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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dr Who - Season 7 Part 2

 Well, it's the day a lot of people have been waiting for, me being one of them.  Tonight, the second half of Dr Who Season 7 aired and with our new companion, Clara Oswald.  I was riveted.  The first half of Season 7 was only 5 episodes and it started airing last September.  I have been so anxious for the new episodes to start airing with only the Christmas episode to break the monotony of broadcast television.  I really do watch very little television.  I am more of a chronic channel flipper or I watch Netflix or Blu Ray / DVDs.  I think that's why I am so full of angst waiting for the new episodes to air.  I currently only really watch Dr Who, Game of Thrones and sometimes Top Gear.  No, I'm not a gearhead.  I just think those guys are funny.  And I watch hockey, but that is hardly a regular broadcast.

But back to our story.

While not perhaps the strongest story I've seen, there was a lot going on with continuity and some nods to the Amy / Rory run.  It does set up the second half of the season nicely, though.

I'm not really going to talk about the plot as I don't want to give anything away.  I do want to say, though, that I absolutely love Clara so far.  I think she's a really good character and is more than a match for our Raggedy Man.  She has a quick mind and she's curious about everything, always asking questions.  While she is struck dumb by the interior of the Tardis, she takes everything else in stride and I think she'll be a good balance for The Doctor.

The Doctor is as witty, funny and charming as ever and so, so clever.  While I still pine after the David Tennant days, I still do love Matt Smith.  He shows a bit of a vulnerability that the prior two doctors  didn't really show as much, but he can also be hard as steel, the doom bringer.

The only negative thing I have to say is that there are only going to be 8 new episodes at this time.  Strike that, 7 more new episodes.  This frustrates me to no end.  I realize all the seasons are 13 episodes, but I think it is the amount of time between part 1 and part 2 of the season that is throwing me off.  I'm not even sure which season we are in anymore, although the episode guide tells me we are in Season 7...still.

The only thing I would advise is to watch the prequel video first.  You can find it on the BBC Dr Who page.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - Palm Sunday Edition

To start off, there were no palms involved in my day in any way shape or form and today did not go off as planned, but I find things rarely do. I had meant to post this earlier, get on the elliptical and get the last of the Christmas boxes into the attic.  Instead, I slept in a bit later, but got up to work a couple of hours of overtime before lunch. The hubby and I watched an episode of Supernatural (we're on season 4) while eating lunch and then I crawled up on the bed with Egg and took a nap. I woke up and read a bit. Got up, went into the other room and fell asleep on that bed. When I woke up, it was time to get changed to head over to hubby's parent's house for a birthday celebration. We got home later than expected, I had to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers, get the garbage together, make sandwiches for tomorrow and viola! I've got 10 minutes to post my Stacking the Shelves.

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

This week, I only got one package in the mail. It contained a heating pad called Repeat the Heat which is awesome. There is a little metal disc you click to activate it. Then to reuse, you boil it until the crystals melt. Hubby got me one for Christmas and it was the most awesome thing ever! Except I had to reset it and left it boiling for like two hours. I boiled all the water out of the pot, melted the latex covering so all the liquid drained out and burned the dish towel it was wrapped in. Quite an accomplishment.

It has, however, been a decent week with the Kindle Daily Deals.

Cursed by Jennfer L. Armentrout – Kindle Daily Deal
Cinderella in Skates by Carly Syms
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey – Kindle Daily Deal
Languish by Alyxandra Harvey – Novella
Wait for You by J. Lynn - Kindle Daily Deal
God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire) by Kate Locke - Kindle Daily Deal
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker - Kindle Daily Deal

Now, I do have Cursed and Haunting Violet in book form, but I can take my Kindle with me anywhere I go, so if it's only a buck or two I'll buy it in ebook format.

I also picked up the Hobbit in Blu Ray. Came complete with a little Bilbo Baggins lego figure.

That was my week. Hope you all got lots of goodies!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Night is Movie Night - Stardust

So let me tell you a little story about this post.  Egg likes to help.  He's not very good at it.  Last Friday night, I started working on a movie post and, all the sudden like,  he jumped up on my desk, standing on the keyboard.  I thought perhaps he would like to sit behind me like he often does, so I got up to get a nice terrycloth bathrobe to put on the back of the chair for him.  I must have moved suddenly or breathed because he freaked and dashed off the desk, but not before knocking my mouse on the floor.  I bent over to pick it up and when I looked back at the screen, my post was gone.  At this point it was 11:30 and I wasn't about to try to recreate the post.  I tired doing everything and anything, but nothing would bring it back.  I was mad at him and refused to give him chin rubs.  The next day I was on the computer and went into my history posts and lo and behold!  There was my post as a draft!  I don't know how that happened or what he hit on his way off the desk, but I was soooo relieved.  And now, I get to share those thoughts with you.

