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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Out of My Pocket #27

Hey, remember when this used to be a regular feature on my blog? I have to ask you people these things because I am failing as a blogger lately. Anyhoo, looks like the last OoMP post was in February 2010!! That’s over two years ago. Golly, have I really bought so few books? Go, me!

Previous OoMP posts can be found here!

At Christmas time I bought a ton of books with gift cards. I have read very few of those books. I was supposed to have something read and reviewed last Tuesday, yet I haven’t even cracked the cover open. I’m just a big puddle of restless misery right now. Although last evening we ended up at the bookstore near us because we happened to be in the area for other things. I picked up two books I knew were out that I wanted and two surprise ones. I am hoping that one of these will help kick start that reading drive again. Goodreads has already started telling me I’m 3 books behind in my goal for the year. I don’t like Goodreads’ attitude. So negative.

I was more than happy to find The Extraordinary Secrets of April May and June on the bargain shelf because it’s been a book that has always piqued my interest, but I was never brave enough to try it. I couldn’t say no to $4.99.

In other news, I just spent over an hour in photoshop trying to come up with a different header image for my blog – both blogs, really. I just… I’m all creatived out lately. I have nothing inside of me. I want to be creative and I want to care about things, but I have nothing. Emptiness. My muse has deserted me and run off with my imagination somewhere. Probably Disney World where they are having a hoot of a time without me. Bastards.

I hate my header. I just tossed something up there since I lost my regular one when my hard drive crashed. I just don’t have it in me to create things. Or read. Or sing. I’m just an empty shell.

Enough woe is me.. I’m really not as depressed as I sound. I’m just in a really weird head space and I can’t figure out what I want to do and I don’t seem to have anything but apathy towards so many things right now. Ugh. If you have any helpful ideas of how to get my groove back, feel free to share them. 😉

That being said, I am not going to write the titles or link them to goodreads as I normally do. No desire to put that much effort into this. I just felt like I should post something.

Ugh! I am so angry at myself for being in this funk! I don’t even want to READ! READ! That’s like, my thing. Boo. Hiss.

Dark Passage

Dark Passage (Dark Mirror, #2)
by M. J. Putney

The Irregulars return home to 1803 England safely, but their worldview has changed.  Not only have their heroic efforts at Dunkirk given them pride and confidence but their dangerous mission has increased their magical powers.
Tory delights in the ever deepening bond she shares with Allarde until she discovers how powerfully he is connected to his ancient family estate—the lands he will not inherit unless he denies his magical powers and chooses a nonmagical mate. If Tory really loves him, she must walk away—but does she have the strength to leave the love of her life?
Cynthia’s heroic efforts at Dunkirk have won her the respect of the Irregulars, but her sharp tongue keeps everyone at a distance. Isolated and very alone at Lackland Abbey over the Christmas holidays, she reluctantly agrees to join Jack Rainford and his family for their celebration even though they’re commoners, far below her own noble rank. The warm welcome of the Rainfords makes her feel happier and more accepted than she has ever been. But she can’t possibly be falling in love with flirtatious Jack! Can she?
Then the Irregulars are drawn into a dangerous attempt to rescue a vitally important French scientist from Nazi-occupied France. Tory and Allarde must work together because countless lives are at stake. Disaster strikes and not only is their mission threatened, but their very lives. Can magic and their loyalty to each other help them survive to return home? (goodreads.com)

Well, hello there! Remember me? I’d be surprised if you did since I’ve pretty much been MIA this month. You’d think I’d have been able to blog about both books I read on my week off pretty close together. Seems that was not the case since here is it 16 days AFTER I read the book and 11 days AFTER I blogged about the first book. Oh, well.

All gushing about the series  I did in my post on Dark Mirror  still stands for the sequel. Dark Passage was just as fun and witchy and historical as the first book. I continued to love the characters and the WWII references.

After recently watching a bunch of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends on Netflix, I realized that this book is a lot like a X-Men cartoon/comic. One of the things I loved most about superhero type things is how different all of the abilities are. The characters in this Dark Mirror series are similar to X-Men in that way. Each has his or her own special power. Same goes for those 13 teen witches in The Secret Circle (books NOT the crappy tv show that has ruined my childhood memories).

Throw in some war references from a war that actually happened, and told from a British point of view (I’m sort of tired of hearing about wars from a US perspective, personally) and this book was a delight to read.

