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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

From Amazon:
Book Description:
Publication Date: August 28, 2012 | Series: Nevermore
True love takes a twisted turn in the second book of this modern gothic romance trilogy channeling the dark brilliance of Edgar Allan Poe.
While Varen remains a prisoner in a perilous dream world where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life, Isobel travels to Baltimore to confront the dark figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster. This man, the same man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams and abandoned her in Varen’s nightmare world, holds the key to saving Varen.

But when Isobel discovers a way to return to this dream world, she finds herself swept up in a realm that not only holds remnants of Edgar Allan Poe’s presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen’s innermost self. It is a dark world of fear, terror, and anger.

When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. And now Isobel must face a new adversary—one who also happens to be her greatest love.

I have been waiting for this book for two years. Nevermore was probably my favorite book of 2010. The publication date has been pushed back a few times which has been frustrating. I actually pre-ordered this book back in December and have been antsy ever since to get my hands on it. It is probably my most anticipated book of 2012, but perhaps there is a tie with Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck which is due out next week.

From Amazon:
Book Description:
September 4, 2012 Tiger's Curse (Book 4)
With three of the goddess Durga's quests behind them, only one prophecy now stands in the way of Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan breaking the tiger's curse. But the trio's greatest challenge awaits them: A life-endangering pursuit in search of Durga's final gift, the Rope of Fire, on the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. 
It's a race against time--and the evil sorcerer Lokesh--in this eagerly anticipated fourth volume in the bestselling Tiger's Curse series, which pits good against evil, tests the bonds of love and loyalty, and finally reveals the tigers' true destinies once and for all.
A smart  phone tag code on the back cover links readers to the series website.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: The Never Ending Storage Story

I am sorry I have been a little out of touch this week. My life has become a reality TV show. Could be Storage Wars, although I think I could have used a Collection Intervention before it had gotten to this point. I can't even watch that show because I'm afraid it will mirror my own life.

I have been awash in boxes downstairs for several weeks now and can't seem to get them sorted. I think part of the problem is that I am having a hard time letting go of some things. This is my big chance, though, my opportunity to clean a lot of it out. If I hold onto it now, I'll probably be holding on to it forever.

I was back at the storage facility today trying to make decisions on some of the toys and I was sorting through the thousands of comics. Although I feel like I've made a lot a headway, I think it's going to take one more day for me at the facility. However, at home, I need to go through whatever toys and comics I have here to see if I want to unload any additional items.

No, Terri, I'm not talking about the Sandman stuff.

I am exhausted and have had very little time to devote to visiting my cyber friends or even writing my reviews. I have several to post.

That being said I have to wonder why it is I still cannot seem to stop myself from picking up new books, especially when I am drowning in books and everything else. This bears contemplation. However, in the absence of any philosophical enlightenment at this moment, I bring you this week's Stacking the Shelves.....

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

This was a slow week for me, but I made up for it by ordering several items from Amazon that will be in this coming week. Shhhhh! Can't tell now. It's a secret...for next week's STS post.

For this week, I picked up Rivals and Retributions by Shannon Delany, the next installment in her 13 to Life series.

Book Description:
August 7, 2012 13 to Life

In Rivals and Retribution, the fifth book in the 13 to Life series by Shannon Delany, Pietr and Jessie will find themselves caught in a pack war with a new breed of werewolves.

Jessie Gillmansen is in trouble again and she's in for the fight of her life--and Pietr's! With Marlaena’s dangerous wolf pack putting more pressure on the Rusakova family, change is inevitable and when it comes, it brings a heavy price that forces Alexi into action to save his youngest brother's heart, head, and life. In the stunning conclusion of this celebrated paranormal series two werewolf families fight for control of the small town of Junction, control of each other and--most elusive of all--control of themselves.

I also received my pre-ordered copy of Touched by Cyn Balog in the mail.

Book Description:
August 14, 2012
Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn't? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over . . . and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn't work.

But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something's about to happen that Nick never could have predicted. He meets a girl named Taryn and finds out about the Book of Touch. Now the path that he thought he was on begins to shift . . . and there's no way to stop things from happening. Or is there?

In a life where there are no surprises, nothing has prepared Nick for what he's about to discover--or the choice he will be forced to make. . . .

I ordered another t-shirt from This one is featuring my favorite big blue hero... The Tick and his faithful sidekick Arthur. Still waiting for the rest of the Animated series to come out on DVD. There's probably just as much chance of me getting through the rest of my boxes and getting them put away.

On that note, I am going to try to go enjoy the books I did get. Although, I'll probably end up falling asleep after about a chapter.

Happy Reading! TTFN!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Whovian Alert: Is the Doctor in the house?


After waiting for almost a year (not counting the Christmas special), Dr Who is finally starting to air again on BBC America.  So, get the popcorn, your favorite woobie, kick your feet up and enjoy the ride!!

Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end... But not always in that order. Watch the world-exclusive, just-released BBC America trailer for the all-new season of 'Doctor Who,' premiering Saturday, September 1 at 9/8c. Join the Doctor (Matt Smith), his companions Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) and numerous friends on their latest escapades through space and time where they puzzle an unexpected invasion of Earth, save a spaceship full of dinosaurs, don Stetsons in a Wild Wild West adventure and are even kidnapped by the Doctor's oldest foe. The explosive series concludes with Amy and Rory's heart-breaking farewell -- a race against time through the streets of Manhattan. Will the Doctor really lose the Ponds forever? There's only one way to find out...

