Tuesday, January 31

Dusty Reads (4)

~This is a weekly meme created by Xpressoreads that showcases books that have been sitting on your shelf for a while and is a little dusty...~

Happy Tuesday. Today I'll be participating in Dusty Reads, which gives a little light to those dusty books sitting on your shelf that you haven't read yet. For this week, I'm going to be showcasing a classical novel that I've been avoiding for years now...Northanger Abbey by the all-so talented Jane Austen.

"The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art."
Have any of you read this? Did you like it?

I simply adore Jane Austen, but I just haven't want to read this. I keep avoiding it. For heaven's sake I read Emma and Sense and Sensibility before this one (for those that don't know, I'm not a huge fan of these two books because of the main characters).


Monday, January 30

Music Monday

Happy Monday! How is everyone? 

The first video I want to share is a video about the show Once Upon a Time  created by the talented pangaeaprodz, which I'm in love with! It's a great show about all the fairy-tales we know and love that have been cursed and is living in our world. The spell has made everyone forget who they are except for Henry, the grandson of Snow White and Prince Charming. It's a great show! The song is 'Enchanted' by Taylor Swift. That song is now stuck in my head:

Here the entire song by Taylor Swift:

Here's an old-ish video that I use to be in love with. Well, I'm still in love with it...but its a video about Faramir and Eowyn from the fantastic theargonath. The song is the song I want to dance to at my wedding 'I'll Be' by Edwain McCain.:

I don't really have anything funny I want to share...sorry. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed these videos!


Sunday, January 29

Sunday Ketchup

~'Sunday Ketchup' was inspired by The Muse in the Fog's 'Suddenly Sunday' postings. However, mine are going to be a little bit different. Also when I went to spell 'Catchup' I accidentally spelled it wrong and put 'Ketchup'. I thought it was cute, so I kept it. Also, I'm addicted to ketchup! I want one of those ketchup shirts that says "I <3 Ketchup". Wouldn't that be cute? Every week, or whenever I remember, I'm going to post events that happened this past week, things coming up next week, updates, and news. You can join in and post your own 'Sunday Ketchup' postings, just make sure to mention me...if you want ^.^ ~

Happy Sunday everybody! It's simply lovely outside. The snow is falling gracefully from the sky. It's oddly calming. Don't ask me why. How was everyone's week? Mine was fantastic! On Saturday, I went to the gym with my friend for the first time since High School! I mean yeah, I've worked out at home, but it's not the same. I feel very accomplished! It's called Fitness Anytime. The name speaks for itself. You can go there and workout at anytime. I went at 10 pm. It's only $30 per month or $40 per month if you want unlimited tanning. Not a bad deal! If you're not a member (like me) it's $5 dollars each time. I'm contemplating becoming a member. 

Sorry for the rambling about this awesome gym. ^.^

Past Week Posts:
~New Blog Look and Movie of the Week Announcement
~Top Ten Tuesday (13): FreeWrite
~Wordless Wednesday & Happy Chinese New Year
~Book Review: The Prophet - The New Brotherhood

Whats Going to Be Posted This Week?:
I'll try to get the usual posted, like Music Monday, TTT/Dusty Read, and etc. I may or may not have a book review and a movie review. The movie review depends on if my library get the movie in or if the movie comes on TV. We shall see. Other than that it's up in the air. 

Anything New for the Blog?:
Nothing major. I'll be updating the 'Songs Stuck in my Head' section probably on Monday/Tuesday. Also, sometime during the week I'll update the 'Quotes' section. Exciting, I know. Haha 

Tim Horton News:
I forgot to mention this...we have new Velvet foods. Like velvet muffins, brownies, and donuts. I've only tried the brownie so far and it was okay. We also have lasagna casserole and garlic bread, which was yummy. 

What Came in the Mail/Store?:
I got a couple things. One was my new skin/cover for my kindle fire. The other was a book I won from Allison at The Musings of a Book Junkie! So exciting. 

Anything Else Worth Mentioning:
The Blog has finally gotten over the 50 follower mark! Huzzah! I'm super excited! I'll be hosting a giveaway soon in honor of this victory. I'm not sure what I'm giving away, but once i decide on that I'll let you all know. Also...I've been made an administrator at the Ever After Pr Facebook page. Woot Woot!  

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!


