Saturday, October 3, 2015

Changes and new beginnings

It's been quite awhile since I've posted here.  Things are changing and looking up and possible new beginnings are on the horizon.

I haven't stopped reading (interchange breathing with reading ... about the same thing). If anything I'm reading and listening (audible books) more than ever. Erik Schubach, Prudence MacLeod, Lynsay Sands, J.R. Ward, Bridget Essex, Natalie Vivien, RSJ Gregory, Eliza Lentzski, David Weber, Stephanie Erickson, Lara Adrian, Dana Marie Bell, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Corinn Heathers, Louis L'Amour, CW Lamb to name only a very few of the Authors.

I've added Crafts to this as I tend to spend the time I'm not reading, crafting.  I do 3D graphics on the computer using DAZ Studio, VUE, and ZBrush.  Mostly landscapes.  It's a fun way to occupy my time.  I also Crochet and Knit. I love doing Amigurami crochet. The little animals are just so cute.  They sit all about my work area, looking over my shoulders or from the top of shelves.  I have tried my hand at Beading with mixed results.  My current craft is ChainMaille.  I have found this to be a very fun and enjoyable craft and I've been going crazy in making small pieces of jewelry and decorations.  I just finished up a very nice 2.5 inch Christmas Wreath ornament this morning and a Japanese Lace bracelet for my wife.  I've been making Celtic Crosses and have even sold a few and have a few orders for more. I've made several bracelets and am waiting for more rings to come in to expand my creations. ;-)  I am really enjoying myself with this.  I've found myself starting a project and working for hours without stopping and not even noticing the passing of time.  I've surprised myself with just how focused and involved I get while making the chainmaille designs.
I spent hours this morning and afternoon making the Japanese Lace bracelet. The work is detailed and time consuming but the results are really lovely.

I am planning to add pictures of the crafts and some of my landscapes here.

We've also taken up a small zoo.  LOL! We now have 2 Panther Chameleons, 2 Veiled Chameleons, 2 Jackson Chameleons, 2 Mourning Geckos, a Blue Iguana, a Chinese Water Dragon, a Leopard Gecko, a Bearded Dragon, 2 tiny blue and yellow frogs along with our other pets, 3 cats, 1 dog, 2 guinea pigs and a Cockatiel.

Life is good.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Latest Reading - 5/23/2014 -- Erik Schubach's series

