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

introducing, sophie

We’ve been keeping this on the down-low because we weren’t sure if it was going to happen, or rather, WHEN it was going to happen. But on Friday Shawn, Jinx and I drove 12 hours from home to Birch Run, Michigan to meet our newest addition – Sophie the Finnish Lapphund!

We’re here in MI right now and Jinx and Sophie are both lying quietly on the floor as I type this. Jinx isn’t certain what to make of her but he also is normally uncertain of things when we go stay at a hotel. I know he’ll play more when we get home and there’s way more room. (Jinx is a very good boy and doesn’t like to get rambunctious in small spaces!)

This trip has been an eventful one to say the least. First it took us over 12 hours rather than 10 to get here. One of those hours was just being stuck on the Expressway in Toronto. Ugh. We got here eventually (Shawn did all the driving, go him!) and we met our friends for dinner and then we met Sophie.

Then I got food poisoning and was up ALL night so sick to my stomach that all the blood vessels in my eyelids and below my eyebrows burst and I look like I was beaten. Ugh. While I was being sick it put Sophie out of sorts and she ate my laptop charger (so if this doesn’t post until I am home it’s because my computer is DEAD) and peed on the carpet. Gah! Shawn was dealing with her, I was throwing up and wanting to go home NOW. Anyhow…

Sophie turned one year old on April 23. She’s incredibly tiny and very timid/sumbissive when she meets new people. Her ears did not go up like Finnish Lapphund ears are wont to do (you know, those cat-like ears they have) and she’s INCREDIBLY sweet and goofy. I cannot wait to get her home and let her get comfortable and see her really break out the goofy play mode she seems to have.

I will write more when I get home (AFTER I buy a new charger) but I wanted to share our excitement with you all today. Here are some photos to tide you over until my computer is working again. 😉

These two were hard to get. I was trying to get one where I could note the size difference. I’ll take what I can get.

Most of the photos looked similar to this, or even, with less of one or the other dog.

I have to give a great big thanks to my friend Linda who contacted us and said she was looking for a pet home for one of her Lappies and we would have first choice of adoption if we wanted.

Where did the rest of my post go?? I didn’t realize it got cut off. ARGH. Anyhow.. yes, we adopted her and Linda is awesome.

Changeless

Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate, #2)
by Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears – leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it. (goodreads.com)

Dude. I don’t know how I ever lived my life before I discovered this series. I can’t remember when I have been so delighted and entertained by a series before. Urban Fantasy and Victorian Era meet and create an explosion of awesome.

I know a few people commented on my post about Soulless that they didn’t enjoy the second book as much, but that didn’t happen to me at all. There was a different feel to the story of course what with Alexia being married to Lord Maccon but the sharp wit and entertaining action were just as fun and captivating as before. I adore Alexia and I adore the many witty one-liner type dialogue from her, Miss Hisselpenny and others. I love the characters in this series completely. I laugh out loud so often while reading and I just feel so happy when I am reading these books!

The mystery of what was causing the supernaturals to turn mortal was very interesting to me. I also like the in Carriger’s world both the vampires and werewolves are considered dead after they turn vamp or were. I also like that these supes are thought to have some soul, having extra soul is what allowed them to live again as a vamp or were. This is just fascinating to me and it made me regret once more that I put off reading the series until now.

On the bright side of that, I had three books in a row to read which was very good since the end of Changeless had me gasping out loud and demanding that my husband drive me to the store so I could pick up Blameless before we went on our trip over the weekend. (Of course then I had the worst bout of food poisoning I have ever had and couldn’t read a thing! Argh!)

I won’t say anything about the ending other than I got so worked up I might have had tears threaten my eyes before I demanded I get book 3. I was shocked and so emotionally invested in Alexia that I even surprised myself with how strongly I reacted.

The story is completely different from Soulless, which had much more of a romance feel to it. There is no romance in this book, other that the saucy, snarky banter between husband and wife (I like that Lord Maccon always calls Alexia “Wife” I have told my husband we should start using such endearments.) This book is all about mystery and action so I can sort of see why some people didn’t like it as much. Changeless does not read like an awesome Sarah MacLean novel, it’s pure Urban Fantasy without all the graphic sex crap. It’s sharp and funny and original.

