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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stacking the Shelves - I once was lost, but now am found

Shameful, I know. But I feel as if I finally found myself. Or perhaps I just crawled out from under the mountain of responsibilities and obligations weighing me down for the past month. It has been a struggle, I'll tell you that.

Not only did I have my regular working 10 - 15 hours OT every week, but I also had to finally take down all the Halloween December. I know. I wanted to leave them up a little longer since I only got them up a few days before Halloween, but then the hurricane, the snow, getting ready for Thanksgiving, there was an earthquake, a flood. It wasn't my fault!!!!

And so, once the Halloween decorations came down the Christmas decorations had to go up and then the tree. Now the tree takes several days to do. Not only is our tree 7 feet tall, I collect ornaments, a lot of Hallmark ornaments, that I keep in the individual boxes. There are hundreds. No, of course they can't all go on the tree every year, that is why I have to get rid of some. Anyway, it takes a lot of time to take them out of the boxes. They all have to come out first so I can decide what is going on the tree. And if I have to plug in the batteries, it takes even longer as I have to unscrew the battery plate, put in the battery cells and screw the battery plate back in. Trust me, the whole process takes a lot of time.

Once the tree went up, I had to take all the empty boxes as well as the Christmas decorations I didn't use down into the basement until after the holiday. One flight of stairs up or down is easier than 2 1/2 up or down. Then, I had to clean off the dining room table, which was still full of all kinds of kitchen stuff from when the kitchen cabinets were resurfaced back in August. Once I cleared off the dining room table and cleaned up that room, I had to work on the kitchen. I couldn't even see the kitchen table and it's been a mess for the past four months. I know.

Add on top of this, shopping for Christmas presents, wrapping Christmas presents, baking Christmas cookies and any other activities, it left very little time to read or post anything. I was taking very late night baths, usually falling asleep in them, going to bed well past midnight, running around like a loon. Christmas Eve at my family's house with drama, the in-laws coming over for Christmas dinner with full-on drama, cooking, cleaning, etc.

And so for two days after Christmas, I slept on and off. Yes, that is correct. I pretty much slept through boxing day. Sad.

So, now that I have basically slept through my vacation, I can actually breathe a little and now have time to catch up on email, reading and posting. Reviews to come, but first, I need to read the books.

That being said, Santa added to my TBR pile, but since it's been a while, I'll share what I've picked up since we last spoke.

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

Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout - Finally!!! I went to the local book store with a coupon in hand, but neither location in the area had the book the first week of release. I had to order from Amazon at full price and by the time I got it, both branches on the book store had it.
The Cursed Pirate Girl by Jeremy Bastian - Graphic novel somewhat reminiscent of the art of Arthur Rackham.
Love at Second Sight by Cathy Hopkins - This is a book I ordered secondary market and there was no eBook sample to download. I ordered it on plot alone. It sounded intriguing. British author, which I love. Review to come.

Six Earlier Days by David Levithan
Pure(Covenant)by Jennifer L Armentrout
Deity(Covenant)by Jennifer L Armentrout
Elixir(Covenant)by Jennifer L Armentrout
Please Don't Go by Kelly Mooney - Sequel to Please Don't Tell. I didn't know there was another book out, so I was very excited to find it.
The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein - Amazon bargain for $1.99
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr - Amazon bargain for $1.99
Radiant by Cynthia Hand - Novella for $1.99
A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows: An Outlander Novella by Diana Gabaldon - Amazon for $1.99
Forbidden by Syrie James and Ryan M. James - Amazon bargain for $2.99
Putting Boys on the Ledge (A Girlfriend's Guide to Boys) by Stephanie Rowe - Amazon for free!!
By the way, for those of you in New Jersey, Amazon seems to now be charging tax on digital books as of December.