    This is going to be a bit of a long post.  First I want to cover the latest reading of The Valkyrie Chronicles: Seventy Two Hours by Erik Schubach.  Then I want to mention the other books by Erick Schubach as I have come to really enjoy all of his books.  What wonderfully expressive characters and fascinating stories.  Each one strong yet flawed and so courageous.  I really love all of these stories. 
     First; back to The Valkyrie Chronicles.  I love this series.  Kate and Kara are awesome and adding in Arina and Inatra made it even better.  Then the addition of the children and you have one heck of a great group of characters.  This is a take on the Asgard legends and how they came about.  Asgard is an actual place. A pocket world that can span the barriers to other worlds.  It uses these worlds to power its magnetic forces that powers the "city" of Asgard.  This magnetic energy also powers the nanites that give the Asgard their eons long life spans and it powers the special nanites given to the Valkyrie and the Einherjer so they will be able to battle the Ragnarok and protect the innocents of the worlds in which they come to stay. 
     Asgard makes a transition of 5 worlds every 5000 years.  Each world they come to they stay for 1000 years and it takes 5000 years to make a complete circuit.  They draw the energies of these worlds to replenish their own, not harming the worlds or their inhabitants. 
     The series begins with Return of the Asgard.  Here we meet Kara, the Wild One.  The lone Asgard on Earth.  She battled the Ragnarok 5000 years ago and kept Asgard safe until its transition to the next world.  Unfortunately she was then stuck on Earth for the next 5000 years until Asgard transitioned back.  Those years have passed and Asgard is due to transition back to Earth in only a few more days.  During her time of exile on Earth, Kara has battled the Ragnarok who have managed to send a generational ship from their home planet to Earth.  She has defended the people of earth from both the Ragnarok and from the evil of their own kind.  Tracking down a group of three men who had raped a young woman, Kara ends up in a bar just waiting for them to accost her so she can bring them to task.  They attack and Kara proceeds to defend herself.  One of the degenerates pulls a gun and shoots Kara in the shoulder.  Her nanites immediately begin healing her and she smashes her beer mug against his head.  At this same time, Kate, Detective Kate Summers, runs into the bar and shoots the man with the gun.  Kara, seeing things being taken well in hand, exits the bar and heads for her home.  Kate follows and here begins the rest of the story. 
     This is a story rich in mythology, science and yes, even romance.  This is a great tale of honor, bravery, devotion and duty.  Awesome characters, deep, individual, strong and flawed.  Totally awesome, a wonderful emotional roller-coaster.  It grabs you right from the start and it never lets up.
     Follow this with the second book, Bloodlines.  This is where we meet Inatra, the Ragnarok woman, exiled from her ship because she is deemed too flawed to survive.  In this story Arina becomes a striking character and the love that comes between her and Inatra is wonderful.  Arina, the Innocent, the first Valkyriefrior, Valkyrie of Peace.  She commits no harm and uses her abilities to become the best in all Valkyrie.  These two are completely awesome.
      Book three: Folkvangr.  In this installment we meet Freya, who put herself into exile to try and save the inhabitants of this planet from the Ragnarok.  Asgard has transitioned away from Earth and is now at Folkvangr.  Freya, who has been hiding and doing all in her powers to save the people of this planet from the Ragnarok has become the strength and heart of these people.  Without the Valkyrie nanites she has crafted armor and built a city hidden deep inside a mountain to protect the last of the Vangr from the Ragnarok.  Another awesome story of strength against adversity and dedication and honor to saving the innocents of a world.  Keeps you on the edge of your seat and leaning in to see what happens next.  Here we find even more and more Ragnarok seeing the truth behind the lies they have been taught all their lives.   Here we find a slow beginning of peace and cooperation between the Asgard and the Ragnarok.
     Book Four: 72 Hours.  This books rivets you to your seat! It begins with the death of Kara!!!  Noooooo!  Then it takes you back 72 hours to show the build up to this event that begins a new spin off of these amazing and fascinating characters. 
     This is truly a wonderful series of books.  Well worth your time and money.  I've had a wonderful time reading and even re-reading these stories. 
     Now I will say that I encountered more word errors in this last book than in any of the other three.  Not so much misspellings, as the words were spelled correctly, they were just the "wrong" words.
For example, "Thank you so muck, Kara...."  Yeah, would have sounded much better with the correct word "much" in there.  There were numerous occasions where this occurred.  Not enough to truly take you out of the story but enough that it was jarring at each occurrence. 

     Now to mention other series by Erik.  His Music of the Soul series is absolutely fantastic.  Romance with the added touch of majorly flawed characters. Disabilities, both physical and mental, tear at these women and somehow make them stronger and more awesome in their abilities to over come these troubles to find themselves and somehow become stronger and better because or in-spite of them. 
     Music of the Soul, book one in the series, is the story of Mandy Fay Harris, wild and crazy rock star and Annabella West, the young, deaf girl who totally turns Mandy's world upside down.  Mandy Harris, lost, pushed to be something other than what she wanted by the avarice of the record labels and their greed for money.  She's trying to find herself again and goes back to the one place she never thought she'd ever see again, home.  Back to the small, music school where she first learned to play her guitar and learned that music was the one refuge that made her more than what she was.  Back to her roots, trying desperately to hide and protect the one thing that made her want to be a better person, her daughter June.  Here she meets up with Annabella and her family, a deaf girl who has come to idolize Mandy.  Has come to survive and become more than her handicap through the magic of music.  Mandy's music.  They immediately hit it off, a flare, an unstoppable force, drawing them together.  It doesn't take long before the paparazzi find Mandy and with a single picture of Mandy and Bella together, brings everything crashing down.  Mandy knows she's ruined Bella's life and she's desperate to get away, to give Bella a chance to pull her life back together.  She takes on a tour to take her as far away from the one she's hurt.  This tour takes on a new meaning though as Mandy, through self searching and memories of Bella and June, turns this tour into a farewell tour, a healing tour, where Mandy goes back too her roots, back to the music she wanted to make right from the beginning but wasn't allowed to.  This is a tour of self-discovery and healing and through it all the gentle touches of Bella and her family and thoughts of June bring Mandy the strength to face her inner fears and become something even more powerful than she ever was.  Emotional rock, a release of the feelings and fears and hopes and dreams transforms Mandy Harris into Mandy Fay Harris as she fights her way to a new beginning and realization that love can overcome any obstacle put in her way.      This was a beautiful story, a story of growth and love and realization.  Yes there were a few weak points and a few difficult to grasp situations/responses, but over all it was a beautiful story and yes, a really emotional roller-coaster ride. 
     Next: A Deafening Whisper.  What a beautiful, heart-rending story.  Two young women, fighting an almost debilitating case of OCD and Tourette's as well as cystic fibrosis. Two seriously messed up individuals that somehow manage to find love and joy amidst the pain and fear.  This is definitely a serious tear-jerker.  Oh I loved the characters of Mia and Valla.  Vicky was another story all together.  What a beautiful love story.
     Third was: Dating Game. 
      Fourth was: Karaoke Queen
      Fifth was: Silent Bob
      Sixth was: Five Feet or Less
      Seventh was: Broken Song
      Eighth was: Syncopated Rhythm
      Ninth was: Progeny
Each one of these was a true roller-coaster of emotions.  I won't go into detail on all of these.  I will say that all of these stories are tied to each other as they all take place in and around the same city and all of the characters are connected in one way or another.  I think this adds a depth to the stories as the characters interact and play off each other.  While all the stories are pretty much stand-alone reads, it really adds color and emotional depth to the stories when you put all the characters into place and see how intertwined the lives and loves of these amazing women are.