Now on to movie magic.

 Well, it appears Stardust is on heavy rotation on Showtime, so I have had the pleasure of being able to watch snippets here and there as I'm doing other things, like working out on the elliptical.

I should warn you, though, that I am one of those people that even though I have the DVD, I will watch it every time I see it on TV and if I don't happen to catch it from the beginning, I won't pull out my DVD. I'll just watch the movie from where ever I tuned in.

Stardust is one of those stories that I have been intimate with for a long time. It is adapted from a Neil Gaiman story and he is quite the spinner of tales. Now, I'm trying to think of which came first. Was it Sandman I was first aware of or was it Books of Magic. It was probably Sandman and we're going back almost 20 years. It was about the time I became aware of Charles Vess as an illustrator. Any collaboration between Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess is a happy marriage as their work complements each other so well.

The story has been released as a comic series, book and finally as a movie...and magnets.  For any of you not overly familiar with Neil Gaiman's work, if you like fairy tales, this is a good place to start.

The story opens up with a flashback of Dunstan Thorn. He lives in the English countryside in a quiet little town next to the Wall. The Wall is guarded so that no one can cross over into the Faerie Realm, but Dunstan crosses over, has a fling and 9 months later a bouncing baby boy is left on his doorstep with a note naming him Tristan.

Tristan grows up not knowing his origins. He works in a shop and pines after the local beauty, Victoria, who is being courted by another man. Victoria is selfish and manipulative and plays Tristan like an old guitar until he declares his love for her, but she tells him Humphrey is going to propose. When Tristan sees a falling star, he declares he will go fetch the star and bring it back to Victoria if she would agree to marry him.

So off he goes in search of a star. The only trouble is it has fallen on the other side of the Wall and there is a guard between him and it. He tries to sneak past, but is prevented from crossing. Dejected he returns home and explains the whole sorry mess to his father who tells him where he came from and gives Tristan the items left in his basket on the doorstep when he was a mere babe. One gift is a Babylon candle which is the fastest way to travel. He wishes to find the star.

On the other side of the Wall, the king of Stormhold is dying. He has 7 sons and one daughter. The daughter has been missing these many a year and four of the brothers are already dead. The king takes a stone from around his neck, a beautiful blood red stone. As he holds it, the color drains leaving it clear. He tells them whichever son finds the stone and returns it to its blood red color will be the next king of Stormhold. He then sends the stone away.

The two stories intertwine when the stone knocks a star out of the heavens and Tristan comes across the star in the shape of a human girl named Yvaine. He binds her with a magic chain which was also in his basket and explains that he is taking her back to Victoria as a gift. As they make their way across Stormhold to head back across the Wall, their paths cross with the brothers who are searching for the stone. Enter in a third element of an old hag, one of three sisters, looking for the star so they can feast on her heart to regain their youth.

It's a perilous journey with enemies around every corner and with every step taken closer to Wall, Tristan finds that he is further and further away from Victoria, but closer to Yvaine. The brothers are a murderous lot who back stab, literally, to attain the prize of a crown, but a new level of danger is added when Septimus (the most evil and conniving of the brothers) learns of the star and starts plotting how he can eat the heart of the star (which bestows immortality) and rule as king forever.

Then you've got pirates, a unicorn, dueling witches, shape changing and the story is damn near perfect.  Charlie Cox is perfect as Tristan and Claire Danes as Yvaine, although, sometimes it looks like she has no eyebrows.  Michelle Pfeiffer is awesome and horrifying as Lamia (the evil witch hunting Yvaine) and Robert De Niro is comical as the pirate, Captain Shakespeare, who's a bit of a whoopsie.

You can draw comparisons to The Princess Bride, but all in all, if you like good, light-hearted fantasies, you probably can't do a lot better than this. 

