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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TBR Tuesday: The Morganville Vampires Vol 1




I have a lot of books I've bought or received in a fury of excitement, only to have them languish on the shelves.  This is one of those books.

The Morganville Vampires: Volume 1
by Rachel Caine
The first two novels in the New York Times bestselling Morganville Vampires series together for the first time in a new trade paperback edition.
Morganville is a small college town in the heart of Texas-not a place that exactly screams "hotbed of creatures of the night". But college freshman Claire Danvers is about to discover why, in Morganville, you should never, ever stay out after dark...
Glass Houses
College freshman Claire Danvers moves off campus and into an old house in the small town of Morganville. Her new roommates have her back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood...
The Dead Girls' Dance
Claire may have a great roommate and a new boyfriend, but when she's invited to the Dead Girls' Dance all hell breaks loose-literally. Because this time, the living and the dead are ready to tear up the night...


I bought this on a whim because people kept telling me to read this series, and this omnibus edition was cheap and had a pretty cover (sold!).  But somehow, once I'd bought it, I was just content that I had it and have not picked it up once.  I'm weird like that.  Soon?
So, what do you guys think?  Anyone read this?  What's on your tbr pile?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Face Off: Glimmerglass v. Across the Universe

Awhile back when I saw the (admittedly lovely) cover of Across the Universe, I knew that it reminded me of something.  And now, I think I know what that something is...
So what do you think?  Which cover did it better?





Hey.  Look familiar?  The German cover of Caragh O'Brien's Birthmarked is the same stock photo as Glimmerglass -- right down to the little droplets. -->


Last Week on FFO: Dreaming of Amelia and The Mermaid's Mirror gave each other the cold shoulder for daring to use the same stock photo.  Dreaming of Amelia can barely see itself in The Mermaid's Mirror -- because The Mermaid has left Amelia in the dust...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving + Jane-y winners!

Hi, smitten kittens!  Just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very, very Happy Thanksgiving!  Even if you don't celebrate it, even if you're like 'what the hell is Thanksgiving?' I hope you have a great day, and that you take a little bit of time out of your day to just think about the great things in your life.  :)

That's all!  Have a great day!














Oh, still there?   Ohhh, I think I know what you want... O_o
Okay, since you asked so nicely.  Misté stopped by on her way back to her Marquis to drop off some gifts for a couple of dear, dear friends who she didn't get to see during the Pemberley Ball.


For Midnight Cowgirl, she left a lovely little set of Regency Ladies Survival Kit stationery!

For Mrs. DeRaps, she left Pride and Prejudice bookmarks from Masha, the Antique Fashionista!


Congrats, ladies!


*and if you're disappointed that you didn't win, check out Masha's shop, where you can choose from any number of lovely Austen inspired works!  And I have a feeling Regency Ladies Survival Kit items will be making an appearance again come June...
Also!  Almost forgot!  Don't forget to enter the November Thankfulness Followers Giveaway!  Less than one week left!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: Steel

Steel
by Carrie Vaughn 
To be released March 15th 2011 by HarperTeen

When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever?

Drawing on piratical lore and historical fact, Carrie Vaughn creates a vivid world of swaying masts and swelling seas, where blood magic overrules the laws of nature, romance is in the air, and death can come at the single slip of a sword.




Here's another cover I absolutely adore.  I need this on my bookshelves.  I'm also completely in the mood for some swashbucklingness and some kick ass chicks, so this may have to be a late birthday present to myself, when it comes out, as my birthday is also in March.

What's on your wishlist? 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TBR Tuesday (8): The Kneebone Boy




I have a lot of books I've bought or received in a fury of excitement, only to have them languish on the shelves.  This is one of those books.

The Kneebone Boy
by Ellen Potter

Life in a small town can be pretty boring when everyone avoids you like the plague. But after their father unwittingly sends them to stay with an aunt who’s away on holiday, the Hardscrabble children take off on an adventure that begins in the seedy streets of London and ends in a peculiar sea village where legend has it a monstrous creature lives who is half boy and half animal. . . .
In this wickedly dark, unusual, and compelling novel, Ellen Potter masterfully tells the tale of one deliciously strange family and a secret that changes everything.