     Erik also has two other series out, each with only one book so far. 
Fracture: Divergence.  This is the first book of the Fracture series. 
Drakon: Awakening. First book in the Drakon series.

     All of these are excellent books, fun, emotional and well written. Each one has strong, powerful characters that take charge of their lives and push forward despite all odds.  I highly recommend any and all of these stories. 



Saturday, March 15, 2014

Currently - Drakon: Awakening by Erik Schubach and Old Family Mansion by Prudence MacLeod

Just purchased Erik Schubach's newest release, Drakon: Awakening and Prudence MacLeod's Old Family Mansion.  I'm looking forward to reading these books.  I also read the preview chapter for next book in Erik Schubach's Music of the Soul series: Progeny and I have to say I'm excited.  I love these characters and now the children are coming of age and making this series such a rich and fulfilling read.  This one is due out in April and I'm marking my calendar! 
 
Audio wise I'm still listening to David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Currently that is War of Honor with At All Costs and Mission of Honor cued up and ready to go.  As I said these are great for my drive in and back from work.  Three hours round trip and I love my audible books!
 
We went out this past Thursday and ordered two iPad Air tablets.  I needed more mobility and this will be just what I needed.  While this will not replace my Kindles it will add another source of access.  I still enjoy my Kindle for just plain reading, no distractions but there are times when I need the Internet access, the app access of my phone (but without straining my eyes on my phone screen) and the iPad will fill that slot. 
 
I purchased several new Amigurami books over the past few days and I'm having fun learning new things to crochet.  Here is also another great place for listening to my audio books.  I have the audio book on in the background while I'm reading the patterns and creating new little amigurami to share my spaces with.  Talk about combining two of my favorite pass times in a wonderfully enjoyable manner!  Yes, it's the little things that keep me happy!
 
I also just picked up Rebound by Lynette Mae.  This one has been in my wish list for awhile now and I finally caved in and just added it to my Kindle.  So much to read and just not enough waking hours to enjoy them all!
 
Well, I hope you all have a most wonderful day and a fantastic weekend.  More later!
 
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Friday, March 7, 2014

7 March 2014 -- thoughts

Looking forward to new books this month.  I bought the new Prudence MacLeod book Old Family Mansion today.  I enjoy her books and this one sounds very interesting. I'm also looking forward to the new J. R. Ward book, The King coming out this month.  The 25th I believe. 
 