My only negative is that the third book isn’t out and ready for me to read right now!

I’m still not in the mood to read or blog, but I really wanted to get this post of out my drafts and onto the blog. However this means the post is rather blah and lacking. At least I feel a tiny sense of accomplishment. Sadly, with March ending in two days, I will be ending the month with only 4 books read. Of course, if I look at my numbers for the past 4 years, I tend to drop off the book reading wagon in March often. Guess it really is Spring Fever.
Dark Mirror series

  1. Dark Mirror
  2. Dark Passage
  3. Dark Destiny – July 2012

40 years ain’t nothin’ to sniff at

On May 19 (or 20th.. since I always get the date wrong) my parents will have been married 40 years. In this day and age where the average marriage seems to last about 36 days, I think this is a pretty amazing thing.

My sister and I wanted to do something to celebrate this accomplishment but we had a problem; our parents are moving away before May 1st and wouldn’t be here to celebrate with us! Since we knew they wouldn’t want a big deal made out of the whole thing, I figured they’d be ok with us celebrating without them. Heh. So Deb and I came up with a plan B – throw them a joint Going Away and Anniversary party!

Our next hurdle was making the party a non-party, since a) my parents wouldn’t want one and b) we didn’t have a ton of money or space. Since my parents and my sister’s family tend to go to the Cabane a Sucre every spring, why not try to do something there? This way our parents wouldn’t suspect a thing because it would be way before their anniversary and move date.

We’ve been planning this since December although I give total credit to my sister for all the hard work (finding a place, making reservations, making and sending out invitations) because I dropped the ball due to the extra crazy that was work when I got back from strike with my boss away until February. In fact, I’d completely forgotten about this until the day I got the invite in the mail and I called my sister and said “OMG! Thank you! You’re awesome, we’ll be there!” I feel bad for not being able to have done more prep, but I didn’t even have time to take lunch at work for 3 months. Ugh.

We had 26 family and friends all together and the last hurdle was getting my parents there.

Why? Well, they are still house hunting, unfortunately and were headed back to their prospective new town to look at a house today. My sister had to sort of break the surprise by saying they couldn’t cancel the outing, but she wouldn’t tell them who was coming. 😉 Oops.

Of course after 2 weeks of wonderful weather today was cold and wet, but it turned out to be a decent afternoon. I don’t think I have ever gone sugaring off on a warm, sunny day. It’s always cold and wet in my experience!

We had not-so-healthy food:

My nice Lilly, our cousin Audrey and I had our arms painted:

I fed some goats and got ignored by a llama:

We took a horse and wagon ride:

I happen to love this photo!

We ate snow toffee:

And Lilly went on a pony ride:

My parents seemed much less grumpy about the whole thing by the end of it. Even if you don’t want people to make a big deal over you, it’s nice to know so many people love you, want to celebrate you and want to wish you well as you move away. By combining both events it gave people a chance to share their love and wishes with my parents. They will be missed by friends and family and it’s nice to know you have friends and family to visit when you come  back once in a while. 😉 I wish we could have done more, had more people (many couldn’t make it and we just didn’t have the money to rent a hall or something) but I think it was a nice, smaller group and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I know my grandparents would have made sure something was done had they still been around. We always celebrated their milestone wedding anniversaries and since they were together 70 years by the time they passed away, they are pillars of the institution of marriage and that’s something so rare these days. My grandparents (my Mum’s parents) were big on family and love and would have wanted to be here to celebrate their daughter and son-in-laws’ 40th. Even though my parents’ anniversary is normally on a long weekend in May, it would have been impossible to get everyone 3 hours away to celebrate on that weekend. This way we could all participate!

I have not been to a real cabane a sucre since high school. This place wasn’t bad, although the service could have been better at the table my sister and parents were at. Ours wasn’t so bad, but they really were stingy with the portions. Eh, it was really nice OUTSIDE, so once the rain stopped and the weather warmed (slightly) it was nice to walk around.

Mostly, it was nice to be with family and friends who wish my parents nothing but love and happiness in their future together – away from us. 😉


I have had a draft post of Dark Passage sitting in my dashboard for over a week now. I have not read a book in 14 days. I have one that I need to review for Tuesday that I haven’t even opened.

I think I’m blogged out at the moment. I can’t blog, read, sit still. Is it spring fever? Is is the fact that two weeks ago I *had* a fever and was so sick I couldn’t do anything except cough and pray that the coughing would stop soon?