The new season of Dr Who premiers on BBC America Saturday, 09/01/12 at 9:00 pm EST.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Haruka - Beyond the Stream of TIme by Tohko Mizuno

I grew up as an army brat. I moved around quite a bit as a child and was always saying goodbye to some place or someone. My father was out of the army by the time I was 10, but I believe what you learn early in life you carry with you, even if you don't realize it. I have moved so many times, even as an adult that I think I've lost track.

With all this coming and going, you would think it would be easy enough to say goodbye, but it's not. And even though characters in books are not real people, there have been times that they've been more real to me than the people around me. Perhaps I should seek some assistance with this.

Anyway, it was with much sadness that I find I have to say goodbye again. This time to the cast of characters in Haruka - Beyond the Stream of Time by Tohko Mizuno.

This book series is based on a sim dating type game in Japan. You know, a choose your own boyfriend kind of game. There are 8 hunky guardian of the Priestess of the Dragon God. Most of them have expressed some sort of feelings towards her. Which one does she chose?

I watched the American release of the DVD which was supposed to have alternate endings, but mine would never show me any other ending than the first one I got, which is who I wanted Akane to end up with anyway. Did she? I'll never tell.

There are also some Japanese OVA's available on DVD as an import, but I must warn you. The subtitles are in Engrish. I have not gotten through all of them yet. Right now, they're stacked up in a closet.

But this isn't about the anime hidden away and stacked up in the closet. It is about my friends and I'm saying goodbye.

When last we left Akane, she was trapped in a cave by Akram. All the guardians had lost their memory of her by means of a curse. The cursed seed was somewhere in Capital and the impurities were spreading.

All Akane needs to do is escape from the cave, get back to the Capital, find the cursed seed and purify it, thus restoring the guardians to themselves so they can release the four gods and the city can be saved. Piece of cake. Does she make it in time to save the Capital? Does she ever get back home or is she stuck in Oz? To which guardian does she finally pledge her heart? You will just need to read to find out.

Book Description (from Amazon)
Publication Date: August 7, 2012 | Series: Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time (Book 17)
Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences rated teen plus.
Akane is your typical teenage girl...until she swallows the Dragon Jewels, which transport her to the Heian period of ancient Japan! There in the capital city, Akane learns that she has been foreordained to lead the people as the Priestess of the Dragon God!

At last the time has come for Akane to face the power of the Dragon God within her. With the Capital dying, the alliance of the Eight Guardians shattered and the Four Gods corrupted by a demonic curse, can she restore life to the world and heal her friends’ memories? And which of the Guardians does she truly love? Find out in the enchanting final volume!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: Storage Wars

Well, well, well. Here it is another week gone by and it is time for the next installment in the seemingly never ending saga of Storage Wars.

Yes that's right. I went back to the storage facility, well I had to really. We're trying to get it emptied out by the end of the month. I went yesterday, but did not get enough done, so I went back today. I am getting quite comfortable being covered with 7 years worth of storage facility black grime.

This time I took pictures, though. Although I can see that I am getting things done and getting things organized, it just feels like there will be no end to this nightmare. My husband was saying yesterday he was completely disgusted with the amount of stuff we have.

This weekend, I found yet another box of books. I will tell you, though, that this is the absolute last box of books from the storage facility and they're not mine. Yippee!
I found four more boxes of videos we just need to toss. I found one box full of nothing but newspaper articles. I found three boxes of extra trading card singles for probably at least 20 different card sets. I have the full set of each in 9 pocket pages and in a binder. There is absolutely no market for old trading cards so I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. There was another large box full of various collectible trading card games and one box full of nothing back Magic cards.

Some fun stuff I did find was my year books for middle school. Also I had autograph books back then and didn't have my yearbook signed. Some of the autographs were hysterical, so cheesy, but I love them! For instance 2 good 2 B 4gotten and quite a few Roses are red poems.  I also found all my report cards from middle school and high school. Nothing like a blast from the past.

The only trouble is that I now have boxes all over my living room, library and dining room since I have to figure out where the boxes are going. Basement for things we're getting rid of and attic for things we're keeping.

My challenge for this weekend, was to go through toy boxes and try to figure out what I want to keep. And to go through the comic book boxes for the same reason. Yesterday, I organized and looked in every toy box. I kept setting things aside in the maybe pile. I mean, some of this stuff is just too damn cool. There is no way I am getting rid of my Tick toys or Gargoyles toys. Likewise, Nightmare Before Christmas, Madman or Flaming Carrot. I will also not be getting rid of any Sandman stuff. I do have action figures of all the Endless except for Destiny and Despair, but I do have Daniel.

Today, my goal was to get through the loose toys and Happy Meal toys. I couldn't do it. I kept taking the toys out of the big boxes to sort, but I kept thinking that the toys are just too cool to sell off. I have a slew of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and while I will not really display them again, I kept thinking, my two new nephews might like to play with these when they are old enough if they come for a visit. Likewise my galaxy sized collection of loose Star Wars toys. So, it may come to pass that I will end up keeping most of the loose figures just in case. I ran out of time, so I couldn't take the time to agonize over whether I should keep them or get rid of them.

Since I now have to give my license in order to get a hand truck and I have to turn it back in before the office closes at 5, I don't have tons of time because I don't get there until 1pm at the earliest, even when I try to get there earlier. So, it's going to take me a couple more days I think and what is left will be sold off.