Dengeki Daisy 11Oresama Teacher 12
Strobe Edge 2
Bleach 54
13th Boy 9
Alice in the Country of Hearts: My Fanatic Rabbit 1
Chocolat 8

Blu Ray:
Hans Christian Anderson - After my literary vacation, I wanted to pick up the movie again and compare.

And now for Santa's presents:

Venom by Fiona Paul - Finally!! Missed at BEA. Now it's mine!!!
Lullaby by Amanda Hocking - This one is autographed!!
Death and Resurrection by R.A MacAvoy - A bit of adult fantasy
Under my Skin by Charles De Lint
Survival of the Filthiest (Get Fuzzy) by Darby Conley
Masters of the Nonsenseverse (Get Fuzzy) by Darby Conley
Dark Crystal Creation Myths Vol 1 by Brian Froud, et al.
Trolls by Brian Froud

Blu Ray / DVD:
Indiana Jones Collection on Blu Ray
Kung Fu Panda 2
Dragons: Gift of the Night (How to Train Your Dragon)
U2 Go Home: Live From Slane Castle\

Dr Who:
Tardis Flashlight Key chain
Sonic Screwdriver Flashlight Key chain
Dr Who action figure with Fez and mop - Fezzes are cool!
Dr Who Salt and Pepper Shakers
Tardis Laplander hat
Tardis pen (The Tardis is the pen topper) - From my friend Terri, Awesome!
Dr Who Sticky Notes - Also from my friend Terri - It's a book of Dr Who themed post-it notes!!! How cool is that?
I also ordered for myself a string of Tardis Christmas lights which I'll post once I take a picture.
I got a new Dr Who T-Shirt from Tee Fury which is the 10th Doctor designed as a face card from a poker deck - Awesome!!
And last, but certainly not least, a Tardis hockey jersey designed by Dave at!!!!

By the way, I hope you all caught the Dr Who Christmas special. It was fantastic!!! Alien murdering snowmen? What's not to like???

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday and just in case I don't have the opportunity tomorrow, I wish you and yours nothing but the best in the new year and I wish you all many, many happy hours of reading!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Book Review: As You Wish by Jackson Pearce

So, if you had three wishes to make, what would you wish for. Ixnay on wishing for more wishes, though. That is against the rules. If you could wish for anything else, what would it be? Fame? Fortune? Beauty? A fabulous career? Undying love? Youth? World peace?

That's a tough one. Would you be able to make an altruistic wish for the betterment of mankind? Or would you make selfish wishes? Would you ever consider how your wishes could impact others around you or people you don't know? Would you care?

The business of wish making and wish granting is not an easy job. What if you were the wish granter, but your wish maker refused to make any wishes and you couldn't move on until those three little wishes were granted?

That is the position Jinn, a jinn as it were, finds himself in in As You Wish by Jackson Pearce.

Book Description (from Amazon):
Release Date: August 25, 2009
Ever since Viola's boyfriend broke up with her, she has spent her days silently wishing—to have someone love her again and, more importantly, to belong again—until one day she inadvertently summons a young genie out of his world and into her own. He will remain until she makes three wishes.

Jinn is anxious to return home, but Viola is terrified of wishing, afraid she will not wish for the right thing, the thing that will make her truly happy. As the two spend time together, the lines between master and servant begin to blur, and soon Jinn can't deny that he's falling for Viola. But it's only after Viola makes her first wish that she realizes she's in love with Jinn as well . . . and that if she wishes twice more, he will disappear from her life—and her world—forever.

Jackson Pearce spins a magical tale about star-crossed lovers, what it means to belong . . . and how important it is to be careful what you wish for.

My Review:
Viola is having a hard time dealing with her recent, okay, it's been months, break-up. She was dating her best friend who announced to her one day that he was gay. She was devastated and has not been able to recover. Not only did she lose a boyfriend, she lost that sense of belonging to something greater than herself. She used to be half of a whole, but now she just feels empty and invisible. She is still best friends with Lawrence despite the fact that he broke up with her, but she can't really get over it. She is still in love with him and just wants to belong again.