Have fun at the movies!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday - Top 10 books from the shelf of Misfit Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's theme is Top 10 books from the shelf of Misfit Books; the books we just had to have, but either never got to or through.
Are you kidding me? This week's theme is my life story!! I'm all about things I've bought and never used or opened, movies I've bought and never watched and books I've bought and never read or never finished. I have hundreds of unread books stashed all over the house, so this was really tough. However, I am absolutely all about out of sight, out of mind, so to compile my list I only went as far as the books stacked in my bedroom and my niece's room.
So here you have no particular order. These are some of the top books I just had to have...immediately.. and still they sit.
  1. Tiger’s Destiny by Colleen Houck - This is the last book in the series. I tried to get the arc at BEA, but they were all out. I whined about it all summer as my friend Terri over at Alexia's Books and Such can attest to. The book came out in September the same week as Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh which I read immediately and then went on vacation. I have tried to get into this book two or three times, but have not been able to get past the second chapter yet.
  2. Destined by Aprilynne Pike - This one is also the last book in the series. I could not wait to get my hands on it which I did do, and then I put it right on the shelf. I got caught up reading something else, the Storage Wars, vacation, Hurricane Sandy, there was a terrible flood! It wasn't my fault!!!
  3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman - Well, I'm just ashamed about this one. I got this book the day it came out. I had not planned to purchase it at the book store as I buy hard covers discounted on line, but the book dump was sporting a nice autographed copy. It sits on my shelf. I did pick up the mass market paperback for vacation one year and couldn't focus. I think I was just too tired after walking all day. And now, 2012 was the 10th Anniversary of the publication of the book and I picked a copy of the annotated edition. So the question I beg is just how many copies of American Gods does one need?
  4. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Well, I really should add the entire series. I got about half way through and got sidetracked. Never got back to it. I also just recently picked up the manga which I also haven't read and now the movie is out which I also haven't seen. It's near t6he top of my TBR pile, though. So, soon.
  5. My Scorching Summer Diary by Kelly Ann by Liz Rettig - This one I had to sweat from the UK. It wasn't realized in the US, but I think now I would be able to get a Kindle download. I love all the Kelly Ann diaries and couldn't wait to get this one. The timing was off on this one as well and while I believe I did try to start it, I didn't get very far. It's reminiscent of the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison or the Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot.
  6. Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout - It was while I was waiting for this book to come out that I started reading the Covenant series. Since I have all but Apollyon in the Covenant series, I just couldn't put those books down and now three months have gone by. Since I started reading the Convenant series, though, I decided I actually like them better than the Luz series. Sorry Daemon.
  7. Iron Knight and everything newer by Julie Kagawa - I have been all gung ho for this series, but have not read any of the books starting with Iron Knight. Now they're just piling up.
  8. Everneath by Ashton Brodi - This one I pre-ordered because the book cover was so beautiful and I liked the synopsis. Still I put baby in the corner. Now, though, I picked up the Kindle book when it was a Kindle deal of the day, so I take it with me everywhere I go. I am much more likely to get to it that way.
  9. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand - I loved Unearthly!! Hallowed came out not too long after I finished reading Unearthly, but I decided I wanted to take a break and read something else. And now I have book three as well.  
  10. Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare - I ordered Clockwork Prince first, because it was a new series and I could start from the beginning. I tried to get started reading it, but was a little lost and then I found out it was the prequel to the Mortal Instruments. So, I picked that up in a box set. I didn't start reading that until this fall and it was another series I couldn't put down. As I have two lore books to read in the Mortal Instruments series, it will still be a bit before I get to the Infernal Devices. And I have the manga which I also haven't read.
I think that is 10 which means I am out of here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - St Patrick's Day Edition

Happy St Patrick's Day to all of you! And what a fine day it's been. We started off the day with a full Irish fry up including eggs, Irish bacon, sausage, black and white puddings, grilled tomato, beans, mushrooms, Irish soda bread and scones. I politely refused the puddings, beans and mushrooms. Delicious.
I found out today that I can work from home all this coming week, so it looks like I will rarely get out of my pajamas. So that's a bonus.
My beloved Pittsburgh Penguins beat out the Boston Bruins today and have reclaimed the #1 spot in the Eastern Conference for now at least.
I did manage to get the rest of Christmas boxed up yesterday, so I made it under the wire for having Christmas down by St Patrick's Day (after missing my last several goals). I took up about half the boxes into the attic, so I actually have a library again.
And tonight we went to my favorite tavern, The Cloverleaf, which also happens to be an Irish pub where we got some Irish beer (please, no, not green beer) and a Guinness burger, topping it off with an Irish Cream Cheesecake. Yummmmm.
And to end the day on the perfect note, I get to do a Stacking the Shelves post!!!! Can it get any better? Well, yes probably, but still, all in all, it's a pretty darn good day.
Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
In books:
The Bloodfire Quest: The Dark Legacy of Shannara by Terry Brooks
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles DeLint, illustrated by Charles Vess
Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal Vol 2: Creation Myths