Friday, January 27

Book Review: The Prophet - The New Brotherhood

Author:  KJ Dahlen
Title: The Prophet: The New Brotherhood
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Pages: ebook, 200 pages  
First Published: September 28th, 2010
Where I Got It: Given to me to read and review for Ever After Pr 

"After a three year search for a serial killer known as The Prophet, FBI agents Sean Sebastian and Rheta Morgan; both who have a personal reason to stop him, finally get a break and The Prophet is within their reach. Confrontation leads them to discover a secret network called the New Brotherhood and the more they find out about the New Brotherhood, the more determined they are to stop it. When The Prophet takes Rheta and Sean's sister hostage, the race is on to free them and bring down the Brotherhood."

This is the first novel I've read from KJ Dahlen and the first thriller/mystery I've read for 2012. It's also the first book for the blog I'm a book host as. Exciting!

Anyways, this was a pretty good book. I really enjoy thrillers and this held up to my expectations! I was at the edge of my seat the entire time I turned the page. KJ Dahlen did an amazing job with setting up the story and giving out particular information at the right moment. Every time I thought I had the ending figured out, she would throw another loop into the story. I felt just as desperate as Rheta and her partner to get a grasp on this "prophet" and have a happy ending.

Credit must be given to KJ Dahlen for taking a huge risk in the story. At some points she would switch the POV to the psycho, aka the Prophet. A lot of authors just keep the POV in the good guys' court, because it's safer and less of a challenge. However, KJ Dahlen took on this challenge and I believe she did a great job! I was actually interested to see what was going through this guy's head. I'll admit it...I was more interested in his POV at times. Yes, he was completely off his rocker and a cold-hearted son of bitch (excuse my french), but he was interesting. KJ Dahlen, I applaud you. 

Okay...I'm an honest person, so I'll be blunt. Sometimes I winced when I was reading, because there were a few grammatical errors that I couldn't look past. I'm an English minor and the more classes I take in writing, the more I notice these things. Usually, I can just ignore them and continue on. Not in this case. Sometimes I had to read the sentence a couple times, so my brain could make sense on what was going on. I try not to point these grammar issues out in my reviews, because I'm not the best at grammar, but...I couldn't just ignore these. I hope that next time she has someone proof-read her rough draft beforehand. That's all I ask.

I had a love-hate with the ending. My mind was blown away by how everything went down at the end! However, I also felt it was sort of anti-climatic and not how I would've ended it. Maybe I would have, but a little differently. I felt like it just...ended. There was a whole bunch of drama and action and excitement that my mind couldn't read fast enough for me, but then after some words and whatever it just...ended. I also felt like there was a huge cliff-hanger, which I love and hate equally. I love when the author leaves you wanting more, but you're not 100% sure there will be more. 

Overall, I really liked this book. It was entertaining. It kept me on the edge of my seat. It had me wanting to read more from the author. I believe that Ever After Pr and I will be reading another book by this author. However, I'm not sure if we are and if we are, I'm not positive it'll be a "sequel" for The Prophet: The New Brotherhood. I hope so! Even though I think the author needs to have grammar check, I think she's a wonderful author and this was a good book. Out of five stars I grant this one 4 stars. In all reality, it would be 4.4, but I rounded.

Favorite Character(s): Sean/Michael (Rheta's partner) and oddly the Prophet (I just thought his view point was interesting and out of the norm)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): The Prophet (cold-hearted killer) 

Wednesday, January 25

Wordless Wednesday (15) & Happy Chinese New Years

Happy Chinese (late) New Years! I found this cute picture randomly on Google and yeah...


Top Ten Tuesday (13): Freewrite Time!

~The Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.~

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm pretty much done with all my homework and, well, I'm bored, so I decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday. ^.^

This week is a freebie and I can share whatever I want to share. Freedom! Freedom! *clears throat* Sorry. Anyways, the topic I'm going to choose is...my fictional boyfriends. I missed this one a while back, so now I'm going to give my fictional-crushes a little bit of light. Haha. I'll even post a picture of who I view as the person (there is no real order to my list):

10) Tao from The Dragon and the Pearl. 

9) Faramir from Lord of the Rings. 

8) William Marshall from The Greatest Knight. 

7) Drake from My Ruthless Prince, The Inferno Club series.

6) Matsuhito from The Snow Fox.

5) Damien from Lord of Ice

4) Eomer from Lord of the Rings

3) Shang Da from Blue Moon, Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series

2) Captain Wentworth from Persuasion 

1) Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice and Pemberly Ranch (I couldn't pick which Mr. Darcy I liked more, sooooo I just decided to put both)

Pride and Prejudice (couldn't help myself)

Pemberly Ranch

You like my "boyfriends"? Haha. Anyways...sorry about this post be a little on the late side. School is a pain in the rump.


