Monday, March 31, 2008

Short Story Monday - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

See? You can actually LEARN something on Short Story Mondays! Like the fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote more than just Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger novels! Honestly, I thought that was it! But today's Short Story is called The Parasite by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It was originally published as a 'novelette' in 1894.

Austin Gilroy is a man of science. He studies physiology at the university and believes in only the things he can prove. His friend Professor Wilson studies the Occult and is always trying to "prove" it's existence to Austin. But nothing is ever legitimate and Gilroy writes them off as shams.

But one evening Austin and his fiance, Agatha, are invited over to Professor Wilson's to meet a friend of his wife. Miss Penclosa is a native of the West Indies, and according to Wilson, a bona fide phenomenon. When Gilroy is introduced to her, he is shocked. She is nothing like he assumed she would be. She is older, frailer, and even crippled in one leg. She claims she has the power to control another person. Gilroy refuses to believe her claims until she puts her power to the test by using Agatha as a subject. She mesmerized Agatha and told her to break off her engagement with Austin, which she does (although she has no recollection of even doing it). Austin is excited about the possibility of being able to "study" Miss Penclosa's powers and agrees to be the subject of her mesmerism.

But as the weeks progress, Austin starts to realize that Miss Penclosa is developing feelings for him, and is using her power to exploit those feelings. When Austin awakens from a trance, he is holding hands with Miss Penclosa and is about to profess his love....something that is FAR from actuality. He tries to break all ties with Miss Penclosa, but she has wormed her way into his a Parasite.

This story is written in the form of Austin Gilroy's journal entries. I love this form of writing because it seems to give the reader a closer look at a person's feelings than just reading dialogue. The story is well-written, and intriguing. The downward spiral that becomes Austin's life is actually kind of disturbing. What is the old adage.....Hell hath no Fury like a Woman Scorned?? It definitely is accurate in this story!!

And I loved it....until the very last sentence. I almost threw the book, I felt the ending was such a cop-out. I finished it this morning....and gave myself the day to think about it. And I don't quite hate the ending as much. I still think there would be better ways to end it. But I also think Doyle wanted to put a "happier" touch on the end. Personally, I think a dark ending for a dark story would be the way to go. Oh well.....Bygones.

Till next Monday!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Go Vote for Colleen!

As all of you know, I'm a HUGE fan of Colleen Gleason's Gardella Vampire series. Such great books! And Colleen is such a nice person. I visit her blog all the time.

Well....right now, she is in a "March Madness" contest over at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels. So far, she has made it to Round 3, but she is up against some stiff competition: Patricia Briggs and Moon Called.

So....if you are a fan of Colleen's work, I would love to see you vote for her!!

Click on the link above and it will take you to the vote. You have until Midnight tonight! Just Do It!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Is there anything funnier than Stephanie Plum??

A few summers ago, I started reading the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I had heard so much about them that I wanted to find out for myself why all the fuss. So I took them with me on vacation. My husband thought I was nuts, because all of a sudden, I would burst out laughing!! And I loved them. But I read the first 4 books in about a 2 month period. I was afraid I would run the risk of burning myself out on Plum. So I set the rest of the books aside...until now. High Five by Janet Evanovich (340 pgs, St. Martin's Press) is book number 5 and one that I am using for the TBR Challenge.

Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter. Ummm...a Bail Enforcement Agent. And she works for her cousin Vinnie bringing in people that skip out on bail. Trouble is, business is a little slow and the rent is due. Enter Ranger, the Superman of Bounty Hunters. He handles all the really big, dangerous criminals and when he's not out catching bad guys, he's doing other odd jobs, mostly legal and sometimes moral. He lets Steph join the group, which includes guys with names like Tank. The jobs range from "interior decorating" (security) to chauferring a shiek. And Ranger even gives her a snazzy Porsche to use as a "company" car.

