Sunday, May 31, 2009

6 Things That Make Me Happy

I've been tagged! Now I don't pass tags on that often (too much else to write about!) but this one is just perfect! Why? Because this is basically the topic I was going to post on today anyway! How cool is that? It's a slightly different approach, but hey, that just meant I had to reorganize my brain :P Probably good for me I'm guessing right? 

First I would like to say a huge THANKS to my dear friend Kayla over at the Eclectic Element for tagging me. She's a constant source of sunshine in my life and today is no exception :) 

6 Things That Make Me

Sunshine and Dragonfly's
Seriously - I love the sun! And I live in the great Northwest where it rains all the time. 
Go figure eh?
Ps. Click on the picture to go to it's listing!

Books and the Library
I love books! They are my escape, my passion, my pleasure. I also love living close to a well stocked library! I mean, every once in awhile they disappoint me, but I'm able to find so many books! With out the local library this poor girl would be in dire straights indeed.

Wonderful and Crazy Artist Friends
Seriously - you guys keep me going! When I'm having a bad day I know I'll be able to come on-line, find one of you, and you'll cheer me up! Even if I don't tell you I'm having a bad day :P I also love all the crazy and awesome things you come up with. Like this sock monkey by my friend Amy. Isn't he cute? His name is James :) Click on the picture to go to it's listing!

Fresh Fruit!
Ok, so the picture below is for a candle (how cool is that? click on the pic to go to the listing) but I LOVE fresh fruit! I love this time of year for that reason :) Fresh berries, fruit salads, PINEAPPLE! is good :)

Not so much the owning, but the creation of it. I love coming up with new designs and I love that it's something I can do to feel my days when I feel utterly rotten. And yes, you guessed it, clicking on the picture will take you to the listing ;)
If you've never been to - your missing out! Hulu hosts a variety of tv shows and movies for FREE. Can you guess what I'm often doing while bead weaving? That's right, catching up on my favorite shows on hulu :) Which is extra nice because we don't get tv reception in my apartment! I'd go crazy (erm, crazier?) without hulu!

Now I'm not much for passing these on - so if you feel like doing it go ahead!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

Buy It Now!

"Cast in Shadow" is a fast paced fantasy that keeps you turning pages and wondering what's going to happen next! In this story we follow Kaylin Neya, a girl who grew up in the fiefs, but escaped and now works of  branch of the law known as the Hawks. Kaylin's history is complicated, and forever marked by the killings that happened 7 years ago. Now, similar killings are taking place, and Kaylin's heart is breaking.

Kaylin knows that somehow these killings are connected to her because she's known every single victim and because of the strange symbols that connect them. Each victim is found, disemboweled, with their arms and legs covered in symbols that look like tattoos, but weren't formed in ink. Kaylin bears the same symbols on her body, and no one knows why. 

Now, the Hawk Lord is sending her back to the fiefs to discover why the killings are happening, and he's saddled her with some unusual companions. One, Severn, is a man from her past. Someone she tries to kill on sight, but it takes a long time for us to learn why. Their other companion, Lord Tiamaris, is of the rarely seen dragon race. Each of these strange companions has their own secrets to keep, and each holds a piece of the puzzle. Will they be able to trust each other enough to reveal their secrets? Before more deaths occur?

I found this book to be fascinating. I love reading fantasies that explore their own set of races, and there are many in this book! It was definitely a page turner, but it was also confusing at times. The quality of writing wasn't super-high and it depended more on the action that it's literary quality. Having said that, I'm curious to see what else the author puts out and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel! 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Aria's Quest - Robyn has an Idea

Welcome to Aria's Quest! If this is your first time here this is what you need to know. Aria is a young woodland fairy on a quest in the big city to find a human she can help. If she's successful she can return to her tribe as a full adult. Aria's chosen to look for a true believer (one who already believes in magic and fairies) because she thinks that will make her quest easier...but finding a true believer may be harder than she thought! Read the rest of the story here

Section 2
Part 8
Robyn has an Idea

It was tempting to head back to “Brew it Up” again to watch the people, but Aria knew she’d become too fascinated and forget to work on her quest again. So she flew in the opposite direction today; looking for anything that might catch her eye. It was hard to know what to even look for. How do you identify a place a true believer would hang out?

True believers really weren’t that different from regular humans. They ate the same food, lived the same lives, they simply also had a belief in magic and all that accompanies that. If anything their lives were richer and full of wonder, but they still had the same needs for food, shelter, and security. 

It was a long fruitless day for Aria. She was feeling slightly discouraged by the time she got back to Gina and Darryls, but she quickly perked up when she saw who was sitting on the breakfast table. “Robyn! How are you?” She exclaimed.

“I’m doing great! How’s your quest going?”

“Well…” Aria tried frantically of a way to put a positive spin on the situation.

“That well eh?”

“Well it’s not that it’s really going bad, I just haven’t found anyone yet.”

“And that’s not bad?”

“Well, ok, yeah it is, but I’ve been learning a lot and figure that has to be good right?”

Robyn laughed, “That’s a great way to look at it! What have you learned about?”


Robyn started laughing so hard he fell from the edge of the table and hovered next to it, still shaking with laughter. “And what did you learn about coffee?”

“Oh it’s wonderful! Your Mom made me some for breakfast this morning. Well not for breakfast, there was food too, I think.” Aria broke, off slightly confused, “I know I ate something! Anyway, it was really good, and humans drink it all the time! I don’t know why we don’t drink it back home.”