I did a teaser of this one for Back to School Week, and I loved the style of it.  I wanted to read it right then, but there just wasn't time.  Now it's languishing on a shelf, but I hope to get to it soon.
So, what do you guys think?  Anyone read this?  What's on your tbr pile?

Monday, November 22, 2010

I just wanted to take a minute to wish my little brother a 

HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY!!!

You're old enough now to do a lot of things you probably shouldn't, but I've still got my eye on you.  Just remember that.

Oh, and READ A DAMN BOOK!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

No Hope For Gomez (even if it IS his birthday...)

"No Hope for Gomez!" Birthday Party. Win kindles, iPods, and get free books!






“It's the age-old tale:
     Boy meets girl.
     Boy stalks girl.
     Girl already has a stalker.
     Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.”

It's hard to believe, but it's been a year since I handed in the final proofs for my weird little book ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ To celebrate this, and the fact that it just became a finalist in 2010's Best Book Awards, I decided to throw an international party. As I’ve had a debilitating fear of throwing parties and no-one showing up since early childhood, I’d be more than delighted if you’d come!

Of course, with every cool, international party comes a gift bag. Here's just some of the stuff attendants will get:

  • ‘Unspent Time’ exclusive short story collection
  • No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signed hi-res poster + bookplate

(These are all exclusive items and will not be available again.)

Additionally, several lucky attendants will win a Kindle or an iPod!

Oh yeah, you can bring as many friends as you like, just don't bring your crazy uncle who drinks too much and then tries to get me to go to the attic with him to see something wonderful. I've fallen for that before and I don't mind telling you, I came away very disappointed!

Find out how to attend HERE.

~Graham Parke

Review: Billie Girl by Vickie Weaver

Billie Girl
by Vickie Weaver

from Goodreads:
Abandoned as an infant because of her incessant crying, and left hanging from a tree in a makeshift sling, Billie Girl is rescued by a passing couple, then turned over to a homeless boy who sells her for $5 to the two women who raise her-women who are actually brothers. Billie Girl's life, a gender-bending puzzle filled with dark humor and lessons on killing out of love, is a series of pivotal encounters with strangers who struggle along with what they are given: her two "mothers," a bigamist husband, a long-lost daughter named after a car, a platonic second husband who loved Billie's adoptive father. Twin themes of sexuality and euthanasia run throughout. In a journey from hard-dirt Georgia farm to end-of-life nursing home, Billie Girl comes to understand the mercy of killing.



Billie Girl was an interesting ride.  I have to start by saying that I don't think this book is for everyone, by any means.  But I also have to say, if you should really be able to tell from the synopsis above whether it's the right book for you, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue.  Me, I read that little bit of oddness up there and thought, yes, please.  And I loved it.

The story Vicki Weaver has crafted is in some ways reminiscent of Flannery O'Conner and William Faulkner.  Now, I'm not saying that she's at their level -- yet -- but there is a similar feel of the rich, dark Southern Gothic about it, and she has the ability to get to the core of things in a way that's shocking and bizarre and horribly and perfectly human.  The characters that populate Billie Girl's life are oddities that will stay with you.  As far-fetched and strange as they can be, they are always relatable and real at their core.  They all have things they are trying to hide or overcome or pretend away, and they Weaver makes you connect to them through these things.

There are some really deep, complicated issues at the heart of Billie Girl (like gender, sexuality, and euthanasia), and I have to commend Weaver for her handling of them.  This isn't a didactic piece aimed at converting people to a particular way of seeing things.  It's more an exploration of these deep issues, and of love and humanity, and it's done with love and humanity.  It's by turns funny, tragic, heartwarming and painful.  It's unflinching, and Weaver is really good at knowing when not to hold back.  Even as you're wishing things could be different and happy, you know they can't and won't be, and I respect Vicki Weaver and authors like her who don't go for the saccharine and the easy way out.  I'm eager to see what she does next.