I feel a little out of sorts now that I am reading something completely different. I miss Gail Carriger’s Victorian England!

The Parasol Protectorate

  1. Soulless
  2. Changeless
  3. Blameless
  4. Heartless – JULY 2011! I shall die waiting!

Class of ’89: Sophomore

Class of ’89: Sophomore
by Linda A. Cooney

Four girls. Friendly, good-hearted Bets. Laurel, lonely and unsure. Micki, who tries to hard. And Page, who has it much too easy.

Page could have any boy she wants. But she wants Nick Rhodes, and he doesn’t want her. Now that Micki’s class president, she thinks she’ll be happy – instead, she’s just unpopular. Laurel’s father has forbidden her the one thing she cares about. Maybe it’s time t0 defy him. Bets has fallen for a boy whose heart is with someone else. The only one who can’t see it is Bets herself.

Some people say every year gets a little easier. Some people aren’t going through sophomore year. (Transcribed from back of book)

Hey, another crappy photo with this post! I don’t have time to go down and scan my cover and make my regular image. I’ll have to update that at some point. I’m just surprised I found an image of this book that wasn’t uploaded by ME on the net.

I don’t recall nearly as much about this series as I did the Class of ’88 one. I think that’s because I just don’t find these four main characters all that exciting. I didn’t find the characters of Class of ’88 as self-involved and petty as these girls. I just don’t care about their stupid problems. The friendships aren’t as tight and the dialogue isn’t as fun. There are fewer pop culture references to the ’80s as well than the previous series. I miss that.

Since I was having trouble reading other books I have had this one on my night table for those restless nights where I just wanted to read something and not a lot of it. So it took me a month or so to get through this book at only 219 pages. It’s a small dose read since it’s being read merely for nostalgia sake and not for any other reason. I now have Junior by my bedside in case I fall into a lull now that I have finished all 3 Gail Carriger books that are available. (Those reviews to come!)

One thing that struck me is no matter the year (1987 or 2011) teenagers always seem to be focused on the same things. It’s weird how your entire world view is made up of what goes on in high school. I feel like we need to change that. Maybe the internet will help with that a little?

Class of ’89

  1. Freshman
  2. Sophomore
  3. Junior
  4. Senior

Soulless

Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate, #1)
by Gail Carriger

Without a morsel of exaggeration, its publisher describes this debut novel as “a comedy of manners set in Victorian London full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.” At the center of Soulless‘s “parasol protectorate” is Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman who lacks not only a suitor but also a soul. And those are not her only problems: When she accidentally kills a vampire, it begins a series of events that she must set out to resolve without the help of any proper authorities. (goodreads.com)

People! Have you read this series yet? I can’t believe I waited so long to start it!! I recall seeing the cover around the blogesphere in 2009 and I swear I thought this was a YA novel. I was so over vampires and YA that I just put off picking it up even though I was certainly curious about it. The books in this series have been on my wishlist for ages and I finally made the decision to pick up the first book before Christmas. Only none of the stores around me had the first (or second) books in stock. (This is a HUGE pet peeve I have with Chapigo that dates back to when I used to work for them. In fact my boss and I in our mall store, prided ourselves on the fact that we had an AWESOME SciFi/Fantasy section and made certain to have all series books in stock!) I was relegated to ordering the books from the Book Depository in the UK earlier this month. Since there were no hard copies on the shelves near me I wanted to order them the cheapest way possible. Book Depository won out hands down.

I don’t even know what to categorize the books. They are urban fantasy, but set in Victorian England and they are FREAKING AWESOME!

One of the big things that surprised me was that the main character, Alexia Tarabotti is NOT a vampire. I spent all these years thinking she WAS. I was wrong.

I was laughing out loud from the first pages of the book and it didn’t stop there! The entire narrative of the story is hilarious and the dialogue even better. Have any of you read Sarah MacLean’s Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake? Or Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord? If you have, you’ll know they are also hilarious. If you have not, you should read both those books and this series. I am the last person on earth to want to read a romance novel, but Sarah MacLean’s novels won me over and I am chomping at the bit to read Eleven Scandals to Start When…um..doing things to get married Or whatever the title is (I can’t think of it just now). This series made me think of those romance novels in some way. The witty dialogue, the romance (nowhere near as descriptive as in MacLean’s novels) and the atmosphere of the books just delighted me the entire read. I say delighted because it’s the way proper Victorian England people should speak and gosh darnit if I don’t find myself phrasing things in odd ways after reading Victorian novels.