“Coffee’s a good thing to learn about I suppose. I certainly enjoy my coffee! So what are you going to try next?” Robyn asked as he settled back down on the table.

“I don’t know. I flew all over today and tried so many strange buildings. No one noticed me though. No matter what I tried. I know I should have some sort of plan other than just flying aimlessly, but I just don’t know enough about the city, so tomorrow I guess I’ll just look for more places I haven’t been.”

“Have you gone to any of the pubs?”

“What’s a pub?”

“Well you woodland fairies have ale right?”

“Of course!”

“Pub’s are places humans get together to drink ale and other strong drinks.”

“Why would I find a true believer there?” Aria asked with her nose wrinkled up in confusion. Robyn paused for a moment, distracted by how cute she looked when she did that, and then answered her.

“Well some of the pubs are designed to reflect the old countries, like Ireland, and the Irish are famous for their belief in the ‘wee folk’ as they like to call us. So stands to reason that you might find someone there.”

“Oh, well, can you tell me where some are? I’ll check them out tomorrow!”

Robyn shook his head at her. “Not tomorrow, tonight. Pubs aren’t open during the day. And I’ll do you one better than telling, I’ll take you myself.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint

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In this "Little (Grrl) Lost" by Charles de Lint we enter another modern fantasy world. This story focuses on T.J., a normal teenage girl, and Elizabeth, a not so normal teenage girl. You see Elizabeth is a Little, a race of human-like beings that only reach 6 inches high. The Little's refer to normal humans as Bigs, and normally do everything they can to hide from them.

Well, Elizabeth is accidentally "seen" by T.J., and two slowly become friends. Then Elizabeth gets lost, and T.J. becomes frantic trying to find her. Along the way they both make some new friends, and get into some sticky situations! Both girls learn a lot and grow up a lot in this book.

Most of Charles de Lint is meant for adults, but this is actually written for young adults. If the plot sounds similar to Mary Norton's Borrowers series, it's because it is. He even mentions her books! It's a totally unique story though, and the only thing it has in common with the Borrower's series is the size of the characters and their mistrust of the bigger humans. Well worth the read and great for any younger readers in your house. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Laundry Day

First of all let me say that I will get Aria's Quest up this week, but I randomly wrote this story this morning and decided I wanted to share it today instead of Aria's Quest :) I have done one edit on the story - but please forgive me if there are errors I missed because I've only done that one edit.

Laundry Day

Anne stretched her arms above her head, arching her back, and wiggling her shoulders as she tried to work the kinks out. She was still so tired! It was her only day off this week though, and the laundry had to be done if she wanted to have clean clothes to wear to work the rest of the week. Anne hated doing the laundry, but she knew she had to get it done, so she got up, put her breakfast dishes in the sink, and got to work. 

An hour later Anne's laundry was sorted, the first load was in the dryer, and she'd cleaned her kitchen. She still couldn't really shake that lethargy that she'd woken up with, and there was almost an hour left on the dryer, so she decided to lie down for a little cat nap. Couldn't hurt right?

Normally it would take Anne awhile to fall asleep. Her mind was always so busy that getting her brain to slow down was always difficult. This morning though she drifted straight into dream land with hardly a stray thought crossing her mind as she journeyed. 

Later that morning Anne woke up, more refreshed than she thought possible, and the first thing she noticed was the silence coming from her laundry room. With a groan she rolled off the couch and headed through her kitchen to the little laundry nook. There she stopped in the door way. Stunned. "What on earth?" She asked, still sleepy, and trying to decide if she really was awake. 

Quickly she backed into the kitchen and checked the clock on the coffee maker. Only an hour and a half had passed since she'd curled up on the couch and closed her eyes. Unless...

Anne hurried back into the living room, grabbed her phone and checked the date, not sure if she was relieved that it was the same day or not.

She'd only been asleep for an hour and a half, and she lived alone, so how on earth was it possible that all her laundry was clean and folded? Even if someone had done it for her it would have taken several hours for the machines to go through their cycles! 

Standing there holding her phone Anne was suddenly reminded of the stories her grandmother had told of the old country, and of the benevolent fairies who would some time choose to help the humans around them. Could this be? Fairies aren't real are they? It was just stories...right?

Still musing over the wonder of it all Anne started to put away her laundry. When she was finished she went back to the laundry room and just stared for a moment. Finally she said, "I don't know if this is possible, I don't know if you can be real and if you are listening, but if you are, thank you so much for this gift! I can't tell you how much I treasure having the time to do what I want today. If there's anything I can ever do for you, don't hesitate to let me know. I know the old stories all say your supposed to leave gifts for the fairies, but I don't know that I have anything that you'd want. If I do, take it with my thanks."

Smiling Anne slipped on her flip-flops, grabbed her purse and phone, and decided that today would be perfect for a walk in the hills. Maybe she'd find some wild flowers and bring them back to the apartment. Surely fairies would enjoy some of natures bounty!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Simple Tribute

There's a lot that I could say today - despite the fact I usually avoid politics like the plaque! Supporting our troops is one of the few things I AM willing to be vocal about. However, I know there are going to be a million blogs out there today about this subject. So I simply want to say thanks.