I have quite a few books in my read pile on my Kindle.  Out of Darkness & If It Kills Me by Jason D. Morrow.  A futuristic story of apocalyptic nature.  They are book 1 & 2 and I liked the blurbs. 
I have Dark Bites by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Origins & Apocalypse by Kyle West, Bear Naked by Dana Marie Bell, All Saints' Secrets & To Murder a Saint by Nicole Loughan.  Remember Me by Syd Parker, Waking Forever by Heather McVea, to name a few.  I've been doing what I usually do when I find myself with too many choices and I've been re-reading books that I really enjoy.  At this point those are the books by Erik Schubach, including his Music of the Soul books & the Valkyrie Chronicles.  Also books by Prudence MacLeod, her romances and her Science Fictions.  I'm also listening to the Honor Harrington series by David Weber on Audible and I'm at book 9 at this point.  I've also recently picked up some of my old favorites growing up: Anne of Green Gables, the Complete Little Women, Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Andre Norton.  Soooo many books and never enough time to read/re-read them all but at least I never run out of good reading material!
 
Back to my books!  Happy Reading!
 

Safe Passage by Kate Owen

Safe Passage by Kate Owen was a very interesting and captivating story.  I enjoyed the characters and was very pleased with the story.  Set in New Orleans, both characters, teachers, came together naturally and smoothly.  The story, a light mystery, had very good details and the chemistry between the characters carried it along very well.  This was a fun read and I really liked the smart language and come-backs between characters.  Definitely worth the time to read and enjoy.  Over all a good 3 1/2 to 4 star rating.  I have only two main gripes and they are both minor.  One was a slip very near the end of the book where Gen was going to borrow Jules car.  There was a slip where the character Jules went to get her keys to give to Gen and as it was written, she gave them to herself.  This caused a moment of confusion as I had to go back and make sure of what I had just read.  Not a big glitch and not all that distracting but enough to make me step back and lose the thread for a moment.  The other is just my own desire for the story not to end. It was a good, complete ending but somehow it just felt truncated to me.  Like, there should have been more.  Almost like, OK, we figured it out.  End of story.  Annoying but not to detract from a very good story.  That's my look at it anyway.  I'd like to read more about Gen & Jules.  They were good, well defined characters and they really drew me into their story. 
 
 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Grace Falls by H. P. Munro

Grace Falls by H. P. Munro is a funny, wonderful love story set in a small town in rural Alabama.  Maddie, needing to get away from the memories of a failed marriage, heads across country to a new beginning in California.  Unfortunately for her, her beloved car blows a gasket just outside of Grace Falls, Alabama.  This story has wonderful characters and tongue-in-cheek humor that keeps this story rolling from the very first. The characters are realistic and you find yourself drawn into their little town and all its quirks and foibles.  This is a great story full of happy and sad tears as well as laughter and joy.  For anyone who has ever lived in a small town there is a lot that is familiar and bring a chuckle to your heart.  It's fun getting to know Maddie, Alex, Jessica, Sully, Peter and Ruth and Mack.  This was great fun to read and a wonderful way to spend a cold, wintry afternoon.

A YEAR??!!! (Long post warning!!!)

I can't believe that it's been a year since I last posted here.  I know I'm not the best one at posting but seriously --- a year?  It's kind of odd because I do keep several journals.  One at work that I write to my wife every day I'm there.  Just little notes on how the drive is was and what animals I saw or if I expect to be busy or not.  I've been doing that since I first started talking with her back in 97.  One journal a year.  I even went so far as to go out and order 50 journals, all with the same wolf on white background cover so they would all match.  Just recently I've started another journal.  This one more of running commentary to myself on what I've read, done, hope to do.  I've go the first one pretty much filled and I find it surprising I'm really keeping up with it.  I've started journals a number of times and never really kept up with them.  A page here or there and then I'd forget about them.  Recently though I've really surprised myself with the way I have been adding entries on a very regular basis.  Which brings me back here.  I'm just as surprised that it has been a year since I last posted.  Odd because one way or another I am always in front of a pc.  It should be so easy to just pop on and add a note here and there.  Should be .... obviously it hasn't been.  I feel bad about that.  There's so much I've been doing lately and so much that I've read over the past year and am still reading!