[Note: I received a review copy of Billie Girl from Leapfrog Press at my request.]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winter Cravings

Well, I've hated to admit it, and I've been putting it off for sure, but the fact is, winter is just around the corner.  I mean, Thanksgiving is next week.  How did that happen?  So it's got me thinking about some of my favorite winter-ish things, like cocoa and mittens (and of all things, ice cream -- I crave it more in winter than summer).  I'm thinking about winter reads and what not (I'm thinking I'm going to work in Odd and the Frost Giants, for sure, and maybe Ice or East, but beyond that...).  And I'm also thinking about shopping.  Last time I reviewed for CSN (you know who I'm talking about, right?  They have m a y b e  a bajillion items, from cute shoes to kitchen bar stools -- seriously everything), I came across this thing of beauty: a soft serve ice cream maker.

 Doesn't that just make you want ice cream right now?  [I know I'm not the only one who craves ice cream in the dead of winter; Twitter told me so.]
So I think, maybe, just maybe, if I'm a good girl and Santa likes me, I may find myself this winter, curled up with a nice mug of cocoa, my copy of Odd and the Frost Giants, and a heaping cone of homemade, soft-serve deliciousness...


What are your plans as winter draws on?  [And if you live in the southern hemi and are gearing up for summer, just hush.]

What are your favorite winter reads that I should eat with ice cream and cocoa?  [or some suggest your own food and bev accompaniment, I'm open!]

Diary Entry: the Pemberley Ball

Diary, I have zuch news for you!  When I arrived at Pemberley for la gala, I discovered that another attendee planned to wear the zame dress as moi!  Can you imagine?  Zee nerve of zee little chit!  C'est terrible!
Of course, I dismissed my dressmaker tout de suite ("one of a kind" mon œil...), and immédiatement procured a lovely new dress.  I enclose a drawing of it; what do you think?  --->
C'est magnifique, non?

I looked simply "smashing" as zee English say, and zee ladies, zhey loved my ensemble.  As for zee men...well, zee Marquis stayed in stayed en France, of course, so what he doesn't know...
But zhat is between you and me, Diary, oui?


Zhere was one gentleman especially who seemed to pay me particular attention.  I zhink he was a Darcy, a cousin or some such of Fitzwilliam.   You know I generally prefer the dark hair and mysterious air, but zhis man!  His gaze was so piercing and zee way zee light played about his hair and features -- oh, mon dieu!


And he danced so beautifully!  His movement was parfait, alluring in every manly way!

I know I should not say zuch zhings, Diary, but I know I can trust you absolutement -- zhis man, zhis mysterious man, made me actually consider a tryst!


I never would have thought I could have such a thought -- about an Englishman, anyway -- but you know what zhey say:

À coeur vaillant rien d'impossible.


~Misté





Friday, November 19, 2010

CLOSED Pemberley Ball Stationery Quickie Giveaway!


You may recall the Regency Ladies Survival Stationery I did for Jane in June, which included cards and stationery like this:


You may also remember that we had a lot of lovely giveaways from Masha, the Antique Fashionista.


Well, Masha and I are at it again.  To celebrate the 2nd Pemberley Ball, Masha and I have 2 giveaways full of Regency awesome for 2 lucky winners.

From Masha, we have this Ladies of Pemberley original watercolor-print bookmark set:

And I'm cooking up another batch of the Jane in June RLSS like that pictured above, plus adding in a new style that looks a little something like this:
I don't know if you can tell, but the papers in these cards are beautifully  detailed, perfect for some Jane stationery.

So.  The winner of my Regency Ladies Survival Stationery will get 8 sheets of stationery and 8 cards (4 in the previous style, 4 in the new).
The winner of The Antique Fashionista's giveaway will win a lovingly painted set of 3 bookmarks inspired by Pride and Prejudice.

To enter, simply fill out this form.
Please note, international entries only apply to my stationery giveaway; Masha's bookmarks are US only.
Ends 11/21, so HURRY!