Then Steph's Uncle Fred disappears and her family wants her to look into the case. But when she starts digging into Fred's things, she finds pictures of a dead body....or at least the body parts. And what does all this have to do with the problems Fred has had with the garbage company....the errand he was running when he suddenly went missing??

What can I say?? After reading A Fine Balance, my brain needed something way lighter and a lot more fun. And this was certainly all that. There is just no getting around laughing at the things Stephanie gets herself mixed up in. With a cast of characters that grows longer with each book, Evanovich weaves a good mystery with lots of fun. And sexual tension. The ever-present debate over who Stephanie should end up with is big talk among Plum fans. Should it be Morelli, the sexy cop with the smoldering looks that Stephanie has know all her life? Or should it be Ranger, the dark, dangerous bounty hunter that is gorgeous and built for speed?? For the first four books, I've been solidly in the Morelli camp. But Book 5, stepped up Ranger's interest....and I have to say I may be wavering a little!!

If you are looking for some fun, light reading, this is definitely the series for you. Now that I've finished High Five, I may have Plum Fever again. I definitely can't wait to see what trouble Stephanie can get into next!! 4/5

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Fine Balance Between Hope and Despair

When Oprah choose the book A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (624 pgs, Knopf) as one of her Book Club selections a few years back, I added it to my TBR list. Now you may ask why I didn't read it until now. I learned early on that many of the Oprah Book Club books tended to run on the depressing side. And let me just tell you this: A Fine Balance is no exception to the rule. I finally picked it up to read as a choice for the Canadian Reading Challenge: Rohinton Mistry hails from Toronto and this book won the Giller Prize in 1995.

A Fine Balance is the story of 4 people in an Indian city in 1975, during the State of Emergency declared by the Prime Minister. Dina Dalal worked as a seamstress. Although her brother had money, Dina was determined to make a living on her own. When her husband was killed in an accident on the day of their 3rd Anniversary, Dina's life changed forever. She refused to be arranged into another marriage, preferring to sew to make a living for herself. But 20 years later, her eyes began to fail. She needed desperately to find a new way to survive. So she took on work from an export company. But she needed to hire some tailors to actually make the dresses.

Enter Ishvar Darji, and his nephew Omprakash. The two tailors had left their village, hoping to find work in the big city. Ishvar and Om had survived many years of suffering and heartache before reaching the city. Ishvar and his brother had been born into the Chamaar caste. A working class caste of untouchables. But their father had hopes for his boys, and sent them away to learn a new trade - the trade of the tailor. And the boys flourished, which didn't sit well in their village where caste violence was the norm. When Om's father defied the laws of the caste by standing up and wanting his vote to count in an election, the entire family was murdered. Om and Ishvar escaped the brutal killings only because they were out of town at the time. Now, they needed a job as desperately as Dina needed tailor.

Maneck Kohlah was a boy born in a small mountain village. His parents owned the local store and their family prospered until expansion and new ideas came to the village. Maneck's father didn't want things to change, and it was causing this business to slide. Instead of training Maneck to take over and modernize the family business, it was decided he needed to go to college to learn a trade. So he was sent into the city completely against his own wishes and desires. But life at the college hostel was horrible. When his only friend, the leader of the student council disappeared, Maneck needed to find somewhere else to stay. He didn't feel safe. His mother was childhood friends with Dina Dalal. She needed a paying guest and Maneck needed a room.

The first half of the book shifts back and forth between the past and the present. In this way, we get an understanding of the backstory of each of the four main characters. The second half of the book is all in the present, with the four living under one roof, learning about each other and themselves. It took me a long time to get into the story, and I'm not really sure why. Although the book is well over 600 pages, it instantly grabs you.

The horror of the 70's in India is definitely not a story for everyone. The volatility of the situation was really hard for me to comprehend. The staged political rallies, where people were forced to show their support of the Prime Minister. The "Beautification" of the city, that included tearing down all the low-income housing and leaving many homeless, including Ishvar and Om. The forced sterilization of people to cut back on the population surge. The brutal caste system that condemned a person at birth. How the ruling upper class tread on the backs of the poor to push forth their own agendas. These are just a few of the topics touched on by Mistry. It's a beautiful, heartbreaking, sad, depressing story.

