Friday, August 26, 2011

Birthday Surprises = Happiness

I did something awful and wonderful yesterday.  I chopped up a book.  Yep, took a razor blade to it and chopped it right to pieces.  You are obviously asking..."umm why would you do that dummy, you are supposed to be hoarding them not chopping them up!"  To that I would have to say, I wasn't going to hoard it anyway because it is a there!

So here is what happened...

The finished product
I came across some fantastic wands from Etsy and I HAD TO HAVE ONE!  Well, I also had to get one for my BFF who just had a birthday and I started thinking about how I was going to wrap the wand.  I decided on a Harry Potter book safe of course!

I found a used book online (I love my BFF but I was not going to use one of my personal copies to chop up...she will understand, it's why we're friends) and last night I went to work hacking away.  It was sad but I ended up with a pretty snazzy stack of HP pages which I decided to use as wrapping paper.  Yes, a book was harmed in this process but no part went unused!

I am pretty in love with the whole thing and can't wait for her to open it.  I went back on Etsy and of course there are NEW wands that I want need but I think I am going to have to wait.  Sadness!

Wrapped and ready to go

Check out Alexz and the awesomeness that she has created.
Spooky Pooky Creations on Etsy 
Alexz's blog Spooky Pooky Creations

Warning: I can't be held responsible the money you are going to want to hand over to her...but I bet it will be worth it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday

Jill at Breaking the Spine hosts "Waiting on" Wednesday, a place where we can voice the books we are patiently - okay probably impatiently - waiting to be released.

The Lady of the Rivers: A Novel (The Cousins' War)
by Philippa Gregory
Pub. date: October 18, 2011

From Amazon:

Passion. Danger. Witchcraft . . .

The Lady of the Rivers is #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory’s remarkable story of Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford, a woman who navigated a treacherous path through the battle lines in the Wars of the Roses.
The Lady of the Rivers: A Novel (The Cousins' War)
Descended from Melusina, the river goddess, Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death at the hands of the English rulers of France. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream.

Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy. Her only friend in the great household is the duke’s squire Richard Woodville, who is at her side when the duke’s death leaves her a wealthy young widow. The two become lovers and marry in secret, returning to England to serve at the court of the young King Henry VI, where Jacquetta becomes a close and loyal friend to his new queen.

The Woodvilles soon achieve a place at the very heart of the Lancaster court, though Jacquetta can sense the growing threat from the people of England and the danger of royal rivals. Not even their courage and loyalty can keep the House of Lancaster on the throne. Henry the king slides into a mysterious sleep; Margaret the queen turns to untrustworthy favorites for help; and Richard, Duke of York, threatens to overturn the whole kingdom for his rival dynasty.

Jacquetta fights for her king, her queen, and for her daughter Elizabeth for whom Jacquetta can sense an extraordinary and unexpected future: a change of fortune, the throne of England, and the white rose of York.

A sweeping, powerful story rich in passion and legend and drawing on years of research, The Lady of the Rivers tells the story of the real-life mother of the white queen.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Snapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce from At Home with Books.
Photos can be old or new as long as they aren't random photos you found online.

For my step-sister's 30th birthday my step-dad and mom took her to Napa Valley.
I was lucky enough to be picked as her date!
Queen Anne's Lace on the side of the road.

My chocolate is the bottom right that kinda looks like a nipple.  It is also the biggest (I'm obviously the smartest one of the family).

When we finished the day we had a surprise party waiting for her at my step-brother's house.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Never Knowing - Chevy Stevens

Never Knowing
Never Knowing
By Chevy Stevens

I really wanted to love this book and after reading Stevens’ first book, Still Missing, I thought I would. Sadly, I was disappointed. Like Still Missing, the story is told from the perspective of the main character’s therapy sessions with each chapter being a new session. I love the unique feel this brings to her books.

In Never Knowing, Sara is a woman in search of her biological parents. Locating her birth mother leads Sara into a horror story she could never have expected. I was intrigued as the story unfolded but I was also concerned that there would not be enough of a story to fill the book. It was a fast read and I didn’t get bored with the story but looking back on it I do feel that there wasn’t much to it.

I found myself getting angry at some of the things that characters did because many of their actions seemed to go against their personalities. I also felt that a storyline was tied up too quickly at the end. I was happy to know what happened but I felt like it was wrapped up as an after-thought. This was a core building block of the story and I got the impression that Stevens didn’t really have a good answer for it.

Overall, Never Knowing wasn’t as good as I was hoping but I won’t be giving up on Stevens’ work yet. If you haven’t read anything by her yet, read Still Missing.

**Source: ARC from publisher

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page.

This month's Mailbox Monday blog tour is hosted by Staci at Life in the Thumb.

Check out the blog and post all the new books you acquired last week.

 The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann (from publisher)

From author's website:
Every year in Quill, thirteen-year-olds are sorted into categories: the strong, intelligent Wanteds go to university, and the artistic Unwanteds are sent to their graves.

The UnwantedsOn the day of the Purge, identical twins Alex and Aaron Stowe await their fate. While Aaron is hopeful of becoming a Wanted, Alex knows his chances are slim. He's been caught drawing with a stick in the dirt-and in the stark gray land of Quill, being creative is a death sentence.

But when Alex and the other Unwanteds face the Eliminators, they discover an eccentric magician named Mr. Today and his hidden world that exists to save the condemned children. Artimé is a colorful place of talking statues, uncommon creatures, and artistic magic, where creativity is considered a gift... and a weapon. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fear the Beard, Not the Blood

I had quite an eventful day today.  Allow me to share...

This shirt for a pint of blood...good trade!
I donated blood for the first time today.  My work was sponsoring a bus in the parking lot.  They are having a special promo where you get a Giants tee shirt when you donate so I used that to try and get more people to go with me.  My mom (a first-time donor like myself) and my brother's girlfriend (a veteran donor) came with me.  So, I'm sitting there donating away, feeling okay and when I finished I was a bit worried about feeling dizzy because I knew to eat today but it hadn't been since lunch and it was now close to dinnertime.  I moved to a different seat where I could sit up and drink a Capri Sun and all the sudden I'm not feeling too hot.  The next thing I know people are saying my name, a nurse is shaking my feet and I feel like crap.  They helped me move over to the reclining chair I was in previously and I'm just trying to keep my eyes open when my mom grabs my hand.  I look up and she has tears pouring down her face.

According to my mom, I was out for a few minutes and they couldn't wake me up.  The nurse said it was because I was sitting up and once they laid me down a bit I came to.  AND my mom said my face turned blue.  She apparently started trying to climb over the nurses who were trying to wake me up (she wasn't yet hooked up) and my brother's girlfriend (who was hooked up) started shaking and freaking out because she couldn't see what was going on because she had a needle in her arm.

It was all quite dramatic!  My mom wasn't able to donate because they were worried about how worked up she was about me (I am the favorite - I can say that because my brother doesn't read my blog) but she will be going back in a couple weeks. 

They are still giving shirts away so if anyone in Sonoma County needs extra incentive to give blood check out their locations.  But you can go anytime and save a life.  Check out Blood Centers of the Pacific website.

After this whole ordeal I am surprisingly less scared of going back.  At least I know what to expect.  I mean my experience wasn't exactly ideal but at the end of the day all I really lost was an hour and a half of my life, and I gained a story and gave blood so it was a pretty good deal.  Seriously, the whole thing is pretty funny now...maybe not to my mom yet but I think so. My one of the first things my brother's girlfriend said to me was "I wish I have my video camera."  And if she did, I'm sure it would have been hilarious.