Friday Face Off: Dreaming of Amelia v. The Mermaid's Mirror

It's always a risk (and a fairly unwise one, if you ask me) to use a stock photo as the cover of your book.  I feel bad for authors who end up with stock photos on their babies that they've worked so hard one.  But of course, it's always interesting what two different teams do with the same photo, and how they apply it to the different stories.  Case in point: Dreaming of Amelia and The Mermaid's Mirror.  I haven't read either, so I can't tell you which cover suits its story better, but we can all have our say in which usage we like more.
So tell me kittens, who did it better?



Last Week on FFO:  It was a race to the moon for The Dead and the Gone and Over the Moon, with Over the Moon pulling ahead by just one vote!  So close.  I personally like Over the Moon's cover better, too, but knowing what the story of The Dead and the Gone is about, I think it did a great job of capturing the threat and imminent danger.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Concrete Operational Box Set Review


About the book:
 Germany Germany, a man who was free, a man who loved, now an instrument in their machine. They have turned him into the very thing he hates, what he and everyone he loved fought against, the world's greatest celebrity, a tool in the subjugation of man.
But the memories of freedom and love remain, and he will fight and change the course of human history for the better, but at what end?
As humanity progresses and turns to face the eternal black of the universe, the questions of free will and fate, of love and peace, of the riddles of time itself will arise, and Germany will be called upon. But is his will strong enough, is his mind ready to breach the void and provide us with salvation?

About the project (from the Concrete Operational website):
Operation Concrete, at its core, is a collaborative media project. It brings together the aesthetic and audio qualities of art and music around the power of the written word to provide the viewer, listener, reader, with a complete experience.
This immersive event is what Richard Galbraith considers as one possible future for the book, Richard is project lead and author of Concrete Operational, the novel that provides the content and themes for the artists and musicians.
He believes the debate amongst the publishing industry regarding, eBooks, eReaders, electronic ink, copyright, print on demand and everything else is secondary. Secondary to the true reasons for the written word, art and music: to explore the emotion that its creation derives.
Its future is how we evolve and ensure these ideals take priority.
Operation Concrete hopes to do this, by providing us with the facility to explore some of the deepest human emotions; anger, desire, love, jealousy and madness across three mediums.
We hope that, as you feel the music, as you absorb the art as you immerse yourself in the written word, you will find something that moves you, that helps you question life, and helps you move closer to finding a meaning behind it all.

The Book:
I sort of don't know where to begin with this one.  I honestly didn't make it very far.  I like the concept behind the book/project -- sort of.  I mean, it's essentially a dystopia about Celebrity run amok, which is relatable given the world/times we live in:
You see, it's all cultural evolution.  That entity, that concept, that semi-conscious zeitgeist of not only America, but the West as a whole, it moved forward, and it wrapped itself over and over with ever more fervent  and backward lust....A monster grew instead of a wonder.  Instead of finding their allure from the right reasons, from the principles that had negotiated the successful elevation of the human species to its previous level, they went the wrong way.  Searching and lusting after pride, infamy, notoriety, stardom...Celebrity, to be admired for and out of, well...nothing..."
I generally like dystopias, but I guess I don't feel that this, the cult of celebrity,  is crucial enough to make me feel the tension and the connection required for a really good dystopia.  But more than that, it just felt like it was trying too hard.  I was uber-aware of the writing the whole time I was reading, when ideally, I shouldn't be practically at all -- it should seem effortless and should flow and make me go with it to the point that when I'm done, or maybe at some particularly good point, I just realize how well it's written because it has me.

Everything seemed designed to give a certain impression, which is fine, but I shouldn't be able to see the design -- I should just get the impression desired.  I felt too much of the work behind it, and it made it feel overwrought and grandiose, and therefore harder for me to relate to and connect to.  But I know there are those that connect to this style and love it, so there will be fans of this, for sure.  It's just not something I was able to connect to, and when I found myself not really caring, I gave up.

The Music:
This was a bit hit and miss for me.  I guess I can't really talk about how well the music suits the story as I wasn't able to finish it, but I can speak to whether the music worked for me on it's own.  With only 5 songs, I was indifferent to or flat out didn't like 2 of them, and found the other three actually kind of interesting.  There was one, Hey Hey My Head by Dan Dunne & The Reels, that I actually quite enjoyed.  I guess a success rate of 3/5 isn't too bad.