I loved Dina, even when she was trying so hard to stay hard-nosed with the tailors. She had such fear that they would take advantage of her. She was strong and independent, but had lived alone for so long she actually feared companionship. She probably changed the most during the story, and it was a wonderful change. I found Maneck to be a bit on the spoiled side, but his biggest strength was his ability to see beyond the boundaries of class. He was the glue that held the four together. Om and Ishvar endured so much, from page one until the end. Theirs was the story that broke my heart.

Can I recommend this book? Absolutely. It's a beautifully written story that needed to be told. But if you are looking for a breath of fresh air or a heartwarming story to make you feel good, this is definitely not it. It's a hard read because you want to see good things happen to these wonderful people. And yet you just know as you turn each page, it's not going to end very well. This story really affected me: It made me angry and sad....and extremely thankful that I have never known such adversity. And that, my friends, is the sign of a good book.

"You see, you cannot draw lines and compartments, and refuse to budge beyond them. Sometimes you have to use your failures as stepping-stones to success. You have to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair".

A quote to live by. 4.5/5

Monday, March 24, 2008


Well....since I seem to live my life in perpetual lateness, it seems rather fitting that I'm just now posting this. I've been literally waiting months for Carl's Once Upon a Time II Challenge. When he FINALLY posts that the time has come, I'm late getting to it!! So is my life.....

But better late than never, I always say. And I'm very excited about it!! I love Fantasy, especially the way the whole genre can be broken into numerous sub-genres. It rather fascinates me. But more about that later. For now, let's get to the Challenge at hand:

from Carl's post:

The Journey
This is really as simple as the name implies and is to Once Upon a Time as the experience was to The Sci~Fi Experience. It means you are participating but not committing yourself to any specific number of books. All reading is a journey, perhaps none more so than reading fantastical fiction. By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing to at least read one book within the four categories during March 21st to June 20th period. Just one book. It has always been of utmost importance to me that the challenges that I host be all about experiencing enjoyable literature and sharing it with others. I want you to participate. Hence, The Journey.

Quest the First
Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time II criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres.

Quest the Second
Read at least one book from each of the four categories. In this quest you will be reading 4 books total: one fantasy, one folklore, one fairy tale, and one mythology. This proved to be one of the more difficult quests last year merely because of the need to classify each read and determine which books fit into which category. I am not a stickler, fear not, but I was fascinated watching how folks worked to find books for each category.

Quest the Third
Fulfill the requirements for Quest the First or Quest the Second AND top it off with a June reading of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Love the story, love the films, love the idea of that magical night of the year and so this is my chance to promote the reading of this farcical love story.

Three is a magical number, a number of portent in fantastical tales, and so three quests seems about right.

Since I already stated how much I love the idea of the sub-genres within fantasy, I'm opting for Quest the Third (this year I actually want to read A Midsummer Night's Dream!) Mind you, I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants with this. I always tend to choose far more books that I can actually hope to read in the time frame given. But to me, choosing the reading list itself is almost as much fun as actually READING the books!

Here is my list. I am definitely reading at least one for each category, and hope to finish more than that:

Fairy Tale Fantasy:

  • Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
  • White as Snow by Tanith Lee
  • The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey

Mythic Fantasy:

  • The Wood Wife by Terri Windling
  • Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint
  • Trader by Charles de Lint

Folklore Fantasy:

  • 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill ( this is kind of a loose interpretation of folklore. But I'm throwing down that Ghosts Stories are a type of folklore!)

Fantasy (of any sub-genre):

  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (didn't think I'd let a fantasy challenge go without a little Gaiman, did you??)
  • Fool Moon: The Dresden Files Book 2 by Jim Butcher
  • Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

And finally:

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

The Challenge has already started. It is to run from March 21st until June 21st (Midsummer Night's Eve. And as always, Carl has created a review site, so you can read about all the wonderful books the many participants have read.

