i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Brightly Woven

Brightly Woven
by Alexandra Bracken

Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry. (goodreads.com)

You may or may not have heard of this book. I had seen it around on many blogs but to be honest I never really paid it  .much attention. Sure the cover is pretty and colourful but for some reason (don’t ask why) I thought it was about quilting. I kid you not. I thought this book was about some pilgrim girl who made quilts or something and therefore the idea of it bored me. I honestly have no idea how that got in my head. Did I read the summaries on the blogs I saw the book on? I don’t know. I guess not well if that’s what I thought.

This book is beautiful, beautiful fantasy. I love fantasy! How the heck did I not pick up on that! It wasn’t until my Twin Brooke at BrookReviews sent me a message asking if I had a copy and if not would I like her arc because she thought I would love it that I paid more attention to what the book was about. I also went back and read Kristi’s review at The Story Siren because I had passed it over when I thought the book was about quilting (seriously, HOW?). And I checked out reviews on Goodreads. In the end I accepted Brooke’s generous gift and while I was away at BEA it arrived!

I sat down to read the book and instantly enjoyed the world that Bracken had created. I liked Sydelle a whole bunch and I could tell by the rhythm of the writing that I would enjoy reading the book. My one problem with the story was North. I couldn’t really get a feel for him and the (expected) love that blossomed between the two was a little “I blinked and Syd went from hating him to being completely in love with him, wha..?. I didn’t see the connection happen I guess. I mean I knew it would happen but when it did I felt there was no reason for it to happen. No real build up.

Aside from that I thought this was a wonderful one-book story. Things weren’t rushed and I was able to follow the action and the resolution. I was surprised by the Queen character as I didn’t think she would be anything like she was written and that surprise pleased me. I didn’t like her completely but she was nothing like I thought she was going to be.

I suppose the ending is a little open ended, I don’t know if this is planned to be a series or not. I think I like it just fine as a stand alone novel and it worked well. The writing was beautiful, the description was beautiful and I even found beauty when Syd was weaving (a cloak, not a quilt!).

I went into this novel not knowing what to expect and ended up feeling that this is one of the better fantasy novels I have read in a while. I would suggest it to fantasy lovers who have enjoyed Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study series. I don’t necessarily find that it’s only YA.

Tracking the Tempest

Tracking the Tempest (Jane True, #2)
by Nicole Peeler

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and Ryu – Jane’s bloodsucking boyfriend – can’t let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane’s life is thrown off course.

Ryu’s well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane’s surprise… (goodreads.com)

I gave this book 3.5 stars on LibraryThing and wrote in the “review” section of Goodreads update that I would explain why in my actual review. Here’s the thing, the parts I did not like about this book were not the book’s fault. The parts I didn’t like were because they were just things I do not like – sex in books, calling someone “lover” and “baby”. Lover and baby make me cringe. They are huge pet peeve words to me. I have never, ever liked those terms/words and I hate when they are used. But I am not going to hold that over the author who writes a fantastically original series and great book. These things are my own personal preferences.

I broke my book buying ban for this book because since I read the first book in November 2009 I knew I NEEDED this book the second it hit the shelves. In fact when saw online that it was at a store near me in stock early I made my husband drive me there so I could get it. And it wasn’t on the shelf so I made the clerk go look in the back and he couldn’t find it so he had his manager help and she couldn’t find it and he went back there one more time and came out successful to my great pleasure saying “Don’t thank me, thank my colleague who said ‘isn’t that it on that random pile of books?’ in the stockroom.” Ha! As a former employee of said bookstore chain I appreciate when staff goes above and beyond to help find a book that should be there (it had been received on Wednesday and this was Saturday). I went home happy. And with ONLY one book – even though they had a Buy 3 – Get the 4th Free! promotion on all formats of books. I was good. I restrained myself. It was so very, very difficult.