The top two pictures are from yesterday and the bottom two are from today.  You might not be able to tell, but it does look better today.

But enough about what is old and busted. Here is the shiny new hotness.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I had a pretty good week as far as packages goes. I got my monthly manga delivery, a couple t-shirts and a couple books as well as one more Sandman statue.

 In manga, I got the following:
 Bleach Volumes 44 and 45 by Tito Kube - I am woefully behind, but it is a great series

Dawn of the Arcana 5 by Rei Toma - This one I am caught up on
Haruka 17 by Tohko Mizuni  - This is the final volume which made me very sad

Kamisama Kiss 10 by Juliette Sizuki - Somehow I got myself behind one volume, so I have to read both 9 and 10 

Oresama Teacher 9 by Izumy Tsbaki - Again, behind with this series

A Devil and Her Love Song 4 by Miyoshi Tomori - I am caught up on this one

Kaze Hikaru 20 by Taeko Watanabe - The last volume came out last August, but it feels like 5 years
La Corda d'oro 16 by Yuki Kure - I'm caught up on this one as well

In comics:
I picked up a few comics, but the one I wanted to mention was It Girl and the Atomics by Michael Allred Vol 1.  If anyone is a fan of Madman comics, you need to make sure you pick this one up. 

 In books:
I picked up For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund - I had a 40% off Teen fantasy Sci/Fi coupon for Barnes and Noble and couldn't find anything else I wanted.  The blurb on the dust jacket said it was a retelling of Persuasion, so I figured what the hey.  I sat at the cafe and started reading and found it had a pretty good start.  

 In keeping with the Jane Austen theme, I also received Dear Mr Darcy a retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Amanda Grange.

The last book I got this week is The Treachery of Beautiful Things by R F Long which has been making the rounds on blogs.  Can't resist a good story about Faerie.  I love the cover and ordered it based on nothing more. 

 Non-Book items:
 And to round out my acquisitions, I won off of ebay the Sandman Chronicle statue that came out about 2 years ago that I forgot to pick up.  I forgot all about it actually until I was going through a box of papers and saw an ad for it.  It's a beautiful statue sculpted by Michael Locascio.  

The last two things I picked up were t-shirts from tee fury.  I love the jawas carting off a dalek!  I also couldn't resist the killer rabbit tee from Monty Python.

Well, that's it for this week.  Hopefully this coming week I will get more than a face full of dirt and a lesson in frustration and hopefully next weekend will be the last time I have to go back to that god forsaken storage facility with it's giant rat traps.  I can dream can't I?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Movie Review: The Decoy Bride starring David Tennant and Kelly MacDonald

So. I have Netflix. I was really resistant at first. Wait, let's talk movies and DVDs because it is all related.

I used to go to the movies every week. My taste wasn't always so discerning, but if I really loved a movie, I would buy it when it came out on DVD. Likewise, if I really wanted to see a movie, but missed it in the theater, I would buy the DVD.

This was, of course, pre-Netflix, but post-Blockbuster. I just don't really like renting things so many people have touched. But I digress...again.

Anyway, my though process was always that if two people go to the movies, it would actually be cheaper to buy the DVD. (This was also before Blu Ray.) Also, there was always the idea that if you had a party of people over to watch something it would be nice to be able to say "Yeah, we got that." and pop in the movie and everyone would have a grand old time. Of course, the tragic flaw in that logic is that you actually need to have a party of people over to watch a movie. Sigh!

Anyway, with the never ending saga of the storage facility and my rather large collection of everything, I have begun to question my need to acquire things. Terri, no "I told you so"s please. And no, I'm fairly certain my collection of precious things could not buy a house. Perhaps a new car, though.

As a result, I do not buy DVDs or Blu Ray discs very often anymore. For good things like the Avengers, yes, but now if I miss the movie, I miss the move until it is on cable. We recently got a Netflix account. It doesn't cost much and you have access all the time to what ever they got in their catalog. (BTW, for those of you thinking about it, the Netflix version of North and South is edited. See, for that I am glad I got the DVD. Otherwise, I'd never have known.)  The reason I was reluctant was when I first started scrolling through their offerings, I found all the things I wanted to watch I already own and there was very little I actually wanted to watch.  Now I'm starting to find things to watch and I can stream Doctor Who and Farscape when I have the opportunity to work from home, like next week.

But anyway, as it was I was clicking through the categories and my eyes fell upon a movie called The Decoy Bride. It stars David Tennant (of Dr Who fame, the 10th and best Doctor in my opinion, but who's asking), so I figured. How could I go wrong? Besides, it's free...sort of.

I have to tell you I am so glad I watched it. Unfortunately, now I have to buy the DVD so I can watch it while on the elliptical.

From Amazon:
Editorial Reviews
When the wedding of internationally famous film star Lara (Alice Eve, Men In Black III, Sex and the City 2) to English author James (David Tennant, Doctor Who) is sabotaged by a paparazzo, they decide to relocate the event to the remote Scottish island of Hegg. But the press will not be so easily shaken, and the couple has to take more drastic measures to ensure their privacy. Enter local girl Katie (Kelly MacDonald (Boardwalk Empire, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2), who's selected as a decoy bride to lure the press off the trail. But when Katie meets James, sparks fly, dresses get ruined and suddenly love gets complicated. Featuring an all-star cast, DECOY BRIDE is a charming romantic comedy about the pratfalls of finding true love.