Carl is a wonderful host. So.....many thanks, Carl. I'm super excited to get started!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Challenges, Challenges.....

Yeah, I know. It's crazy to think of joining more challenges. But last year's Non-Fiction 5 Challenge hosted by Joy from Thought's of Joy was one of my favorites. It was a chance for me to break out of the norm, and really CHALLENGE myself. Non-fiction literature has always been difficult for me to read. But I found some incredible books last year, one's that I would have missed if it hadn't been for the challenge.

This year, Joy is hosting again! All you have to do is read 5 non-fiction books between May and September. At least 1 book has to be a different from the other choices. Visit Joy's blog to sign up! As with last year, I had a horrible time trying to narrow down my list. So I've included the 5 I would like to read and some alternates. Without further adieu, here is my list:

  • A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
  • The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx (this has a FANTASTIC soundtrack that goes with the book!)
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed the World by Erik Larson
  • Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich
  • Hope's Boy: A Memoir by Andrew Bridge
  • Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl


  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
  • Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez
  • Thunderstruck by Erik Larson
  • Bush At War by Bob Woodward (Book 1 of a Three Part Series)
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirisi Ali
  • Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through his Son's Meth Addiction by David Sheff
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Sheesh. I just couldn't decide!! We'll see how many I get through!!

Katrina from Callapidder Days is hosting a Spring Reading Thing 2008. Sign-ups begin on March 20th. I had so much fun with this one last year, that I can't resist trying it again!! The challenge runs from March 20 - June 19th. No set amount of books. Read as many or as few as you want!! This is a chance for me to get some books off the pile!!

  • The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
  • Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  • School's Out by Christophe Dufosse
  • Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block
  • Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
  • Better Than Running at Night by Hillary Frank
  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
  • The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur by Daoud Hari
  • Divorcing Dwayne by J. L. Miles

These books have been sitting around for months!! I need to make a dent in my piles somehow!!

Any other challenges I'm missing?? I'm still waiting not-so-patiently for Carl's Once Upon a Time Challenge II.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I just got my New Computer....

On the off-chance you've been wondering what happened to me, I have been trying to get up and running on my new computer!! It's so nice...and fast! My other computer was about 6 years old. As you know, in these days of technology, it was a dinosaur. But this one is great. I'm not one for a laptop....since it's used by everyone, so a nice pc was what we went with. And a super 19" wide screen. Man...I'm loving it! BUT I'm still trying to get everything re-loaded to it. And although I had a recovery done from my old computer, I'm still trying to find a lot of my old files. Oh well....I'll find them eventually!

As for reading, I'm knee-deep in A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I'm reading it for the Canadian Challenge, and it really is fantastic, although it's 600 pages. It really took me awhile to get into it...but now, I just can't read fast enough. I also just started Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. Not too sure what to think about it yet.

In other book news, while doing some blog hopping this morning, I found that The Pager Flipper is holding a Giveaway for March. 6 Books!! Now that's pretty cool. All you have to do is email Chelsea and let her know you want to be included. You should check out her blog. It's great! A new one to add to the blogroll!
Have a Happy Sunday!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Playing Editor

Suggested by John :

How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:
__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.

Interesting question. But a hard one to answer. Truthfully, I don't even know how. Sure there are books that I have questioned , "Why, oh why, did that have to happen?" There are books I have read that I have loved....and books I haven't. Even a few that I would go as far as to say I actually hated. But would I have CHANGED them? Probably not. That's not my right. An author must have a vision when he or she writes, and who am I to question that vision? Doesn't mean I have to like it.

For example, Jodi Picoult has written a lot of books that have some questionable endings. My Sister's Keeper is certainly one of those books. I really loved this book, although the ending left me in tears. Would it have been a better book if one of the main characters hadn't died in the end? Well...I probably wouldn't have cried so much, but it would have changed the tone. It would have been a different book, and I might not have enjoyed it as much.