In Kindle:
Tree Shepherd's Daughter (Faire Folk, Book 1) (Faire Folk Trilogy) by Gillian Summers
The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
Die for Me (Revenants) by Amy Plum
This Is What Happy Looks Like FREE PREVIEW Edition (First 3 Chapters) by Jennifer E. Smith
In Manga:
The Wallflower Vol 30
Skip Beat! Vol 30
Bleach Vol 55
The Devil and Her Love Song Vol 7
Stepping on Roses Vol 9 (Final Volume)
Arata: The Legend Vol 13
Strobe Edge Vol 3
Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden Vol 11
Oresama Teacehr Vol 13
Vampire Knight Vol 16
Demon Love Spell Vol 2
Rin-Ne Vol 11
Dawn of the Arcana Vol 8
Kamisama Kiss Vol 12
Bleach Set 10

That's it for this edition.  TTFN!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Book Review: Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Let me tell you how I met Neil.

No, I think I have to go back further. You have to understand how I met Cameron to understand how I met Neil. I was working in a book store at the time and happened upon a comic version of Robin Hood. I believe I found the comic in New York City. I wasn’t a comic geek, but I was an absolute nut for anything Arthurian or related to Robin Hood. I needed to complete my set of Robin Hood comics and one of the guys I worked with at the book store used to go to a little local comic store.

At the time, my brothers were 15 and 13. I doted on them. They were really into comics and although I didn’t have a lot of money, I had promised them each two comics a month. They just had to pick out the titles. Kenji picked Punisher and one other title and George picked Wolverine with one other title.  It was quite a topic of conversation at the book store as to why I was reading Punisher as it is not typically the type of title a girl would read.

As I didn’t have a car of my own at the time, my friend Matt would take me to the comic book store when he went. I opened up a reserve box so my brother’s titles would be set aside monthly. Cam worked at the shop. He was friendly, so I used to talk to him when I went in, but I found out he went to school with my boss at the book store and it made me want to back off. Everyone I met went to school with my boss and I was just starting to get sick of it.

The Renaissance Festival in Sterling came up in conversation and I found out he worked at the faire as a blacksmith. That alone gave me pause to reconsider and get to know him better. I stopped by to visit him at the faire one weekend and the rest is history. It wasn’t quite as smooth or immediate as that. There was first an episode with pizza with me picking off the pepperoni when I told him it was okay to order it that way. I brought him in a piece of apple pie at work one Saturday. There were some group outings with the crew from the comic book store and he helped me move some stuff when I was leaving my studio.

Our first real date was to see Last of the Mohicans. I used to go to the comic store and wait around for him to get off work. I would get dropped off or take the bus and then he would take me home. Anyway, he put a comic in my hand and told me I had to read it. I got my first glimpse of Morpheus.

Morpheus, also known as Dream, is one of the 7 immortals that rule aspects of the human race. There is Destiny, Despair, Destruction, Delirium, Desire and Death as well. When I was first introduced to Morpheus, he was having a tantrum about the loss of a lover. He was self- absorbed and melodramatic and was allowing the Dreaming to fall apart. He was angst-ridden, all dressed in black with his hair flying every which way. I had to go back and start from the beginning. I had never read anything like it and I was completely blown away.

And that is how my love affair with Neil Gaiman began. From there, I saw a VHS of his BBC miniseries, Neverwhere. I picked up Books of Magic and Black Orchid which were comics and Good Omens co-written with Terry Pratchett. Anything and everything I could get my hands on. To this day, introducing me to Neil was one of the greatest and longest lasting gifts Cam has ever given me.