My Review:
Katie (Kelly MacDonald, voice of Merida in Brave) is from an island called Hegg which is the outer most island of the Hebrides in Scotland. She is down on her luck, just got dumped by her fiance has to move back in with her mother, her ex-boyfriend is now marrying someone else and she has to ask for her old job back kind of luck. In fact, she can't get much lower, that is until and entourage of Americans come to the island for a "Marketing Convention".

James (David Tennant) is an author of a book called The Ornithologist's Wife which was written about the island of Hegg. It was written some time ago and his he has yet to write the follow-up. He is marrying Lara Tyler, an American award winning actress, but the paparazzi stalk her and they can't seem to elude the press long enough to actually tie the knot.

Lara (Alice Eve, She's Out of Your League) is actually a little out of touch with reality. She is tired of being stalked by the press all the time and gets a little violent when one crashes what should have been her wedding. In desperation, James and Lara leave the country and head for a secluded location so they can finally say "I do".

Cut to Hegg. The Laird of the island is Lara's boss and he has devised a plot. He wants Katie to write a guide book that they can sell with the "Marketing Convention" coming to the island. The Marketing people are even renting the Laird's castle as is. No surprise that the "Marketing Convention" is actually Lara's entourage with James in tow so they can finally get married.  She loves the book by they way, which is why she thought to go to Hegg. The trouble is, James has actually never been there before even though he wrote about it and the Laird's castle is run down and doesn't look anything like the book describes it to be.

The scene is set.

Katie while out on a note taking excursion in the local toilet reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a cow encounters James who introduces himself as John Johnson. It is not what you would call a happy encounter at all, more like a close encounter. He first mistakes her for being a married woman, he then mistakes the toilet for her home, he later calls her a toilet attendant.

Lara, while out jogging spies her nemesis, a photographer who is relentless in his pursuit of her. She freaks and disappears with not much time before the wedding. The wedding must go on as planned in order to throw the paparazzi off the trail so Lara and James can have their real wedding after she's found, but of course, nothing goes off as it should and things don't always go according to plan. You can guess where it goes from here.

This movie had a great cast of characters, some of the sweetest being a deaf couple dancing to James trying to play the bagpipe, but as long as he holds it to his mouth, they think he's really playing. While James was a bit of an ass for half the movie, he's the Doctor, so I can forgive him. I love Katie.  She just has such a dry sense of humor. She's intelligent and a lot more interesting than Lara Tyler. The thing about Lara is you don't say no to her...ever.  But I have to feel sorry for her because she can't ever get a moments peace from the paprazzi stalking her and making her life hell.  She has no privacy.  All three go through a bit of a metamorphosis and it is interesting to see how they all end up.

I loved the fact that everything about the Ornithologist's Wife is wrong and it is a theme that keeps coming up all throughout the movie. Does James ever write his follow-up novel or will he have to give back the advance? Will Lara be arrested for assault and battery of the press? Will Katie every find out if the toilet is really haunted by the ghost of a cow? All these questions will be answered and more. It's just a fun movie that for me is a keeper. And I don't have too many of those any more. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Comics vs Graphic Novels

I have been collecting comics, plus a whole lot of other things, since I met my husband a good number of years ago. When I first started collecting and up until recently, I have been somewhat of a purest. I would pretty much only buy the comics as they came out monthly.

Since a graphic novel is generally several issues, it could be months before the story arc was released in book format. Then there's the cost involved. A single comic can cost on average $3.00 to $5.00. A Graphic Novel on average can cost $20.00 - $25.00. It always seemed easier to put out the few dollars a month than a larger amount all at once.

There's also no guarantee a book will actually be released in graphic novel format. Oh, sure, Batman will and Spiderman and Superman and any other main stream title.  A lot of independent books get released in bound format as well, but some of the smaller indie publishers may not ever be released in bound format, let alone finish the series. So, I've always had that mentality to buy it while you see it because you may not see it again. I'm working on that, by the way.

However, I have recently begun to reconsider my earlier stance. I have been collecting some things in bound volumes, generally hard back Limited Edition volumes, like Hellboy. I was just going through the comics found in the Hellboy Library Edition Volume 5 realizing I didn't actually read any of the comics in that volume and I was now putting them in a to get rid of pile. What is the point of purchasing the single issues if I am going to turn around and buy the collections and then try to get rid of the individual issues?  There is always that level of uncertainty, though.

And I guess with trying to clean out the storage facility, I have come to see that while one comic in and of itself does not take up that much shelf space, thousands of comics do.

So along with a lot of other things I have to purge, we are going to be selling off the majority of our comic book collection along with the majority of our toys, most in package.

So, I'm curious. Comic vs Graphic Novel. A monthly dose or a larger collection in one shot? Boxes upon boxes full of comics or shelf space for the collections? (At least the graphic novels can be shelved in the library) Small monthly cost or larger financial output once or twice a year?

The jury is still out for me, but I am dangerously close to tipping the scales in favor of waiting for the graphic novels. I guess, though,that if you're going to buy a graphic novel, you should be committed to the story. With buying the comics, you can test the waters, try one or two issues to determine if you like the story. If not, you can opt to not pick up any more issues.

