Saturday, December 5, 2009

Manga Review: A Little Snow Fairy Sugar and Fairy Cube

So, while I'm on my manga kick, I thought I'd share two trilogies that I just read.

A LITTLE SNOW FAIRY SUGAR was a sweet little story about a snow fairy (one type of season fairies) named Sugar and a human girl named Saga. Sugar needed help to become a full-fledged season fairy, and Saga was just the girl to help her. It started off okay. The two MCs were always yelling at each other over misunderstandings, but once that got out of the way, and they were able to find a place where they weren't fighting. In the end, I actually cried. I couldn't believe that I cried over such a silly story, but the ending was really sweet. This one is good for all ages.

FAIRY CUBE is not much like SUGAR. It's kinda the opposite. Meaning, it's not fluff. It is definitely not for kids. There is murder and sex, and I would recommend ages 14 and up. It had an interesting twist on some old folklore, but they stayed true to a lot of it. Which makes me happy.

Both of these are worth the read. The first is cute and fun and can be shared with kids. The second is dark and dangerous.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Graphic Novel Review: Kith and Rapunzel's Revenge

KITH by Holly Black was the second in The Good Neighbors series. The first one was good. This one was better. The story was much more involved, and much more interesting. If you like urban faeries and fantastic art check this one out. Third installment to come Fall 2010.

RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE was hysterical. Shannon Hale has done several fairy tale retellings, but this one was probably the most ingenious. As you may have guessed, it is set in a wild west setting, and Rapunzel uses her hair as a lasso. This isn't the watered-down fairy tale about a princess with long hair that is rescued by her prince. Nor is it entirely true to the original. Finally, a princess that rescues herself. It might not be something you're interested in, but it may suck you in just as it did me. Next one comes out in January: CALAMITY JACK.

Book Review: Demon Ex Machina

What would happen if Buffy the vampire slayer went into retirement, got married, and had kids, then was forced out of retirement. That's what happened to Kate Connor. I love this series. I just read DEMON EX MACHINA, book 5. The plot keeps getting more complicated and more twisted, and I love it. It's urban fantasy, but there's definitely comedic genius here. If you'd like to read the entire series:


I can't wait for the next one. I hope there is a next one.


Demon Hunter Kate Connor is having one hell of a month...

In between demon patrols and teaching self-defense classes to the local moms, Kate has to deal with a teenage daughter who's gung-ho on being a demon slayer in training and a toddler son entering a tantrum phase that rivals anything from the pits of Hell.

That's a lot for one woman to juggle, but on top of it all, Kate has to find a way to release the demon possessing her first husband, Eric, without destroying the man inside. Because if the demon within Eric gets free, it just might be more than one seriously stressed suburban mom can handle.

Manga and Anime

I've been reading a lot of manga recently. It all started with Melissa Marr's faery series, WICKED LOVELY, got a spin-off manga. VAMPIRE KISSES, THE FAERIE PATH, and CIRQUE DU FREAK are other young adult fantasy series that have done this. Usually, it’s only a small series. Three seems to be the golden number for these.

There are also several series by Marvel. But I have to recommend RETURN TO THE LABYRINTH or THE LEGEND OF THE DARK CRYSTAL, both based off of the Henson movies made in collaboration with the fantastic artists, Brian and Wendy Froud. Also, fans of World of Warcraft, there is a series called LEGENDS, and THE SUNWELL TRILOGY in manga form. One of my favorites was STAR TREK TNG, THE MANGA. I can’t wait to read MAXIMUM RIDE AND NIGHTSCHOOL.

“Real manga” (as I call it) was originally in Japanese. Which is why they’re “backwards”. We read left-to-right. They read right-to-left. So, to keep the book exactly the same when they translated it to English, they read right-to-left.

One of the most popular authors is Clamp, which is actually a group of four women. I’ve yet to read one of their manga, but as I’ve recently learned, a lot of manga has an animated series… anime! I recently discovered the anime station, Funimation. The only anime I’ve seen before this is Sailor Moon. Anyway, XXXHOLIC, is a very popular CLAMP manga, and I adore the anime. I have a small crush on Watanuki.

