It’s A New Dawn..It’s A New Day..

Ok, so it’s not that extravagant, but it’s a change! I’ve always been very intimidated by WordPress for some reason, but I like the look of it so much more and I really like the tabs at the top, so I decided to switch over here! Sorry for the inconvenience if it is one 😦 If you don’t mind updating your blogroll links, I’d really appreciate it. Even more exciting though is that I bought my own domain name!! So you can now get to my blog just by typing in! I know…nice and short, right? 😉 Ah well..

But for some awesome news…all kinds of cool job stuff and professional stuff happened today! There’s a place called Austin Recovery that I’ll be interviewing with on March 4th. I know, far away, but I had to plan the trip and all and the interview got pushed back because of good news number two. Good news number two is that my graduate school that I got my Master’s from contacted me today and asked me if I’d like to come and serve on their advisory committee! Wow…that’s an honor and it’ll look really good on a resume. They meet once a semester so I’d have to come in from Austin for the meetings, but it would be worth it to keep on a resume. They’re ranked number 10 in the nation in my field! And then there’s yet another job opportunity possibility that’s tied to UT out there! So things are looking good 🙂

Sorry that I didn’t post a review of The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World as hoped 😦 I got no reading in today except for emails! Hopefully tomorrow!


Uh-Oh Part 2…And Lots Of Other Stuff

It’s all gone to shite! Anyone placed bets on my New Years resolution not even lasting a whole month? If you did, you won! To be honest, this is the longest a resolution has ever lasted I think, lol…sad, huh? A couple of days ago I thought I’d take “just a peek” over at and it all went downhill from there and I left with 5 books :/ And with shipping they were all under $30, so who can blame me :p Here’s what I got:

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbuy – I’ve been wanting this one for awhile. I fell in love with Ray Bradbury’s writing last year and this one came highly recommended by plenty of people! It can be a bonus read for the plant category in Annie’s What’s in a Name challenge!

Time and Again by Jack Finney – This one came recommended by Carl and I’ve never been disappointed by anything that he’s recommended. So I’m really looking forward to it! Love those time travel books!

The Pinhole Egg by Diana Wynne Jones – I’ve been wanting to read some Jones for ages. I know that both Nymeth and Darla D. are huge fans of hers and I loved Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle which was based on her book. Can’t wait!

In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami – This one came recommended by Scott at Booky Ooky and I’m really excited about it. I’ve been on this Japanese kick and I wanted something different. This one looks sexy, violent, and sadistic…I love a book like that every now and then 😉

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King – This is my super bargain buy! Hardcover version for $4.99 and I got the last copy on their website! It first came recommended by Eva, Dark Orpheus seconded that recommendation and then Deslily sealed the deal for me on this one. I really can’t wait to read this whole series of Mary Russell books!

As if that wasn’t enough (heh….) I went and ordered two books from England today through Amazon UK :p I had to pre-order my copy of Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman. It’s not being released here in the states. It was written for World Book Day which is a UK thing and the books only cost 1 Pound (about 2 dollars)! Of course with shipping over seas, that comes out to about 12 bucks….but it’s a new Neil Gaiman book, so I bought it and while I was there, I also picked up The Lost Boy by Duncan Staff which Quixotic reviewed on her blog today. It sounds great and I haven’t read a true crime book in a long time. Don’t know if “great” is the right word, but interesting…

Other news…I’ve been selected for Barnes and Nobles first look program for the month of March! Anyone else make it in? We’re reading a book that sounds really good and reminds me a little of The Thirteenth Tale from the synopsis. The book is called The Sister and is written by Poppy Adams. This is her first book and I can’t wait to join in the discussion and talk with her about her book! You can read more about the book and read an excerpt here.

More good news of the day…there’s going to be an Ender’s Game video game!!! It was announced today! The game is going to focus just on the battle room. They decided that there was so much that they could do that they would choose just one aspect of the book and the battle room is what the game will be. I can’t wait! It’s going to be on all of the gaming consoles including PCs and the handheld consoles. A company called Chair is doing the game. The same company is also making Empire, one of Card’s latest political thrillers into a video game. Card is fully on board with the game and is excited about it. Me too 🙂

Now for a meme…Literacy Chic tagged me for this one and I love these. They’re fun.

Book Meme Rules

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

The book nearest me is Watership Down by Richard Adams. Actually it’s the ARC of the new Fablehaven that I’m about to start, but I can’t release any of that yet 😉 so we’ll use Watership Down, the next book on the stack!

