wonderful!  These books are keepers for sure!

I hope one day you have the pleasure of reading all of James's books!


Friday, November 07, 2008

7 Bookish Things

 Chris of Stuff as Dreams are Made On, has tagged me for a “7 Random Bookish Things About Me” meme.


1.  I've turned into someone I don't know! I never had more than 2 or 3 tbr books at any given time.. now I have 45!  I find I like having a choice for "my next read" !

2.  Chris mentioned that he worries about his mortality when it comes to all the books he wants to read in his lifetime.. well, he can't be as worried as someone like myself gets when I find I have begun a new "series" of books!  I've gotten to the age that I do wonder if I will live long enough to finish a series of books!

This is particularly upsetting to me because when I like the characters in a book, I then hope it goes on forever!  So, now I try VERY HARD to not start "new" series until all or most all of the books are published!

3.  I like to look at my books.   I live at someone else's home and so, other than my bed and desk the furniture is not mine. The room is small but I want my books where I can see them and so I use plastic "milk cartons" and pieces of wood to make "shelves" so that I can see them.

4.  Of course any series of books HAS to be together.  That's not always easy when what I have aren't true shelves or have other series on them.  I have to keep rearranging so each series sits together.

5.  Often I find myself counting the pages to "the next chapter" to see if I feel like reading "just one more chapter" before putting it down.

6.  I love a book with short chapters! I will read more and faster ! ('nuff said)

7.  I always take off the dust cover when reading so it doesn't get ruined.  Which is really funny if you think of it.  Dust covers were made to protect the "real cover" of the book and I take them off.  Ok I will admit it.. I am saving the "art work" on the dust cover.  There was a time the dust cover just covered the exact same cover, but few if any do that anymore. I do love it when they do though! (Inkheart series is the same with or without the dust cover!!)

I'm supposed to tag 7 more people but I don't want to do that so... if you want to do this meme please let me know so I can check it out!  (I do think Cath should do one though *snigger*)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Look! A Poppet-size Dragon!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Stolen Child

The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Anchor (May 8, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1400096537

From Publishers Weekly
Folk legends of the changeling serve as a touchstone for Donohue's haunting debut, set vaguely in the American northeast, about the maturation of a young man troubled by questions of identity. At age seven, Henry Day is kidnapped by hobgoblins and replaced by a look-alike impostor. In alternating chapters, each Henry relates the tale of how he adjusts to his new situation. Human Henry learns to run with his hobgoblin pack, who never age but rarely seem more fey than a gang of runaway teens. Hobgoblin Henry develops his uncanny talent for mimicry into a music career and settles into an otherwise unremarkable human life. Neither Henry feels entirely comfortable with his existence, and the pathos of their losses influences all of their relationships and experiences. Inevitably, their struggles to retrieve their increasingly forgotten pasts put them on paths that intersect decades later. Donohue keeps the fantasy as understated as the emotions of his characters, while they work through their respective growing pains. The result is an impressive novel of outsiders whose feelings of alienation are more natural than supernatural.

At first I was a bit confused when I began this book.  The entire book is narrated in first person but every other chapter is "the stolen child", Henry Day, who quickly gets renamed Aniday, and alternate chapters are told by the hobgoblin who "becomes" Henry Day. 

It tells of the everyday struggle each child has to adjust to their new life, and at first seemed a bit slow to me.  Then a secondary story began when each child remembered bits and pieces of their previous life.  It then turned into a must continue to read, book in order to find out the story behind the story.

Although I found this book interesting it was also a fairly sad book.  In many ways it was based on reality. 

My own quote for it would be:   "it's not the greatest life, but it's all I have.  It's my life."

I don't think this is a book that I would put on my "reread list", but I did get into it and found it a good read.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Pillage by Obert Skye



Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain; 1 edition (July 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1590389220

Product Description
When fifteen-year-old Beck Phillips travels by train to the secluded village of Kingsplot to live with his wealthy but estranged uncle, Beck discovers some dark family secrets. A buried basement, a forbidden wall, an old book of family history with odd references to... dragons? Beck's life is about to be changed forever in this suspenseful tale about the destructive nature of greed and the courage to make things right. Pillage is filled wtih Mr. Skye's signature humor as well as some very intense moments. including a surprising ending, that will keep readers young and old engrossed and entertained.

From the author of the Leven Thumps books this is a stand alone book for young adults.  Small in stature, being only 7 1/4 inches tall by 5 3/4 wide, but, it was just what I needed to slowly get me into concentrating on what I am reading.

I clever story about a young man who finds himself orphaned as a teenager, when an unknown uncle has sent for him to live in his mansion with him.

The one thing to do when you want a teenager to do something is to tell him NOT to do it... and thus begins  Beck's search of the mansion and grounds.  "Do not go into the back property".. "Do not try to go into locked rooms".. yeah right..sure!

Typical curiosity sends Beck off and running straight into trouble... and straight into ... dragons??

A cute story, even comical at times, easily read, and easily enjoyed.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

One of the Best...

Being old lends me to love old movies and old movie stars.  I have to admit that (to me) as  Harrison Ford grows older, and Sean Connery now is retired, the best of the stars are gone.

