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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book: Shapeshifter: The Demo Tapes, Year 1 by Susan Helene Gottfried

Wouldn't you have loved to be in on the early days of your favorite band? To be there for the ups and downs, the triumphs and the tears, to be part of it all? This book is your chance. Susan Helene Gottfried, also known as Bookcrosser WestofMars, has collected the first year of out takes that she has written for her fictional rock band Shapeshifter. This collection of brief glimpses takes you from the first time Trevor and Mitchell meet, to when the serious girlfriends and later wives horn in on the boy time, to when they've hit the big time and are rock gods.

Currently this volume serves as a teaser for the novel to come, working title "Trevor's Song", and you can clearly see Susan's devotion and dedication to her characters in each out take. These guys and their friends and family are real to her, and she makes them real for her reader as well. Her writing style is very comfortable and familiar feeling, drawing you in and making you part of the scene, rather than just an outside observer.

I'm looking forward to more volumes of out takes (all material not to be repeated in "Trevor's Song", though sometimes taking place at the same time), maybe even a Roadie Poet collection (you'll have to visit the blog to meet Roadie Poet, and many other colorful characters), and what I hope could be a series of novels set in Riverview, and centered around these folks.

Think you might be interested? Head on over to WestofMars - the Meet and Greet where you can learn all about Shapeshifter, and how you can get your own copy of the Demo Tapes, Year 1, sorry, mine's PC, cause it's signed to me, I'm selfish like that!

Yeah, I'm gushing... Why? Because this is a tough thing to try to do, and I'm proud of her! It takes a lot of guts to put your writing out there and then take whatever comments come, good and bad, even after you've been told that your topic isn't "in" right now. You've got those guts woman, keep it coming!

My first LOL CAT Picture

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

This is my hefty cross-eyed girl Misu, in my first ever lolcat! I thought it was funny, hopefully the world will think so too. It's probably too geeky for the non-geeks, and not geeky enough for the true geeks, but I tried! :D It's a tad too big for my setup...

Geocaching: Travel Bug Check-in

Last night we set free a new travel bug, yay! Say hello to Tigger Bug!

Tigger Bug Travel Log

Tigger was always my favorite Winnie the Pooh character, so I thought a travel bug of him would be appropriate. Hopefully his propensity for "bouncing" will serve him well in the caching world! ;) He's been started off in our very own first cache, hope someone finds him and moves him along soon!

KU Jayhawk Bug Travel Log

Our KU Jayhawk Bug has been having a grand old time visiting caches, and even managed to hook up with a travel bug tour! If you have the time, you should definitely check out geocacher MaxB on the River who has moved over 16,000 travel bugs in his career, and has organized travel bug tours. I thought this was hysterical when I started reading it. This is definitely someone who has REALLY gotten into geocaching! I think Max is currently the leader on most travel bugs moved, hands down! It's other members like Max that add that extra level of enjoyment to caching for the rest of us, by being so enthusiastic and fun!

Kill a Bug Byte #1 Travel Log

Kill-a-Bug Byte #1 has had a bit more mediocre of a time and is currently in the hands of a another geocacher who picked it up last November in Minnesota. In the meantime, someone has logged it as discovered on the www. This means they didn't actually see it, but found the code for it in one of the pictures that I must not have gotten replaced from early on (mental note to go do that). You might remember me talking about how this is a no-no, as it's considered cheating if you didn't actually see it. This same bug suffered a similar and more dramatic fate at the beginning of it's career when someone logged it as being placed overseas in Iran when it had been no such place. I did delete those logs, as they were clearly false, once the bug showed up back close to home in a much more reasonable way. So my dilemma is, should I delete this log? This "discoverer" did not place it anywhere, logging truthfully where they saw it "www" for the world wide web, and it is still listed as residing in the hands of the person who retrieved it last. Are these types of discoveries wrong? I'll have to do a little research to see. It has been quite awhile with no real activity, the friends who got us into this educated us on the proper ways of handling trackables, and that it's polite to move them on quickly (a couple weeks to a month) whenever possible, or to post a note when you haven't. I just did this, as I too have a trackable picked up in November 08, but not moved on yet, our geocaching has slowed a lot with winter, and we haven't ventured too far from home lately. So, it's entirely possible that this cacher is similar to ourselves and kind of on hiatus for the winter. I guess we'll see!

Winner: Highland Sword by Ruth Langan

Our winner this sunny but cold Saturday (at least where I am!) is:


I've already sent off an e-mail to you. Thanks for entering everyone!

My next giveaway will be for The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes by Jennifer Crusie, Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart, so check back in a couple weeks!

Book: Tamburlaine Must Die by Louise Welsh

Tamburlaine Must Die Tamburlaine Must Die by Louise Welsh

Christopher Marlowe's death is a mystery that still inspires people to speculate. This short work of fiction is an interesting piece doing the same. I enjoyed the writing style, but wish there had been a bit more story on both ends. A good and fast read that gives a quick taste if you're in the mood for historical fiction, centered solely on Marlowe and what his last days might have been like, with no Shakespeare in sight. It has peaked my interest in learning more about Marlowe's life and works as previously I've never seen him mentioned without be overshadowed by the so famous Mr. S!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Some V-Day Geocaching

It was still a bit cold for geocaching today, but the husband and I decided to do some of our favorite things to celebrate the day. I picked out a few sites in the area of the stores we wanted to visit, and hit a jackpot! Geocaches are many times just placed in a spot that is out of the way, or ingenious, but not necessarily that interesting. Every once in awhile you find one that that just makes you say "WOW! Thank you for taking me here, I wouldn't have ever seen this otherwise!" Today's awesome find was a statue (well, more than just a statue, but I can't think of the word right now, must still be awestruck!) that celebrates the highest rank that can be achieved in the boy scouts: The Eagle Scout. I just thought this was really beautiful and wanted to share it with you my online friends. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Audiobook: Wedding Season by Darcy Cosper

Can you even imagine going to seventeen weddings in six months? I sure can't, but Joy Silverman, who really doesn't believe in marriage, is getting to spend her entire spring and summer doing just that. Even her parents are getting remarried, but not to each other. With a rainbow of bridesmaid dresses in her closet, and a bulletin board of sticky notes to keep her on track, Joy faces wedding season bravely, watching just about everyone she knows walk down the aisle.