To those who've served our country, to those who are serving our country, to Paul, Luke, Jesse, Christian, and Chelsea, thanks :) Thank you for doing what I never could. Thank you for standing for your nation.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Four Stupid Cupids by Gregory Maquire

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"Four Stupid Cupids" is book four in the "Hamlet Chronicles" by Gregory Maquire. Our school friends are rapidly approaching Valentines day, and it has struck fear in the hearts of many of them! After all, in 5th grade, who wants to be thought to be in love? On top of that, their beloved teacher is moping around because the day of love reminds her of the death of her beloved. 

Then Fawn Petros receives an amphora from her Greek Aunt, and it turns out to contain some baby cupids! The girls immediately realize this could be just what they need to cheer up their dear Miss Earth, so they set off to help her fall in love, with hysterical results! The boys even get in on the action, because of course all the students love their dear teacher!

Along the way the kids will learn some valuable lessons about what love truly is, and how much power words can have. I've been really enjoying this series, but I think this was one of the cuter one's so far! 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin

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"Magic Lost, Trouble Found" tells the story of Raine Banares. As she introduces herself, "My name is Raine Benares. I'm a seeker. The people who hire me are usually happy when I find things. But some things are better left unfound..."

As a seeker, Raine is a magician of moderate powers, something she knows and fully accepts. Unfortunately her life is about to be turned upside down as one of her friends, a semi-reformed thief, gets himself in trouble trying to steal an amulet. Raine puts the amulet on to keep it protected, and discovers that it won't come off! 

The longer Raine wears the amulet the stronger her own ability with magic grows. She also has become the target of just about every bad guy in the city! Raine soon learns that this is because the amulet is the key to an ancient, soul-stealing, stone. The amulet has latched onto her, something that wasn't supposed to be possible, and now she has to find a way to get rid of it with out getting killed by her enemies, the amulet itself, losing her soul to the stone, or letting her enemies get a hold of the stone! Raine certainly has her hands full.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Birthday Memories :)

Doesn't that cupcake just look scrumptious? I can't eat it because I can't have milk any more, but if I could, I would want it for my birthday! Which is what today's post is all about - birthday's! Why? Well the Etsy Bloggers Carnival this week is:

1)Tell about your favorite birthday memory, gift or wish...
2) Show & tell: Summer line - what you will be making/showing in your shop this summer...

I could have posted about my summer plans, but I don't really have set plans for a summer line in my shop! I have lots of plans of things I want to create, but none of them are a specific I thought I'd post on this blog about my birthday!

I was born on Thanksgiving Day, and that's always made my birthday um, interesting. It's not like my birthday is on Thanksgiving every year, but it's always really close to it, and that makes it hard to plan things! I remember being really disappointed when I was little because we'd try to plan parties and find out that all my friends were going to be out of town at different times around the holiday. Some years we didn't try and just did family things. Other years we pulled it off!

For someone who tends to be a hopeless romantic, I've come to the point where I don't really get super excited about birthdays, but that's ok :) Between the timing of my birthday, and some bad memories, it's probably better this way! I'll never forget the year my best friend betrayed me on my birthday, or spending my 21st birthday at work getting hit on by a short little Mexican guy, but those are behind me.

Now I focus more on making any event I can special. I think if you put too much hope on a single day or event than you'll be disappointed too often. Especially when you have a body that's as messed up as mine that tends to destroy plans! 

So make the most of each day. Treasure the little things. Celebrate the mundane. Enjoy life! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Not to be Depressing but...

Every once in awhile I try to give you updates on what's going on with my health. I know that some of my followers care about what's going on - so that's why I do it! Not trying to complain - just being honest about what's going on.

Recent news has not been fun. The last couple weeks my asthma has gotten much worse again.  All my medications (including the steroids) are currently at maximum doses and there isn't really anything else the doctors can do right now. We've tried everything. So for now, I'm just resting as much as I can, pretty house-bound, and exhausted.

We did try having me move in with my parents for a few days in case it was something in my apartment I was reacting too. There's been no change though so I'm going back home tonight. I've missed being in my home! I love my family, and I'll always be welcome here, but I've become accustomed to my own place.

There is one new medication that we are going to try, but it's supposed to take months to build up in the system and work. It's also insanely expensive. So far I have grants for the first month and a half of treatment, and we're working on getting me more grants.  It'll take awhile - but hopefully this will help!

The other big news is that I'm working on the application for disibility right now. It's been over a year since my health got this bad, and there's no sign that I'll get significantly better for awhile. I don't know if they will grant it to me, asthma is a tricky one, but my Doctor supports me and I figure it's worth a try.

So - to try to make things a little less depressing - here are some things I'm happy about through all of this :)

~ My hubby, my family, and my friends love me!
~ I'm not reacting as badly to the high steroid levels as I usually do.
~ I have some awesome friends on-line that cheer me up every day :)

Love you guys!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dracula by Bram Stoker

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Since my evil twin got me reading the Noble Dead series, both my brother and I have been on a vampire reading kick! I decided it was high time therefore that I go and visit the king of vampire books, "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. I've seen several movies with Dracula as a main character (also thanks to my evil twin), but as a true book lover I can't ignore the original book!

I really enjoyed reading "Dracula." Stoker uses a rather different format in his book. Instead of a simple narration, the story is told through a series of collected journal entries, letters, and newspaper clippings. Through this medium we meet all of our characters, including Dracula, and follow along with their suspense and emotions. 

