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

Try Me

Try Me (Demon Underground, #2)
by parker blue

This part-demon teen vampire fighter and her faithful terrier hellhound are once again patrolling the dark city streets of San Antonio, Texas. Val’s hunky human partner, Detective Dan Sullivan, is giving her the cold shoulder since she beheaded his vampire ex-fiancĆ©e. Vamp leader Alejandro is struggling to keep the peace between vamps, demons and humans. The mucho powerful Encyclopedia Magicka has been stolen, someone in the Demon Underground is poisoning vamps, and Val’s inner lust demon, Lola, is getting very restless since Val’s now partnered with sexy Shade, the shadow demon with the blond good looks of an angel. (goodreads.com)

I was so happy when I discovered that there was a sequel out to Bite Me by parker blue. I liked Val and her half-Terrier-half-Hellhound dog Fang a lot the first time around. This time, although I still love Val I found Fang a little more irritating than funny. Oh, well. I guess I just don’t get Terrier-Hellhound humour. šŸ˜‰

The sequel lived up to the first book and I found the story very interesting even despite the hokiness at the end. The series still has a tiny Buffy fan-fic vibe but not as much as in Bite Me. Val is coming into her own, living with her inner demon and this story was less about the Vampire Slaying as it was about trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of who was out to harm BOTH vamps and demons.

I’m actually quite pleased that this book is about a vampire/demon struggle and there are no werewolves in sight. I am so tired of the vamp/were battles. Get over it already! And since most people tend to stick vampires IN the demon category I like that there’s a clear line that differentiates the two in this series.

Val’s own personal struggle with her inner succubus sort of confuses me. I can’t quite grasp how she releases it to feed. It seems like she doesn’t have to touch the male she’s, er, feeding from, so I sort of picture these swirly, smoky lines that extend from her and fondle the male she’s feeding from. And the males obviously get all hot and bothered by it and she doesn’t seem to feel a thing? I just can’t figure it out and to be honest those scenes make me feel uncomfortable more than anything.

I prefer fighting and blood baths to psychic diddling in case any of you were wondering.

I do hope there will be a third book! I’d like to read more about Val and Shade and Dan and the demon/vamp struggle. There might even be hope for Val and her mother in the future!

Demon Underground

  1. Bite Me
  2. Try Me

Spy Glass

Spy Glass
by Maria V. Snyder

After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she’sĀ immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world.

Until spying through the glassĀ becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makesĀ flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has st olen some of her bloodā€”and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or learn if they’re lost foreverā€¦ (goodreads.com)

Here’s the thing: I love Maria V. Snyder’s writing, worlds and story lines. I love her characters and her mysteries and her relationships. What I do not love? Opal Cowan.

This was a very difficult book to get through because I just cannot stand Opal. I don’t care about her one bit. I think she’s selfish and whiny and a brat. With each book in this trilogy I have wrestled with my dislike of the main character but for the most part I was able to ignore it and move on with the story. Ā Not so much with this book.

I didn’t hate the book though, so don’t think that, because I like everything else about it EXCEPT for Opal. Heck, I even liked her mother when her mother gave her the silent treatment for coming home with little time to prepare for her sister’s wedding. There was just something about Opal that rubbed me the wrong way. And how everyone always fawns all over her and everyone loves her and thinks she’s awesome? Gah!

Opal aside (although that’s hard to do since she’s the main character) I do like the way the story unfolded. I thought quite a bit happened for one book, but in the end there is resolution to everything. It’s strange going from a book series where the main character tries to do things alone but accepts the help of her friends to this one where it is Opal against the world and I really think she could learn a thing or to from Nya in The Healing Wars series.

I didn’t really think twice about Opal in the Study series so I was curious as to how a trilogy about her would pan out. I just wish I found her a more likable character than I did.

One part in the last 1/3 of the story sort of confused me though. It’s a scene in the mines and concerns a particular character and I had to go back and reread a few pages to figure out what the heck was just revealed and just happened. Even with the rereads I am still baffled but rather than dwell too much on it I continued on because I really wanted to finish the book and see how Snyder was going to wrap things up.

I am highly anticipating Maria V Snyder’s next book however, it is the sequel to InsideOut and I think it comes out in the Spring. Even though I didn’t quite care for this main character, I love everything this woman writes it seems. She has a brilliant way with creating worlds and stories that you can fill your entire being with.

The Glass Series

  1. Storm Glass
  2. Sea Glass
  3. Spy Glass

The Healing Wars: Book 2

Blue Fire: The Healing Wars, Book 2
by Janice Hardy

Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseerā€™s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didnā€™t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isnā€™t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Dukeā€™s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Dukeā€™s best tracker has other ideas.

Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer she gets to uncovering the Dukeā€™s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseerā€”if she doesnā€™t destroy it first. (harpercollins.ca)

Release Date: September 24, 2010

Thanks to the awesomness that is HarperCollins Canada, I was lucky to have Blue Fire on hand as soon as I finished The Shifter. There is something about this series that I just connected with from the first pages and I devoured the two books in two days. Heck, this book isn’t even published yet and I am already desperate for the third book! (The author noted in comments that she’s currently working on book 3 now!)