I recently read FAIRY CUBE by Kaori Yuki, and I loved it. I want to read another series of hers, ANGEL SANCTUARY. Now, I’m reading A LITTLE SNOW FAIRY SUGAR. Some are silly. Not all of them, but most. I’m anxious to get my hands on VAMPIRE KNIGHT and XXXHOLIC to name a few.
Other anime I've enjoyed is MoonPhase, Peach Girl, and School Rumble.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

FaerieCon 2009!

The third annual Faerie Con happened last weekend. I've been each year, and each year seems to get better. As sad as it was the Brian and Wendy Froud weren't able to make it, and that Melissa Marr and Lesley Livingston were both out with the flu, Charles de Lint was there. He was so funny. He made several interesting little quips. Some things he shared that fellow writers may find interesting and/or helpful...

1. Write everyday.
2. Stop in the middle of a scene. At least you'll have something to pick up with next day.
3. Read a lot, even if it is not in the same genre that you are writing

He and his wife, Maryann Harris, performed. He has written music that goes along with his books. The first song he sang was called "Medicine Road" which is for the book of the same name. Though, I haven't read the book, I thoroughly enjoyed the song. And all his songs. He plays the guitar, and they have a folk sound. I asked him when he was going to put a record out. Jokingly, of course. And he said he'd love to do that one day. He also said he'd love a television series for his characters and the town of Newford.

I blogged recently about SJ Tucker and Tricky Pixie. I was thrilled to get to meet SJ Tucker and Betsy Tinney (of Tricky Pixie, and previously Gaia Consort). They were amazing. We sat in the front row. The performance was only 45 minutes long, but it felt like much less. I could have listened to them for hours. SJ played the guitar and Betsy plays the cello. Her cello was black and was named Raven. It had a long "tailpiece" as she plays standing up. I wish I had gotten a pic of them on stage. SJ is in the funny hat and Betsy is in green.

I also got to meet Toby Froud... again. I love his puppets. They are so incredible, and he moves them so life-like. A little girl came up to him right after the picture, and he made the puppet talk to her. She stood in front of him with her mouth hanging open for about 30 seconds.

I got a new baby from Jennifer Carson. This is Greta, a hobbit. I found a chair for her at an antique mall.

A pic of all my babies.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Meeting Authors: Sarah Dessen

I got to meet the fabulous Sarah Dessen today. She started out reading a selection from ALONG FOR THE RIDE.

Then she took questions from the audience. Some things she talked about:

When she wrote LOCK AND KEY, she purposefully made it different. She had read a lot of negatie reviews saying she needs to be more different, all of her books are the same. And then apparently people said LOCK AND KEY was not enough like her other books.

She said when she starts writing, she always has her beginning, ending, climactic moment, and first line down. Although it changes along the way.

THIS LULLABY is her favorite. THIS LULLABY and ALONG FOR THE RIDE were the most fun for her to write.

She doesnt' like the idea of writing a series or doing sequels, so she started the cameo thing. Now she said she feels it's expected of her to do the cameos, and she enjoys them.

She said guys were the hardest for her to write. She wants to make them each unique, but kinda makes them all like the guys she liked when she was a teen. Said she was concerned they would be too similar. Dexter and Wes are her two favorite guys.

She said she often procrastinates when writing. This makes me feel better. She said she tries not to think about her writing when she's not at the keyboard (which is every day from 3-5 EST while her nanny is watching her daughter) because it drives her crazy and makes it harder to write. Also, when she's frustrated, she walks away instead of forcing her writing.

She said she gets inspiration from everywhere, but especially airports.

And here we are after she signed my books!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Music Review: SJ Tucker and Tricky Pixie

I recently discovered a wonderful musical artist.

SJ Tucker - folksy-pagan-faery stuff. It's really good. She has some music to be listened to as companions to THE ORPHAN TALES: IN THE NIGHT GARDEN and IN THE CITIES OF COIN AND SPICE and PALIMPSEST by Catherynne Valente (highly recommended author, btw). Her voice is amazing. In addition to those, her albums are: Haphazard, Tangles, Sirens, and Blessings. Blessings has some amazing pagan songs, and Sirens has the Wendy Trilogy.