Most of the characters contribute to the "recording" of the story. Dracula is among the few exceptions. I found my imagination fueled by that absence though. We learn so much about the rest of the characters motives and emotions, but we only have speculation about Dracula himself, the main subject of the book! 

Having now read Dracula I find myself wanting to read some of the others "classics" in this and related genre's. I own a collection of classics, but mine run more towards "Little Women,"The Swiss Family Robinson," and "The Secret Garden." In other words, books that while I loved them, my parents approved! Over the years I've added to my collection of read classics, reading up on Sherlock Holmes and books by Jane Austin, and I've decided it's time to continue that by adding in this genre to my read classics list! So I have the "Picture of Dorian Gray" on hold at the library as my next book to read.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aria's Quest: First Taste

Welcome to Aria's Quest! If this is your first time here this is what you need to know. Aria is a young woodland fairy on a quest in the big city to find a human she can help. If she's successful she can return to her tribe as a full adult. Aria's chosen to look for a true believer (one who already believes in magic and fairies) because she thinks that will make her quest easier...but finding a true believer may be harder than she thought! Read the rest of the story here

Section 2
Part 7
First Taste

Aria woke the next morning and wondered if she had some how gone back to “Brew it Up” with out remembering. The smell that had so intoxicated her the day before was filling the small apartment that she shared with Gina and Darryl, but she had never smelled it here before! She quickly hopped out of bed, made herself presentable, and then rushed to the kitchen to investigate.

Gina and Darryl we’re sitting in the breakfast nook talking over a pile of eggs and sausage, and on the counter was a machine that Aria had never seen before. It was half full of that dark liquid Gina said was called coffee, and it gave off warmth like the machine’s in the shop did when she flew in for a closer look.

“Ready for your first taste deary?” Gina asked her as Darryl looked on in amusement.

“Oh please!” Aria said clapping her hands together.

“I have breakfast for you too but I don’t suppose you be able to taste that until you’ve had your first taste of coffee.” 

Aria looked torn, wanting to respect her hosts, but excited about trying the coffee, “I can eat first if you want me to…”

Darryl burst out laughing, “Gina! Have a heart and make the girl her cup of coffee before she faints from trying to please ya!” 

Laughing herself, Gina quickly pulled out a dolls coffee mug that Aria would be able to drink out of, adding coffee, cream, and a little bit of sugar in quick succession. She brought it over to where Aria was now perched on the nook’s table, and handed it to her with great ceremony.

With wide eyes Aria first leaned in and sniffed the coffee, drawing in once more that heady aroma, and then she cautiously brought the cup to her lips. Darryl and Gina watched in fascination as her already wide eyes grew even wider, her whole face radiating her wonder. 

“This is fantastic! It reminds me of the Oak Bark tea Mom makes, strong, earthy, but yummy! How come fairies don’t drink coffee?”

“Ah lassie I’m sure many fairies do, it’s just not common among the woodland fairies. City folk tend to drink it more because we have easier access to it. I dare say if you traveled you’d find places where even the fairies living the natural ways drink it because it grows naturally in their area.” Gina replied, ever practical.

“Oh, that makes sense.” Aria took another drink and then looked up, “Where did you get the coffee? I’ve never seen that machine before, or seen you drink it.” 

“Oh we always keep some on hand, although it’s been some time since I made any, Robyn used to drink it every morning.” 

“Oh.” Aria thought for a minute, “Do you think he’ll come by any time soon?”

“Maybe lassie.” Gina and Darryl grinned at each other, both thinking they were much more likely to see their adopted son now that this lovely young fairy was living with them!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Leap by Jonathan Stroud

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"The Leap" is by Jonathan Stroud, one of my new favorite authors of books for young adults. I'm not sure I would hand this one to a young adult though. It would really depend on the maturity level of the person in question. Why? It gets creepy! And it deals with some really serious topics.

In this book we meet Charlie, a girl who just lost her best friend to drowning, and who's convinced that he's calling for her. Not for her to drown as well (although she did try to save him), but as if he's lost, and wants to be found. Through her dreams, and through some adventures in the day time, Charlie begins to follow her friend Max in an attempt to save him.

As Charlie struggles, her family, especially her brother, worry about her. It's obvious that she has not moved on from the accident, but nobody quite knows what to do. So they watch her as closely as they can, something that drives Charlie nuts!

This book keeps you hopping as it changes point of view back and forth between Charlie and her brother. I really liked how the author did that because I think it led to the overall suspense of the book. The ending surprised me slightly, but overall I liked it. 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Five Alien Elves by Gregory Maquire

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"Five Alien Elves" is  book 3 in the Hamlet Chronicles by Gregory Maquire. Once again, I love the intro to the book so I'm going to quote it to you!

"'Twas the night before Christmas, and you know the rest. The stockings were hung by the chimneys with care and, in one house, Superglue. The youngest kids were already in bed. Many adults were saying, 'If you don't go to sleep, Santa Clause is never going to come!

Something was coming. But it wasn't Santa Claus."

No, instead of Santa Claus there are some kooky aliens from Fixipuddle crash landing near the town of Hamlet! These aliens manage to get everything completely confused, they kidnap Mayor Grass thinking that he's Santa Claus, and therefore an evil overlord. It takes all the kids, Miss Earth, Grandma Earth, and Reebok the dog to save him!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Child of a Dead God by Barb and J.C. Hendee

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"Child of a Dead God" is book 6 of the "Nobel Dead" series by Barb and J.C. Hendee. All through the series Magiere's footsteps are haunted by Westiel, her half brother. Westiel is obsessed with obtaining an object of great power, and he believes that Magiere is the key to obtaining it. In fact, the strange circumstances around her birth were orchestrated to create her to be that key. 