But I digress… I got this book, put aside the one I was reading and gobbled it up in 3 days (because sleep and work apparently are “necessary”. Pah!) Aside from my cringe-worth pet peeves I had fun reading the book. I loved the new characters that were introduced in Boston and I loved the old characters from the first book (can they be old characters if there has only been one other book?) but I wish that Grizzy and Iris had more of a role in the story this time around because I adored them in book one.

I was immensely curious about the Big Bad in the book who was frying everyone to death. I liked the idea behind him and what his motives were (not going to say more lest I spoil things). I was slightly disappointed in how that crisis ended though I had thought perhaps to explore things a little further, but this makes my desperation for book three even more frustrating! WHY FEBRUARY? It is so far away! Gah!

This book was even more action-packed than it’s predecessor and Jane continues to react like you would expect a “real” person to react, even if she’s half-selkie. Jane is a *cough* true *cough* character  (see what I did there?) and even when it comes to her relationship she has realistic reactions and reasoning. I love that about her and I love that Nicole Peeler writes her that way. I love that everything isn’t just accepted as fine from the start. I love that she’s scared and she doesn’t want to be rushed into a relationship and she has to work on bravery when it comes to murder and being attacked. I love that she thinks about things and reacts without thinking and has faults and people like her but don’t all LOVE her for no reason. (I hate books where the main character has everyone else in love with her and ready to shag her at the drop of a hat!)

I  like learning along with Jane.

Plus, if Nicole remembers, I think I placed first dibs on playing her in the movie (see bottom of interview). I just need to drop about 30 pounds though. I can do it! The production company just has to hire me a personal trainer and cook! I want this role, dammit, if it ever becomes a movie! (But I don’t do nudity! Or windows. Or dishes.)

There was one line in the book that I can’t get out of my head it made me laugh so much. I actually wrote the author privately on Twitter to let her know since I don’t really want to spoil it for others, even though it has nothing to do with the plot, it was just sheer hilarity in phrase form. But I will never be able to talk about lentils without giggling ever again!

Lastly, I adore these covers. The cover is what made me notice the book in the first place.  They are so colourful and fun and fit the novels perfectly!

Jane True series

  1. Tempest Rising
  2. Tracking the Tempest
  3. Tempest’s Legacy
  4. Eye of the Tempest
  5. Tempest’s Fury – 2012

You can read my interview with Nicole Peeler here!

destruction chronicles – oh, canada post

While the destruction continues on my street and the cross street, we are not getting our mail. Since May 27th we have had to drive to a postal outlet which is open Mon-Fri 9:00-5:00. You know, while we’re at work? This place isn’t too far from us though and Shawn has been able to pick up the mail so far. Today he goes to get the mail as I am expecting my passport to arrive and I know I have to sign for it. Shawn tells me this – the mailman brought a pick up slip for a parcel to the post office, but I have to go to ANOTHER branch to pick up the parcel.

You know that slip you’d get in your mailbox if the postman knocked for you to sign something and you weren’t home? Yeah, that slip. That is what was dropped off with our mail at the place near us. I still have to go much father away to pick up the actual item.

Shawn said he looked at the woman quizzically ands she said “Yeah, I know it’s stupid.”

The place we’re picking up our mail at now is an actual Canada Post outlet/warehouse thing. Where our mail goes when we’re not home is a branch in a Pharmacy much further away (it used to be just around the corner until the grocery store it was in closed).

This makes no sense to me, but whatever. And as it turns out the slip has my name as Cat on it and therefore I am pretty sure it’s a review book from a publisher and not my passport, which I believe will arrive on June 30 so we’ll have to go through all of this again.

Silly things.

blargh

I have not been well since I came home from my trip to NYC in May. I have been unwell since the first night I was home when I woke up with a throat so sore and swollen I was sure I was having an allergic reaction to our new dryer sheets (which have since been changed, we didn’t realize we picked up weirdly scented ones). When the sore throat didn’t go away and my nose started blocking and I was hacking up many coloured things (I know, TMI!) I thought, huh, I guess it’s not allergies.