Her desire to belong is so strong that she unwittingly summons a jinn who tells her that she has three wishes. Once she makes her three wishes, he will go back to Caliban, his home. In the mortal world, he ages, but back in Caliban, time freezes. So, he really wants to go back. The only problem is that Viola is not cooperating. She refuses to make any wishes. That leaves Jinn, as Viola has named him, stuck.

Oh, Vi, Vi, Vi! I wanted to slap her, tell her to wake up and stop wallowing in her own self pity. She was taking absolutely no responsibility for her own life or happiness. While people around her were telling her she could fit in again if she just made an effort, she refused to believe that she had the power to change her life herself and didn't need anyone else. To coin a phrase, she is her own problem and her own solution.

Jinn is a jinn. He is a wish granter. He must grant three wishes his master makes. While waiting to carry out the three wishes, he must obey any direct command of his master's. He must not address his master by any other name. He cannot let anyone else but his master see him. He cannot talk about his race or Caliban. He cannot build any kind of relationships with any humans. He is on earth to do a job, the granting of three wishes. Once those wishes are granted, he goes back to Caliban and the wish maker forgets that he ever existed.

So, when Viola names him Jinn, demands that he call her by her name and starts asking questions about him and Caliban, Jinn finds himself in a very sticky situation. There are three protocols that protect his kind and his home world. And he's just broken all three. He finds that while at first he was pushing Viola to make her wishes, he now wants her to take her time and be careful what she wishes for. He's willing to pay the consequences for breaking the three protocols as long as Viola is happy, but when her first wish results in her dating the most popular boy in school, Jinn finds that what is making Viola happy for the moment is far from making him happy. As a matter of fact, it makes him a little green.

So what did Viola wish for and did she find her sense of belonging? You'll just need to pick up the book to find out.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: Merry Christmas to me! Merry Christmas to me!

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

So, I was not able to post my Stacking the Shelves last week as I spent the weekend cyber shopping.  I have a phobia about shopping malls at Christmas.  Perhaps, it's not so much a phobia as Mall rage, so I try to order as much on line as I can.  The problem, or the bonus depending on the point of view, is that I also find some cyber weekend deals that I would want.  I can't add them to my wish list because my family doesn't shop a lot during cyber weekend.  I don't want to risk not getting the great deal, so I gift it to myself.

As I was not able to post last Sunday, I am including my two weeks worth of loot.  It's been a couple of good weeks.  So, without further delay, here are my acquisitions... 
Used to be by Eileen Cook (Bookstore)
When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (Amazon Marketplace)
The Other Wind by Ursula K. LeGuin (Cyber weekend deal I couldn't resist)
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams (Bargan Book)
Find You In the Dark by A. Meredith Walters - Kindle
Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers Editd bu Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling - Kindle $1.99
That Wedding (That Boy) by Jillian Dodd - Kindle $.99
Oresama Teacher 11 by Izumi Tsubaki
Bleach 50 and 51 by Tite Kubo
Kimi Ni Todoke by Karuho Shiina
We Were There 15 by Yuuki Obata
Hero Tales 5 by Hiromu Arakawa
Sister Red by Jackson Pearce
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Sumomomo Momomo 8, 10 - 12 by Shinobu Ohtaka
Strobe Edge 1 By Io Sakisaka
Kamisama Kiss By Julietta Suzuki
Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino
Rin-Ne 10 by Rumiko Takahashi
The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Alice in the Country of Hearts Omnibus 1 - 3 by QuinRose
13th Boy 11 and 12 by SangEun Lee
The Other Wind by Ursula K. LeGuin (Cyber weekend deal I couldn't resist)
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Scents and Sensibility
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Cyber weekend deal I couldn't resist)
Disney Brave DVD / Blu Ray
Don't Panic by All Time Low
Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da by Madness

I hope you all had a fruitful week as well.  Until next time...