The search for this object takes them deep into a white wilderness. Our old friends are being stalked by several different groups, but they don't know it. It's hard going, and at one point they all get split up. Eventually they manage to make it to the white fortress, where they uncover ancient secrets and begin to have a greater understanding of what is going on.

Ironically, while I really enjoyed this book, I could never make sense of the title. The titles made sense for all the rest of the books, maybe not when I first saw them, but definitely as I read them. I kept expecting I would figure this one out and I never did. Oh well. If you happen to read the book and figure it out - let me know!

Book 7, "In shade and Shadow" will follow Wynn's story farther. The friend I'm borrowing these books from doesn't have it yet, so it might be awhile before I get to read and review it. Since it will be awhile I'll leave you with the synopsis from google.books 

"The national bestselling Noble Dead saga is one of those [series] for which the term dark fantasy was definitely intended (Chronicle). After her adventures with Magiere and Leesil, Wynn Hygeorht has returned to the Guild of Sagecraft, bearing texts supposedly penned by vampires from the time of the Forgotten History and the Great War. Seized by the Guilds scholars and sent out for copying without Wynns consent, several pages disappear and the two sages charged with conveying these pages are murdered. Suspicious of the Guild, separated from the only friends she fully trusts, and convinced the Noble Dead are responsible for the killings, Wynn embarks on a quest to uncover the secrets of the texts."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony

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"Castle Roogna" continues the Xanth story by Piers Anthony. In this book our old friends Bink and Chameleon are off on more adventures, but this time we don't join them. No, it's time we got to know Dor, their son who is now 12 year old. With parents like his, it's no wonder that Dor is a full fledged magician, but he still has a lot to learn before he truly understands his power.

Dor has a special relationship with King Trent, after all, there are very few magicians in Xanth, and therefore very few people who can truly relate to Dor. Despite his busy schedule King Trent always does his best to make time to give Dor council, especially because he knows that Dor's father is often gone on his business. 

At 12 years old, Dor stands at the door to manhood. It's time for him to truly begin to grow up, and that's placed him in a difficult position. You see, his care giver's talent is sex appeal, and he's old enough that it's starting to affect him. Dor is torn by his growing attraction to Millie, and the knowledge that Millie loves the zombie Jonathan. 

Seeing Dor's plight King Trent sends him on a mission 800 years in the past. This both gives Dor a chance to get away from Millie, and to do something for her. See magical talents do not repeat in Xanth, and 800 years ago there was a magician known as the Zombie Master. King Trent sends Dor to request an elixir from the Zombie Master that will cure Millie's love, Jonathan, and return him to life. Along the way Dor will learn a lot about what maturity really is. 

As always, I love the twists and turns that Piers Anthony puts in this book! 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Contest and a Farewell

Who doesn't love a good contest? I know I do! Well I just wanted to remind you guys that I'm doing a comment contest on this blog! I'll be doing this each month, and whoever has the most comments for the month, will win a prize! The prize will be approximately $10 in value and I have a few different options that I will present the winner with...because I know different people like different things! I will tell you that one of the options is a $10 gift certificate to my jewelry shops! But I have some other ideas in mind too since I know the guys may not be interested in jewerly.

Stats so far (cuz I'm a geek):
~ Top Commentator so far has 6 comments.
~  26 Commentators total.
~ 47 comments total.

I look forward to seeing what the numbers look like at the end of the month!

Now for some sad news - I'll be deleting my entrecard account soon. It's just eating up too much of my time with too few results. My computer loads the blogs pretty slowly, and I really want more time in my day to focus on my jewelry business and to write. 

Having said that - I love reading other blogs! So before I delete my account I'm going to try to make sure I'm following all the blogs I do actually read. Please book mark mine if you enjoy it so you don't miss out on it! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Aria's Quest - Fascination

Welcome to Aria's Quest! If this is your first time here this is what you need to know. Aria is a young woodland fairy on a quest in the big city to find a human she can help. If she's successful she can return to her tribe as a full adult. Aria's chosen to look for a true believer (one who already believes in magic and fairies) because she thinks that will make her quest easier...but finding a true believer may be harder than she thought! Read the rest of the story here

Section 2
Part 6

Aria was so enthralled by the smell of coffee, and watching the humans, that before she knew it the entire day had passed! She’d spent most of it perched on one ledge or another just watching. Occasionally she’d hover in for a closer look, but she’d stopped after nearly getting her wings scalded near the machine that spit out the brown liquid, which she had learned was named latte, she thought. It seemed like there were a lot of different names, but that was the most common one.  Trying to read the menu board didn’t seem to help much either! 

One thing that fascinated her was how the humans seemed to just know what all the different names meant. They’d walk up to the counter, as confident as you please, and order something crazy like a “tall non-fat latte with a shot of sugar-free raspberry, and a blueberry scone please.” The workers would scratch some symbols on the side of a cup, and then get ready for the next person. It was almost like watching a dance! 

Aria had decided that these lattes must hold some important place in the human society and was excited to go home and talk to Gina about it to find out more. Even so, she was startled when she realized it had grown dark, and she was late for dinner by the time she made it home. 