The Art Book:
I liked the accompanying artbook quite a bit.  It had a good variety of artists and styles, and they were interesting and weird, sometimes shocking, sometimes randomly cute -- it just sort of worked.  Some of it was a bit graphic, so if you're uncomfortable with that aspect of art, I don't think this is something you's want to pick up, but beyond that, it was pretty neat.

Final say:
In the end,  I didn't really like or dislike it.  I liked the idea of the whole collaborative project, and I liked aspects of each, um, aspect... ;p  It's really interesting to see what all of these different minds come up with based on one theme, one story.  It didn't all work for me (especially, unfortunately, the key element, the story itself), but it was an interesting experience for sure.


Don't forget to check out my giveaway of the complete boxed set of Concrete Operational!  Comments on this review or author Richard Galbraith's guest post will gain you extra entries in the giveaway...

Wishlist Wednesday: Entwined

Entwined
by Heather Dixon
To be released March 29th 2011 by Greenwillow Books
 
Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou. 


Eager for this one. I absolutely adore this cover, and The 12 Dancing Princesses (which I'm assuming provides the basis for the story) was my favorite fairy tale growing up (along with The Elves and the Shoemaker, of all things).
What's on your wishlist? 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TBR Tuesday (7): Blindsided




I have a lot of books I've bought or received in a fury of excitement, only to have them languish on the shelves.  This is one of those books.


Blindsided 
by Priscilla Cummings

In many ways, Natalie O’Reilly is a typical fourteenyear- old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months. Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she’s told; inwardly, she hopes for a miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness. But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person’s dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight?






I picked this one up at ALA on pure I-need-that-coverness, thinking that it looked dystopianish.  Which obviously it's not.  But I'm still excited to read it when I get the chance to work it in.  It just has happened yet, and I'm afraid it slips a little lower on the pile as each day passes...
So, what do you guys think?  Anyone read this?  What's on your tbr pile?

Guest Post from Richard Galbraith, author of Concrete Operational

Concrete Operational - Novel writing, art, music and independent publishing
Concrete Operational is my novel, it’s an independent release funded by the Arts Council England…that statement itself raises two quick questions, why indie, and how did you convince the English Arts Council to give you thousands of pounds to publish it? Well, this is where my journey into independent publishing, collaborative media, design, filmmaking, music production, art manufacturing and a host of other things came to being.
Let’s take a step back to 2009, I had my novel manuscript complete, and I’d had it assessed by the most excellent Oxford Editors . My assessor said that whilst it was a good manuscript, it was difficult in places and would have problems finding an agent or a publisher because of it’s content, being that at the time, the second chapter was a 4,000 word speech amongst other things.
I looked back on my manuscript and remembered that the reason I began writing it, wasn’t to get published, but to explore my theories and beliefs on the human condition and Fatalism, and to an extent, it had done that. I also knew however, I would now like people to read it and that the 80,000 words that I had written were a jumbled mess of vast streams of consciousness, and surrealist writing.
I decided to compromise, I would make the novel, the manuscript that ‘had legs’ legible, I’d do everything I could to make it a compelling, insightful and interesting read and tell a real story, but I also wanted to keep the keen look at humanity. I wanted to make sure the reader came away with something and in this regard, I decided on a collaborative media project, because well, I’m not Kurt Vonnegut.
I pulled my resources and crowed sourced five British bands and five British artists who were prepared to create original music and art around five emotionally driven extracts of my novel. The promise was an art book, music album and novel, all to be released at the same time through the Amazon print on demand service, Createspace. We would have a launch night, a seven-day exhibition and the support of marketing and promotion professionals.
And that is what Operation Concrete came to be. Only we achieved so much more along the road; we produced a 72 page art book, a five track album, a six minute short film, original designs and branding around all assets, 200 bespoke, hand-made boxes for ‘box-sets’ of all the products. The launch night had well over 200 attendees and the seven day art exhibition that was free to the public and ran in London saw over 1000 patrons pass through. The exhibition was an immersive experience that allowed the patron to read the extract to the art and listen to the music all at the same time. It was all a great success.
However, all in all, it’s been a very difficult road, pulling it all together was hard, but trying to get people to find out what we did and understand what it was and is all about is proving the most difficult part.
Hopefully this post has sparked some of your interest though, so head over to Operation Concrete for samples of the art, music and words, to view the short film, and ultimately to purchase any of the items or all of them, in one of the box-sets. I hope you enjoy it and I hope that through it, you can discover something about yourself that you might not have know was there before.
If you would like to know more about the project that you can find online, just email me at richard [at] rawstonemedia [dot] com