As the weddings of the year are cataloged, we get to see Joy's struggles with what it is about marriage that she disagrees with, all the while believing that her boyfriend Gabe shares her views. Does she want to spend her life with him? Absolutely! But why does that have to include marriage vows? No marriage could possibly live up the ideal, and is doomed to be a disappointment, right? So why is everyone so keen on the idea?

Wedding Season is at times humorous, painful, uplifting, and sad, but altogether an enjoyable read. I wish it had ended differently, but then, we don't really know how it truly may have ended, so I can write my own end end in my imagination. ;) The characters are lively, especially Joy's best friend Henry (a lesbian, but also getting married). The narrator did a good job bringing each character to life, so we can laugh, cringe, or want to share a hug at each of Joy's experiences.

This seems to be Darcy Cosper's only title so far, but I wouldn't hesitate to check out another by her.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Butterfly Award

I received this award from Ruthie over at Books, Books and More Books back in January this year. Please give her a visit, she is so much cooler than I!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Post the logo on your blog
2. Add link to the person who awarded it to you
3. Award up to 10 blogs
4. Add links to those blogs in your award post
5. Leave a message for awardee on their blog

I would like to pass along this award to the following blogs:

West of Mars - The Meet and Greet I know butterflies are probably not Trevor's thing, but hopefully his creatress will appreciate the love! Head on over to meet Trevor and the rest of the group, you won't be sorry! Well, you might, but only because you'll love them too much, and get sucked into reading all the outtakes when you should be doing dishes and laundry, and going to work or something! ;)

Yankee Romance Reviewers - I watched Terra57 build this blog from the beginning, and am just amazed at what she's created. The reason I don't even try to interview authors or do official reviews is the amount of time and energy it would take, and I know I couldn't keep it up. Therefore I'm impressed at anyone who can and does! Please check them out, and tell Lemonitsa what a good job she's doing filling in for Terra while she's recouping from a wee accident! Love ya Terra, feel better soon!

The Movieholic and Bibliophile's Blog - It didn't look like Ladytink has one of these awards yet, so now she does! She totally deserves this award, each and every post is a great review, complete with pictures that may seem off the wall but really do have something to do with the movie or book she's talking about. It's great fun!

The Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin' Blog - SQT and friends over at this blog bring great reviews, interviews and contests to the table! Please go over and show them some love for all their hard work!

The Cozy Mystery List - I've developed a love of cozy mysteries, or at least only within the last few years realized that the type of mysteries I liked had an actual classification. The Cozy Mystery List is a great resource, so if you're curious about what's considered a cozy mystery, or just want to see what else is out there, give this one a look!

There are so many awesome blogs out there, people who do an amazing amount of work, often merely for their own satisfaction and to share the love of the subject they've chosen with others. I've really enjoyed reading these and getting ideas from them, whether it's a new subject or way to post myself, a shared challenge or a book I want to look for, I feel like these are shining examples of what a blog can be, and how they can contribute to making an interesting and fun online community. Thank you all for your efforts!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Giveaway: Highland Sword by Ruth Langan

Imprint: Harlequin Historical
Copyright: 2003

Allegra Drummond and her family moved back to the Mystical Kingdom when she was just a child, their abilities misunderstood and frightening to the people around them. Their life there, while idyllic, was very isolated, having only themselves for company, until one day their peace was shattered.

Desparate to save the life of his son, Merrick did the only thing he could think of, and braved the Mystical Kingdom to steal away the witch that was his last hope for healing his son. He took Allegra back to his home, demanding that she heal his son or pay the price with her own life.

Allegra soon grew to love the little boy she'd saved, but still had to deal with the constant mistrust and fear of the people in Merrick's home, who believed she had bespelled their lord. Something evil was definitely going on, and while many would blame her, a deeper plot was in the works, and had been for quite some time. Allegra must bring light to this evil before it destroyed everything she'd come to love in Merrick's world!

This is a very quick medieval fantasy romance. Honestly it was pretty generic, but still a sweet story. I'm ready to pass my copy on to make a new friend! As always, it is gently used and registered at If you would like a chance to win this book, please comment on this post and leave me with a way to contact you through e-mail. I will choose a winner on February 21st!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Winner: Scot on the Rocks by Brenda Janowitz

Okay, so Jan 31st came and went, and I was naughty and chose to spend the beautiful day out geocaching with my poor overworked husband. Much bushwhacking, slogging through mud, and balancing on rocks in a shallow creek was to be had, we even kinda sorta climbed a tree! As well as a couple pretty much out of shape people are able to climb a tree heehee!

But now I'm back, and ready to applaud the winner! Without further ado, my copy of Scot on the Rocks will be going to...


Liviana's favorite Scot is Hume the philosopher, which makes her MUCH better read than I! Please check out her blog In Bed With Books of which I've just become a follower!

Congrats Liviania, now you can find out the beginning of the story, since you've read the second book already! LOL!
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