Did I go to the doctor then? No. Why not? Because I would have to take at least a half of a day off to sit in the CLSC clinic for 4+ hours only to be told “you have a cold, you’ll get over it”. Now people at work told me that if the mucus was colourful that generally means I have an infection. Could be. I also had fevers once in a while and I was drinking tea like it was going out of style to just try and soothe my throat. No amount of salt-water helped. Last weekend I counted 22 days with the swollen throat, pain and sinus goo. I figured since I’d waited that long it would just go away on it’s own.

I knew of two other people who were at the same event I was at in NYC who ended up having strep throat when they came home and got sick. I thought maybe I could have that? It’s been ages since I have and still I didn’t feel like waiting for a doctor who could care less to tell me it was nothing. Sadly my own personal family doctor has a 3-4 month waiting list for appointments. By then I’d be better or dead.

Oh, I forgot to mention, along with this throat/nose thing I also have the occasional bout of diarrhea. Isn’t that fun?

And in the last week and a half I have been having irritating stomach problems. Things that have not bothered me in the 2.5 years I have been going to my BodyTalk appointments. This last week my stomach has swollen up and I look pregnant (I am NOT!) and I feel like I have a rock in my stomach and it hurts to press just over my belly button. Not a severe pain, but something akin to you know it’s swollen and it feels bruised.

My throat is finally starting to not hurt. I think my glands are still swollen though. I still have crap stuck in that space between my nasal passages and my throat (you know where you get the nasal drip?) and it’s still not clear.

And I am sleeping All. The. Time. Like crazy a lot. Especially for me the eternal insomniac. I slept until 11 am on Thursday morning and I went to bed before 9PM! Every day that I have been home I have had a 3-4 hour nap in the afternoon, not for fun but because my eyes close and I feel so tired I feel sick.

I don’t know why this popped into my head on Friday while talking with my mother-in-law but I jokingly said “Maybe I have Mono”. (Turns out Shawn’s 19 year old cousin just got over it!) Later that night I looked it up online and everything I have been going through matches the symptoms. But I don’t think there’s really anything to do for it? Just sleep it out? I could go to the walk-in-clinic and say “I think I have Mono” or something, but it doesn’t matter they’ll barely look at me and just send me on my way.

I’m not even looking to take time off of work. I just want to stop feeling like crap, because this stomach heaviness thing is making me feel nauseous every time I eat.

Oh, and that’s another thing – I have had zero appetite since I came home and got sick. Nada. You’d think with how little I was eating I’d be losing weight. But hell, no. My stomach is blowing up like a balloon! Grr.

I might suck it up and spend my wedding anniversary at a walk-in clinic on Friday if I’m still feeling like this. But I’d rather not get up at the crack of dawn on my day off and have to deal with rude, impatient doctors.

Free health care? Yes. Do they care? Mostly no.

Blargh.

an open letter to mother nature

Dear Mother Nature,

I know you’re busy and all that, and it might have slipped your mind but I work Monday to Friday from 9-5pm. When you add in the commute it’s more like 8-6pm and when I get home, I am tired and hungry. I have the weekends off though. I don’t work on Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s the thing, when I am home from work I have things to do. Things that require sunshine and dry land. So I ask you this –

Can you please CUT IT OUT with the RAIN ON THE WEEKENDS?

I mean, really! I would like to enjoy the sunshine and dry weather on the days I am NOT stuck in an office for most of the daylight hours. I want to hang my laundry on the line. I have to stain my deck this summer so the wood doesn’t rot. So far I have not been able to do any of that! And then I get to work and it’s all SUN SUN SUN SUN.

So. Un. Fair.

I expect a glorious sunshiny weekend next weekend while I have 4 days off. And I expect nothing but sunshine when I am on vacation for two weeks in July.

Got it?

Signed,

Me

P.S. – And when you claim it’s going to rain all day, remain overcast and yet DO NOT MAKE IT RAIN? I am also unhappy because all this time my sheets could have been on the line! Grrrr!