Also, check out Tricky Pixie - pagan rock. They're really good. Some of the songs are kinda silly, but mostly good. And a few songs not for kids. The lead singer is SJ Tucker, and the other woman is Betsy Tinney (previously of Gaia Consort), which is how I originally heard of this group. Gaia Consort is one of my favorites. Anyway, you can listen to the entire album (and also purchase digitally) by clicking the link below.

I think tracks 3, 5, and 11 are my favorites. 2 and 6 are silly. 12 is hysterical.

Also, check out Gaia Consort. Their albums are Evolve, Secret Voices, Vitus Dance, and Gaia Circles, the last one being my favorite.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Book Review: Catalyst

This book was amazing. It was so good I don't have words for it. Laurie Halse Anderson is an amazing writer. SPEAK was incredible, and CATALYST follows a different student from the same school. We do get a glimpse of Melinda and it's good to know how's she's doing after the stuff in her book. I look forward to more books from this author. TWISTED and WINTERGIRLS are both on my TBR (to be read) list.

Book Review: The Wyrm King, The Wolves in the Walls, and The Blueberry Girl

I just finished read THE WYRM KING. It's the final book the in the Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles series. I'm sad that it's over. There are no plans for anymore Spiderwick books. I love the poem at the end. The last stanza of the poem is as follows: Please keep a pen with you to write, a pad, a brush, and ink. Because your faerie tale just might... start sooner than you think.

And while I was at Politics and Prose earlier today I read THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS while Alexander flipped through a Star Wars book. It's a picture book written by Neil Gaiman. I had read reviews of it on Amazon and was annoyed at people freaking out saying that this isn't a kids book because it's scary. The artist is Dave McKean, the same guy that illustrates The Sandman graphic novels. I'm honestly not crazy about his art. It's not bad... it's just not my style. Anyway, I was expecting a scary story, and while I can see it scaring kids under 3, I found myself laughing several times. It was a cute story.

I also read THE BLUEBERRY GIRL a while back. It was also written by Gaiman, but illustrated by Charles Vess. Sometimes I like his work, sometimes not. I loved the illustrations in this book. The story was a poem written for a friend of Neil Gaiman's, Tori Amos, when she was pregnant. There were also people on Amazon saying this book was not for kids because it makes no sense. It's a very sweet poem.

If you take one thing from this... Don't trust Amazon reviewers.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Book Review: World of Faerie Deluxe

Up in the top left corner of my blog you'll see my original Wendy Froud dolls. They've been my prized possessions since I got them (FaerieCon 2007 and FaerieCon 2008). But now I have a third prized possession. The one thing I wanted more than anything is an original Brian Froud piece of art. While my goal is to get a big piece that is in color, this is almost as good.

With the WORLD OF FAERIE Deluxe book, you get a couple of things. There's stuff added in the actual book. You get another book by Brian Froud (my favorite faery artist). There is a small sculpture of the green man, based on his work. And an original Brian Froud sketch. All of this comes in a clothbound portfolio. I have a few of his sketches that he did when he signed my books. But nothing this detailed. I took a picture of it and you can see it below. I need to have it framed because it is really amazing.

Book Review: Shiver

This was an amazing book. It was written by the fabulous Maggie Stiefvater, who also wrote LAMENT and BALLAD (comes out in a week!!!). This book basically fits under YA paranormal romance. And it was really believeable.

I identified a lot with Grace. She was a very strong heroine. She was in love with Sam, but it didn't weaken her. She wasn't whiney and pining for him when he wasn't there. And Sam... he was incredible. A little bit too perfect... besides the obvious. He's a werewolf. But he was sweet and sensitive and kind. I really hope there are guys like this out there. But, sadly, I would imagine they've already been taken.

Even though this was clearly a romance, it wasn't mushy. There was some action and adventure. Some suspense and mystery. There were happy parts and sad parts. Overall, a well rounded book. You should definitely pick it up. One of the top 5 best I've read this year!