Richard Galbraith


*Don't forget to enter to win the Concrete Operational box-set here!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Giveaway: Concrete Operational Box Set

Thanks to author and project leader Richard Galbraith, I have a special Concrete Operational box set to give away to one reader.  The box set includes the novel Concrete Operational, as well as accompanying CD of music and book of artwork, both inspired by the themes of the novel.

About the book:
 Germany Germany, a man who was free, a man who loved, now an instrument in their machine. They have turned him into the very thing he hates, what he and everyone he loved fought against, the world's greatest celebrity, a tool in the subjugation of man.
But the memories of freedom and love remain, and he will fight and change the course of human history for the better, but at what end?
As humanity progresses and turns to face the eternal black of the universe, the questions of free will and fate, of love and peace, of the riddles of time itself will arise, and Germany will be called upon. But is his will strong enough, is his mind ready to breach the void and provide us with salvation?

About the project (from the Concrete Operational website):
Operation Concrete, at its core, is a collaborative media project. It brings together the aesthetic and audio qualities of art and music around the power of the written word to provide the viewer, listener, reader, with a complete experience.
This immersive event is what Richard Galbraith considers as one possible future for the book, Richard is project lead and author of Concrete Operational, the novel that provides the content and themes for the artists and musicians.
He believes the debate amongst the publishing industry regarding, eBooks, eReaders, electronic ink, copyright, print on demand and everything else is secondary. Secondary to the true reasons for the written word, art and music: to explore the emotion that its creation derives.
Its future is how we evolve and ensure these ideals take priority.
Operation Concrete hopes to do this, by providing us with the facility to explore some of the deepest human emotions; anger, desire, love, jealousy and madness across three mediums.
We hope that, as you feel the music, as you absorb the art as you immerse yourself in the written word, you will find something that moves you, that helps you question life, and helps you move closer to finding a meaning behind it all.

Want to win?  Just fill out this form.
International.
Ends 11/30

Make sure to check out Richard's guest post and my review.  Comments on each earn you extra entries in the giveaway.  Good luck!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pemberley Ball RSVP

Pemberley Ball
November 18-20, 2010
3-day party

event postings will be up each day at vvb32 reads
- an interactive blog party
- a Darcy love-fest
- prize trinkets

RSVP


Bonjour, mes chéris!  C'est moi, Misté, La Marquessa.  You have missed me, non?
Well, mon petit chou, I am back in zee Anglais country side for to attend zee Darcy's annual fête.   Eet is zee height of zee social season, and mes petites and I would not meess eet for zee world!  (I've got to get zee little urcheens married off somehow, eh?)

Though I will not be able to attend la galas as much as I would like, as zee life of a Marquessa is a beesy one, I certainly 'ope to see all of your lovely faces -- and dresses -- at Pemberley.  Zees is my dress -- parfait, oui?

Oh!  Mon Dieu, I almost forgot!  I have a present for one of you, too!  Now, where ees eet?  I must have left eet in my reticule -- you will remind me at zee ball, non?
...


My Monsieur Darcy. Il est trés beau, nôn?
(from Pride and Prejudice, 1995)


*Click on the pic or the link to vvb32 reads to RSVP to the Pemberley Ball!  Hope to see you there!

Friday Face Off: The Dead and the Gone/Over the Moon

I stumbled across these similar covers awhile ago -- both are on my [endless] to-read list.  But the question is, who did Big Ominous Moon better?  Which cover (not story) makes you want to read it more?

