Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sampler del Lago Maggiore

I'm so pleased with how this is coming along. It's a lovely design and the colours are so pretty. I think I'll be sticking with this one until it is finished.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Book Comments Catch-Up, Part the First

Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom - Julie Kenner
Contemporary Paranormal; Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom, Book 1; DNF
I saw this book (or possibly this series) reviewed on a blog recently and thought it looked amusing. I'm a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and loved the idea of what might happen when such a character was a settled wife and mother. However, it only took me about 30 pages to realise it just wasn't my kind of book. I found myself reading along and thinking "oh, this is a funny part" instead of actually being amused. The tone wasn't for me and although I skipped around a bit to pick up a bit more of the story I soon official gave up. A DNF for me, but still a book I expect others would enjoy.

The Spacetime Pool - Catherine Asaro
SF; 8/10
I enjoyed this story about a modern mathematician who gets pulled through a gate to an alternative dimension. She soon finds herself the object of a prophecy concerning two warring brothers, running for her life and caught up in a mystery about the history of this new world. For all it sounds like fantasy, this is actually a science fiction story (with the maths and physics to back up that assertion) and once again Asaro creates a fascinating reality where things are not what they seem on the surface. It's a good little story and worth reading, although at the end I was most left wondering if she'll ever write the (at least) two very obvious other tales that need to be written to explain the mysteries she presented to her readers.

Hostage to Pleasure - nalini Singh
Paranormal Romance; Psy/Changeling, Book 5; 9/10
Nalini Singh continues to develop the characters and world of her Psy/Changeling series. This time the book focuses around Psy Ashaya Aleine and Changeling Dorian (can't remember his last name). When we first met Ashaya in the previous book, I didn't think I was going to like her. She seemed cold and harsh and I couldn't see how Singh was going to turn her into a sympathetic character for her own book. Of course, I should have had more faith. Ashaya turns out to be a fascinating character, one way on the outside and another completely on the inside. She needs to learn to integrate the two and slowly does so over the course of the book. What is different about Ashaya is that she has chosen Silence (or an approximation of it) for herself and Dorian has quite a job to convince her the alternative is an option for her. As for Dorian, the Changeling who cannot change, I loved him the first time I met him, way back in Slave to Sensation and I love him just as much here. He's carrying a lot of rage and guilt and to find himself attracted to a Psy just exacerbates both, meaning he too has a significant journey to make before he can find a happy ending. Singh does her usual wonderful job of blending world-building, outside plot, character development and relationship development without going to extremes in any particular direction. I also loved the ending of the book. She had a choice to make on whether or not to allow Dorian, latent since birth, to gain the ability to change shape. To have him learn to shift would really have been too pat considering he'd been latent all his life, but while making him stay latent would probably be more realistic, it would also be desperately sad for Dorian (and for me the reader, who wanted him to learn to shift, but didn't want it to feel like Singh was tying up the resolution with a pretty ribbon for the sake of it). Again, I should have trusted more. Singh finds an alternative solution that works perfectly. Now I'm hanging out for her next books - Angel's Blood, which is the start of a new series that sounds like it has an equally unique spin on the world-building, and Branded by Fire the next Psy/Changeling book, both due out next year. (Although I do have to say that the think the titles to the Psy/Changeling series are pretty awful.)

Heart Fate - Robin D. Owens
Fantasy Romance; Celta, Book 7; 8/10
I found this latest book in Owens' Celtan series to be slow going. I wasn't quite sure if it was me, a flaw in the book or intentional. I have come to the conclusion that it was intentional. This is a slow, gentle book without the swifter more dramatic action of some of the others in the series. Both the main characters are wounded and this book is as much, or possible more, about their healing than it is about their romance. Lahsin is only 17 but was married to a brutish older man at fourteen. As the story begins she runs away, determined to escapse and make her own life. Tinne, the hero, is a little older and, as the story opens, forced to face up to the fact that his marriage is over. The two, HeartMates although only Tinne knows this, meet at a hidden, abandoned estate where both find a sanctuary and a chance to heal. They do so slowly, neither interested in another relationship but gradually discovering a precious friendship with the other. This is a romance as well, so it isn't a spoiler to say these two end up together, but for all that it was relatively quick I didn't find it rushed. It worked well for me, that their HeartMate bond pulled them together even as they were both cautious about another relationship. And in the end it is Lahsin that makes the decision for them, simply by choosing to follow her heart. But she had to do the work first be to in a position to do that, as did Tinne. So a quieter, slower addition to the series, but one I enjoyed. I do like these books and I'm glad to hear Owens has sold several more.