Tuesday, January 24

New Blog Look and Movie of the Week Announcement

Happy early Tuesday morning/late Monday night! I finished both my persuasive rough draft (same-sex marriage) and my informative speech (Pine Ridge).  Yayy for me! Since I got those two things done, I allowed my self to make a final decision on the background for the new look for the blog. As you can tell I picked the blue and black coloration. You guys  like it? I'm in love with the colors and all that jazz. ^.^

Anyways, it's time to FINALLY announce the next movie of the week. And the next movie is *drum rolls*...

Knocked Up starring Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen. Here's the trailer:

I've never seen this one all the way through. Pretty sad, eh? I'm really excited to actually sit and watch it all the way through. ^.^


Monday, January 23

Sunday Ketchup

~'Sunday Ketchup' was inspired by The Muse in the Fog's 'Suddenly Sunday' postings. However, mine are going to be a little bit different. Also when I went to spell 'Catchup' I accidentally spelled it wrong and put 'Ketchup'. I thought it was cute, so I kept it. Also, I'm addicted to ketchup! I want one of those ketchup shirts that says "I <3 Ketchup". Wouldn't that be cute? Every week, or whenever I remember, I'm going to post events that happened this past week, things coming up next week, updates, and news. You can join in and post your own 'Sunday Ketchup' postings, just make sure to mention me...if you want ^.^ ~

Happy Sunday everyone! I know it's been a while since I've done one of these posts, but...yeah...school and work are kicking my butt. I'm super stressed. Maybe it was a mistake to take Oral Communications and Comp II (it's a writing class) at the same time. Ugggggh. Anyways...

Past Week Posts:
What's Going to Be Posted This Week?:
On Saturday I'll have 'The Prophet' book review posted. It's the first book I'm reading for Ever After Pr (the blog I'm a host at). ^.^ Besides for that, it'll depend on how much free time I have. 

Anything New for the Blog?:
I know I promised a new look and that'll be coming soon. I'm just stuck on the background. I can't decide what color scheme I want. I was thinking maybe blue and black, white and black, green and blue, or something. I'm not 100% sure, but the new look is on the way! Other than that...nothing else.

Tim Horton news:
Same ol', same ol'. 

What Came in the Store/Mail?:
Since the last time I posted one of these, I've had a lot of things come in for me. The biggest and most expensive was my new Kindle Fire. ^.^ It's my baby! Besides for that, I've gotten a couple books from Ever After Pr to read and review. I also found a couple e-books from Amazon:

Anything Else?:
Mhmmm, nothing really. 

What's new with your blogs?


Friday, January 20

Book Review: A Hand For Each

Author:  J. Kathleen Cheney
Title: A Hand for Each: Three Short Stories
Genre: Mystery, short stories, fantasy
Pages: ebook 
First Published: September 17th, 2011
Where I Got It: My shelf (free from Amazon)

WWI Challenge: first one

'This collection of short stories features three tales of supernatural change. 

In "A Hand for Each", young Lieutenant Davies finds himself at the mercy of the sea when his ship is attacked by islanders. (Originally published in Shimmer Magazine, 2007.)

"Masks of War" explores the 'Masks for Facial Disfigurement' Department in WW1 England. A life-like mask can hide the ghastly wounds of veterans of the Great War, but Lieutenant Grey suspects there's something more at work than mere tin and paint. (Originally published in Fantasy Magazine, 2008.)

"Fleurs du Mal" tells the story of a man who finds himself falling into a botanical trap. Will Bertrand be able to save his brother before he falls prey to a seductive woman? (Originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 2010.)'

These three are the first short stories I have read in a long time. I had to keep reminding myself that, yes, these are short and the story will be quick and...well...short. Since there are three short stories, I'll break this review up into three categories.  One for each:

A Hand for Each
The story follows Davies, who's a lieutenant on a ship that's attacked by islanders and he's left alone to the mercy of the sea. I can't say much else without ruining the rest of the story. 

I zoomed right through this story, because I was dying to see what would happen next! I felt so bad for the guy, because imagine being all alone on a ship in the middle of the fickle ocean. Scary thought, I know. I loved this short story, but I hated the ending. The ending was so confusing, but it made sense. If that makes sense? All-in-all, it was a good story.