So, I was searching for new Neil Gaiman titles some time back as I often do, just to see what’s coming out. I found a book listed on Amazon that was an import from the UK for World Book Day and not available as a US release as yet. But I ordered a copy for me and one for my brother George, who is also a huge Neil Gaiman fan. Since the version I ordered is a thin little paperback, it's kind of lost in he collection somwhere  I did, however, recently pick it up on Kindle as a Deal of the Day and finally got a chance to read it.     
Book Description (From Amazon):
Release date: September 22, 2009 | Age Range: 8 and up
In this inventive, short, yet perfectly formed novel inspired by traditional Norse mythology, Neil Gaiman takes readers on a wild and magical trip to the land of giants and gods and back.
In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father perished in a Viking expedition; a tree fell on and shattered his leg; the endless freezing winter is making villagers dangerously grumpy.
Out in the forest Odd encounters a bear, a fox, and an eagle—three creatures with a strange story to tell.
Now Odd is forced on a stranger journey than he had imagined—a journey to save Asgard, city of the gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it.
It's going to take a very special kind of twelve-year-old boy to outwit the Frost Giants, restore peace to the city of gods, and end the long winter.
Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever . . .
Someone just like Odd.

My Review:
I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by Neil Gaiman that I didn’t like. This book was no different. The book draws on Viking legend and mythology. While Norse legends were never something I read over much, I did see the movie Thor and I was amazed at how much I was familiar with.

Not feeling wanted in his village, Odd decides to leave his community and go to his father’s hunting lodge. There he meets a fox who takes him to a bear that is trapped by a tree and Odd works to free him all the while be watched over by an eagle. Once he frees the bear, the bear allows Odd to ride his back and takes him home, the two being closely followed by the fox and eagle. When they get to his lodge, none of the animals seem keen on leaving so he does the only thing left to do. He invites them in.

He soon discovers that they are ensorcelled Norse gods, Odin, Thor and Loki, and that a Frost Giant has stolen their home and destroyed the bifrost so they can’t take the rainbow bridge home.

Odd seems like a bit of a simpleton upon first encounter, but we find that he is actually very clever. He decides to help them take back their home and travels with them to Asgard, if only they can find a way back.

The story itself is very short, but it is melodic. It has sort of a sing song quality to it and while it is not an overly complex story, as it is written for a younger audience, it is an inspirational tale about how on ordinary boy can be a hero with a little optimism and cleverness.

From Wikipedia:
World Book Day or World Book and Copyright Day (also known as International Day of the Book or World Book Days) is a yearly event on 23 April, organized by UNESCO to promote reading, publishing and copyright. In the United Kingdom, the day is instead recognized on the first Thursday in March. World Book Day was celebrated for the first time on 23 April 1995.

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Library Wars Vol 8 by Kiiro Yumi

Falling behind again...never wanted to...

What am I to do?...Can't help it....

(To be sung in the voice of Greta Garbo)

I really think I should just change the name of my blog to Failed Blog, but that might cause some confusion as well as a stern talking to from the folks over at Fail Blog.

All, the good ideas are taken...

I had good intentions this week...There's been too many hockey games on. So, I missed posting my Friday Night is Movie Night post and it's frustrating, too, because I had watched a made from book movie that afternoon I meant to write about. I also missed my STS post. I did get only a few things this week, so I'll have to write about them next weekend. No, no. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to wait.

I am tired as heck, having worked 12 hours today. Because my boss cut my over time, I am falling slowly, but steadily behind in my work again. ON Friday, she approved me for up to 10 hours OT each week, so I worked later Friday night, all day Saturday and a few extra hours tonight. I'm wiped.

I looked at the elliptical, thought about going on it, but as I am currently using it as a drying rack for my comforter, it seemed too much trouble to remove it.

Instead, I realized I could actually write a post!!! And it's Monday. Hooray!!

So after the disappointment of last week's read, I went back to more familiar territory and bring you the latest installment of Library Wars: Love & War...

Alison Can Read started a weekly Manga Monday meme which I have jumped on. I've been reviewing manga from the start, but it is nice to have a place were like minded Otaku can meet and share our favorites.

Book Description (From Amazon):
Release date: September 4, 2012 | Series: Library Wars: Love & War (Book 8)
Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences rated teen plus.
In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves--the Library Forces!

The Media Betterment Committee’s inquiry into Iku’s role in the so-called book burning continues, and an evil conspiracy comes to light. Someone on the team is deliberately manipulating Iku, and even her attraction to Dojo becomes fodder for the fight! Will Iku ever understand Dojo’s feelings for her?