Meeting Authors: Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi

Today, Alex and I met Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, authors of The Spiderwick Chronicles at Politics and Prose in DC. We had a great time.

I had met Holly three times in the past. She's very cool. But this time I got to meet Tony DiTerlizzi also. He co-writes the Spiderwick books with her and does all of the illustrations. He's a great artist and sketched out little figures in one book per person. He sketched me a dragon in my KENNY AND THE DRAGON book.

Alex came with. He had the first Spiderwick book signed with a pic of Timbletack the brownie. He really liked both of them. Holly said her one talent besides writing is touching her nose with her tongue. Alex can do that, too, so he thought she was great. Then he admitted to her he can pick his nose with his tongue (11-year-old boys *eyeroll*), and Tony said he was brave admitting something like that in public.

Holly did a reading from THE WYRM KING, the latest Spiderwick book. It's also going to be the last. :( She said THE WHITE CAT is the first book in a YA trilogy that comes out next spring. Tony will be working on his Meno books, which is about a space elf and their futuristic. They are for kids, but they look cute.

Alex asked if they were making the new Spiderwick books into a movie. They said probably not because the studio wants to use the three kids from the first series. Not the new three. I don't see why that would make a difference in whether people wanted to come see it or not. And minor spoiler... the three kids from the original are in it, they just aren't main characters.

As for VALIANT movie news. It was optioned, but doesn't look like it'll happen. But who knows... someone might pick it up in the future. I told her it was my favorite book, and I really loved Ravus. She said she loved Ravus, too. I want to see him on my screen. Also, we need more faery movies.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Book Review: Strange Angels

So, I'm still on a young adult reading kick. I just finished reading STRANGE ANGELS by Lili St. Crow. Her adult books are published under Lilith St. Crow. It was amazing. There were a few twists, and this book was less predicable than most. I can't wait to read the next one in the series. I loved the main character, Dru, and her friend, Graves. Also, I really love the covers.


Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?


Book 2, BETRAYALS, comes out this fall.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Graphic Novel Review: FABLES

FABLES is such an amazing comic. I grew up loving fairy tales. Unfortunately, I really only knew the kid or Disney versions until I got older. If you know the original tales and love them, then you will love FABLES. Bill Willingham takes fairy tale characters and puts them in modern day New York. The main characters are Snow White and Bigby Wolf, but as the story progresses, more characters are introduced. Most of them are introduced being how you would imagine. And then you get to meet them and find they are not at all what they seem. There is a spinoff series called JACK OF FABLES.

Volume 12 just came out, and I've been taking my time reading it. I devoured the first eleven and the special edition in under two weeks and the entire five JACK OF FABLES in one day. I really can't tell you how great this series is. You need to read them for yourselves.

Book Review: Speak

SPEAK was an incredible book. I read it in one day. It had been recomended to me many times, and I'm so glad I read it. It was sad and beautiful and in the end, empowering. This novel was written by Laurie Halse Anderson for young adults when I was still a young adult. It just took me ten years to discover it.

About five years ago, it was turned into a Lifetime movie. The main character, Melinda Sordino, was played by Kristen Stewart, who I think is an amazing actress. It just so happened to come on TV the day after I read the book. They did an amazing job transfering it to video. So much of this book is internal, as Melinda was traumatized and had basically lost her voice. She couldn't speak about what happened to her. I think this book would speak, not just to teens, but to everyone.

Despite this book being about such an ugly topic, it really was beautifully written. Did you know that every two minutes a woman is raped in the US or that 1 in 6 women will be raped? Did you know that 73% of rape victims know their attacker and 60% go unreported? Those are scary statistics. The most wonderful thing about this book is that there are so many girls and women who can relate to what Melinda goes through. But not only that, it could help women speak out, to go to police and report the attack. Melinda is a wonderful character, and she can help many young women. A huge thanks to Laurie Halse Anderson for writing this amazing novel. I can't wait to read more of her work.


Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Book vs. Movies: Coraline

I'd heard a lot of amazing things about Neil Gaiman's works, however, I had not read any of his books before. I picked this one up in preparation for the movie. I devoured it in one day. The story was fantastic, super creepy and full of adventure. Coraline lives in a large house that has been sectioned off, holding a few apartments. She finds a door with a magical portal to another world, at first, seemingly very similar to her own. The first difference? They have buttons for eyes. And they want Coraline to join them.

This novel was originally published in the middle grade section, but it has been republished for the adult section, with a Q&A in the back. I read the extras in the back, and one thing stuck with me, because it was so interesting. Mr. Gaiman says that while most adults read this and call it creepy, kids don't tend to use that word. Kids see it as an adventure. I'm guessing it's because adults think different than kids.

And because I loved the novel so much, I picked up the graphic novel. I don't believe there were any changes to the story. I enjoyed this format very much. Definitely worth checking out.


The day after they moved in,
Coraline went exploring....

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.

The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

I read the book CORALINE back in January in preparation for the movie. And I missed it. But I bought it when it came out, and I LOVED! it. I'm so disappointed I missed it in the theater. If you got the chance to see it, you know what I mean. It was stop motion animation. The visuals were incredible. But I'm sure my small screen doesn't even begin to do it justice. I have a little Coraline doll on my dresser because I am so in love with the movie version of her. Blue hair!

I highly recommend all three, because... it's all fantastic!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Book Review: Stargirl and Love, Stargirl

I picked up STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli from the bargain bin at Borders. I thought the cover was cute. I started reading and couldn't put it down. The character of Stargirl is such a great one. She knows who she is and what she likes and isn't afraid to be herself. I highly admire her for that. I wish I could've been like that in high school.


Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.


I loved LOVE, STARGIRL, almost as much as the first. She and her family leave town. This story is written in stories, written to Leo, the boy she loved and left behind. Like the first, it's such a sweet story. There's happy moments, sad moments, and moments in between.

Both stories were great. This is one of the first YA books I read that wasn't fantasy. They were fairly simple stories without much mystery and very little conflict. There also wasn't much of a build-up and climax. But despite that I highly recommend these. Be sure to pick up both when you can. You won't be disappointed.


Love, Stargirl picks up a year after Stargirl ends and reveals the new life of the beloved character who moved away so suddenly at the end of Stargirl. The novel takes the form of "the world's longest letter," in diary form, going from date to date through a little more than a year's time. In her writing, Stargirl mixes memories of her bittersweet time in Mica, Arizona, with involvements with new people in her life.

Love, Stargirl, we hear the voice of Stargirl herself as she reflects on time, life, Leo, and—of course—love.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Book Review: The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen

 Neef, the official Changeling of Central Park, has survived a life-threatening quest, but that's nothing compared to her first experiences at Changeling school. At Miss Van Loon's, she meets her counterparts from all over Manhattan, learns the basics of diplomacy, and, of course, gets in trouble. This time Neef must recover the Magic Mirror, or else New York Harbor's Mermaid Queen will turn all of the city's fresh water to salt - and everything will die.

I absolutely adored Changeling, so I was thrilled when Delia Sherman wrote a sequel, The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen. Neef, the Central Park changeling of New York Inbetween is back in a second adventure. She ends up heading off to a school for changelings where she takes classes such as Mortal History, Talismans, and Questing. Sounds fun, right? Except maybe the rules... There are a thousand of them. And Neef, of course, is an avid rule breaker. But now sue must return the magic mirror to it's rightful owner, the mermaid queen.

I really enjoy Neef and her god parents... A phooka and a large white rat. The world Delia Sherman has created is fun, and it's definitely a place I'd love to explore more. I love fantasy and paranormal stories. I love seeing new and interesting twists. But I also love when authors actually use folklore without mangling it, which she does. If you enjoy faery stories, this is definitely one not to miss. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Book Review: White Witch, Black Curse

I'm going to be reviewing books, movies, etc from here now. I've been meaning to do so, but... I haven't.