“Sorry Gina! I was just so fascinated that I completely lost track of time!” She exclaimed as she flew into the apartment when Gina opened the door.

“It’s ok lassie, I put a plate aside for you. I’m used to it; Robyn was never very good at getting home at any sort of proper time.” 

Still hyper from her day, Aria giggled at the thought of Robyn doing anything that was proper, he seemed such the wild child! 

“So tell me, what did you do today?” Gina asked as she pulled out and reheated Aria’s food. 

“Oh it was so much fun! I stopped in this place called ‘Brew it Up’ and I just couldn’t leave! I was there all day, and…” Aria’s words were flowing out in such a torrent that she could barely keep from tripping over her own tongue, “they drink this brown stuff, I think it’s called a latte, and hundreds of people came in! They all seemed to order different things, but knew exactly what they wanted. I think it must be some sort of important ritual in human society. I was there all day before I knew it…” She trailed off when she realized Gina was trying not to laugh. “What’s so funny?”

“Well for one it’s called coffee, and a latte is just a type of coffee…” 


“But I think it’s wonderful that you’re observing human behavior! Coffee is an important part of many human’s daily routine. We should get you some to try.”

“How will I know where to start? There seemed to be so many different variations!”

“We’ll start with just a regular cup of coffee with cream and sugar. You can go fancy later.” 


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula R. Le Guinn

"The Tombs of Atuan" is book two in the Earthsea Cycle by Ursula R. Le Guinn. In this book we meet a girl named Tenar who has been chosen to be high priestess to the Nameless One's. It's a solemn duty, and Tenar grows up in a pretty restrictive atmosphere. Then, once she's old enough, she assumes her position and all the duties that come with it. One of Tenar's duties is to learn the underground passages in the Sanctuary of the Nameless One's. The other priestesses who guide her there originally are only allowed to go to certain portions, on pain of death, so much of it she has to learn by discovery and by instructions passed down by mouth. Oh yes, and did I mention that no light is allowed underground? Tenar slowly learns her way around all the normal passages, and through the great Labyrinth where treasure is stored and kept sacred. Then, one day, she discovers that a sorcerer has managed to penetrate the underground, and is searching for the treasure. She's conflicted as she tries to figure out how to deal with him. She starts by trapping him inside the Labyrinth to give herself time, and then decides to keep him there as her prisoner. Eventually, as she gets to know the sorcerer, she begins to realize that all the things she's believed to be true can be seen in another light. This book is a beautiful story of self-discovery that I think you'll really enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rebel Fay by Barb and J.C. Hendee

"Rebel Fay" is book 5 in the "Noble Dead" series by Barb and J.C. Hendee. In the previous book Leesil learned that his mother is still alive, but held captive by the elves, who consider her to have betrayed them. So Leesil, Magiere, and their companions set off to attempt to free Leesil's mother.

It is a difficult journey to get through the mountains, along the way they lose their supplies and faithful steeds, but in the end they manage to make it to the elven forests, with a little help from and unseen friend. Our friends encounter many strange things in the elven lands, and Magiere notices she has a strange reaction to the trees surrounding her. 

Through out the series we've learned bits and pieces about Chap, the wolven Maji'hi, but in this book we finally get to know him more fully, and he learns more about himself and what happens when the Fay sent him to take on mortal form. 

To save Leesil's mother will require the assistance of elves that our travelers have encountered before, elves that they have nothing but reason to distrust. Who they can truly trust, who's aligned with who, and even which side is right, are a tangled web that is difficult to unsnarl. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thanks Moms :)

I'm blessed with having not one, but TWO wonderful Mom's in my life! The top picture is a recent one of me and my Mom, and the second picture is my Hubbies Mom. Both are wonderfully supportive of both of us and I don't know what we'd do without them! So thank you to my Mom's, and Happy Mother's Day to each and every Mom out there :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Star Trek

I don't get to go to the movie's that often - and I've done it twice in two weeks! For two awesome movies :) First for X-Men Origins last week and now for Star Trek today. I'm one lucky girl :) First a day out with my brother, and then today, a date with my hubby! 

Now before I get started talking about the actually movie, I should tell you I'm a major Trekkie. I grew up watching the shows, I've seen the majority of the seasons of all the different incarnations, as well as the movies! Not only that, but I love to read right? I can't claim to have read all the Star Trek books out there, but I've read quite a few. And let me tell you, the one's by William Shatner aren't worth reading ;)

So, understandably, this movie had a lot to live up to for me! Not that I think the originals we're perfect or anything, but I still really wanted them to do a good job. Which they did!

Now they made some mistakes - but I'll be a good girl and not bore you by analysing where they went wrong in this new movie. 

What they did a GREAT job with was the characters! I was the most nervous about Spock, he's always been one of my favorites, and I was worried that Zachary Quinto wouldn't do a good job. I was worried that I would see too much of Sylar of Heroes fame in his character. He did an excellent job though. I was quite impressed!

It must have been hard to cast and recreate characters that so many people know and love, but they did a good job at making each person familiar. As my hubby put it, they pretty much got all the catch phrases in! Which for a Trekkie like myself was great to see :)

I don't want to give anything away from the movie, so I can't say much more. There was only one tact they took that disappointed me, that had to do with Uhura and a romantic interest. Once you see the movie you'll know what I'm talking about! 


Friday, May 8, 2009

Snow White, Cinderella, and Rambo?