Last Week on FFO: Lauren Oliver's Delirium battled itself in an ARC vs. release-cover showdown.  The verdict was ever so slightly in favor of the final version, though many people liked both.  I, too, like both, but I find the final more striking, and see why they changed it (it's going to be easy to carry over a series and make sort of iconic).  Also, as I started really looking at the ARC cover, some things stood out, like the awkwardness of the girl's jaw, which is way too high in the air, making her look like she's about to break her neck.  However,  I can't complain about the ARC cover too much, because the very awesome Polish Outlander just sent me her signed copy.  O_o   !!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday: XVI

XVI
by Julia Karr
To be released January 6th 2011 by Puffin/Speak 

In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad.


I want this one.  A lot.  I'm really intrigued by the premise and want to see where Karr is going.  Awesome cover, too.

What's on your wishlist? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

TBR Tuesday (6): Matched




I have a lot of books I've bought or received in a fury of excitement, only to have them languish on the shelves.  This is one of those books.


Matched
by Ally Condie

In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s barely any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one . . . until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.

Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic.
 

I got a (signed) copy of this at ALA, which I was geeked about, of course.  I wanted to read it shortly after getting back, but I had to finish up Jane in June, and then prep for Helluva Halloween, and somehow this got buried.  But I do want to pick it up soon.  Hopefully I'll have time to do it before it releases on the 30th so I can let you guys know what I think before you spend your hard-earned money on it.
So, what do you guys think?  Anyone read an ARC of this? Is it on anyone's wishlist?
What's on your tbr pile?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Product review for CSN (scrapbooking!)

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing some products for CSN stores. Having ordered big things from them before, I decided to try out some smaller things this time around, and centered on crafty things. Surprisingly, in the midst of all of their large selection of furniture and bedding and what not, CSN also has an office supply store (or maybe not surprisingly, considering they have over 200 different stores).  After a bit of searching through the office supply store and some searching of the term "scrapbooking" I settled on some things to help me tidy up my scrapping section and feed my love of office supplies.  I got various pens and sticky notes (oh, how I love the sticky note.  Almost as much as the permanent marker.), as well as some origami paper and a caligraphy set.  Each of these things filled me with a little bit of glee, lemme tell you.
But the big buy of this round was a set of 6 14x14x4 (ish) totes, perfect for protecting scrapbooking papers and storing all the little odd bits used to wile away the mindless hours of creating something pretty.  These are what I'm going to focus on in the review today.

First, I want to start by saying that for the most part, I really do like these and think they're a great value.  They're a really nice size and shape, roomy enough on the inside that I can store 12x12 paper in them and be able to get out what I want without fighting, but not so roomy that the paper bounces around and the corners get banged up.  This pleases me.  They have a really sleep feel and look, and you can store just about anything in them, and I like that.   I would buy them again.
But there are some detractors for me, partly because I am picky.  Though I love the sleek feel, it does make them a bit hard to stack.  They don't have grooves that help them lock into each other if you want to stack them, so the slickness of the plastic helps them to do that slowly toppling slide thing, and I just see a horrible mess coming.  I ended up going with a side-by-side arrangement, rather than the stack.  Not ideal, but it works.  Also, of the 6 totes, about 1/2 are a little hard to close, or fight staying closed.  I don't know if it's something I'm doing wrong, but the clasps don't want to catch, and I'm afraid they're going to burst open at a bad time and -- again -- lead to a big mess.
Just something to be warned about, though again, I would by these again, and they are very nice-looking and heavy-duty feeling.

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=9a5d3f8da1&view=att&th=12c28f9c2288419e&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1351800656010149888-1&zw
As for CSN stores itself, I am thrilled with the service.  They ship things to get to you the quickest way possible, rather than hanging on to all of your order to ship at once, which may cause delays.  I got everything lightning fast and well-packaged, and everything was very reasonably priced.  (In fact, I've even bookmarked some things for future purchases and gift ideas.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Caption This challenge wrap up

During Helluva Halloween, we had a fun little caption contest going on, and I wanted to show you the fruits of that twisted little tree.  Here, in order, are the pictures posted, followed by the captions given for them.  I would love to hear your thoughts and/or favorites in the comments, or your own little captions, if you feel inspired.