Anyway, I just finished White Witch, Black Curse by Kim Harrison. I adore the Rachel Morgan series. I've been reading it for years. This book was definitely one of my favorites. There were some characters that were missing from this particular story, but I'm hoping they'll be up in the next novel. Rachel is a witch, and her partners are Ivy (the living vamp) and Jenks (the pixy). These books are filled with magic, action, adventure, and a good amount of comedy to balance it out. As the books go along, there are individual storylines wrapped up in each book, while there is a good over-arching storyline. The story continues to get more complicated and leaves you anticipating the next one the moment you put it down.

If you're interested in the series, here is the order:
Dead Witch Walking
The Good, the Bad, and the Undead
Every Which Way but Dead
A Fistful of Charms
For a Few Demons More
The Outlaw Demon Wails
White Witch, Black Curse

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Meeting Authors: Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr

Last Sunday I got to meet Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong. They are two of my top five favorite authors (others include Charles de Lint, Holly Black, and Kim Harrison). I've been a fan of Kelley's Women of the Otherworld series since before book three (book ten comes out in the fall). And more recently her Darkest Power Trilogy. Melissa is a more recent discovery. I read her first book last fall, and then after winning an ARC of her third book, I read books two and three back in January. I had such a great time meeting them and Karen, a fellow fan, I met them again on Wednesday at the Library of Congress (where I met two other fans from Melissa's site). We got free bookmarks, wristbands, and Melissa even took us out to lunch after.

This picture is from the event on Sunday (Kelley, Melissa, Me, and Karen).

This was taken after lunch on Wednesday (Tegan, Melissa, Ashley, and Me).

If you're interested, here is a book list for each.

Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
Dime Store Magic
Industrial Magic
No Humans Involved
Personal Demon
Living with the Dead
Waking the Witch
*also has many short stories in anthologies

The Darkest Powers (YA) by Kelley Armstrong
The Summoning
The Awakening
The Reckoning
The Gathering

Nadia Stafford by Kelley Armstrong
Exit Strategy
Made to be Broken

Wicked Lovely(YA) by Melissa Marr
Wicked Lovely
Ink Exchange
Fragile Eternity
Radiant Shadows
Darkest Mercy

Wicked Lovely Manga (YA) by Melissa Marr

Has a short story in Love is Hell about selchies and a new adult series that she has recently started.

Wow... I haven't posted in a long time...

I have been very busy, but I needed to post this picture. The little goblin is Thetford... Braleigh's little brother.

I finally got him his own seat.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Newest Edition to my Family

So, I realized I haven't blogged for a while. I've been busy. I wanted to share pictures of Braleigh (like Bailey, with an 'r') with you, though. She is a one-of-a-kind original doll, handmade by Jen. I picked her up at this year's Spoutwood Faery Festival. Braleigh is extra special as she was the proto-type for this pattern. You can buy patterns, patterns with the fabric, or the dolls already made at the site below. Braleigh is all over the site.

And as she is my baby, she loves bling. She is wearing the "Tink" necklace given to me by my good friend, Tonya. And some Tinkerbell bracelets. I picked up the teeter tot at a antique mall in Frederick. It was the best way I could think of to display her. And I think she looks comfortable in it. What do you think>=?

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Book Faery (2)

The Book Faery returns:

The House of Night, Book 5: Hunted by PC and Kristin Cast

What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you?

At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses. Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face?

On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Eric, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?

The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint

On the Day of the Dead, the Solona Music Hall is jumping. That's where Altagracia Quintero meets John Burns, just two weeks too late.Altagracia – her friends call her Grace – has a tattoo of Nuestra Señora de Altagracia on her shoulder, she's got a Ford Motor Company tattoo running down her leg, and she has grease worked so deep into her hands that it'll never wash out. Grace works at Sanchez Motorworks, customizing hot rods. Finding the line in a classic car is her calling. Now Grace has to find the line in her own life. A few blocks around the Alverson Arms is all her world -- from the little grocery store where she buys beans, tamales, and cigarettes (“cigarettes can kill you,” they tell her, but she smokes them anyway) to the record shop, to the library where Henry, a black man confined to a wheelchair, researches the mystery of life in death – but she’s got unfinished business keeping her close to home. Grace loves John, and John loves her, and that would be wonderful, except that John, like Grace, has unfinished business – he’s haunted by the childhood death of his younger brother. He's never stopped feeling responsible. Like Grace in her way, John is an artist, and before their relationship can find its resolution, the two of them will have to teach each other about life and love, about hot rods and Elvis Presley, and about why it's necessary to let some things go.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith

At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Meanwhile, her reckless and adoring guardian angel, Zachary, demoted to human guise as the princess’s personal assistant, has his work cut out for him trying to save his girl’s soul and plan the Master’s fast-approaching Death Day gala. In alternating points of view, Miranda and Zachary navigate a cut-throat eternal aristocracy as they play out a dangerous and darkly hilarious love story for the ages.

Wake, Book 2: Fade by Lisa McMann


For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck.

Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both.

Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared...

Fablehaven, Book 4: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull

Brace yourself for a shocking secret. Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton s Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth? The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.


And YAY! for Borders Clearance. Got all these books for under $20.

Lots of good stuff to read.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Book Faery

Look what I got in the mail!

The Mortal Instruments, Book 3:
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the final installment of the New York Times bestselling trilogy The Mortal Instruments.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Blessed—or cursed—with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she’s known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn’t hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servents. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who’s been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he’s forced to marry a troll princess.

Raven by Allison van Diepen

Zin dances with fire in every step, speaks in a honey-sweet voice, and sees with eyes that can peer into your soul. Nicole's friendship with him is the only thing that saves her from the boredom of school and the turmoil of her family life. It's no wonder she is madly in love with him. But she can't understand why he keeps her at a distance, even though she can feel his soul reaching out for hers.

Zin is like no man Nicole has ever met, and he carries with him a very old secret. When Nicole uncovers the truth, her love may be the only thing that can save him from it.

Diary of a Teenage Faërie Princess by CB Smith

Jaynie Morrison is a sixteen-year-old girl with an insatiable need for adventure. This she satisfies by causing all manner of random mischief, making her material nuisance number one. But with her seventeenth birthday a snag in her material world arrives. Random magical happenings. Her father once claimed that her mother was a Faërie Queen. But this Faërie Queen vanished shortly after Jaynie turned three. Jaynie wonders if her father is telling the truth. She wonders if her mother really vanished after all. But mostly she is confused and wonders if her mother's Faërie magic is causing the magical happenings that have invaded her world. In Diary of a Teenage Faërie Princess, Jaynie sets out to answer these questions.

Black Pearls: A Faery Strand by Lousie Hawes

'. . . and they lived happily ever after.' Remember the fairy tales you put away after you found that no princess is as beautiful as common sense and happy endings are just the beginning?Well, the old tales are back, and they’ve grown up! Black Pearls brings you the stories of your childhood, told in a way you’ve never heard before. Instead of lulling you to sleep, they’ll wake you up—to the haunting sadness that waits just inside the windows of a gingerbread cottage, the passion that fuels a witch’s flight, and the heartache that comes, again and again, at the stroke of midnight.Make no mistake: these stories are as dark as human nature itself. But they shine, too, lit with the fire of our dreams and our hunger for magic.

The Immortals, Book 1:
Evermore by Alyson Noël

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Magic in the Mirrorstone: Tales of Fantasy an anthology

In this anthology for teen readers, fifteen best-selling and acclaimed authors--including Holly Black, Cecil Castellucci, Cassandra Clare, Eugie Foster, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, and Gregory Frost--weave all-new stories filled with magic. Comic and dark, epic and entertaining, these stories will introduce readers to the new voices of Mirrorstone beside the treasured favorites of Young Adult fantasy.

Why I Let my Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood

Being sent to your room is one thing. But being sent to another country?
Morgan's boyfriend dumped her on the last day of school-it seemed the only thing to do was to hack off her hair and dye the stubble orange. Unfortunately, Morgan's parents freaked and decided a change of scenery would do her good. So they're sending her off on a bike tour of Ireland.

