Latest Entries »

Black Arts by Faith Hunter

Image

The Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter is one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time; right up there with Jim Butcher‘s Harry Dresden and Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson books. The latest book, Black Arts, is scheduled for release January 7, 2014. *squee!*

Below is the author’s sneak peek at Jane’s newest adventure.

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who always takes care of her own—no matter the cost….
When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace.
Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy—one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced

 

Although I still think Star Trek has always been pretty demeaning in it’s portrayal of women, (miniskirts in space- really??)  I agree with the author that we have lost much of the morality and intellect of the original series. The latest movie in the franchise, Into Darkness, seemed more like a video game than a movie in spots. I certainly hope they get a different director, add some depth to the characters and improve the storyline for the next movie.  That being said, I have always been a Trekkie and will continue to be one until the franchise has lost all semblance of the values and creativity of the original series.

Cultural Indictment: The New Star Trek.

Brain freeze from homemade, hand-churned ice cream is the best kind of brain freeze. :)

Red Sock, Blue Sock

It’s sad when you find out that the love you thought was “it” was nothing but a temporary thing and you are left feeling like 1/2 of a mismatched pair of socks, with no sense of belonging or purpose in being together.

Kindles Are Like Crack

Yes, I am still sucking air.  I totally blame my new Kindle and a mid-winter funk for my deplorable lack of posts lately.  Seriously, those damn Kindles are like crack.  Any book you want, right at your fingertips.  Amazon even kindly stores your credit card on file  for even quicker and easier access to their insanely large collection of books.  I think my family and friends are secretly planning an intervention.  Below, I’ve listed some of the books I’ve read since Christmas.  I seem to have been on an urban fantasy kick, though some different genres have piqued my interest, as well. They are rated from one to five stars, just for shits and giggles.  I’m too busy reading to give full book reviews, people.  Sorry. Or not.

Mistborn: The Final Empire   by Brandon Sanderson    ****

Paksenarrion 3:  Oath of Gold   by Elizabeth Moon     ***

Hunting Ground  by Patricia Briggs  (reread)   ***

The Five Love Languages  by Gary Chapman   **

Skinwalker  (Jane Yellowrock, Book 1)  by Faith Hunter   ****

The Alchemist  by Paulo Coehlo   ****

Buddha in Blue Jeans: An Extremely Short Zen Guide to Sitting Quietly  by Tai Sheridan  **

Roast Mortem: A Coffeehouse Mystery  by Cleo Coyle   ***

Pale Blue Dot  by Carl Sagan   ****

Neverwhere  by Neil Gaiman         (reread for the third time)  ****

Friday’s Master Drink Recipe Book  by unknown   *****

The Artist’s Way  by Julia Cameron   ****

Reading the last book on the list was rather ironic, as I was too absorbed in reading to try any of the wonderful ideas suggested by the author to bring out my “inner artist.”   I also downloaded Spanish and Italian courses and vocabulary lists, Chuck Wendig’s 500 Ways to Be a Better Writer, and several cookbooks, thinking that this would be the year that I really improve myself.  Nah- too busy reading.   It figures that the one title I gave five stars was the mixology book.  Might need an intervention there, too…

Right now, I am debating between starting Jim Butcher‘s Codex Alera series and Oscar Wilde’s  The Importance of Being Earnest.   My friend has also started dragging me to cardio kickboxing classes, which means about three fewer hours to read each week, if I go to both the Monday and Wednesday sessions.  Decisions, decisions.

On a totally unrelated note, I have submitted for your perusal the following link to a wonderfully geeky site discussing 70 upcoming sci-fi and fantasy movies coming out this year.  TTFN!

70 Science Fiction and Fantasy Movies to Watch Out for in 2012

The Hobbit

DragonCon Costumes

Below are some of my favorite costumes from DragonCon ’11.  Click on the link to see even more.  Great pics and article by Danny Outlaw at The River Current.

The River Current – Your Halloween Costume Sucks.

Bye-Bye Bib

I have never been fond of cats. Not only am I highly allergic to them, but I find their sometimes aloof, always underfoot behavior to be highly annoying.  I am enough of a clutz on my own without a cat constantly winding itself around my ankles.  One day, my husband was out hunting and brought home a tiny, malnourished dirtball he found among a litter of barn cats. It was the runt and had received a corneal abrasion at the paws of one of its littermates.