Weekly Geeks #18 - Catching Up

This week's mission is catching up with something.

I'm way behind with my book comments (I wouldn't presume to call them reviews) so I'm going to try to get a bit caught up with those.

Yesterday I caught up with my TBR, uploading a number of covers of books I'd refused to acknowledge I was intending to read to the Flickr set. I'm happy now to call that my current TBR, so that's a catching up I can be pleased with.

As I posted yesterday, Acheron finally arrived and as much as I would like to jump straight in to read it, I've decided to do some other catching up first. I will finish a couple of library books next (one I've already decided is a DNF, so actually it is only one) and then two books for the October discussion on Beyond_Reality. After that I can read Acheron at a leisurely pace without having the awareness of books that need to be read weighting me down. Once I've read those, I'm seriously considering using a random number generator to decide what comes next.

That makes my immediate book reading plans:
  1. Dark Curse by Christine Feehan(library)
  2. Singer of Souls - Adam Stemple (Beyond_Reality)
  3. Crystal Rain - Tobias S. Buckell (Beyond_Reality)
  4. Acheron - Sherrilyn Kenyon (at last)
Look out for some book comments over the week. I'll make a wrap up post next weekend to reflect on how I managed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It Only Took 50 Days

Amazon notified me on 1st August that they had shipped me my copy of Acheron. I know New Zealand is on the other side of the world, but surely it shouldn't have taken FIFTY days to get here? I'd basically given up hope it was ever going to turn up.

Now I have to decide what to read next, as I'd taken it out of my mental "next up reads" schedule.

And by the way, why do American publishers so often finish their hardcovers so shoddily?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Book of Ink Circles - All caught up

I've just finished the first cross, meaning I'm now all caught up. The inside of the squares in the cross were done in orange in the pattern, but because my fabric is gold/orange I didn't want to use that colour. I didn't think it would stand out enough. So I decided to use light blue, then chose to add in yellow as well. I think it turned out really nicely and I'm very pleased with it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Google had a particularly cool (yes, pun intended) header image today.

I find this whole thing fascinating and wish I remembered (and understood) my physics better.

And even for those of us whose physics is on the vague side, this is a really cool video.

(Oh dear, I used "cool" twice in the same blog post. Does that date me or something?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book of Ink Circles - Filler Squares

I got all caught up last night, getting the three little filler squares done before the release of the next part.

I hope to get started on the new part (the left hand cross) later today. I'm going to have to change one of the colours as it uses a lot of orange to make the pattern and it will be lost against my fabric. I'm thinking of using light blue instead, but I'll decide once I have the other colours stitched in.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I Love This

I just love this new release from Little House Needleworks. It's kind of a ridiculous love as it is very American and I am not. It's also a thread pack BOTM type of thing for which I couldn't possibly afford the money even if I could justify the time.

I don't care. I love it.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Invisible Illness Awareness Week

Book of Ink Circles - Bird

My health dropped out for a couple of days and I didn't think I would get the bird done, but I finished it last night while listening to "Winterfair Gifts" by Lois McMaster Bujold (I really must remember to listen to audiobooks while stitching more often as it is a perfect combination).

Technically, today is my last day with this project in the rotation, but if I have a good stitching day and make steady progress on the next square, I may break my own rules and keep going until I'm finished as it would be nice to be up to date, especially since the next part comes out next week.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Book of Ink Circles

I've just finished the fourth small square on this (top right). I'm quite a way behind but enjoying working on it again. I won't get caught up this week, but that's okay.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sampler del Lago Maggiore

Here's my progress after another week. I feel I'm making slow but steady progress on this one, which makes me happy. If I stick to my stitching plan I should continue to do so as it is my focus project.