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i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

The Nancy Drew Case Files #66

The Nancy Drew Case Files #66 – Tall, Dark and Deadly
by Carolyn Keene

You know how sometimes you just can’t get into anything? You can’t read. You can’t play a video game. You don’t want to watch a movie and you don’t have cable, but even if you did you wouldn’t want to watch anything anyhow? Well, that was me over the weekend. The weather was absolute depression in a bottle and I was just so out of it. Home and work stress played a part, but also, I’m solar powered. I hate the heat, but I NEED the sunshine. I fall asleep almost as soon as the sun sets and I am just a moody blob on the couch when the sun has been behind clouds for as long as it has been.

So I picked up one of the 8 or so Nancy Drew books I picked up for a dollar (TOTAL) back in December at a bazzar. I used to collect the Case Files back in the early 1990s and I felt all nostalgic when I saw them on the library sale table and I thought, “Self, maybe you need a fun Nancy Drew-type mystery to entertain yourself, rather than sit her and contemplate the various ways you could kill yourself through rain clouds.”

I did just that. Picked up the first book in the order I had (#66, so I have a few more to collect, really) and I read it in spurts. This is only a 150ish page book but I just wasn’t in the right headspace, so I’d read some, mope around the house, read some more, tell the new dog to stop eating things that weren’t food, read some more, play with a quacking sheep toy with the dogs, read some more… etc… you get the idea.

In the end, I had read this book and felt better inside. The sun came out even (I totally give ND the cred for that!) and I was happy that I read a book from my childhood (aka teen years, because I am OLD). The Nancy Drew Case Files are the attempt to modernize the teen detective in the early 90s from the girl who solved mysteries about clocks and keys from the, er… 50s? (I am blanking on the year and I used to be awesome at ND trivia! I could look it up, but really, I’m feeling lazy. The fact that I am even writing this post should be good enough for all of you. =P)

Good ol’ Nancy Drew was my 17th book for the month of May and my 68th book for the year! Not too shabby since I wasn’t sure I’d even make 5 books for the month of May. I’m over 50% of the way to my goal of 125 books for the year, too. I am happy about that. I should have vacation coming up sometime in July (not sure when yet) and I hope to read the entire time!!

Thanks to Nancy Drew for helping me get out of my funk over the weekend!

oh, look, more dog photos

When will she write a real post? (Don’t know.)

Hi! My name is Sophie and I am half otter and half goofball! My parents claim I am actually a Finnish Lapphund, but I don’t believe them! I feel a kindred spirit with these creatures called OTTERS and I like to squirm around on my belly and nose first and hold things in my paws like my other fellow otters do. I rarely use my feet to get anywhere. I like to slither nose first on my belly to get to you! My feet are used to kick Jinx in the head or to smack your computer screen or book if you’re not paying attention to me!

Hi! It’s me, Jinx! I have an otter-slash-goofball I’d like to sell you. Cheap. Available immediately. Might need front paws removed to prevent black eyes. CALL ME!

Haunting Violet

Haunting Violet
by Alyxandra Harvey

Violet Willoughby doesn’t believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother’s elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother’s scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she’s known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies? (goodreads.com)

Release date: June 21, 2011

I’m always excited when I find out an author is Canadian. I feel all proud and patriotic and stuff. So of course when I was asked if I wanted to review Haunting Violet and I thought the summary was pretty cool AND I was told it was written by a Canadian author, I said YES! (I also then realized that I had read something by said author before, only she was using a different name – Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry. Can’t pull a fast one on me!)

There was a distinct moment as I began the novel where I wasn’t sure I was going to like this at all. Not that it was poorly written or annoying or boring, it was just something that wasn’t clicking with me. But I pushed through because the book isn’t that long at all and I thought, I’m giving this my full attention, dammit!

I am happy I did because once Violet starts seeing spirits things get much more entertaining. I was completely caught up in the mystery of who killed Rowena and suspicious of almost everyone because they were all highly suspicious characters.

Though the story is supposed to be set in Victorian England (I believe?) I didn’t get the same historical feel as I have from other books set around this time, whether they be historical romance, paranormal or fantasy. It was a little hard to keep the setting and period in my mind as I read the book. I don’t think the cover above helped much with that. I didn’t get a gothic victorianish feel from the cover as from the other cover I see floating around. Still the cover is pretty eye catching, but it looks like it could very well be a present day story by it.

As for the murder mystery – I was totally blindsided by the whodunnit. I was! I had my own theories and suspicions and it wasn’t anything like I thought! Huh! Well done!

Violet’s mother was one of those mean/unable to cope with things parents that you often see in books, especially paranormal ones. However she was also very well written and I despised her immensely! Imagine! A mother who feels that her own child owes her for feeding and clothing them. Ugh! I was seriously hoping she’d die somewhere a long the story because I couldn’t stand her with a passion.