Maskes of War 
Set in WWI, the story follows Lieutenant Grey and his involvement of The Department of Facial Disfigurement. He was badly injured during a battle and is given a mask to cover up his destroyed face. Grey chaperons some other badly injured men to visit their families. However, there is more to the tin masks than the paint...

This story freaked me out a little, but it's probably my favorite story in this book. I loved how it was creepy, but in a good way. I wish this could have been a longer story, but maybe it would have lost some of its magic. Who knows? Even though the story was a decently dark story, I felt a huge amount of hope in the underlying tone.  Overall, I really loved this story!

Fleurs du Mal
The title, in english, means flowers of evil. Doesn't that make you want to read it? Bertrand is a WWI veteran who swore of women since his wife died giving birth to a bastard child while he was gone. He goes to France to save his brother from the clutches of this seductive woman. Right from the start, he knows something is amiss. The bigger question is...can he save himself from the mysterious woman or does he want to stay in her tangles?

This was a wonderful and creepy read! However, I had to remind myself that this was a short story, so events happen very quickly. If  J. Kathleen Cheney ever wanted to make a full story, I would put my vote for this one! Well, I would probably beg just so I could see how it ended. It didn't really "end" for say. She made the ending for everyone to put their own guess on. It ended like 'The Sopranos'. Even though I was upset, I still really liked it.

Final Verdict
All three stories were creepy, but really good. J. Kathleen Cheney did a wonderful job with the telling of these stories. I'll have to check out more of her short stories in the future. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a mystery, creepy stories, and its free at Amazon, so people who like free stuff; this is for you! Out of five stars, I grant this one 4 stars.

Favorite Character(s): Grey and Davies
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Bertrand's little brother. 

PS - This is my first book for the WWI Reading Challenge


Thursday, January 19

And Wilt Thou Leave Me Thus? - Thomas Wyatt

I didn't originally plan to post anything today, but I decided to share this Thomas Wyatt poem. Why? Well, for one I love Thomas Wyatt and his poems/odes/etc. Second, today in my Oral Communications class we have to select any reading and read it to the class today. I had no clue what to read! I had so many ideas, but I couldn't decide on just one.

As I was walking out of my Compoistion II class the line "And have no more pity, Of him that loveth thee" popped into my head. I wasn't even thinking about Thomas Wyatt or anything related to poetry (I was actually thinking about my position paper I have to do for Comp). It kind of shocked me. That was the deciding factor. I'll be reading 'And Wilt Thou Leave Me Thus' by Thomas Wyatt:

"AND wilt thou leave me thus ?
  Say nay !  say nay !  for shame
  To save thee from the blame
Of all my grief and grame.1
And wilt thou leave me thus ?
Say nay ! Say nay ! 

    And wilt thou leave me thus ?
That hath lov'd thee so long ?
In wealth and woe among :
And is thy heart so strong
As for to leave me thus ?
Say nay ! Say nay ! 

    And wilt thou leave me thus ?
That hath given thee my heart
Never for to depart ;
Neither for pain nor smart :
And wilt thou leave me thus ?
Say nay ! Say nay ! 

    And wilt thou leave me thus ?
And have no more pity,
Of him that loveth thee ?
Alas !  thy cruelty !
And wilt thou leave me thus ?
Say nay ! Say nay !"

I'm so nervous, but this isn't the first time I've read this to an audience, so I should be fine. Buuuuut, wish me luck anyways! ^.^

My dream man.

PS- My blog will be having a new look anyday now! So...don't be too shocked! I already updated and changed the 'Books and Reviews" page. I love change.


Wordless Wednesday (14)


Tuesday, January 17

Book Review: The Dragon and the Pearl

Author:  Jeannie Lin
Title: The Dragon and the Pearl
Genre: Historical Romance,  Intrigue, Drama 
Pages: 288
First Published: September 20th, 2011
Where I Got It: Borrowed from Library


Former Emperor’s consort Ling Suyin is renowned for her beauty; the ultimate seductress. Now she lives quietly alone—until the most ruthless warlord in the region comes and steals her away....

Li Tao lives life by the sword, and is trapped in the treacherous, lethal world of politics. The alluring Ling Suyin is at the center of the web. He must uncover her mystery without falling under her spell—yet her innocence calls out to him. How cruel if she, of all women, can entrance the man behind the legend..."

This is the first Jeannie Lin book I've read. I can pretty much guarentee that it won't be the last.