Which would you choose?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012Top Ten Tuesday - Romances You Think Would Last Outside The Book!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's Top Ten: Romances You Think Would Last Outside The Book!

My first thought was, how can I stop at 10? My second thought was can I lump my favorite Jane Austen couples into one listing? I think I'm going to try.

Without further ado...

1: Aragorn and Arwen and Eowyn and Faramir from The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
Although Arwen has no speaking lines in the book, it is still a deep unbreakable bond they share. As for Eowyn, she was lusting after Aragorn, but he wouldn't give her the time of day. She didn't necessarily settle for Faramir, but rather, found him when she needed him most and when she would open to the possibilities.

2: Mia and Michael from The Princess Diaries By Meg Cabot
He was always steadfast even when she was flighty, but I'll chalk that up to her age. I mean, who would throw perfect, gorgeous Michael over for some 'Me too' yahoo. I'm sure you've all encountered on of those guys before, the type that like everything you like and nothing you don't like. Michael is intelligent, sensitive, romantic and a geek to boot. Geeks do make the best boyfriends.

3: Kelsey and Ren from The Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
Now I know book four has not come out yet, but I am hoping they get they're happily ever after. What they share is far deeper than just being soul mates, it's mystical and Kelsey had best wise up. That's all I'm saying.

4: Georgia and Robbie from the Angus books by Louise Rennison
I have read all the books in the series and there is no way in my mind Georgia doesn't end up with Robbie the Sex God. Come on, Sex God, Rock Star, wants to save the world, he's perfect and willing to put up with Georgia's antics. So while I love the series, in my mind, the series ends after volume two while Georgia and Robbie are happy. It's sort of like the Highlander films for me. The first one was awesome, but it was also the only one because the four or five that followed never existed.

5: Inu Yasha and Kagome from Inu Yasha by Rumiko Takahashi
Add one part dog demon from feudal Japan. Add one part girl from the future. Throw her down a well and shake. What you get is hilarity and hijinks as only Rumiko Takahashi can produce. Sure he has dog ears and is a demon, well half-demon, and he wants to steal the jewel of the four souls for himself and he's cheating on her with his dead corpse like ex-girlfriend, but all relationships have their problems. They were made for each other cause they certainly weren't made for anyone else. He will protect her with his last dying breath while she will travel through time to be with him. It's a match made in manga.

6: Han and Leia from Star Wars by George Lucas
Okay, so he only wrote the first book. Thank the publisher. I'm beginning to think no one should let him have his own ideas. When I first saw Star Wars in the theater, that's right, the drive-in, I was all about Luke. Luke and Leia. Perfect for each other. I know. Eeewww now, but back then we didn't know what we know now. However, by the second time I saw the film, I was like Luke who? and wondered if Han could come fix my hyperdrive. K, not going there. Anyway, the point is I realized Luke was too whiny and Han Solo is a rogue, a scoundrel and he's scruffy looking.

7: Miaka and Tamahome from Fushigi Yugi: The Mysterious Play by Yuu Watase
Oh, sure. He's a character from a book Miaka fell into, but when she gets to his world, he saves her from ruffians, then he tries to charge her for saving her life. That was their first encounter and it was a roller coaster ride from there on in. She's a priestess, needs to stay pure, must summon the guardian dragon and get back to her world, but he's a fictional character in a book. Insurmountable? Not if you really love someone. What these two go through to be together is mind blowing. Just when you think the situation can't get any worse, it does again and again, but it makes the joy all that much sweeter.

8: Isobel and Varen from Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Geek boyfriend. Need I say more? Cheerleader / geek magnet. The chemistry is undeniable. As the sequel is due out August 28 (squee!!!!!), I guess we'll see if they get their happy ending, but they've both had to make sacrifices for the other. He's brooding, dark, tortured, mysterious, a loner and she is incandescent, shedding light in his twisted world.

9: Laurel and Tamani from The Wings series by Aprilynne Pike
Pah, David. She should never have given David the time of day unless he wanted to know what time it is. Tamani dared to dream what with her being above him socially. I haven't read the final installment, but I can only hope they get to be together in the end. He has loved her all his life and stood by her even when she turned her back and chose another. Most people might give up, but he remained constant through it all.

10: Jane Austen couples: Lizzie and Darcy (P&P), Emma and Mr. Knightly (Emma), Anne and Frederick (Persuasion).
Not that I don't like Fanny and Edmund from Mansfield Park, Catherine and Henry from Northanger Abby or Edward and Elinor (S&S), but I like the other couples so much more. They seem to have had more obstacles in their path and prejudice and resentment to stand in the way, that when the barrier's are finally broken down, the depth of their passion is that much more captivating.

11: I cheat. I could not let it go without mentioning some of my other favorite couples, some of which have been mentioned in other posts. It's hard to choose just 10.
Jamie and Claire from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (can't tell you how many times I've read this book)
Margaret and John from North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Tristan and Yvaine from Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Megan and Finn from Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

Ahhhh!!! I can't think anymore, so I'll leave it at that.

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Alice in the Country of Clover - Bloody Twins by QuinRose and Mamenosuke Fujimaru

I feel like a fell into a rabbit hole every single day when I drive into work. Only, when I get there, it's not so wacky, no one's having a tea party and we don't even get to play croquet, just forget about the flamingos.  It is no wonder I identify with Alice and her adventures in wonderland.

Sometimes, though, I think I should have taken the blue pill.