Week 1:
Sadly, no one captioned my poor boy, here.  And he was one of my favorite HH pictures, too...
Mrs. DeRaps said...
"Nothing to fill the empty spaces. Nothing to buffer me from my guilt. Nothing to stand in the way of the trances." From Trance by Linda Gerber, page 2 of Prologue.
titania86 said...
"Can they feel, I wonder, those white silent people we call the dead?" 
- Dorian Gray, from The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 8
Alessandra @Out of the Blue said...
"Oh Potter, you rotter, oh what have you done? You're killing off students, you think it's good fun!"
Nina said...
"Evil will never find peace. It may triumph, but it will never find peace" 
The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries #1) by L.J. Smith


Week 2:

jedisakora @ The Little Corner of the World said... 
Suddenly Susie realized that perhaps her mother wasn't joking when she said that if she didn't clean up her room the monster under the bed was going to steal all of her toys.
Jo said... 
Little Cindy always found it annoying that Umberto wanted to play spelling games late into the wee hours. 
Nina said...
I want to sleep, I want dreams to pull me from this world and make me forget. To stop the memories from swirling around me. To put an end to this ache that consumes me.
~The Forest of Hands and Teeth

titania86 said...
"See? It's making me whole again. Every drop of blood you spill puts more flesh on my bones. And we both want that don't we?" - Frank Cotton, Hellraiser (1987) jedisakora @ The Little Corner of the World said... Plastic Surgery has gotten really advanced of late. They even have removable faces. Here is Joan Rivers and hers.  Jo said... I thought I had fallen in love with him... until he revealed a completely new side of himself to me.
Mrs. DeRaps said...
"You have a pretty nose. I really want a nose again." He stopped snarling long enough to lick his lips, then he went right back to it. His tongue was a gruesomely scarred purple thing, as if he chewed it when bored. "And so do my friends." Excerpted from an ARC of The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, pg. 186.
titania86 said...
#3: "Let go. Be afraid. You all taste so much better when you're afraid." -Pennywise, It (1990) jedisakora @ The Little Corner of the World said...  Bobby's mom regretted not reading the fine lines for "Boo the clown: He'll kill You "Literally". Week 3:  
titania86 said... 
darkness imprisoning me all that I see absolute horror I cannot live I cannot die trapped in myself body my holding cell -Song: One by Metallica
Nina said...
"Mortals are such fragile things. Just tender feelings walking around exposed in their delicate shells...Easy to crush." Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
titania86 said... 
  "At one end of that tomb, its curious roots displacing the time-stained blocks of Panhellic marble, grows an unnaturally large olive tree of oddly repellent shape; so like to some grotesque man, or death-distorted body of a man, that the country folk fear to pass it at night when the moon shines faintly through the crooked boughs." - The Tree, short story by H.P. Lovecraft

Sadly, the 3rd picture appears to have disappeared, but it was a graveyard scene, with this caption to accompany it:
titania86 said... 

"When I find the living a bore,
There's a place I go.
I answer the call, go over a wall
Where the crosses are all in a row." - song: Graveyard Picnic by Voltaire


Week 4:

titania86 said... 
"The scene I cannot describe- I should faint if I tried it, for there is a madness in a room full of classified charnel things..." - Herbert West - Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft
Spav said... 
Oh my God! Can you believe it? This is one of the most awful things I've ever seen. Should we call for help?
titania86 said... 
"Against the horizon she can see a few slugs. They haven't caught her scent, and they're limping around in their random jerky way." -The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell, pg. 12
Spav said... 
Where are we? Why does the sun hurt my eyes? Is there a hole in my chest? *scream*
 No one captioned my cute little gal. Frowny face.

So there you have it, folks.  The 1st Caption This! Challenge.  I had a lot of fun reading what you all came up with, and I love that so many of them were from books!  Great job!  All of these captions earned extra entries in the Helluva Halloween Tricks and Treats Grab Bag (winner has been announced here), but beyond that, this was just full of awesome.  I think this will continue on here on Book Rat, popping up on occasion, for sheer fun.
^_^

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