I am filling my free time with Scramble with Friends, Draw Something, Words with Friends, taking photos on Instagram. I am having an affair with my iPhone and have left books and many other things behind.

It’s just a phase my brain is going through. I just don’t feel like doing any of the things I enjoy doing on a regular basis. I’ll come out of this eventually, but for now, my blog is feeling the brunt of the restless phase and I don’t want you all to forget me.

So, here’s a photo collage of what it’s like to try and take a photo of Sophie, my almost 2 year old, Finnish Lapphund. Almost every photo of her is a similar blurry mess. Oh, puppies.

Oh, I’m also about 1500 posts BEHIND in my google reader. I’m also not reading blogs. I’m at the point where I think I’m going to suck it up and just mark all as read. Yikes.

I miss you, Internet. We used to have something special.

Dark Mirror

Dark Mirror (Dark Mirror, #1)
M. J. Putney

Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.
Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if exposed, itcould strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory’s blood is tainted . . . by magic.
When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society.
But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth. (goodreads.com)

Hi, remember me? *waves*  The week off from work I had just did not go as planned. I have done little to no blogging and less reading. I am just not in the mood. It didn’t help that the chest cold knocked me out and that my Macbook’s hard drive died and I lost EVERYTHING. (bad words) but I suppose I should post something on this here blog lest you think I have fallen off the face of the earth.

At Christmas, the lovely Erica from The Book Cellar, sent me two books – Dark Mirror and Dark Passage. I happened to pick up Dark Mirror one night this week as I was up coughing up a lung and I was instantly hooked! Again, this book preempted my reading of Swift (which is on the sidebar as Currently Reading right now), but honestly, this was only because of proximity. Swift was downstairs in the living room, I was upstairs hiding in the guest room while I tried to sleep and cough without waking up my husband. Dark Mirror also happened to be in the guest room. We had a little bit of an affair. Don’t tell Swift.

I had no idea that I was about to embark on a love journey almost as potent as the one I have with LJ Smith’s Secret Circle books. This book is the Secret Circle of the 1800s. Historical fantasy with witches and a boarding school. A group of witches all with different powers, both boys and girls and they all work together.


What’s extra awesome about the book is that it remains historical even as the characters from 1803 travel to the future, because that future is in 1940 with World War II. So it’s historical even in their “future” Woot!

Seriously, I loved everything about this book. I loved the characters, the writing, the plot the dialogue. Everything.

I wish this book (and series) had been around when I was a teen. I was desperate for more stories like the Secret Circle  trilogy but nothing ever lived up to those books in my eyes. It was hard to find books about witches (in the case of Dark Mirror they are mages, or magelings) and I wanted witchy books so bad. Witches are my crack.

I love the idea that magic is shunned among the high born, yet the commoner can yield it with pride. I love that children who are unfortunate enough to exhibit magical powers are sent away to Lackland Abbey where they are hopefully cured of their curse of magic, yet never the same among their peers, their stations now lowered.

Of course no boarding school is quite complete without secret tunnels and secret societies within those tunnels. People you meet along Tory’s journey are not always what they seem.

Finishing Dark Mirror was one of those moments I was supremely glad I also had the sequel in my house. I picked up Dark Passage almost as soon as I finished the first book. I would have gone back to Swift but I just needed MORE of Tory and her friends, both in 1803 and in 1940.

M. J. Putney (whom I always call J. M. Putney, because obviously I am correct and she has misspelled her own name) has a fantastic manner of taking actual historic events and putting her own twist on them. This book (and its sequel) come with little historical notes in the back which I read with glee. I honestly never really paid attention to this stuff in school (I was going to be a Rock! Star! and Rock! Stars! didn’t need to know things like when WWII and WWI happened. Nor did Rock! Stars! need to know math, science or anything about phys ed.) so I am sort of learning it all again for the first time and cherishing the information a little more. (Of course, I did, embarrassingly just ask my husband at the top of this post if it was WWII or WWI in 1940 since I’d already forgotten. Don’t judge.)

This Dark Mirror series has the feeling of a series I will reread more than once, as I do with the Secret Circle. I cannot wait for the third book to come out this year.

Thanks big time to Erica for sending me these books at Christmas. It wasn’t a bunny, but I think I’m happier this way. 😉

Dark Mirror series

  1. Dark Mirror
  2. Dark Passage
  3. Dark Destiny – July 2012