This is actually one of the books we had around my house when I was a child. We didn't have a lot of books and even back then, if I found I book I really loved, I'd read it over and over again. I had memorized The Jabberwocky and The Walrus and the Carpenter and could recite them. Often did at parties. Not that I remember all the words now. It's been a while.

So when I saw a manga version of Alice's story, I had to jump on it!

Book Description:
Publication Date: June 5, 2012 | Series: Alice in the Country of Clover
The fantastic sequel to New York Times bestselling manga Alice in the Country of Hearts

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are the "Bloody Twins", amorous and affable killers who are able to transform themselves into adorable children or suavely handsome adults. As the gatekeepers to the Hatter Mansion, they tried to kill Alice once. Now they are hopelessly in love with her. Will either Dee or Dum win Alice’s affections, and more importantly...will she survive their screwball courtship?

My Review:
I made one error in choosing to read this book at this time. This is a sequel. The original story arc is Alice in the Country of Hearts. It was being published by Tokyo Pop, but since they closed down their publishing house, the final volumes were never released by them. Yen Publishing now has the rights to the series and released the series in omnibus format, three volumes, on June 26. Since I didn't know where my last Tokyo Pop volume ended, I did not pick up any of the collected volumes yet. But I figured, how different can it be? So, there are some gaps.

Well, in the sequel series, Wonderland has shifted and where Alice was staying in the Country of Hearts, she is now in the Country of Clover. It's the same cast of characters, but the scenery has changed and things aren't there that used to be. For instance, there is a character named Gowland who runs the amusement park, but the amusement park is gone and there is a forest instead.

In this new arc, Alice is living with The Hatter, Blood Dupre, who is the head of a crime syndicate. Elliot March is still Blood's right hand man and still has his rabbit ears which Alice can't resist stroking. The Bloody Twins still work for Blood as well and they are the focus of this volume.

Boris who is the Cheshire Cat makes an appearance as does Vivaldi, the Queen of Hearts. Then we have Ace, the assassin, coming back as well as Peter White who is, you guessed it, the white rabbit and the bane of Alice's existence. He is the one who brought her to Wonderland, he is totally obsessed with her and is bordering on stalkerish.

So, as I said the focus of the volume is the Bloody Twins, Dee and Dum. They look to be about 13 or perhaps a bit younger, but they carry big axes, guard the gates of Hatter mansion and call Alice "Big Sis". They also sleep in the same bed with Alice and cling to her day and night. This volume opens up with her waking up to find the twins have transformed into adult bodies. It is apparently one of the perks of the magic that allows the land to change. The twins can morph into adult bodies any time they want.

Alice seems to be getting a little hot and bothered by this. They make her heart pound when in adult form and she blushes a lot just thinking about them in their adult forms. She tries to talk herself down by telling herself they'll leave her one day when they grow up for real and find someone else they care about more. So there was a lot of this inner monologue of Alice's in an attempt to distance herself from them so she won't get more hurt when she loses them in the future.

Oh sure, there was some other stuff going on, some battles in town with the twins in the center and a monthly gathering of all the leaders of Wonderland where they are forbidden to try to kill one another, but it all took a back seat to the triangle between Alice, Dee and Dum.

I found this a bit disturbing. First, although Alice is young, she is still a teenager and older than the twins. At her age, the gap in maturity is too great to get past. Once they're all into their 20's, the age difference wouldn't bother me, but this kind of did. I kept wondering what happened at the end of the first story arc to bring her to this point in time. Where's Julius who she had been staying with and why is she crushing on the twins when there is a lot of older hotties surrounding her daily?

I need to put the pieces together so I am going to have to go back and get the collections to catch up and then maybe it will make sense. There was much about this volume that had the creep factor. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but it is not one of my favorites. But I think I need to read it in context with the overall story and not as a stand alone volume.  As a note, there are some chapters in the back that are about other characters, so it's not just an entire volume of the twins. 

My recommendation, though, is to start with the three omnibus volumes of Alice in the Country of Hearts and then pick this one up or much of what is going on will not make sense.

Coming up next is:
Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz - Vol 1 out 07/03/12, Vol 2 out 09/04/12 and Vol 3 out 11/13/12.
Alice in the Country of Hearts: My Fanatic Rabbit - Vol 1 out 12/11/12 and Vol 2 out 04/23/13
Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar's Game Vol 1 out 02/05/13.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - Buried Alive

Well, as I said last week, I've been cleaning out the storage facility and thought I had about 30 boxes of books stashed away. I may have overexagerated. There weren't 30. It was more like 25. And in all fairness, all the boxes were not mine. There were 6 boxes of my husbands books, so I feel much better about it.

I am being buried under a mountain of books!!! Now, some of them had been read, but when I moved three moves ago, there just wasn't going to be room on the book shelves, so anything we had already read was boxed up and stored in the basement until the landlord said all the boxes in the basement were a fire hazard and we had to get them out of there. Thus began the saga of the storage facility, which was only supposed to be for a few months at the most, but turned into 7 years.

There are quite a few books from those boxes that are part of my collection I'm keeping; like Terry Brooks, Raymond Feist. There were probably about 20 books autographed to me from the ABA in New York more than 10 years ago and I have to wonder why I got some of them at all. I guess I was just star struck. A free book? And autographed? Where do I get in line? Ah, if only I had a time machine and could go back and tell my past self the cost involved in storing books I'm never going to read.

