Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Review

I loved this book.

I'm a huge fan of the world Cassandra Clare has built in her Mortal Instruments series. The Shadowhunters and everything she created around them fascinates to me. And so when I heard she wrote a prequel, set in Victorian England (one of my favorite settings), I knew I had to read it. It was so awesome--detailed, tense, emotion-filled.

The one criticism I have heard about the book is that Jace (a character from the first series) and Will (a character from this one) are interchangeable. I would agree--they are similar. But, since I loved Jace (LOVED him), I was perfectly fine with an old-fashioned version of him. So bring on the rest of series, I'm ready.

"Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ready, Set, Clean

For those of you who have been around since last year, you may remember that I didn't participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where writers everywhere dedicate the month of November to start and finish a novel. It's an exercise in obsessive behavior. But since I am obsessed every month, I take the month of November to try something called balance. To do something that I avoid the rest of the year.....


Many of you may have gasped at that thought. Believe me, it's scary for me too. But, it must be done. I'm setting my goal at 2700 minutes this year. That is 90 minutes of cleaning a day. You can track my progress on the sidebar. And hey, if you want to participate, feel free to grab one of your own county things here and set your own realistic cleaning goal. This might be a good competition for all my non-writer friends out there to join. Although, you probably keep beautifully clean houses.

Either way, get ready because the cleaning will begin in 10 days.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday Review

I had seen this book highlighted on several blogs over the last year or so and even had a friend tell me I should read it. But for some reason I still let it sit in my TBR pile for a long time. I think the reason I resisted reading this book was because I feared it would be similar to something I had written. After I finally read it, I was glad I gave in. One, it was so different than mine, and two, it was awesome. I loved this book. It was funny--I laughed out loud throughout. It was refreshing. And Janette Rallison had so many cute insights not only to her characters, but really to human nature that were so cleverly written. This is another book I enjoyed that I can also pass on to my 12 year old. I love books like that.

"After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. Laughs abound in this clever fairy tale twist from a master of romantic comedy."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maddeningly Unhelpful Monday--Pest Control

On my drive home the other night, I turned onto my street and saw a pair of glowing yellow eyes. As I got closer I realized they were attached to a rather large raccoon. Ah, country living, I thought. At the end of the street, I pulled into my driveway. As my headlights cut across the grass, a pair of rabbits ran through the light. How cute, I thought. Finally (and I'm not exaggerating, all three of these things happened in one night) I opened the garage and as I parked the car, a rat scampered out from behind some boxes. So not cool. This is when my husband and I decided we needed an outdoor cat. Preferably a big, ugly one who was on at least his seventh life and was appropriately named Bruiser or Killer.

Well, we couldn't find one of those. So we settled for these guys. They are going through the training program now (being pestered by a three year old). But I have high hopes that they will become the future pest control:



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Review

It's possible I am the only person in the world who can spend a week in Mexico and come back whiter than when I left. This may be due to the fact that I like to spend a lot of my vacation reading. I read three great books while I was there. The first, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White


This book made me smile. And I would recommend it for all ages. In fact, I'm letting my twelve year old read it next.

The blurb:

"Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal."

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Cootie Catcher

I don't think that's what we called it in my day (we didn't need any fancy device to catch our cooties) but this is what my daughter came home with yesterday, spouting off "fortunes" for us all--after we worked for it, of course, by picking a color and 3 numbers. It made me wax nostalgic (I do that now and again, it's not as painful as those two words make it sound). But I was even able to make a few "cootie catchers" for my other daughter *ahem* FROM MEMORY. Can you tell I was pretty impressed with myself?

So do you want to hear my first 3 fortunes I received straight from my daughter's catcher?
-Fortune Number 1: You are deeply hated. (In actuality, I was deeply offended, but I'll save that discussion for my future therapist)

-Fortune Number 2: You will be in jail in five years. (What?!? "Does it say what I'm going to do to get there?" I asked her)

-Fortune Number 3: You will have 9 babies. ("How accurate is this particular catcher? Does it have a percentage of successful predictions?" I wanted to know because I could live with my first two fortunes, but 9 babies??!!!)

Finally, I asked my daughter if there were any good fortunes and she read me the rest which included:
-You are a tree hugger (??)
-You have powers (why couldn't I have gotten that one?)
-You are crazy (only sometimes)
-You are deeply loved (oh, good, my daughter has at least a little bit of humanity in her soul)

Have you gotten any good fortunes lately?