The Etsy Bloggers Carnival this week is: 
"What is your favorite fairy tale? Any parallels to real life?"
I'm taking a slightly different approach to this. I'd like to tell you a story. It's called...

Snow White meets Cinderella and Snow White and Cinderella meet Rambo

"One day Snow White was walking through the forest.  She came across a beautiful blonde young woman picking flowers. The two of them started talking and they become close friends. Snow White and Cinderella would do everything together! 

The two girls were at Snow White's house one day when they saw a bloody man crawling up the hill. Cinderella helped him into the house while Snow White found something to hold over the hole in the man's. It saved his life. His name was Rambo and they all became close friends."

Ok - maybe not my best writing - but that's all I remember.

Remember you ask? Yes, remember. It was something that my cousins and I play acted once when I spent the night over at their house. I don't know why I remember it so vividly, but the story has always stuck in my head. I was Snow White because of my dark hair (although I had a tan), and Bonny (who's 4 months older than me) was Cinderella with her blond hair. The two of us have never looked like we're related! 

We'd been playing around for awhile when Mark (5 years older than us) decided he wanted to play with us.  He insisted on being Rambo and we had a lot of fun "nursing" him. Can you guess what I held against his head to hold his brains in? The top of a smoke detector! I have no clue why it was lying around in the hallway within reach, but that's my cousins house for you! With four boys in the house things could get interesting :P

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ptolemy's Gate by Jonathan Stroud

"Ptolemy's Gate" is the last book in the "Bartimaeus Trilogy" by Jonathan Stroud. Through out the entire series you hear Bartimaeus lament about the slavery of the demons to magicians, but you really don't think too much about it, because the focus is more on the struggle between the commoners and magicians. In this book that background theme is brought to the front. One of my favorite parts of the book is that we finally learn the story of who Ptolemy was, and what his relationship with Bartimaeus was. 

I love the character development that's portrayed in this book, both with Bartimaeus, and with the humans Kitty Jones and Nathaniel. Especially Nathaniel. We already knew that Kitty is a great person, but we've spent the majority of the trilogy hating Nathaniel. In this book he finally begins to see himself for who he really is, and he actually redeems himself by the end of the book!  

I really enjoyed this trilogy and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the fantasy genre. It's written as juvenile fiction, but adults will love it too! I plan on reading more by the author as soon as I can get my hands on it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Aria's Quest: Brew it Up

Welcome to Aria's Quest! If this is your first time here this is what you need to know. Aria is a young woodland fairy on a quest in the big city to find a human she can help. If she's successful she can return to her tribe as a full adult. Aria's chosen to look for a true believer (one who already believes in magic and fairies) because she thinks that will make her quest easier...but finding a true believer may be harder than she thought! Read the rest of the story here. 

Section 2
Part 6
Brew it Up

It had been a long day and Aria was feeling a little bit let down by the time she returned to the dwarves apartment. She’d hoped to find at least something, but her first day of searching had been a big bust. What started out as a day filled with hope and promise had turned to a day filled with rain, soggy wings, and disappointment. 

Gina and Darryl were sympathetic to her disappointment, but they encouraged her not to give up. “It’s a big city deary, I’m sure you’ll find someone, you just have to be patient.” Gina told her as Aria dried out by the heater. “You have to look at this as a long term project. Take your time, explore, and learn along the way. You’ll probably learn things while your searching that will help when you do find the person you are supposed to help.” Aria gave her a small smile, feeling some better, but still exhausted. Gina gave her a small cup of hot chocolate and then let her be. Gina was a mom at heart, even though she’d never had a child of her own blood, and she knew that sometimes you just needed something hot to drink and a good night’s sleep.

The next morning Aria did feel quite a bit better. Today she planned on just exploring. She’d gone to all the close by places that her friends thought might be good locations, and now it was time for her to get to know the city a little bit for herself. So she started flying West, avoiding the crazy building that Robyn called a “Mall,” and soon stopped at a place called “Brew it Up.” It looked interesting, and she figured that she should probably just start looking anywhere and everywhere.

The first thing Aria noticed when she slipped in the door as a customer entered was the smell. It hit her like a tidal wave, for all intents and purposes stopping her where she flew, and overwhelmed her senses. She managed to flutter over to a near by window sill, and she collapsed there, trying to sort out her sensory overload.

The shop was crowded with people of all sorts. Aria was still trying to understand human clothing styles, but she knew enough to know that these people we’re dressed in a wide variety of styles. Some were sitting in chairs, talking and sipping cups of dark liquid, others were standing in a line in front of a long counter, and there were still more people running around behind that long counter. The people behind the counter all seemed to be dressed alike, and they seemed to be preparing this dark liquid for the people in line. 

Aria decided that the dark liquid must be what she was smelling. It was overpowering! But for some reason she found herself drawn to it, wondering what it actually tasted like, trying to understand what lured all these different people to one place. Maybe understanding that would help her to understand the humans of this city better. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Saturday morning my brother and I went out to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and we had a blast! I think they did a really good job on this movie. Now, to tell you my background with this series, I'm only a minor geek. While I've seen the original X-Men series (several times), I've never read the comics or followed any of the rest of it. My brother, however, is a major geek and knows the comics and just about everything related to the X-Men!