“But look at her- she’s so pathetic,”  wheedled my husband, “She’ll die if we don’t take care of her.”  This, coming from a man who will shoot anything in season, including Bambi, Thumper and all of their forest friends.  I could tell he was a lost cause already.  And seriously, how could I sentence a baby animal to death?  Not even I am that mean.  I did make him promise to keep her in the garage, otherwise my allergies would be unbearable.  He fed her, washed her, made her a bed and bought the kitty litter box-thingy.  Soon, she was riding around on his shoulder and using all of us as her own personal jungle gyms.  Brian named her Bib, short for born in a barn, and she was every bit as weird as her name.  She would fetch like a dog, pounce on leaves and dustbunnies, but wouldn’t hunt anything living.  She was even afraid of bugs.  She would entertain us by sneaking up on us when we were outside or in the garage, grabbing our lower legs with her front paws, then tearing away like a maniac. We would speak to her and she would always answer with a meow, often at different pitches, as if she were really talking.  Brian frequently did Lassie scenarios with her and, against my will, I found myself becoming quite attached.

On New Year’s Eve, I let her out of the garage to play with the neighbor’s cat.  When my daughter and I came home, we saw her sitting by the corner of the garage.  She meowed and tried to walk to us, but her rear legs kept collapsing.  I knew immediately that she had been hit by a car, so my husband and I bundled her up in a blanket and took her to the animal hospital.  The news wasn’t good; her pelvis had been fractured in at least 4 places, including the joint itself. Surgery, if it would even be successful, would cost several thousand dollars, payable upfront.  We didn’t have it, especially right after Christmas.  We didn’t want her to suffer, so we decided to have her put to sleep.  Brian was so upset that he couldn’t bear to see her like that, so I stayed with her while the Vet administered the medication. I patted her face and talked to her while her head slumped to the blankets.  One second she was there, looking at me, then she was gone.  When they gave me her little blue collar with the bell on it, I bawled like a baby.  I guess if a non-cat person like me can change, almost anyone can.  We’ll miss you, Bib, you little allergen-toting putty-tat.  I love you.

She snuck into the house

Inspector of the catch

From My Cold, Dead Hands…

Well, the commercial chaos and rampant consumerism that is Christmas is finally over.  If I had had to listen to ONE MORE Christmas song at work, I would have snapped. I truly believe radio shows should be held accountable for the violent actions of people forced to listen to Jingle Bell Rock over and over and over again for more than a month.  As should those asshats that play the “Oh, my wife bought me a new car for Christmas”  commercials.  Are they seriously trying to make us feel guilty if we can’t go out and buy our spouse a new Lexus?  Anyways, I digress.

Now, I am perfectly willing to use the Kindle for some things, like for traveling, sitting in the waiting room, etc, but I WILL continue to buy real books, especially those of my favorite authors.  I have downloaded lots of free books, mostly classics, that I wouldn’t have shelled out the bucks to own in paper form.  I’ll admit, the Kindle is handy,  portable, and the battery lasts forever between charges, BUT I refuse to replace my books with an e-reader.  I consider it a supplement. So, if my dear hubby thinks he can take my books, I’ll tell him he can pry them from my cold, dead hands.  Hehe.  Happy New Year, everyone.  Be safe!

 

The Troll Hunter

I found this gem of a found-footage movie trailer via GeekChicDailyThe Troll Hunter is a Norwegian low-budget film with surprisingly cool special effects.  Like The Blair Witch Project before it, this movie’s main characters are early twenty-somethings supposedly filming a documentary on supernatural creatures;  in this case, trolls.  Of course, there is the obligatory government conspiracy to cover-up their existence, so our plucky investigators must overcome recalcitrant farmers, annoyed bureaucrats, etc, while on their quest for evidence.  If you aren’t up on your Scandinavian fairy tales, you should google trolls before watching this to get some background information and just be an all-around smarter person.  If you want to get your geek on in a serious way, check out this movie.

P.S  Don’t you think it would make an epic video game?

LOTR Cameos & Special Extras

I’m a big fan of StumbleUpon, which brought me to the site below.  It is part of a site called Fantasia Domain and has some really interesting  (I’m trying to find adjectives other than my usual “cool!”  and “awesome!”) special extras and cameo shots from the LOTR films.  Many of the people involved in production, special effects, musical scores, etc, were used in the film as extras.  In fact, the two blacksmith artisans who made the weapons and armor for the films are actually the two elven smiths shown remaking the blade, Anduril, in RoTK.  How incredible would that be, to be part of one of the most important film trilogies of all time?  Anyways, enough of my fangirl squeeing- check it out!  It’s rather amazing how they can turn your average, geeky-looking CGI tech into an intimidating warrior.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Cameos and Special Extras.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 482 other followers