My Review:
In the last issue, Iku was being interrogated in relation to a book-burning incident. The man behind the incident is one of her teammates' brother who has invited Iku out in an attempt to sway her to his side in hopes of being able to get to his brother through her. Tezuka doesn't see eye to eye with his brother and wants nothing to do with him.

Dojo finds out what she's up to and runs off to get her before she does something stupid. Touching moment. He comes to rescue her and saves the her prince and he leaves money on the table for her meal. Hmmmm.

Miss Shibazaki and Tezuka seem to be getting closer. They were working together to uncover the conspiracy that Iku was implicated in. I actually think they make a really good team.

Iku receives a certified letter from Tezuka's brother
Satoshi, Tezuka's brother, who returns Dojo's money from dinner.  He also comes out and tells her that Dojo is her prince she's been searching for.

As Iku's can't stop fixating on the idea that Dojo is her prince, she starts to see and accept that it really is him. Once she comes to that realization, she just can't look him in the eye and she doesn't know how to act around him. She's awkward and nervous and really can't deal with the thought that he might reject her. She tries to look beyond her fantasy of the prince and see Dojo for who he really is.

Finally, Marie comes to the library and drops a bombshell of her own. She was molested in the library. Komaki switches into super protective mode and Iku is on the hunt for the would-be molester. Miss Shibazaki dolls Iku up and the two of them prowl the library as bait. Iku, who is normally in fatigues, is wearing a mini skirt and make-up and is looking very feminine. But is Dojo even noticing?

To be continued.......

Volume 9 of Library Wars is due out April 2, so I don't have long to wait!!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Swoon Thursday

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound @

Here's how it works. You take a book you're currently reading and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

This week's swoon is again from Deity by Jennifer L Armentrout. This book really did have so many swoon worthy moments. Alas, now I have finished the book, so this will be my last swoon from Deity, but I do have Elixir to start reading and Apollyon comes out April 9th.

Anyway, let's get to it.

"I can't keep pretending that I don't want this - That I don't want you. I can't. Not after what happened to you. I thought...I thought I'd lost you, Alex, forever. And I would've lost everything. You are my everything."

Many emotions rose in me all at once - awe, hope, and love. So much love that everything outside of us vanished in that instant. "This...this is what you've been trying to tell me."

"It's what I've always wanted to tell you, Alex." He sat up, bringing me along with him. "I've always wanted this with you."

Le sigh.  I hope you've all enjoyed the final swoon from Deity.  I think, though, that I need to get a life, or a read, outside of the series.  It's hard, though.  I just love Aiden!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Missions of Love Vol 1 by Ema Toyama

Three words for you.


Wha what???? Listen, sweetheart, I'm a pager novelist, so top that!!!

Missions of Love is a new title from Kodansha Comics, so I figured I needed to give it a read. But I have got to wonder what was I thinking? Here's the plot.
Book Description:
Release date: November 6, 2012

Cell phone novelist Yukina Himuro has decided that, in order to satisfy her fans' demand for love stories, she must experience romance firsthand. But with her icy reputation, how can she find someone willing to play the part of boyfriend? By blackmailing the most popular boy in school, of course!

My Review:
Yukina is a keen observer of the student population, but she is always on the outside looking in. She is a famous (oh man, I can't even type it without laughing) cell phone novelist that goes by the name of "Yupina". Yeah, right. Like no one is ever going to pick up on that. Why don't you wear a pair of glasses while you're at it, because no one would know who you are then. Oh, wait. She does wear glasses. She wears the glasses to protect herself. Her glasses are her kryptonite.

While she may be a keen observer of human behavior, she really knows nothing about love or romance as she has never been in a relationship. She seems to have one friend that I didn't even realize was a guy until the end of the book. Seriously. I should have known, though, with a name like Akira.

Obviously, she can't send an entire novel via cell phone, so she releases her novel in chapters, but they have to be short chapters. Her novels are all the girls can talk about at school and while they love the chapters, they wish they could have more romance. But she knows nothing about love.

Anyway, she catches resident hottie, Shigure Kitami, who everyone thinks is wonderful, being an absolute jerk. He has a list in his student handbook of all the girls in class and he is seeing if he can get them to fall for him and then he is rejecting them. He then checks them off the list.