Certainly Tolstoy could have shortened War and Peace. I mean, come on. Those battle scenes could have been a little....less. But that was the book he wrote, and it has stood the test of time.

Almost ever Stephen King book ends with the knowledge that the creepy-crawly monster is STILL out there. Maybe I would have slept a little better not worrying about what was under my bed at night, but would I have kept reading his books if the endings were are tied up into little neat packages?? Who knows?

So basically, my answer is this: I don't think I would edit anything. The writer's vision is his own, and who am I to judge!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Things I Get Myself Into.....

Man. I have a headache to beat all headaches today and I can't sleep. (I'm working the noon to 8 shift today.) So here I am sitting at my computer trying to figure out how I'm going to make not one, but 2 pies before tomorrow. Chad's teacher emailed me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I could make pies for Pi Day (get it....3.14, March 14?? I must be slipping because it took me a bit to get it.) Pi Day this year is the 13th, since there is no school on Friday. So of course, I said "Sure, I'll do it". Then I completely put it out of my mind. Until last night. When Chad came home and reminded me that I have to bring pies. Sheesh. What I should do is buy a couple of Mrs. Smith's pies, pop them in the oven, and be done with it.

But no. I said I'd make homemade pies....and I will. Apple Crumb Pie and Cherry Pie. Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to shop, work an 8 hour day, and make 2 pies before tomorrow morning. What was I thinking??

OK. I do know what I was thinking. I was thinking that I could be as good as those Stay-At-Home, PTA Mom's I see on the rare occasion I am able to pick the kids of from school. You know the ones. The mom's with the time to bake homemade snacks for the kids. The ones that all know each other and have "play dates" together. The ones that have time to make wonderful meals each night for their families.

Please, please, PLEASE don't take offense to this if you are a stay-at-home mom because it's not meant that way. I ENVY you. I do wish I could have stayed home with the kiddies instead of daycare, preschool and grandparents. But that just wasn't in the cards for me. We NEED 2 incomes in our household. Period. It wasn't a matter of giving up weekly Starbucks. It was a matter of paying the mortgage.

So....for now, my shot at being the good mom means I'd better get my butt to the store so I don't have to stay up ALL night to make a couple of pies!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Short Story Monday - Jerusalem's Lot by Stephen King

I haven't participated in Short Story Monday since I finished the last of Neil Gaiman's. So it seemed fitting, if I was going to continue, that I should fall back on an old favorite: Stephen King. Actually, I kind of fell into this one as well. I went to the library looking for collections of short stories. I just wasn't sure where to begin. I spent a while searching for something recent. My library isn't exactly the most up-to-date library there is. It's only a small branch of the Peoria Public Library. But they try. What the lack in actual books, they make up for in customer service!!

Anyhoo, what I did find was an older book of 13 Short Horror Novels, by authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle, HP Lovecraft, George R. R. Martin.....and yes, Stephen King. Jerusalem's Lot was originally published in 1978 for the collection Night Shift. I really don't think I ever read this before. I do know that I didn't read one of his earlier collections, and it must be this one, because this story was brand new to me. Now we all know the story of 'Salem's Lot. It was actually the first King I ever read. A town filled with vampires. But this story is actually quite different, and yet, equally frightening.

Jerusalem's Lot isn't so much as story as a collection of letters and journal entries from a man named Charles Boone in October of 1850. Mr. Boone inherited the old family estate in Maine from a cousin. Since he was the last of the bloodline, Chapelwaite was his. Mr. Boone and his friend (and servant) Calvin moved into the old mansion. Most of the people in the small village of Preacher's Corner felt the men were mad for moving into the place. Chapelwaite had a very bizarre and sinister history for the Boone family, and no one wanted to go near it. Things went bump in the night behind the walls and in the basement.....sounding like very large rats.

