Friday, October 30, 2009

Delivery Day

I had to use my webcam as the batteries are dead in my digital camera, so hey they are reading backwards on your screen.

But, here are the latest books I got from Harper Collins Canada.

Cheers An Intemperate History of Beer in Canada by Nicholas Pashley

Into the Dark by Peter Abrahams

Jolted :Newton Starker's Rules for Survival by Arthur Slade

They all look fairly cool, I am hoping to get to them by the beginning of next week.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Darren Shan : Cirque Du Freak Book 1

I received this one in the mail last week and only now had a chance to sit down and read it.

I have to get my hands on the rest of them, cause I think I found my new addiction.

Darren Shan is your average school kid. He likes playing soccer, hanging with his friends and spiders. When Steve his best friend manages to get them tickets to the traveling Freak Show, Darren can't wait.
The two boys witness what at first seems like simple stage magic while at the show but soon find out the best act is a real vampire.
Steve decides that he's tired of his life and begs the vampire to make him one. Only something goes wrong and he's left even more angry then before.
Meanwhile, Darren has a plot of his own, to steal the vampire's pet spider. Soon the two boys find themselves way in over their heads and facing their own deaths. Will they turn on each other or find another way to get away from Cirque Du Freak?

I have to admit, for a Young Adult novel this one had me glued. There is one scene between the character of Darren and his sister Annie that made me have to do a double take. It clinched the entire book for me, and I suddenly started thinking in metaphors and not taking the story as face value anymore.
Always a good thing in my view.

The characters are complex, rich and not at all what you would expect. The author managed to capture the emotional ups and down of young pre-teens with a vividness I haven't seen in this genre in years.
I love the little nod to Anne Rice by having the character writing under the pen name of Darren Shan as well as a very refreshing fact it's not set in the same old gloomy areas most vampire novels have been set. It's very much a British story so if you are unfamiliar with the British language it might throw you off at first.

This gets a 4 and a half out of 5 fangs from me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Kitten Diaries by Conny Manero

This is a short two story book that is written from the point of view of two kittens, Chanel and Queeny.

Though it is a short read, it's what I would call a reality read.
Warm, fun and witty, the points it makes are serious ones.

In the first part, Chanel's Story, we witness what it would feel like to be the last one picked for adoption and the uncertainty it would bring.
Even though it talks about how pets stores can become over populated, you can't help but feel that children will identify with it on a few emotional levels and see themselves as the "scruffy kitten". It is a lovely way to show that everyone has a purpose on this earth and that everyone is entitled to love.

In the second part, Queeny's Diary, we view the three weeks Queeny has to spend with friends while her owners are on vacation. It's seen as an adventure in a very light hearted way. The idea that Queeny would like the look of bowling balls was a neat little tug that seemed to then flow into setting up a connection with her new part time family.

I have to admit, I liked the lighter tone of Queeny's Dairy little more then the seriousness of Chanel's Story. Which is a good thing considering I got begged by my niece and nephew to read the "kitty book" after they spotted it on my endtable. They too liked the scenes of Queeny rolling around the floor with the yarn.
I am interested in seeing if there is a sequel in the works, as there were a few other characters whom I feel would be interesting to hear from. Would love to know what Husky was thinking during Queeny's visit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stacey Voss: In Person from Oct 17th 2009

Here is the new episode of my show Creeping Screams! Stacey Voss did a book signing today as part of her tour. I was there with camera in hand, a very shaky hand, and taped it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Men of Jane Austen Part 1

This is the last challenge for the All Jane Austen Challenge. I will be the first to admit that I picked lighter challenges at the beginning so that I would have enough time to give to this one. Had I been smart I would have been working on it from the beginning but, I am not that smart.
Even with 3 full months this was a heavy one to handle.

Mr. Darcy Mr. Darcy Mr. Darcy.
Everyone loves Mr. Darcy. More spin offs have been written around him then I can count.
Why do we love him so much? That is the question.

Mr. Bingley. I have always felt should have gotten more air time.

I was going to break this down to the heroes and the villains but, was unable to keep from wanting to add Frank Churchill to the heroes when most consider him a villain. So, that idea went out the window. Then I started a list of the men, and well I know I am forgetting a few.

*Mr. Tilney

*Mr. Knightley.

*Colonel Brandon

*Mr. Wentworth

*Mr. Ferrars

See what I mean.

In Jane Austen Book Club, the character of Grigg is a mix of Mr. Knightley and Mr. Bingley. He's loyal, sweet and witty. The traits of most of Austen's men who are more the sidekicks then the center heroes.
As well in JABC, the character of Dean is viewed as a slight take on Edward Ferrars and Capt. Wentworth. Solid, dependable, passionate enough but still not the visible hero.

But what of our Henry Crawford?

In JABC the character of Trey is our token bad boy, (one of as the other "bad boy" in Jane Austen Book Club is a girl) as a full out Henry Crawford.
Few of the Austen villains are borderline nice guys, Mr. Crawford from Mansfield Park is one of them. I know I am going to get alot of reactions to that, but he does fall in love. Yes,
Mr. Crawford falls in love with the wrong woman, but he does indeed fall in love.

Once again, I bring you back to Jane Austen Book Club, and the question that is posed if when you read Austen's novels, you have to wonder if she didn't have a thing for the bad boys?
Which got me wondering, almost all of her heroines fall in love for the first time with a bad boy. Is this a lesson Jane Austen felt all must go through to end up knowing a good thing when they finally found it? Or is there another reason under it all?
Was it to warn women of the pitfalls of lust?
Or was she just wanting a reason for her heroes to be heroic?

Frank Churchill.
Another one of the borderline bad guys. He is an impossible flirt that manages to make everyone believe he is interested in them, while the whole time secretly committed to Miss Fairfax, as well as being a snob. Unlike some of the other Austen bad guys, who's crimes are far worse, his biggest fault is being a grown man with the attitude of a high schooler. I think that is why I like the Clueless version of his character the best.

Part 2 of the Men of Austen coming soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A challenge to any men reading my blog

I just posted a challenge on my main blog for any of the men who read it so why not post it here too.

I want to know what men really think of the Jane Austen characters.
Here is the post
and it will be ongoing no deadlines or time limits. A totally open challenge.

And yes I was inspired by my favourite scene from Jane Austen Book Club.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October Season : The Vamp Challenge

It's GingerRoot, I know I don't post much but I thought I would step in on here a bit and let everyone know that in case you didn't, that Ardeth Blood is having her first challenge.

The All Vamp Challenge.
Which is running from Nov 1st 2009 until May 1st 2010. (I'm waiting for the all werewolf challenge)

Sign up is still on until Oct 31st 2009.

With all the vampire fans out there how can you not sign up? There is a direct link at the side bar which will take you to her vampire blog and the Mr. Linky.

If you don't have a blog, but are members of, feel free to use your ning profile blog.

It's that simple.
Books, vampires, bloggers. What a wonderful mix.

Resistance is futile