Yukina finds his handbook and hatches this brilliant scheme that she is going to blackmail him into being her experimental love bunny. He wouldn't want the knowledge of what he has been doing to be made public as that would ruin his carefully crafted reputation, which seems to be based on lies.

First she orders him to hold her hand. Then she writes about the experience. Shigure keeps trying to find ways to manipulate Yukina, but she always seems to gain the upper hand. Her second command to him is that he hold her in his arms. Then she demands that he kiss her. At that point they get caught and Shigure convinces his fan girls that she's forcing herself on him and that is making her very unpopular. She retaliates and gains the upper hand again and then again demands he kiss her, but he only kisses her cheek. She tells her sad story about why she wears glasses and then confesses to Shigure that she wants him to teach her about love. End scene.

I have read a lot of manga in my time. Some of it was pretty ridiculous. This one by far is the most ridiculous I have ever read. So, if you want to give it a go, please remember to leave your sanity by the door, because you won't find it here. It may work.  The whole romance angle may prove to be not so ridiculous.  As I said, I have Vol 2 as well, so I will give it a chance before I toss the series by the wayside.

Alison Can Read started a weekly Manga Monday meme which I have jumped on. I've been reviewing manga from the start, but it is nice to have a place were like minded Otaku can meet and share our favorites.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Theme Party - Dr Who

Last night I attended my very first theme party that was not related to Halloween...unless you consider a Festivus Pajama Party a theme party, which I guess it is.


Last night I attended my very second theme party that was not related to Halloween. Friends of ours were having a house warming party, although they've been moved in for almost a year. Better than us, though. We just passed our two year anniversary in our house and still haven't had a house warming party. Not much point now I suppose.

But back to the party. The theme was Dr Who. I was decked out to be sure. I was rocking my tardis knee socks, a Dr Who t-shirt, my Tardis hockey jersey and my Tardis Laplander hat. (Sorry, no pictures were taken, although, Terri, I still owe you a picture of me in the hat.)

Upon entering the party, we all had three strands of blue mardi gras beads flung about our necks and three strips of folded paper thrust into our hands. I get it, it's a party game. I haven't played party games since middle school and that's all I'm saying about that. The strips of paper had challenges on them and if we could get someone to do what was on the paper, we would capture one strand of their beads. The person with the most strands of beads at the end of the night won beer, but not just any beer, Mad Elf beer. It's awesome.

Anyway, this game instilled in each of us a sense of distrust in that everything anyone said was suspect. I had no idea who to trust. Also, as the night wore on, some party people were forming alliances in an effort to monopolize the beads. Most of the challenges were related to Dr Who, but not all. My three challenges were as follows: get someone to argue that Chris Ecclestein was a better Doctor than Davis Tennant, challenge someone to a thumb wrestling match and challenge someone to a contest to see who could roar like Chewbacca the best. I got someone to argue the Dr Who challenge, but no way were the other ones going to happen. I did end up losing that one strand, though, when I refused to kiss another party goer, but still walked away with my original three strands of beads. Sadly, I won usual.

They had Dr Who streaming on the TV and made treats like sonic screwdriver snacks, which were pretzel rods covered in white chocolate with either a blue or a green tip; blue for David Tennant and green for Matt Smith. They were making a sonic screwdriver mixed drink which was a green concoction  I stayed away from. We had blue and green jello shots. You were supposed to choose based on your favorite Doctor between Tennant and Smith. Had I known, I would have asked for blue, but alas, I was handed green. They used their Tardis cookie jar as an ice bucket and had an actual sonic screwdriver/pen on the counter with the drinks.

All in all, it was a lot of fun. And with the season premier airing March 30, Who fever has struck. And I cannot wait!!!!!

Everyone is getting in the spirit of things and I have even been recruiting new believers into the fold. This is the first stuffed toy I bought my nephew, Ayden.

Whovians unite!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Night is Movie Night - Legend of the Seeker

For the longest time, My hubby and I would make Friday night Movie Night.  I was absurd about it.  I would keep a pocket planner and every season would buy the Entertainment's seasonal movie line-up.  I would log all the movies I wanted to see in my planner so I knew exactly what was coming out when.  And just about every Friday, we would go to the movies.

What happened? you ask?  Well, I'm really not too sure.  Perhaps we bought a house and found there was too much to do to take the time for a movie.  Perhaps it was that he was out of work for over a year once he was discharged from the army and we didn't have a lot of excess cash.  Perhaps it was that nothing worth seeing was coming out.  Perhaps it was just the clientele at the local theaters around here, people yapping all through the movie and not being able to keep their trap shut.  Perhaps we just got out of practice.  Perhaps it is all these things.