In Blue Fire, Nya is forced to live and interact with people in Baseer, a country she and all Gevegians hate. There is an interesting racisim vibe that is subtly peppered through the story without preaching about how everyone is the same no matter where they come from. Fifteen-year old Nya is shocked when she realizes that some of the kids in Baseer has similar views to her and actually have compassion. Again Nya is faced with very difficult choices in order to survive and yet she still feels distressed when a Baseer child is killed outright by soldiers.

What I like about the characters in this series is that you can see them learn and grow. They learn from their mistakes and they grow as people. Also likable is the fact that even though Nya feels she has to make the tough decisions and actions alone, her friends stick by her – and she allows them to help her!

I am so tired of books where the main character is all “I have to do this alone! It’s too dangerous for you!” and then argues against help from her friends. In this case Nya feels she has to do these things alone because the thought of endangering her friends is just too much for her, too painful. She felt guilty about asking her friends to put themselves in such danger, but when they rally around her and offer their help, she accepts and knows she can’t do everything on her own.

Oddly – and this is a total tangent – this sort of “me alone vs me and my friends” mentality made me think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the later seasons. My husband and I were growing tired of Buffy’s whining ways about how it always had to be her and her alone that saved the day. Had she just accepted the help her friends offered and acknowledged theĀ strengthsĀ they brought to the group I think the show wouldn’t have gone the way it did. Yes, Joss Whedon likes toĀ alienateĀ his characters, but Buffy was so unlikable by seasons 6 & 7 I just wish he had gone with the Group Help idea a little more.

Nya and her friends are close to being a well-oiled machine. They are a pack that works together and each has different strengths that they add to the group and even though their adventures might not always go well, they still work well together.

I haven’t read a series like this in a while, or ever I don’t think, at the middle grade level, I’d go so far as to say this would be a good YA novel as well. It has a similar vibe as Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study series in that the world is original, the choices the characters have to make are difficult and yet you fall in love with the people in the books and you want to read more about them.

The Healing Wars

  1. The Shifter
  2. Blue Fire
  3. Book 3 – Ā Fall 2011

dog spa saturday

You know it is time to give your dogs a bath when you wonder “Why does it smell like pee in the house? Did someone pee on the carpet?” and then you realize it’s the DOG that smells like a hobo. Considering last week Jinx was all about the throwing up for two days straight, after Annie was all about it from a tomato binge… (and that Jinx threw up ON Annie one morning… so much fun!) – it was time. The weather will be turning soon and since we have a lovely warm (but not TOO warm) weekend ahead of us, I thought – let’s wash the dogs before I send them to live with the hobos on the streets of Montreal!

I also want to vacuum my house because it currently looks like we have 73 dogs living here and not just two. So I put the leash on Annie and walked her into the kitchen where I proceeded to torture her for a good 45 minutes, the aftermath of which was this:

It does rather look like we tortured her, doesn’t it? Poor thing. I didn’t even know she had that much fur left on her to come off! She was matted like hell. Shawn had to help hold her head because she is old and crotchety and kept trying to snap at me. But in the end she looked MUCH better (and younger!):

We told her she was now as awesome as The Magical Mr. Mistoffelees from CATS. You’d never know she was 12.5 years old!

Jinx took it upon himself to hide upstairs in the bedroom while we groomed Annie, but Shawn got him down and then we tackled him. His brushing was NOTHING like it was two months ago, but I still trimmed his tail and pantaloons and feet. He doesn’t like that.

After we got all the dead fur off the pups we stole one at a time, put them on the patio table and washed them! They were thrilled as you can imagine!

Annie shook right before I took this which is sad because she really looked much goofier right before. Heh. Can’t you see the unconditional love in her eyes?

Completely forgot to take a photo of Jinx while he was on the table looking miserable. It’s rare he doesn’t look happy and being hosed and/or brushed is one of those times. He tried to show us his paws to distract us, but we weren’t fooled!

It was nice enough today that I could leave them outside to dry. Not too hot for Annie so no fear for heat stroke (which Lappies are very prone to being an Arctic breed and all) and it was nice and shady on the deck. A little fresh air is good for them! I could have hung them on the line like we did with the clothes we wore while washing them. They should be thankful!

I might have to do one more washing before the winter really sets in, but that will be in the bathtub. I sort of like being able to bathe them outside in the summer.

They each need one more brushing (tomorrow!) before I can clean the rest of my house. We got most of the dead fur off of them before the bath, but there’s more to take off now that they have dried. Poor Annie is a matted mess again only I’m scared that if I take off any more fur she’ll be bald come winter!

In My Mailbox #36 – you mean mail can be delivered to your HOUSE?

In My Mailbox is hosted byĀ The Story Siren ā€¦ and I end up adding a ton of books to my wish list every week.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

Not a very exciting video, but it does star Billionaire Jinx Puppy with a cameo by Queen Annabelly.

BooksĀ receivedĀ for review this week:

From Bell Bridge Books

From Penguin Group Canada

And most *cough* extraordinary *cough* of all – I am getting MAIL AT MY HOUSE again! You can read all about that excitement here if you are so inclined.