 Also I've been doing a lot of audio books.  My ride back and forth to work is about an hour and a half one way so I've plenty of time to listen.  I don't do the radio much.  Too much current music I don't really enjoy.  I was listening to the music I have on my iPod but I really do prefer to listen to stories rather than just music.  According to my Audible app I have 153 titles in my library and have added 23 title in 2014.  I've almost reached my Master level in Audible listening.  Only 565 hours to go! LOL!  Recently I've been listening to David Weber's Honor Harrington series.  I'm on book 9, Ashes of Victory and have the next three books queued up and ready to go.  I've found this series easy to get as if you purchase the e-book on Amazon you can purchase the audio book for $1.99 rather than the usual $17+.  Most of these books are around $6.15 or so on Amazon so for around $8 I get both the e-book and audio book.  Very nice!  As I've said before I do a lot of re-reading and I've read this particular series a half-dozen times or more easily and now I'm doing the audio.  This also goes for Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion series, J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lynsay Sands Argeneau series, Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series and Jeaniene Frost's Kat & Bones series among others.

This year I've also began listening to Kerrelyn Sparks' Vampire novels.  Add to this audio books by Radclyffe, Gerri Hill, R.E. Bradshaw & Karis Walsh.

Here's a short list of what I've listened to lately:
Skinwalker by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock series #1)
Mercy Blade by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock)
Blood Cross by Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock) 
      This is an interesting series with nicely developed characters.  I've had the first book for some time but never got around to reading it.  Listening to it was excellent and very enjoyable.

Honor Harrington:
On Basilisk Station #1
The Honor of the Queen #2
The Short Victorious War #3
Field of Dishonor #4
Flag in Exile #5
Honor Among Enemies #6
In Enemy Hands #7
Echoes of Honor #8
Ashes of Victory #9 (in progress)
War of Honor #10 (in queue)
At All Costs #11 (in queue)
Mission of Honor #12 (in queue)
       I love Honor Harrington.  She is such a strong and charismatic character.  Honor is one of those officers you would love to follow and is such a rare creature in real life.  Anyone who has been in the military will be able to tell you there are only very rare occasions where you can find a leader that has those qualities.  Honor helps build the other characters in the story.  They thrive and play off of her and her ethics and strengths.  It is a wonderful series that carries you through many years and situations that build this persona that is Honor Harrington.  I really enjoy this series and being able to listen to it is an excellent way to enjoy it again and again while doing other things that would normally preclude being able to read.

Moon Dance by J. Rain 
     Interesting character and story. 

Hounded by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid Chronicles Book 1)
     This was a fun, tongue-in-cheek, story with a funny yet interesting main character.  It had me laughing many times while listening to it and was a very enjoyable way to pass a few hours on my drives.

96 Hours by Georgia Beers 
     This was a wonderful story set in the aftermath of  9/11.  Good characters, good story. 

Curious Wine by Katherine Forrest
     A wonderful coming out story with good characters and great interplay with minor characters that made it all that much more real and believable. 

Safe Harbor by Radclyffe
      Part of the Provincetown series this was a great story with wonderfully strong and vulnerable characters.  This is book 1 of the series and a great introduction to a town full of wonderfully unique people.

When Dreams Tremble by Radclyffe
      Wonderful story and great characters.  Environmentalist vs corporate lawyer defending big companies.  Old friendships come rushing to the fore and old feelings bring fresh conflict between two very strong and capable people.  A great story and read very nicely by Coleen Mario.

Sea Glass Inn by Karis Walsh
      A good story with strong characters and their vulnerabilities. Wonderful listening and excellent interplay.

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
     A Dark Hunter novel.  An amazing story with characters that are strong yet vulnerable and with flaws to match their strengths.  This is Acheron's tale.  A tale of betrayal, desperation, hatred, pain and sorrow and in the end a tale of love strong enough to overcome it all.  Excellent story.

These are but a few of the audible books that I've been listening to.  Well worth your time.

Now, here's what I've been reading lately.

Remember Me by Syd Parker (reading)

The Blush Factor by Gun Brooke
     This was an interesting story.  A younger woman, older woman romance that starts with a chance viewing of a young woman whose ability to connect with others regarding makeup and fashion through You-Tube videos catches the eye of a woman trying to rebuild the make-up company of her beloved aunt who died and that her father let run down simply because he had no knowledge or interest.  Good characters, good story and an enjoyable read.

Mythical by C.E. Martin
Stone Soldier by C.E. Martin
       Interesting story concept.  This is the first and prequel of the Stone Soldier series by C. E. Martin.  Here is a soldier who dies and then awakes to find himself something else.  A bit like the Invisible Man or a later version of the Incredible Hulk when the brain of Bruce Banner was uppermost in either form.  I found this an interesting read.  Kind of a break between more intense novels that generate more emotions and really drag you kicking and screaming to the end, this story was interesting and enjoyable but lacked the strong emotional pull.  This is, for me, one of those books that I'll read once and that's it.  Interesting but not captivating.  I may get more of this series but they are not a priority. 