But Morgan gets more than she bargained for on the Emerald Isle-including a strange journey into some crazy, once upon a time corner of the past. There, she meets fairies, weefolk, and a hunky warrior-dude named Fergus, and figures out that she's got some growing to do-and she doesn't just mean her hair.

How I Found the Perfect Dress by Maryrose Wood

On a bike tour of Ireland last summer, Morgan Rawlinson fell for Colin, the hunky guide, and entered a portal that turned her into the goddess Morganne. Now she’s back to her painfully normal life and her relationship with Colin has fizzled to the occasional e-mail…until he writes saying he’s coming to Connecticut—just in time for the prom.

But when he arrives, he’s exhausted. It seems that when Morgan crossed the portal as Morganne, a spell was cast on Colin. In his dreams he’s being forced to dance ’til dawn with the faeries, who want to boogie with him for eternity. Somehow she has to break the spell on her date, help plan the prom, and find the perfect dress. Oh, what a night…

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Book Review: The Seraph of Sorrow and Hunted

I just read THE SERAPH OF SORROW (Jennifer Scales, weredragon, book 4). This is the YA (young adult) series by MaryJanice Davidson (also writes: Betsy the Vamp Queen, Wyndham Werewolves, and Fred the Mermaid). If you like her other stuff, you will love Jennifer. It's my favorite series of hers. Jennifer Scales is a weredragon. Like a werewolf, only Jennifer grows scales and wings instead of hair. These books are funny, and I hihgly recommend them. One of my favorite series.

I recently bought the book, HUNTED (House of Night, book 5), by PC and Kristin Cast. Loving it so far. It's better than the previous 4 in the series. PC's other stuff is way better, but these are fun. What I like about this is even though it's YA and vamps (which has been done a thousand times), her vamp mythology is very different than many. For one... they follow the goddess, Nyx... and they are not soulless. They are marked as fledglings and are basically taught how to be a vampyre.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hi All!

Well, I have no followers yet, as I created this blog only 15 minutes ago. I don't know how much I'll post here, but I'm excited. I've wanted to create a blog for a long time.

So, um... a little about me.

I'm a 26 year-year-old female who currently rents out the basement of her friend's house. It's nice and roomy... and sometimes loud. She has two boys (almost 8 and 10 1/2), and they have no idea that you're supposed to walk inside. But I've known them and taken care of the boys since the almost-8-year-old was just a few months old. They're like family. This is the first time being on my own. My favorite thing about it? Not having to share a bathroom with my little brother!

I love reading and writing. I'm actually working on my first novel. It will be for young adults, and it will be in the fantasy genre. I'm still playing with ideas. I have many, so I'm not sure who my main character for the first novel will be. There's a good chance it will be Astrid, the mermaid character who I've been playing with for years in terms of writing short stories starring her. I love faeries, mermaids, unicorns... really any fantasy creature... though not all of us think these beings are pure fantasy. Brian and Wendy Froud are my favorite faery artists. I currently have two original Wendy Froud dolls. You can see them at the top left of my blog (the taller one is Little Olaf and the other is the gardner Rufus Sprout). These are how I imagine true faeries. I have a fairly large collection of faery statues and faery jewelry.

Speaking of jewelry, I also love making jewelry. There are two types of jewelry I currently enjoy: beading and wire wrapping. Beading... well, that's pretty obvious. For wire wrapping, I create stone clusters (any kind of stone: amethyst, moonstone, rose quartz, etc...) and wrap them in a wire cage to make a pendant. I will post some pictures of this work later. I would love to do more metal work, specifically casting. I enjoy sculpting with clay, but don't so much have a knack for that

Back to literature... I love reading anything in the fantasy/paranormal genres. I have many folklore books with old tales from centuries ago. But I also read new stuff and have a large TBR (to be read) list of books from my personal library. In addition to faeries and mermaids, I love reading about vampires, witches, werewolves. I've recently discovered the joy of graphic novels with FABLES and Jack of FABLES. They take the old fairytale characters that we know and love and bring them into our world.