Overall the movie was pretty true to the X-Men cannon. I noticed one or two small things they missed, and my brother filled me on the rest! Most of the ommissions could be blamed on trying to keep the movie going though I think. If your not a major geek you wouldn't notice most of them!

One thing that suprised me was that they did really tone down some things. I expected the scene where the fill Wolverines body with adamantian to be much more gruesome than it was. In fact, I expected to have to turn my face away during that scene (I get squemish!) and I didn't have a problem with it at all.

I really enjoyed the character development of the story. After all, that's what the movie is all about! The original trilogy left us with many questions (if you don't follow the comics that is) about what happened to make Wolverine who is. His past was a mystery made more profound by his lack of memory. All my questions were answered well, and the progression made a lot of sense!

I also enjoyed getting to know some new mutants. One that really surprised me was that one of the mutants (John Wraith) was played by Will i. Am of the Black Eyed Peas. I'm always a little leery when I see a musician or athlete jump into the world of acting, but I think he did a really good job. I was impressed at least! 

The only thing that bugged me about the movie was the character of Victor, ie, Sabortooth. He seemed much more intelligent in this movie than he's portrayed in the original trilogy. My brother's explanation for that is that Sabortooth embraces his "animal" side more as time goes on. So by the time we meet him in the original trilogy he's barely a man anymore. I can see that as making sense, but I think they portrayed his character as too creepy instead of wild in this movie.

Did you know they are planning more movies in the Origins series? X-Men: Magneto is due to come out in 2011! I'm looking forward to it :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Six Haunted Hairdos by Gregory Maquire

"Six Haunted Hairdos" is book two in the Hamlet Chronicles. In this book we rejoin Miss Earth's class as they go on yet more wild adventures! This time the two clubs in the class are debating over the existance of ghosts. 

The boys say that ghosts are real, and know just what to do when they see one! "1. Pinch yourself to make sure your awake. 2. Pinch the ghost, to make sure it's real. 3. Run away - as fast as you can!"

The girls think the boys are just plain silly, so they decide to play a trick on them and dress up as ghosts. They find some crazy old wigs and start a rumor about 6 hairdressers that were supposedly killed in the area. Then they set out to scare the boys! 

This time, however, the boys are right and there really ARE ghosts visiting their small town! It will take all the kids working together to solve the plight of these ghosts in a hilarious adventure that will keep you laughing the whole way through.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


My superheropower is the ability to hurt myself in new and entertaining (for others at least) ways. My latest isn't really that entertaining...but it is unusual. The result? I have a sprained shoulder, I'm wearing a sling, and I'm drugged up! Loverly combination huh? You would think with all that I would have at least some sort of story right? A nasty fall, or a wrestling accident, or something!

The reality falls far short of my imagination. I stretched...and sprained my shoulder. Yup, that's it! Just one of those "I'm sleepy" arms stretched over the head type thing. No clue how THAT resulted in pulled muscles! 

Ok, I actually have some idea. Apparently one of the many side-effects  of the steroids I'm on for my asthma can sometimes be damage to the ligaments and muscles. Oh well, I'll get through it. Doc says I should be good by the end of the week. 

The frustrating part (aside from the pain) is that I have to type with just my left hand. For someone who types about 170 wpm...and loves to write...its torture! I also can't make jewelry :(

I plan to attempt to continue to visit entrecard blogs and publish in my blogs, but how succesful I am will depend on my pain levels and how drugged up I feel. Usually the woozy/dreamy/stoned side-effecs start to wear off after a day or two of taking them. Um yes, in answer too your question, I HAVE been on pain killers and muscle relaxers WAY to many times!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Looking Back at April and Looking Forward to May

Wow - it's been a crazy busy month! But I've gotten lots of blogging done - so that makes me happy! 

You may have noticed some changes around here in the last day or two. I added google adsense. Yeah, I know, it looks a little tacky, but a girls gotta do what she can to earn some money where she can! I've been talking forever about changing my blog layout and I hoping to have that done in the next week or two. When I do, there will be a three column format and hopefully that will make everything look a little bit neater. 

Another change you'll notice is that my book reviews are now linked to Amazon! Like I said, trying to earn some money when and where I can. So if my review inspires you to go out and get the book, do me a favor and go through my site to Amazon so I can get credit, k? Thanks!

Starting with all comments left TODAY I'm going to be keeping track of commentators and how many comments they leave. At the end of each month I'll announce my top commentator! There WILL be a prize, although I haven't decided exactly what yet. Sorry, just decided to do this yesterday. I have ideas bouncing around my head, but nothing is firm yet!

Looking back, I was able to publish Aria's Quest weekly all month, which makes me happy! Here are this months additions to her story:

(See, there's one of those Amazon links I was telling you about)

I did a bunch of book reviews this month! I think this is the most I've done in one month so far >_> Yes, I'm probably insane. Especially if I showed you my file of written but not yet posted reviews, and I have two books read that I haven't written the reviews for... And did I mention I just picked up 6 books at the library this morning?

I'm pleased with how much blogging I've gotten done this month, and I think that I've seen some improvement in my writing over that time. Not much, but a little bit. I think the steady writing is good for me. Now I really want to work on flexing my fiction muscles. I have a really busy day today and tomorrow, but starting this next week I'm going to try to spend 1/2 hr a day working on fiction. Some of that will be spent in developing Aria's Quest, but I want to start working on my book again, and maybe exploring some of the other crazy ideas that have wandered through my head recently! We'll see how succesful I am :)