Now I don't mean that we don't have good actors and actress's.. no, no!

I mean "good actors" in the sense of the old actors, when studios owned them and loaned them out to make movies.  These people were used in sometimes 20-40 movies a year.. they had more than ample time to really (REALLY) hone their craft!

There is one actor though, that I can feel is a "hold out".. he is one of those who should have been born many years ago, because he has his craft so well under his belt that sometimes it's not seen.

Are you wondering who it is that would make put such a person in high esteem as to be named with the all time greats?

His name is Hugh Jackman.

The man is just great at everything he does.  He was born to be an actor, there's no doubt in my mind.  Jackman has played everything from a comic book hero (Wolverine) to a legendary monster hunter (Van Helsing) to a Broadway musical lead as Peter Allen in The Boy From Oz, along with appearing in an Australian tv series inspired by the Man From Snowy River and going into the past to play Leopold, of Kate and Leopold with Meg Ryan.  This is called diversity.  The thing that holds him above many others is that he does ALL of them so darn well ! 

The reason Hugh Jackman is on my mind today (other than the very obvious!) is that I happen to have been at Barnes and Noble the other night and was taking a stroll thru the magazines while David had a Latte.

Low and behold I spotted the corner of a magazine I used to get years ago that I really liked because it is all about "Cowboys and Indians" (which I love!).  Remembering it fondly (but much cheaper) I pulled it out to have a look and there on the cover was the gorgeous Hugh Jackman!  I took a few quick breaths and smiled broadly!..

(admit it.. who wouldn't smile at that?!!)

I smiled to hard that I swallowed my pride and paid the amount for the magazine for the cover alone!   I think this is where I admit I've done that for books too.. heh.

When I made my way to the article I found out that Huge Jackman has a new movie due out the end of this month called Australia, starring along side of Nicole Kidman. (all native Aussie's!)

  (lucky Nicole!)

Now, I grew up on westerns.  Both on television and in the movies. But of course television had the biggest impact.   I fell in love with all cowboys and indians alike!

The movie plot of "Australia" revolves around Lady Sarah, played by Nicole Kidman, who is a proper British aristocrat who is looking for her missing husband. The Drover, played by Jackman, is a roguish loner, but you know Kidman falls for him along the way.   The movie is referred to as "an epic romantic adventure story".

I may just have to go see this!

(ahhh, yup.. gotta see this! yup, yup , yup!)

(this is going to make me wish I could go to Australia I just know it!)

Review: In northern Australia prior to World War II, an English aristocrat inherits a cattle station the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier.

It gets even better...

Another Aussie actor that I had the opportunity to see and meet at a convention is in it..

David Wenham (who played Faramir in LOTR) has a part in this movie.

And it's not the first time he's worked with Hugh Jackman.  David also had a good part in Van  Helsing!

Having had an opportunity to meet him I can tell you that no photo really does him justice!  He's an extremely  handsome young man in person.. even better than any photo I've seen of him, and just as extremely nice! I hope he gets the opportunities to continue to perfect his craft.

I think I'm pretty much sold on the fact that I HAVE to go see this movie!  I hope it does well at the box office for all concerned... it certainly has a great cast!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Thornyhold by Mary Stewart.


Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (October 1, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1556527934

From Library Journal
Stewart is known for her novels set in 5th century Britain, e.g., The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills . Here, after a five-year hiatus, she shifts skillfully to the 20th century, mixing magic, witchcraft, and romance. Readers will be hooked from the very first line, "I suppose that my mother could have been a witch if she had chosen to." The speaker is Gilley Ramsey, who has inherited her cousin's house in the English countryside. The opening promise of an engaging story is not broken. An enchanting novel that should have broad appeal.

I am not a person who reads romance novels. (not that there is anything wrong with them!) But what got me curious in the description of this book was the "mixing magic, and witchcraft " along with the romance.  I think my mind thought it might be a "different kind" of romance, not necessarily the obvious of "boy and girl".

A short book of only 208 pages, this story was a pure delight to read.  It had a hook to grab you right away and after a little background of the leading character, Gilley (pronounced Jilly), small questions began forming a mystery for her to unravel.

Witchcraft was a part of her "godmothers background" and the way things happened it could be part of her future.   Mix all of this together with a handsome neighbor and you have Gilley's story.

It takes place in England, not far from Stonehenge (which is not a major factor but gives you a home for the story)  Thornyhold is off in the country with trees and gardens (designed for witchcraft) around the house.  The setting was something I totally enjoyed.  Close to daydreams of living in the country I've had for myself when I was young.  

Like I said, I quick and delightful read!  A perfect light book to read when traveling!

Before this book the only books I have read by Mary Stewart were the Merlin Trilogy of The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and Merlin, and those I read many many years ago....  here's the funny part about those books.. I had only heard of the third book "Merlin" and so I bought and read it.. finding out it was book 3 of a trilogy I bought the other 2 books.. and proceeded to continue to read them "backward" ! 

Had someone said (back then) do you want to read about king Arthur I would have said no... but by reading Merlin first and going backwards... I totally enjoyed the complete trilogy!  

So.. this was my 4th Mary Stewart book... and so far I can say I've enjoy all four of them!