The Dragon and the Pearl was what I was hoping it be! The two "lovers" are so different, but so similar. He's a hardened warrior and assassian. She's a lovely flower, but an innocent 'she-demon' (so many characters called her this and it fits all too well). Both characters have gone through so much pain, loneliness, heart-ache, struggle, and dark times, but their love/lust is a pecan in the night for them.

I'm sorry to have gone all poetical, but hey, I really adored this couple and this story. The story had me sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. Even though I'm really good at figuring out what will happen next, I couldn't find my way to the ending result. I must give credit where credit is due...congrats Jeannie Lin, you made a real mystery out of this love story. I also applaud her for making the characters slowly, but surely fall out of the lust stage to the love stage. It was realistic for the characters, because both Tao and Suyin are hard and non-trusting people. When both finally declared their love for each other, I nearly cried, "finally!"

Not only did Jeannie Lin do a wonderful job with the story and the characters, but a wonderful job bringing Ancient China to life. I felt like I was really there. I could imagine the sea of Bamboo and Lio Tao's study. The balance between story-telling and describing the setting was very balanced. I would simply love t if they made this a movie! 

The only things I can nick-pick at is the POV balance. I felt most of the story was in Suyin's POV. Yes, Tao did get to have his spotlight, but...not as much as Suyin. I loved Suyin too, but sometimes I would get bored because she was just sitting around waiting, while Tao was having the adventures and preparing for the war that was coming. Tao had about 35% and Suyin 65% of the book. That is my only complaint.

Overall, I really loved this book. I also really loved the author and her writing style. Tao and Suyin were fantastic characters! As many may or may not know, I love my characters complex and original; both characters fit the built. I do wish that Tao had more chances to give his POV, but oh well. Out of five stars I grant this one 5 stars. Woot! Woot!

Favorite Character(s): Li Tao, Suyin, and Auntie
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Gao and Emperor Shen (they are both pains in the rumps)


Monday, January 16

Music Monday

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? I had to work, so mine was boring and just ugh. Anyways...shall we begin with the music?

The first one is a new song stuck in my head. I can't get enough of it! Plus the music video is bittersweet. The song is 'The One That Got Away' by the amazing Katy Perry:

I'm a die-heart Killers fan. I've The Killers for as long as I can remember their music. This video is one of my favorite that no one I know has heard. This is 'Romeo and Juliet' by The Killers:

I must apologize...I'm not listing the winners from the Golden Globes. I know. I know. I was planning on it, but I have so much homework left to do for my classes that I don't have the time. Here's a linkie of the winners, if you want to check them out. =( Buuut, I'm going to be sharing my favorite moment of the night. This is a little song that Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy blessed us with (and I feel its very true). I can't stop giggling at it. Hehe Enjoy:

Well that's that. I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

PS - I've been playing around with different backgrounds for the blog. Sooooo, if I stumble across one I really like, don't be surprised if things look a little different. ^.^


Saturday, January 14

Cast That Book: The Red Queen

~'Cast That Book' is a weekly meme created by moi. This is just something I came up with, to share everyone who I would cast if a certain book became a movie. I got the idea from storycasting.com, so check them out! My secret dream is to be a casting director and this allows me to live it for just an hour or two. Anyone can join! You don't have to pick thebook I picked. Any book, any genre! However, I would LOVE to check out who you casted, so share the linkie to your post down below.~

Happy Saturday everybody.

This week I decided to share my "cast" for The Red Queen. I was a little unsure about sharing this one, but what the heck? For this "casting" I feel like showing the pictures of the real people next to the actor/actress. ^.^ Click THIS to check out the review I typed up for this book. Here we go! 

Margaret Beaufort (The *coughs* Bitch *coughs*) - Keegan Connor Tracy

Edmund Tudor - Kevin McKidd (he's a little older than the original, but his face kept popping in my head)

Jasper Tudor - David Wenham (yummah)

~Original Jasper Tudor N/A~

Henry Tudor - John Driscoll

Young Henry Tudor - Tommy Bastow

Elizabeth of York - Blake Lively

Sir Henry Stafford - Viggo Mortensen

Thomas Stanley - Richard Armitage

Edward IV - Gary Oldman

Richard III - Christian Bale

Margaret of Anjou - Marion Cotillard

King Henry VI - Ewan McGregor

I know I'm missing some major players in the game of War of the Roses, but I think I got the main ones of The Red Queen. Who would you cast?