Reaper's Run: A Plague War Novel by David Vandyke
      Currently reading.  Interesting concept. A virus that pretty much gets rid of hatred and all diseases.  Meant to create an almost perfect world but instead it was fought and  feared by the governments and some greedy business' because it took away their powers.  So far this is interesting but it hasn't grabbed my attention.  The main character is good but there's nothing especially gripping or exciting about her.  Still, I'm working my way through this, slowly, but surely.

Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands
      Another in the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands.  This one pulls Marcus Notte into the fore front and with a niece of Lucian Argeneau, Basha Argeneau into close contact while trying to remove the threat of the Rogue Leonius from the scene.  If you follow the Argeneau series this another good read. I have come to really enjoy the Argeneau clan and their search for their soul mates.  The interplay with each character and the others in the clan make for a fun and sometimes hilarious read.  These are strong stories, good characters and well laid plots that bring mystery, drama and romance together to make an interesting and fun read.

Empire's Advance: Book Two of the Corellian Guard Series by Prudence McLeod
Frankie by Prudence McLeod
      I enjoy Prudence McLeod and her writing.  I've heard others say her writing is simplistic or her use of language too flowery or sweet.  I've come to enjoy the whole package here.  Her romance stories as well as her Science Fiction and Paranormal stories are fun reads.  Truly, I find myself laughing and crying and pretty much just enjoying myself immensely when I read her books.  I love the characters and the interaction with others.  I use these books as wonderful fall-back reads when I want something that will lighten my spirit and bring a smile to my face.  Definitely my go-to books for having a good time.

Syncopated Rhythm by Erik Schubach
      This is the latest book in Erik Schubach's Music of the Soul series and I have to say I was not disappointed.  Since I read the first book "Music of the Soul" about disillusioned rocker Mandy Harris I have been hooked.  This series is another of my go-to reads when I want to feel good and have a story that pull at my heart and my mind.  I love the roller coaster ride of emotions that these books always bring about for me.  Laughter, tears, anger and joy is just such a wonderful experience.  Books that pull at your emotions, that make you cry and laugh and really drag you into the story and where you identify with the characters and their emotions are just awesome.  This latest book in the series is about Amber LaLanie and her rise to fame in the music scene.  This pulls in characters from many of the previous books and keeps everyone fresh in your mind.  I love how these stories take people with faults, vulnerabilities and challenges and brings out the best in all of them.  How they rise to the challenges of life and how they funnel their anger, their pain into something that makes beauty and love and joy the main focus in their lives. 

Other books in this series:
Music of the Soul
A Deafening Whisper
Dating Game
Karaoke Queen
Silent Bob
Five Feet or Less
Broken Song

All of these books are absolutely amazing and the stories and characters are strong and grab you right from the first page and keep you reading all the way to last word.  Awesome reading and definitely worth your time!

Now along with this series Erik also has a Science Fiction series:
The Valkyrie Chronicles:
Return of the Asgard #1
Bloodlines #2
Folkvangr #3
      This is another series that I can highly recommend.  Awesome characters, great story and plot and a wonderful emotion filled read that will bring tears of joy and sorrow and love to your eyes.

This is just a sample of what I've been reading and listening to lately.  There are many many more books that I've read, some so-so but the majority of they I've found very interesting and with great characters.  I'll add more of these later on.

Just to show I don't JUST read -- I've also started crocheting and doing Amigurami or the crocheting of small animals and characters that I'm having a total blast doing. I've made many pairs of fingerless gloves/hand-warmers this past few months as well with the cold and crazy weather we've been having.  My family thinks I'm awesome -- yeah me! LOL!

Yes I read, write, crochet, sew, knit, quilt and collect crystals.  A bit all over the place.  And most of all I love my life! 

Enjoy and have a great time doing what makes you most happy!