“Later, Hazel had said that there was nothing for it but to cross the open pasture and under Silver’s direction they had crossed it, with Dandelion running ahead to reconnoiter. When Fiver said the iron tree was harmless they believed him. Strawberry had had a bad time.”

I can’t wait to really read this one! Ok…so tagging five people…Nymeth, Debi, Bellezza, Stephanie, Rhinoa! Have fun 🙂

And finally, I wanted to give big hugs to Eva for giving me the You Make My Day Award 🙂 Her blog makes my day too. It’s one of the many blogs that I visit every day always hoping that there’s a new post…and there usually is. Partially out of laziness and partially because I can’t decide who to pick, I can’t pick 10 people to give this to right now! But I’m sure you all know how much I love visiting all of your blogs everyday and you really do all “Make My Day”! Seriously…the first thing I do after waking up is go down all of my live bookmarks and check for new posts and then I check (borderline obsessively) for new posts all day from you all. So have a great day guys!

Tomorrow, a review of The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World. Then a break from the rat…

I’m Back Again and Eva’s Reading Meme

I’m exhausted from playing the tourist in my own city this weekend, but we had so much fun. I know Megan had a great time going to all of our favorite “New Orleans places” and we had a tad bit too much fun on Bourbon Street Saturday night which left us in bed for most of the morning on Sunday, but that’s what Bourbon Street’s all about :p The trip was short, which sucked, but we definitely made the most out of it and turned it into a really good visit and hopefully I’ll be reporting to Texas soon for some interviews and visiting time! And then all of this long distance stuff will finally be over with. That will indeed be a great day!

So I’m back now to book blogging after the weekend hiatus, and I thought I’d start with Eva’s reading meme that I’ve been tagged for by quite a few people! Here it goes:

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

You know, I thought and thought on this one and I really can’t think of a particular book that I cringe away from. I can however think of a genre that I cringe away from….All that late 19th/early 20th century period piece literature. I know there’s a literary name for that (someone help me out here, I’m not a lit major :p) . I’m hoping to remedy that by reading two Jane Austen books this year…we’ll see how it goes. I’ve tried Edith Wharton twice and couldn’t get into her. And I’ve just completely avoided anything else from that period despite people loving it. I do love Dickens, but his writing tended to focus on the every day person and real life stuff rather than high society…maybe I have the wrong idea of the genre, we’ll see!

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

I’d like to have a little back yard barbecue for my guests. Something where people could sit around, talk, pick on food and just mingle with one another. Maybe listen to some good music in the background…I’m currently listening to Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman on audiobook and forgot how great of a character Richard Mayhew is…he’d definitely be invited along for the BBQ. He seems like he’d be a nice guy to sit down and hang out with and he’d have some interesting tales to tell. I would LOVE to have a hobbit at a backyard BBQ while we’re telling stories. And tell me they wouldn’t enjoy an outdoor meal! The problem is, which one? I suppose I’d go with Frodo, although I’ve always loved Bilbo’s story so much…I do have 4 editions of The Hobbit after all. And finally, I don’t know how many of you are familiar with The Bone People by Keri Hulme, but it’s an amazing Maori book and there’s a sort of tragic character that I absolutely loved by the name of Kerewin. She’s an awesome Maori native who I’d love to get to know more.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

I’ll prepare to be shot down by some, though I know by not all….but I would rather shoot myself in the foot than to ever have to read The Great Gatsby again. Call it a classic, but I couldn’t stand it! Sorry to those who love it :O

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

I’ve never blatantly admitted to having read a book that I haven’t before, but I’ve hinted that I have when it comes to people talking about books or books being made into movies that didn’t stick to the book and blah blah…This happened recently with Lord of the Flies actually (yes, I haven’t read Lord of the Flies! I know, I need to remedy that!) I just nodded as if I knew exactly what they meant :p

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t?

No, it’s usually the opposite…Sometimes I’ll think that I hadn’t ever read a book and then I’ll go read it and think “wait a minute, I know this story”. Not that this happens often, but it has. Last time this happened was with Tom Sawyer. I thought it was ashame that I had never read this, so I started reading it and realized that I had and it brought back a flood of memories of being a kid. Kinda neat experience actually.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP)

Definitely Lois Lowry’s The Giver. It’s an amazing book that really focuses on what’s important in humanity and what makes human relationships special and what makes our bonds work…what makes our civilization work. And it shows how trying to aim for sameness,trying to erase our differences just doesn’t work. The world needs diversity. Plus, if the VIP isn’t a big reader, it’s short :p

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Hi good fairy! Easy answer here..Japanese! I love Japanese literature and I’m really stuck in that state of mind right now with Bellezza’s challenge. I’ve always had a fascination with the Japanese language though. I love their written characters, I love their spoken language, and there’s even expression in the way that the characters are written. As Nymeth mentioned in her answer to this question, I would love read a Haruki Murakami book in it’s original Japanese. As much as I enjoyed Norwegian Wood in it’s English translation, I’m sure that much of it was lost. Same goes with The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima. I’d love to read it in it’s original, and I could just tell when I was reading it that some of it had been “americanized”. I guess it couldn’t be helped.