Anyway, I have gone through all the boxes so far and have my to get rid of pile, my to keep pile, my autographed pile, my Tolkien Histories (I collected all of them except for the last one. What's up with that?), children's books for my niece and nephews as they get a little older, my maybe pile and my give away pile. Yes, that's right. I am going to brave the waters of book blog contests. More on that hopefully later this week.

But onto this week's post.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So, the only thing I got in the mail is a jigsaw puzzle with an illustration by Kinuko Y. Craft. She does the cover illustrations for Patricia McKillip's books.
I also finally bought a turn table for my record collection. But this is not just any turn table. It converts vinyl to mp3 and will import directly into my iTunes library. I have 6 milk crates full of old vinyl albums. Some of you might remember. But there are some things I have on vinyl that were never released on CDs or as digital downloads. Try as I might, I have not been able to find some; like B-Sides from my 45s of Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Squeeze and some others. Some embarassing things like Helen Reddy, Ray Parker Jr (Don't Ask and it's not Ghost Busters), Willie Nelson, Def Leppard, need I continue? So I have had some fun converting some stuff so I can listen to it on my iPod. Fun, fun, fun. Worth the investment.

That is it, though. My husband got two boxes last week and I am expecting a shipment of Viz manga this week and three t-shirts from Tee Fury which is an awesome website. There is a new t-shirt of the day, but it is only available for that day. All t-shirts cost $10.00 plus s&h. Check it out!

So without further ado, here are the pictures I have of my books from storage so far. More to come next week.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Book Review: Please Don't Tell by Kelly Mooney

When I was in high school, I was in the band. We had an exchange trip with a school from Massachusetts and I met a guy who I really liked. We hung out in Massachusetts and back at my school. After the exchange, we kept corresponding, but I was a flaky teen and his letters were starting to get just a little too serious. Plus he lived hours away and I was not old enough to drive. The love affair ended with summer as I just couldn't hack the long distance thing.

I have found since that if you truly love someone, you can manage. My husband was in the military and he was deployed for a year. As much as it bit the big one, we still managed to get through the year. But that is me, older and wiser, not young and flighty.

A long-distance relationship is just what Sophie Gerrard is trying to establish, though, in Please Don't Tell by Kelly Mooney. Oh, what Sophie doesn't know and I wish I could tell her.

Book Description:
Publication Date:February 6, 2012
Sixteen-year old, Sophie Gerrard has been in love with her close friend, Peter Watson since childhood. She planned to tell him how she felt during their families’ yearly vacation to the Caribbean. But when Peter arrives from London with a girlfriend and his cousin Ethan, her plans change.

Disgusted by how the vacation has turned out, she agrees to go island hopping with Ethan, to avoid Peter. But even that didn’t work out as planned. When their dinghy capsizes, Sophie and Ethan are forced to swim to a cliff of rocks. She never planned to share her innermost secrets with Ethan but, she really thinks this could be her last adventure ever. In the panicked hours it takes for help to arrive, Sophie tells him how much she likes her Sunday through Monday undies, that she kissed her best friend’s boyfriend, and how she’s never made it past third base.

Once saved, Sophie tries to forget about all the things she revealed. After all, it’s not like she’ll ever see Ethan again, right? But Sophie’s mom decides he should stay with them while he does his semester abroad, and by the time Sophie realizes she’s falling for him, he’s moved on to her arch-enemy. Knowing that Ethan can ruin her junior year with one slip, she becomes obsessed with one thought: Please Don’t Tell!

My Review:
My first thought was that Sophie must be an idiot for holding on to the dream of a relationship that is never going to happen. She waits every year for the family vacation so she can see her crush for two weeks and then not again for another year. She's not interested in any boys back home. Well, that's not entirely true. She was dating a boy named Jason that she wasn't all that into. But she never fell for any boys back home, holding out for Peter to notice her as a woman.

When she sees Peter this vacation, though, she's in for a bit of a shock because Peter has brought his girlfriend. Sophie didn't see that one coming and she was devastated. Peter's cousin, Ethan came along for vacation this year. Ethan, who was the tormentor of Sophie's youth and someone she can't stand. However, to get away from Peter and Claire, Sophie finds herself going on an excursion to one of the other islands with Ethan. It's all fun and games until the boat sinks from a near run in with a larger boat. They have to swim ashore and wait until someone notices they're missing.

Fear can cause people to do strange things and Sophie starts blurting out to Ethan all her secrets she's never shared with anyone, but when they're finally rescued, she's mortified at what she's divulged. She decides to avoid Ethan for the remainder of the trip, which she is fairly successful at. That is until their last night on vacation when she shares a dance with Ethan. And that changes everything. She is about to get more than she bargained for, not that she was bargaining, and her worst nightmare is about to come true. Ethan is going to come stay with her family for a year as an exchange student.

Sophie doesn't want to see Ethan again. She has conflicted emotions about him. She is finding herself attracted to him, but still remembers how he tormented her when they were younger and is still mortified about her confessions to him on the island. She decides she has to keep her distance, so she starts dating Jason again just so she is unavailable. Which is kind of screwed up if you ask me. I want to avoid hunky A, so instead I will date B who is a jackass. She didn't make sense to me at first. She was crushing so hard on Peter and then turned it off so quickly and started having feelings for Ethan, but Ethan made her nervous, so she pushed him away and started dating Jason again. See? Makes no sense. But I was young once and an idiot, so I suppose in some way it does make sense.