Then, one day, Calvin discovers some old papers and a map to the deserted town of Jerusalem's Lot. The two men set off for the town, only to find that no one has set foot there in many years. Everything is just abandoned....even by the animals of the area. At the center of this deserted village is a church, but unlike any church either man has ever entered. The cross in inverted and there is a sacrilegious picture of the Madonna and Child. On the pulpit is a book, written in Latin entitled De Vermis Mysteriis (The Mysteries of the Worm). When Charles touches the book, the entire church starts to shake, and it feel like something is moving in the ground beneath.

Reading a story by Stephen King is like coming home to an old friend. He is truly a talented storyteller. Is there really something going on? Is his family really cursed? Or is Charles Boone just mad?? The history of the Boone family is strange, disturbing, and a touch frightening. And as with all things Stephen King, the bump in the night is never truly vanquished. He always leaves you with that last little tidbit just to let you know it really isn't safe to be near Jerusalem's Lot!!

Hmmmm.....once I finish this collection, maybe it's time to dig out my old Stephen King books for another go!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

This Series Just Gets Better and Better

Last Sunday, the girls and I went out for Brunch and a little side-trip to Barnes and Noble. While I was perusing the shelves, I stumbled up this one: Chosen: A House of Night Novel by PC Cast and Kristin Cast (320 pgs, St. Martin's Press). This is book number 3 and I was almost giddy when I saw it. I couldn't believe my eyes. This book wasn't supposed to be released till March!! Then I realized it WAS March, which is just more evidence that I am TOTALLY losing it!! So basically, all the other books on my pile got pushed aside, so I could read this one. Besides, it's a selection that I'm using for Joy's Young Adult Challenge.

WARNING: There may be spoilers of previous books, especially Betrayed in this review. If you haven't read it yet, you might want to skip to the last 2 paragraphs!!

"Yep, I have a seriously sucky birthday," I told my cat, Nala. And Zoey Redbird couldn't be more accurate with that statement!! First of all her birthday is December 24th, and everyone always gets her Christmas themed birthday presents. Her mother has basically given up on her. Her step-loser (uh, step-father) is an elder in the People of Faith church. They believe that all Vampyres are evil, and now some not-so-veiled threats have been received. Her best friend, Stevie Rae, "died" at the last Full Moon Ritual. But I guess you have to use that term loosely. When a fledgling is "marked", the change process to become an adult Vampyre begins. Not all fledglings survive the change because their bodies reject it. Some die. But Stevie Rae's death was actually another type of change. Because now she has become "undead", almost a caricature of what people believe vampires to be: full of bloodlust, only can move at night, and rather evil. But at least in Stevie Rae's case, a small part of her humanity is still present and Z wants to help her.

Then there's the fact that she has 3 boyfriends. The wonderful Erik Night, who is an upperclassman at the House of Night and a total catch. Her human ex-boyfriend, Heath who doesn't really want to be an ex. Ever since Zoey drank a little of his blood, they Imprinted and Heath just can't leave Zoey alone. And then there is Loren Blake, the Vampyre poet Laureate. He's gorgeous, sensitive, an adult Vampyre and a teacher to boot. Completely off-limit to students, but he really has a thing for Z.

Finally, there is Neferet, the High Priestess at the House of Night. She was Zoey's mentor and friend, until she betrayed her. Zoey knows she has something to do with the Undead fledglings and Stevie Rae. Zoey knows in her heart that Neferet represents something evil, but she doesn't know what to do about it. She can't even discuss it with her friends. Since Neferet has the ability to read minds, the little her friends know, the safer they will be. Zoey feels awful about lying to them, but she really is doing it for her own good. Then there is Aphrodite....Zoey's sworn enemy. When Zoey took over control of the Dark Daughters from Aphrodite, Neferet told everyone that the Goddess Nyx had withdrawn Aphrodite's powers to see the future. But that wasn't true. And since Neferet was unable to read Aphrodite, she turns out to be the one person who can really help her navigate her way through the mess her life has become!