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

Well this fairy doesn’t sound mischievious at all…it sounds like the good fairy again 😉 This one’s easy for me too…American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Yes it’s chunky, but I could never tire of it. It’s such an amazing book. Each page blew me away.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

The main thing that I’ve discovered from book blogging is reading outside of my genre of choice which was fantasy. I still LOVE my fantasy books and they’re still my favorites, but looking at my list of books read last year, I read about half and half fantasy and non-fantasy which was a BIG change for me! I’ve also loved this community that I’ve discovered of people to talk to about books. I’ve never had this before and it’s just amazing. It makes me all warm and fuzzy. Before it was just me and occasionally my classmates if I happened to be in a literature course. And that was back when I was an undergrad.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

Oh-ho-ho-ho….how I wish…First of all, I was thinking…we would all have to have mansions in order to have our dream libraries…you do realize this? Of course it would be a decent sized room, but not huge…I’m going for cozy. And I’d like to have a nice domed ceiling with marble floors. Definitely Mahogany shelves from ceiling to floor with the rolling ladder. I’d love to have a few large windows that let plenty of sunlight in during the day with window seats and then soft yellow lighting for night time. And I’d love a fireplace! I would definitely need to have some plush chairs or sofas with an ottoman that were just right with a coffee table. An espresso machine would be nice along with a tea kettle, so I could have my choice of reading beverages. As far as the books go, I’m a fan of hardbacks or trade paperbacks and I’d need to have all of my authors entire collections :p preferably signed, first editions and I’d love to have the special editions (like Neil Gaiman’s Hill House editions *drool*) Getting the idea yet?

And Now to tag four people!

Deslily @ Here, There, & Everywhere
Scott @ Booky Ooky

This was an awesome meme, Eva 🙂 I have to say that it’s the most fun I’ve ever had filling one out…great job!

The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge by Harry Harrison

This is just one of the most fun series I’ve read. Thanks to Carl, I discovered The Stainless Steel Rat last year and I have to say that I enjoyed the second book in the series even more. So far, these books are classic crime/detective/space adventure sci-fi at it’s best. It’s everything you can hope for in a nice solid throwback novel. Whenever I hold this book in my hands, I feel like I have something special there, like I’m being brought back to that golden age of sci-fi. So The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge was the perfect first read for Carl’s Sci-Fi Experience.

In this sequel, James DiGriz, aka The Stainless Steel Rat, is sent on another mission by Inskipp, a colonel who made a somewhat honest man out of this master criminal in book one of the series…or as honest as you’re going to get. His mission this time is huge…he has to stop the invasion of a planet by a war hungry civilization. The book is non stop adventure from cover to cover and when I say non stop, I mean it – it never slows down and never takes a breath. Just as the first book did, this has a very James Bond feel to it which I loved. The Rat has some very cool gadgets and some awesome escape plans and I loved all of the combat.

The characters are wonderful too! Angelina is back in this book and that’s all I’m going to say on that front as she was a character I had questions about after the end of the first. I was happy to see her back and I think that Harrison has created one of the hottest characters ever with her!
James DiGriz is just a top notch character. He’s smooth, he’s sharp, he’s skillful, he’s a crook, he’s a sharp-shooter. He really reminds me of James Bond in the future! Harrison has something special with him. I can see why Carl fell in love with this series with the adventures surrounded around this guy. And then there was Kraj…the military general…the villain. This guy was pure evil and I just couldn’t stand him. Complete with torture devices, no emotions, no respect for anyone, etc. Perfect villain that you just loved to hate.

If you’re looking for a good sci-fi read, this series comes highly recommended from me! The books are such quick and fulfilling reads. I was going to go on to something else after this, but decided to read one more book in the series first, so tomorrow I’m starting The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World. I love the titles of these books :p


I did a bad, bad thing….can you guess? Well, I didn’t exactly go to a bookstore, but….I got my new Netflix movie in the mail today and they always attach this little advertisement thing to the envelope for some company or another which I usually throw away without even looking at. Well this one had books on it, so of course I looked!