Ethan is a troubled soul. His dad died and he took it really hard. Started living rough and recklessly. He moved back to England with his mom from Australia hoping the change of scenery would settle him down, but it wasn't until he saw Sophie again that he thought his life might be worth something. He has always had a thing for her, but he knew she had the hots for Peter, but now with Peter unavailable, he is hoping he can win her over.

He seems like the perfect guy to me. He still exhibits some self destructive behavior, but he is jealous of Jason and frustrated that Sophie is pushing him away. Still, he clings to the hope that she'll give him a chance. Will he succeed? Read and find out.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How many books could a woodchuck read if a woodcuck could read books?

It has come to my attention that I have been having focusing issues lately. I am trying to read a book through, but I find I read a chapter and then I pick up another book and read a chapter.

I am currently in the middle of reading three books, which may be a record for me.

These are the books I am currently reading alternating chapters:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Die for Me by Amy Plum
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I have also raved about downloading Kindle samples. Whenever I find something that sounds interesting on another blog, I download a sample and stash it in my "Samples to Read" folder. The only problem with that is that I have 124 samples currently in that folder. I have been trying to read through some of them as well so I can make a decision about whether to pick up a certain book or not. That is perhaps the bulk of my reading lately.

These are the books I've read samples of in the last two weeks:
Taste by Kate Evangelista which I ended up purchasing.
The Fake Boyfriend Experiment by Stephanie Rowe which I ended up purchasing.
Easy by Tammara Webber which I ended up purchasing.
Die for Me by Amy Plum which I ended up purchasing.
The End of the Dating Moratorium by Stephanie Celeste Perkins which I am still thinking about.
Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl which I am on the fence about.
Chosen (The Seeker Saga #1) by Sarah Swan which I decided against. It sounded like an interesting enough premise, but it just didn't seem to appeal to me.
Enchant Me by Anne Violet which I ended up purchasing.
Down the Shore by Kelly Mooney which I have decided to fore go. Couldn't get into it and I grew up at the shore. Maybe that's why.
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies which I am still thinking about.
Night Swimming by Nikki Burnham which I decided against.
Shot Through the Heart by Nikki Burnham which I decided against as well.
Last Stand by Nikki Burnham which I also decided against. Now I know what you're thinking. I actually have read books by Nikki Burnham before that I liked, but just not these three, at least based on the sample.
Putting Boys an the Ledge(A Girlfriend's Guide to Boys) by Stephanie Rowe. This one seems pretty amusing, so I may actually pick it up.

If anyone out there has an opinion on any of the samples I've read that I am still considering, let me know how you liked the book and it may sway my opinion. I always like to hear other people's opinions on books I'm reading or thinking of reading.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Desperately Seeking Advice - You can blog for inspiration

Newbie book blogger seeks advice from more experienced book blogger on getting started running contests.

That's right. We're living in a material world and I am desperately seeking advice. I have a ton of books to rid myself of, both old and new, and I wanted to start having contests, but I am really unsure how to get started. I am hoping someone out there can give me pointers or share how they began.

I figured it would probably be easier jumping on a giveaway hop, but am a bit overwhelmed on how to get started. It's like I have an iPhone. Yeah, I got it last summer. I still haven't set up my voice mail. Every time I attempt it, I get stuck at the recording a message part. Who's got the time?
So if any of you kind souls would take pity on a helpless wretch such as myself, send me some inspiration and I'll be bouncing for joy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Not every week can be a stinker and I don't hit the mother lode all that often. Most week's seem to be somewhere in the middle. This week for me has been a mish mosh, but I picked up some fun things.

Also, I went back to the storage facility. I believe the rest of the book boxes have now been found. I believe I was estimating about 15? I think it ended up being closer to 30. Now why, I have to ask the cosmos, do I have an entire book box full of old TV guides? Sure the covers are all cool; Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, X-Files, who knows what else, but why did I keep them? I guess I thought they'd be collectible one day. That box is still in storage, but it has been identified.

And why Paul Young? I found two boxes of old cassette tapes as well as cassingles, some of you must remember those.

But enough about what I found. I'll be posting more on the fun stuff I found, and embarrassing stuff, once I get through more of the boxes.

This is about what I got this week. Isn't it always? So without further delay...

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
Books I purchased from the local book store:

Wicked Jealous by Robin Palmer
Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
15% off Barnes and Noble coupon and my husband was kind enough to pick up one of them for me.  They're both pink covers, so that was quite a sacrifice.
I just have to catch up on my Rachel Vincent books and pick up the prior book before I can get to this one.
EBooks I purchased:
Enchant me by Anne Violet (From Amazon: " Rumors. Magic. Secrets. Attraction.)
Taste by Kate Evangelista (It's like the manga Vampire Academy although without pictures.) - I picked this one up after reading a review from my blog roll.

Sandman mini statue by Randy Bowen purchased off ebay
Glow in the dark lavendar Domo qee purchased from local comic book store
CDs purchased:

The Party's Over by the Smoking Popes
Rocket by Primitive Radio Gods

DVD Purchased:
Geek Charming from Disney - I don't really expect the movie to be all that great, but it is based on a  book my Robin Palmer of the same name.  I have read all her books except for Wicked Jealous, which just came out, so I thought I'd give the movie a try.
That's it for me this week.  What ended up on your shelves?