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Currently Read Books

Well, February was a very nice month for reading and March is looking up as well.  I just finished reading The Dead, The Damned and the Forgotten by Jocelynn Drake.  This is the first of the Dark Days Novels I've read and I have to say it was excellent! The drama, the action, the fast pace of the plot was riveting. It captured me right from the start and carried through the entire story.  The characters were excellent, well fleshed and very memorable.  Mira was awesome in her take charge manner and her actions and thoughts pulled me into her character showing a depth that made me want to know more.  Bishop, Knox, Barrett were great supporting characters.  All had their own strengths and were so very individualistic they stood out vividly in all the action.  Definitely a wonderful read and I will be going back to this series to see what else has been happening in Mira's domain.

I've also read several books in the series by Amanda Arista beginning with Diaries of an Urban Panther.  Violet Jordan is another absolutely fascinating character.  Being pulled into a situation totally outside her norm and how she has dealt with it makes for a fantastic read.  Learning to deal with her altered state, her sudden power and the fact she was now the defacto "leader" of the paranormal community she suddenly inhabited one heck of an adventure.  To find she was part of an almost pre-ordained destiny, having to learn to deal with her sudden powers and the responsibility for a complete community practically dumped in her lap is a lot for a young woman to have to deal with.  Claws and Effect was the second book and just as gripping as the first.  Nine Lives of an Urban Panther is the third book of the series and I'm looking forward to getting into that soon!

Vampires Gone Wild, a collection of short stories by Kerrelyn Sparks, Pamela Palmer, Amanda Arista (which is where I first learned of the Urban Panther series) and Kim Falconer.  All the stories in this anthology were excellent. 

V is for VampWoman by Kerrelyn Sparks was a good, almost funny read.  The characters from her Love at Stake series are wonderful and seeing a slightly different side to some of them was very enjoyable.  Mikhail, Zoltan, Jack & JL were well known characters from the series and like all good friends when you meet them again it was a welcoming experience.  To see Lady Pamela as VampWoman brought a smile to my face.  Though the story was short it was such a fun read and well worth the time.  If you've read the Love at Stake series and liked them then this sidebar to the main stories is a wonderful way to spend some time with well liked characters.

A Forever Love by Pamela Palmer was a very interesting read.  A bit different from the norm but fascinating.  The characters were real and interesting.  Elizabeth and Lukas were great leading characters and the story was catchy.  They didn't jump out and grab my attention but slowly built an interest as the story progressed.  I'm looking forward to seeing more about this shadow dimension.

First Dates Are Hell by Amanda Arista (A Those Who Wander Story).  This was my introduction to Violet Jordan and the Urban Panther series and was a wonderful story it was.  Val was a very fascinating character and the girl he falls for is just as fascinating.  This was Val and Esme's story and to see these two dance around each other was a real treat.  Their by-play and chatter pulled at me and made me smile.  A really great read.  I went out and purchased the other three books in the Urban Panther series as soon as I finished their story. 

Blood and Water by Kim Falconer.  This was an interesting story, a slightly different take on the shape-shifter line.  An interesting look at the "cause" of the San Francisco earth quake of the early 1900s.  Stellan and Angelina were wonderful characters. Their interaction was really good to see.
I enjoyed this one. It was a bit slower than the others and bit of easing off the frantic pace some of the others set and a perfect end to the anthology.  All in all the entire anthology was definitely a fun and exciting read.  Well worth the time.

Lynsay Sands' IMMORTAL EVER AFTER was a great read.  Part of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter series this one deals with Anders and the finding of his life-mate.  Anders is such a quiet and seemingly surly immortal in the other stories.  Here we see more deeply into his past and learn just why he is as quiet as he is.  Anders and Valerie are a great match.  Both so very strong neither one wanting to give an inch admitting their feelings.  Thrust into a situation where she is forced to be the strong one and rescue herself and several other women from a "mad man" puts Valerie right into the hands of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunters.  All the familiar characters are there and watching the back and forth interactions of Anders and Valerie while the others keep pushing them together is fun and exciting. As usual the story is good, the plot involving and the characters so rich and full you can't help but get pulled into their world.  A wonderful read.

Several short stories by Julia P. Lynde were good quick and fun reads.  Northern Proposals, Bidding War & Holiday Escort were wonderful quick reads with interesting characters and well defined stories.  Great and fun reads.

Zoe Amos had several interesting short short stories and were fun reads.  You, Flow Like a River and Good Folk were great quick reads.  Sweet romance stories that had me smiling all the way through. 

Fantastic reads all and every one worth the time to do so.