Never the less, we now rarely go to the movies.  I work from home on Fridays in my pajamas and by the time he gets home from work I really don't feel like getting dressed to go out.

But sometimes we see a movie.  And sometimes we watch a movie or series on TV, although our tastes are not quite so similar these days.  He's really all about the horror and I'm really all not about the horror.

So, I thought, even if we no longer go out and have a Movie Night, there's no reason I can't make one here.  So I decided, if appropriate, that I would showcase films here on Fridays.  Well, that is if I've seen something that week.

So I may not post something every week, but I will post as I can.

And what I really wanted to talk about today was Legend of the Seeker, Season One. This is a miniseries, can't remember which premium channel it aired on, but I picked up the DVD of Season 1 some time ago. It is a TV adaptation of Terry Goodkind's Wizards First Rule, for those of you who are unaware.

Oddly enough, he was at the NY Renaissance Faire some years back promoting the first book. Didn't pick it up then, though. Actually, I never picked the book up. Please don't judge me, or at least not harshly, when I tell you that there are some things I would rather just watch, but I will never read the books, like the Bourne books. Although, I didn't see the last movie. Where was I? Oh yeah, Legends if the Seeker.

I hate going on the elliptical at home, but find that I need to get the exercise in. Generally I flip channels on cable and can find something to hold my attention through the grueling exercise. Sadly, there really was nothing on a couple nights ago, so I looked through my myriad of DVDs to find something to watch. Yes, I own a lot of DVDs. I've got all my anime locked in the closet, TV series under the coffee table, stuffy artsy films and romantic movies under the one book case, all Cam's movies are in the Chinese cabinet, the family films and romantic comedies are upstairs, Christmas in the attic and at least a couple of boxes of DVDs to get rid of in the basement. I don't buy movies so much anymore.

Anyway, I was sifting through my DVDs and saw Legend of the Seeker. Nothing else caught my fancy, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Now, this story seems awfully familiar. What is it? Where have I seen something like this before? Let me outline it for you.

A princess witch makes off with something valuable that could destroy the dark lord of the sith.  She travels to the other side of the galaxy country which is on the other side of a barrier.  She has come to find the seeker (Help me, Zed.  You're my only hope.), but is being chased by imperial storm troopers soldiers of the dark lord.

A farmer witnesses her flight and decides to rescue her from the storm troopers soldiers.  She is ungrateful for his help and threatens his life if he tries to follow her.  He follows her anyway, but looses her along the way.  He goes back to the farm and the Sandcrawler appears over the horizon.  One of the soldiers survives and comes knocking on his door.  His father tells him he must leave immediately and head for the hills, that he is to find a crazy old hermit wizard named Zed.  Zed is strong in the ways of the force of magic.

The farm boy, who's name is Richard, finds the wizard, but also the princess witch.  She has come seeking the knight's wizard's assistance to find the seeker.  Then wizard Zed lays some heavy stuff on him.  His father is not really his father.  His mother died when he was an infant and Hagrid Wizard Zed took the baby across the barricade. (Hey now!  Which story is this?)

Apparently there is a prophecy about the birth of a true seeker bring doom to the ultimate evil.  So the dark lord had all the first born killed, but not before Richard is taken away to be kept safe.  Zed gives Richard a magic sword that seeks out truth and when it glows when something heroic is going to happen.

In predictable fashion, Richard says Zed's got the wrong guy and he can take him as far as Anchorhead but they come across some slaughtered jawas and goes running back home where he finds his father has been killed and his home is burning.  As luck would have it, his father is not quite dead yet and with his dying breath tells Richard that he is not his biological father and everything wizard Zed said is true.

Then Richard goes seeking out the wizard and tells him he wants to learn the ways of the force and become a jedi of the seeker and stop the dark lord from subjugating the land.  He hooks up with a smuggler local soldier who shows up at the last second to save the day.       

His sacred book gets stolen, there's a chase, a bridge cut down, a family dinner, warm and fuzzy feelings, some pyrotechnics against the barrier and some overacting on the part of the dark lord.  And that's about where I am right now.        

What is the seeker?  I really have no idea, but I'll keep watching to find out.  Stay tuned!