Of course there is romance – because what would a YA book be without it these days, right? I wasn’t too annoyed by it, I sort of liked the relationship the two crazy kids had. It felt real and more believable than other romantic liaisons I have read about. I can’t find too much fault with it and it wasn’t so sweet that I felt like gagging. (I am just so old and cynical. Jeez.)

Overall (ugh, I can’t believe I just used that word, I hate it!) this was a fun read and if there happens to be another book planned with Violet I will certainly be picking it up!


Nightshade (Book 1)
by Andrea Cremer

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.

But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice? (goodreads.com)

Why yes! It does appear that I am focusing on reading books I got at BEA last year while BEA is going on this year. To be honest, it sort of reminded me I still had a bunch of books I hadn’t read from that trip. I stood in line to get this novel signed, it wasn’t a planned one but I think it was one of those “I came out of one signing and saw there was no line at another signing I didn’t think I’d make” deals. I don’t think I knew really that Nightshade was going to be about werewolves of a sort, I think I might have thought witchy and I loved the cover. So I will admit that once I realized it was about wolves and started seeing the not so stellar reviews around I sort of put it off.

I wish I hadn’t, because aside from the love triangle-slash-instant love bits, I was fascinated by the paranormal world that Andrea Cremer had created. I loved the idea of a town ruled by the wolves, but the wolves are ruled by Keepers (magical beings of some sort?) and so on. It made for an interesting dynamic in the story. Sort of like The Craft meets um, werewolves. ;P

Things I liked – the Guardian/Keeper aspect. Very cool. I liked Calla for the most part. I liked Ren and I loved Calla’s brother and best friend. The group dynamics were pretty well done. Two “rival” packs having to form one. One pack is slightly more hooliganish than the other. I don’t know why I like large casts in my stories, but I do. Take L.J. Smith’s Secret Circle trilogy for instance (and you all know how much I LOVE that series, if you’re a regular reader of my blog). I loved that there were 12 teens in that group. Not all had large parts, but they were there. Each was different. Not all of the teens in Nightshade were as 3-dimensional though. Ren’s sister, um, Cossette? Wasn’t all that memorable. In fact I had to think hard about what the heck her name was. But still, I loved the larger cast of characters. I liked their mystery, even if all but Calla knew what it was.

What I didn’t like – Shay. I just didn’t like him. It didn’t help that I thought those youtube videos of “Shay” exploring the house (as part of the marketing campaign) were lame. I hated the actor playing Shay with a passion. There was no acting ability there. I get what they were trying to do but it so didn’t work for me. Shay in the book didn’t work for me either. So he had no fear of Calla and the Guardians like he should, but he still shouldn’t have been such an ass about things. I think Shay was an asshat for the most part of the book and I was sort of hoping he’d die, but alas, things went exactly as I guessed they would with him. Can we please have more books without the stupid instant-love crap that is being published all the time? PLEASE? Ugh. I am old and jaded and just have no patience for that sort of thing. It makes me skim pages whilst rolling my eyes and trying to get back to the PLOT faster.

I did keep reading the book with the lurking doom feeling of “ok, so maybe I’ll start not liking the story now”  but with each page I turned I found I was enjoying the book so much more than I thought I was. I let myself be swayed too long by the negative reviews I was seeing so I had started Nightshade with very low expectations, which I shouldn’t have.

The best thing about finishing this book? When I was about 50 pages from the end, I received an email from Penguin Canada asking me if I’d be interested in reviewing the sequel. Talk about great timing! Penguin Canada might be spying on me but I certainly appreciated it this time. Of course I said yes! So I’ll have Wolfsbane to read this coming week. Woot!

Nightshade series

  1. Nightshade
  2. Wolfsbane
  3. Bloodrose – February 2012

is this supposed to hurt so much?

On Tuesday I had my first ever cavity filled. Since then, I have not been able to touch or use my tooth. Sharp, piercing pain whenever anything touches my tooth, including my upper teeth and my stupid mouth guard which keeps me from grinding my teeth and getting migraines.

I phoned the dentist’s office back the next afternoon and explained how I can’t eat anything. I can’t chew. I was told “Oh, sometimes it’s sensitive, so give it 10 days and if it’s still hurting, call us back.”

Is this supposed to hurt like this?? I feel like the nerve is being poked anytime I touch my tooth. I had NO problems before the stupid filling. I didn’t even know I had the tiniest of cavities. This is crazy. I can’t eat anything. I have to chew on only the right side of my mouth and that’s not always easy.

Ugh. I am not enjoying this. I have to keep my tongue between my upper and lower teeth so they don’t touch because the piercing pain is so bad. Somehow I don’t feel like this filling was done properly or something. I can’t imagine what I am feeling is anywhere close to normal.

Anyone? This is all new to me so I don’t know if it’s supposed to keep hurting like this.

As it was, they had to give me extra shots of the freezing stuff since the first ones weren’t enough. Talk about OW when he started drilling. This is what THAT felt like.

Aren’t you supposed to have pain before the cavity is filled? Not the other way around? This is miserable.