When Zoey and Aphrodite stumble across the body of one the adult vampyre professors, it's almost a certainly that something bad is on the horizon. A war between the humans and the vampyres is coming and Zoey is trapped smack dab in the middle.

Can I just say now how much I really LOVE this series?? With that said, I really hated the ending of this book. I do realize Chosen ended in a way that will lead us to the next book. Zoey is a wonderful character: she is strong, smart and vulnerable at the same time. When she makes mistakes, she tries to own up to them and that makes her something special. She has been blessed by Nyx with an affinity for ALL the elements AND the spirit. Again, that is something that has never happened before. She is definitely a High Priestess in training. She just needs to figure out who she can really trust and find a way to do something about all the drama that has become her life!

This book was fantastic, even with the ending that I didn't like. Doesn't make it a bad book. Just leaves me on pins and needles until the next book is out. And I can't WAIT until Untamed, Book 4 in the House of Night series is released later this year!! 4.5/5

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

6 Word Memoir

I apologize for my lack of blogging etiquette, but really....I haven't had the time!! Both Amy from The Sleepy Reader and Naida from The Bookworm tagged me for a meme. Isn't that sweet of them?? Well here it is....Finally:

The Six Word Memoir

"As I read yet another book review of a memoir this weekend, my husband told me that I should write one. I said that my story would be much too short and rather boring so when I ran across the following book I decided it was just my speed. A six word memoir! Written by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I was Expecting: Six Word Memoirs by Famous and Obscure is a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were- For Sale: baby shoes, never worn. There’s a video on Amazon with examples from the book, it sounds like a fun read! I’d like to start a six word memoir meme and here are the rules:"

1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4 .Tag five more blogs with links
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Exhausted, Overworked, Underpaid but Loves Completely.

Well....that's just how I feel!!

Should I tag?? I'm quite sure most all of you have participated. But if not, here are a few tags:
Chris at Book-A-Rama
Bellezza at Dolce Bellezza

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Life, Lilly, and a Little Pink Cast

You know. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. I feel bad for not posting, but the last few days have been pretty bad. I'm FINALLY starting to feel better. Lord knows, it's about time. And work is good. I really love my job, but it's been a rough few weeks with sickness. Everyone has had it. So we've been really working odd hours to keep fully staffed.

At the beginning of the week, the girls started bugging me. On Friday night, at the Peoria Riverman game, Emily Osment was going to be signing autographs. Any of you with kids, especially girls, will know that Emily plays Lilly on Hanna Montana. She's a cute little thing, that's for sure. And my girls just love her. I didn't really want to pay for tickets to the Riverman game though. Personally, I hate hockey. Probably because I just don't understand it. But there are so many other things I would rather be doing on a Friday night.

But Thursday kind of threw a wrench into the plans. I was on my way home from work, and my in-laws called. They were making a big lasagna dinner and wanted to know if we wanted to come over. Any time I don't have to cook after a long day at work is cool by me! While I was helping Sharon with the dishes, the girls were playing around. Then I heard screaming. Anastasia, the 5-year-old had fallen and hurt her arm. I knew then there was something wrong. Being a mom kind of trains you for stuff like this....and I can tell the difference between a whine and real pain. After 20 minutes of trying to calm her down and put ice on the arm, it was apparent we were in for a long night. So off to the emergency room we went.

4 hours later, we find that Ana has broken 2 bones in her wrist. It was swelling a lot, so they put her in a splint, gave her a shot for the pain, and set up an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for the next day.

It's a clean break, and should heal just fine. But she has to spend the next 3 - 6 weeks in a pink cast. Poor little thing. And of course, I HAD to go to the Riverman game. We even got her cast signed by Lilly!! She was very nice, even though we had to stand in line for close to 2 hours to see her!! The girls were star struck, and I had to talk her. They just grinned like little dorks!! But they were happy. Again....another case of doing something for the kids. They'd better remember this when I'm old, and they have to take care of me!!

There's Lilly!!

Making friends while standing in line!!