I was a little cross-eyed when the scientific speak happened because I felt it fly over my head as that is how I roll, but otherwise I adored everything else about this novel. I loved the characters (especially Lord Akeldama and Miss Hisselpenny and her hats) and I am not one to get all a-flutter over romance in books but the chemistry between Alexia and Lord Maccon was so electric and sweet that I found myself swooning on occasion. This is yet another example of the way relationships should form in a story. You can feel it and understand it and GET it. Well done, Miss Carriger!

I am exceptionally happy that I took the plunge and ordered the second book along with the first because I dove right into it when I finished Soulless and I am seriously contemplating going into even more debt and buying the next two books if they are in stock nearby. (OMG! OMG! OMG! I was just checking the stock status of the next two books and I read the summary for the 3rd book and NOW I HAVE TO HAVE IT!! It sounds so shocking!! Book 4 does not appear to be released until July 2011. I don’t know how I will even survive this wait and it’s not really more than 2 months!! THE HORRORS!) (What publisher carries Orbit? Whom should I harass incessantly to see if I can sneak and ARC of Heartless?? I don’t do that at all, but I feel that I need to this time around? JULY!!!)

*deep breath*

Ok, so, in short, this book was hella awesome and I am almost finished book two and it’s also hella awesome and I must procure book 3 before my road trip this weekend… If you have not checked out this series by Gail Carriger yet I HIGHLY suggest that you do!

The Parasol Protectorate

  1. Soulless
  2. Changeless
  3. Blameless
  4. Heartless
  5. Timeless – March 2012 ARGH!

The Celestial Globe

The Celestial Globe (The Kronos Chronicles, #2)
by Marie Rutkoski

When Prince Rodolfo’s monsters attack her, Petra Kronos is spirited away to London.  As she struggles to escape, Neel and Tomik sail the high seas, in search of her. Though separated by many miles, the three friends draw closer together in this sequel to The Cabinet of Wonders, called “astonishingly accomplished” by Publishers Weekly. Readers will not be disappointed in this adventure-filled novel that includes man-made monsters, the unraveling of a murder mystery, and the hunt for the Celestial Globe, which the prince of Bohemia will do anything to own. (goodreads.com)

I don’t quite like the summary on Goodreads, but I’m a creature of habit and I don’t feel like searching longer for a better on on the internets. =P The Celestial Globe is a fantastic sequel to The Cabinet of Wonders! I had the usual apprehension when embarking on a follow-up book to one I adored completely, but that apprehension vanished within the first couple of pages.

Why am I always so fascinated by stories of espionage and murder? Maybe in a past life I was a spy. Who knows? What I do know is that I loved the element of who dunnit in regards to the murder of one of the Queen’s men and how that involved John Dee and Petra and those around them. I wasn’t as keen on the parts on the ship with Tomik and Neel but I slowly came around to their accidental friendship. I shall sheepishly admit I was happy when the story went back to focusing on Petra though.

The main reason for that, and I swear this is the only time I will ever admit something like this, was because of Astrophil. Darn it! I love that spider! And he’s a SPIDER so I shouldn’t even be able to read about him without breaking out into a rash and feeling terrified. I am unhealthily afraid of spiders.

But I love Astrophil so much.

The back of the book has “Trust No One” written before the summary in large font and I have to say that is a very apt warning for this story. Just when I thought I was trusting the right person it turned out I was. Not one character followed the path I was certain they were going to take. The plot kept me guessing until the end when I started to piece together what was going to happen.

I still found this sequel to be folkish and charming even though it had a totally different feel from The Cabinet of Wonders. I have been told by some that they did not like this book as much as the first and whereas I can see why, I think I liked both equally but for different reasons. I find this story so utterly enrapturing that I don’t know if I can wait for the paperback of the third book to be released in more than a year. I would love to see where the author takes Petra, Neel and Tomik in her next book – the land of the Roma.

I wish there had been stories like these when I was a middle grade reader, I would have devoured them in one sitting as I do now!

Kronos Chronicles

  1. The Cabinet of Wonders
  2. The Celestial Globe
  3. The Jewel of the Kalderash