Now I had talked about maybe changing my resolution to possibly limiting myself to one book a month :p Well this little ad worked perfectly! It was for this website called Ever heard of it? It’s awesome! It works kind of like Netflix. You set up a queue of books you want…a list, and enter your credit card info. You’re automatically billed $9.95 a month and each month they send you the next book on your list! (But of course you don’t have to return them like Netflix 😉 And shipping is free! They don’t have every book you could possibly want, but there’s a decent selection and all hardcovers. Can’t beat $9.95 for a hardcover! I’m getting Stephen King’s new book, Duma Key for $9.95 with free shipping…very cool 😉 So that will limit me to one book a month and I was even good by selecting books that I need for challenges. If you want to join, I suggest entering the website by typing the URL as…by adding the “/netflix” you get your first book for only $4.98.

Here’s the first 10 books I’ve added:

1. The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (contains Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon)
2. Spirit Gate by Kate Elliot
3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
4. Heroes: Saving Charlie by Aurie Wallington
5. Duma Key by Stephen King
6. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
7. The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi
8. Eifelheim by Michael Flynn
9. Mary Modern by Camille DeAngelis
10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Those should take me through my book buying until October (unless of course Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman and a few other authors come out with books 😉 Speaking of…Neil Gaiman released the cover of The Graveyard book today…oooh!

Are There Really People This Ignorant Out There???

I got this link in an email today and it angered me to no end! You can click here to read the article from Fox News. The same idiots who were protesting at soldiers’ funerals are now protesting at Heath Ledger’s memorial services because he played a gay man in Brokeback Mountain. And of course, the reasoning behind doing so is because they’re Christian! Duh, of course! You know…it’s idiot fundamentalists like this who horribly misrepresent religions and completely turn people away from religions. Do they think they are going to attract people to Christianity by doing this? What about preaching tolerance? I don’t discuss my religious beliefs on this blog, so I’m not going to go into all that, but this really aggravated me and angered me to no end. They said some of the most hateful things in the article….I was literally shocked by some of what I read. Just sickening. The name of the fundamentalist group alone is disgusting. Anyway…I needed to vent about this. People like that don’t further the human race. First they protest at the funerals of soldiers who have died for their country and now this…

Edit to add: Carole McDonnell (author of Wind Follower who sent me the article) wrote an excellent post on her blog about this same news article.

The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason

I’ve been waiting patiently since early December to review this one, and now that there are only 2 more weeks until it’s released, I think it’s safe to release the review! Fans of Colleen’s first two books in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles will not be disappointed with The Bleeding Dusk…not at all! It hit me with this book that the term “Chronicles” aptly describes this series. It’s like one big work, with this middle book being the peak…well, so it seems.

There is quite a bit revealed in this book and I don’t want to go too much into plot intricacies as this is the third book in a series, but it’s good! It’s dark, and ominous. It picks up where Rises the Night left off and opens with Max in Lilith’s (queen vampire) lair. We then join Victoria, our heroine, in Rome where a carnival is taking place. Amidst the carnival, she has a chance encounter (or not so chance) with Beauregard, Sebastian’s grandfather…a vampire. We soon learn of Akvan, a demon trying to break through the Door of the Alchemists to gain secrets that will restore him to his full power which would prove to be terrible for Rome and humanity in general. All of these stories intertwine as Victoria is faced with some of her toughest decisions yet. Who can she trust? Where does her heart lie? She is unsure as always of Max and she can never be sure where Sebastian’s allegiances lie. On top of this, she is now Illa Gardella – head of the venators and is faced with a huge task. There’s tons of weight on her shoulders in this one but she must find a way to balance it all.

Like I said in my review for Rises the Night, I really feel that Colleen grows as an author with each book that she writes. I loved the setting for this book. It was dark with a hint of melancholy and mystery throughout and I feel like it really echoed what Victoria must have felt as she went through all of this. This book slowed down a little bit more at the beginning and really took the time to build up the story. Relationships were explained and explored thoroughly and it made all the difference in the latter half of the book.

The finale of this book is every bit as heart pounding as “that scene” in Rises the Night. Just wait. There are questions answered that you never knew you had! I really just can’t imagine what else Colleen could possibly have in store for us with the last two books, but while you’re waiting for those unasked questions to be answered, pick this one up on February 5th and enjoy it as much as I did!