Summer

31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!










Happy Halloween! I hope yours is a spooky good one!


28 October 2011

GHOST A LA MODE: A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery - Sue Ann Jaffarian

From the back of the book: Rotten to the core or the apple of his eye?

Granny was famous for her award-winning apple pies---and notorious for murdering her husband, Jacob, at their homestead in Julian, California. The only trouble is, Granny was framed, then murdered. For more than one hundred years, Granny's spirit has been searching for someone to help her see that justice is served---and she hits pay dirt when she pops in on a seance attended by her great-great-great granddaughter, modern-day divorced mom Emma Whitecastle. Together, Emma and Granny Apples solve mysteries of the past---starting with Granny's own unjust murder rap in the final days of the California Gold Rush.


Along with a sprinkling of history, this spirited new mystery series features the amateur sleuth team of Emma Whitecastle and the spirit of her pie-baking great-great-great granmother, Granny Apples.

***************************************

I loved this book! I had so much fun reading about Emma and her finding her ability to hear and see ghosts with the help of Granny Apples.

All the excellent ingredients that I love in a book, good history lesson, a weensy start at a possible romance for the main character who really isn't looking for any kind of entanglement due to the poopcranium ex-husband. And an excellent mystery to solve.

There's humor, danger, suspense, and ghosts...it's all good and I cannot wait to read the next in the series, GHOST IN THE POLKA DOT BIKINI.


Five ghostly sparkly diamonds.....





Well Rounded Activity for a Less Rounded Me - Week 2

Week 2 of Weight Watchers and Life Time Fitness/Team Weight Loss. Three days of Team Weight Loss which is about 75 minutes of powered up treadmill time, one day of weight training, and a .4 lb weight loss to be at 236.8 lbs. I'll take it. I feel better, my butt and legs are feeling worked. My chest and back are a little tweaked from yesterday's weight training. I look forward to doing this twice a week for now.

Steps on the pedometer:
Fri - 21 Oct - 14278
Sat - 22 Oct - 5694
Sun - 23 Oct - 5519
Mon - 24 Oct - 16459
Tues - 25 Oct - 7670
Wed - 26 Oct - 16229
Thurs - 27 Oct - 15966
Fri - 28 Oct - 13423 (so far today)

Having Bailey in the house has helped, too. Twice a day or more walks with a frisky pup is excellent.

27 October 2011

Meet Bailey, the Newest Addition to the Clan

Meet Bailey, a two-year-old GoldenDoodle. We found out about her online from a couple who moved into a smaller townhouse without a back lawn for her to play in. They were looking for a family with a big back yard and maybe a young'n to hang to keep up with Bailey. We most definitely fit that bill.
So we met at the halfway point between our house and Monument and Bailey traded families. We received her permanent kennel, her portable kennel, her food, her toys, leash, blankets and Bailey.
Bailey has settled in pretty well once the initial excitement of discovering her new home. Up and down the stairs, down to the mancave where her kennel will be when we are out of the house.
She slept in Lady K's room and did pretty well. She's housetrained and did her business outside when Lady K got up once in the night. That was the only time she's barked since arriving. She went down to the back door and, seeing we weren't coming down too, barked to let us know she'd like to use the facilities please.
She walked with me to take Lady K to school this morning and then we trotted around the lake. She loves the snow and I saw her retriever mode come out when she saw the ducks, coots, and geese swimming about. She was ready to go get 'em.
We are super lucky to get her.

26 October 2011

First Snow of Fall 2011

Glad we got some in from the woodpile before this hit

No sitting here for a while...


The front of the house...lots of shovelling...
Poor farmer guy....


The skeleton under the tree...and snow...




Those would be skeletal hands reaching out of the snow in the front (c'mon! It's Halloween decs!)

25 October 2011

HEXES AND HEMLINES: A Witchcraft Mystery - Juliet Blackwell

From the back of the book: With her vintage clothing store taking off, Lily Ivory is finding that life in San Francisco suits her just fine. But her ability to sense vibrations from the past, so useful in locating secondhand gems, has landed her in themiddle of a new mystery....


Lily gets called away from Aunt Cora's Closet when the police need a witch's take on a strange case. Malachi Zazi was stabbed to death in his apartment, under a ladder, surrounded by the number thirteen, a broken mirror, and a black cat----superstitions that the victim, as head of a rationalist society, was devoted to discrediting.


When the police identify a suspect from the Serpentarian Society, Lily is shocked to learn it's someone she knows. But with bad luck plaguing all the members, she begins to wonder if there's more at work than mere coincidence. And while there aren't many clues from the crime scene, Lily finds evidence of dark witchcraft and a hex on her friend's doorstep. With her friend's safety at stake, Lily is determined to use magic to find the murderer before everyone's luck runs out.....

**********************************

This is such an excellent paranormal cozy series. I love Lily and would love to be friends with her, Bronwyn, would love to at least look at Aidan Rhodes, and definitely hang with Oscar, who is Lily's familiar. And to shop in Aunt Cora's Closet would be suh-weeeet!


The mixture of light-hearted and grim has the right touch for a reader to stay up late and keep turning those pages into the night to see what's going to happen next.


Lily is learning to love having friends, something she didn't have much of growing up in her suspicious Texas town. When her friend Bronwyn starts acting completely opposite her sunny warm welcoming self, Lily wants to help. I like that Juliet Blackwell has Lily learning how to be a friend and we get to see it.


Lily is also learning more about her abilities and she knows she has more to experience. Much as she isn't happy about it, she knows that Aidan Rhodes is going to be instrumental in her growth. That is a heckuva cool cliffhanger to make this reader want the next book ASAP. Okay, Juliet, please write faster!


Five please write faster beans.....




20 October 2011

Keepin' it Honest on the Journey



Joined Life Time Fitness this morning and down 7 pounds per yesterday's WI at WW meeting.

I am on my way on this long journey.

19 October 2011

THE DIVA HAUNTS THE HOUSE: A Domestic Diva Mystery - Krista Davis

From the back of the book: This Halloween, a murderer is up to mischief.....


Domestic diva Sophie Winston is getting into the holiday spirit, and her decorations for a community haunted house are so good, it's scary. Not to be outdone, rival domestic diva Natasha is throwing a spooktacular Halloween party at her house. But when Sophie arrives, she discovers one of Natasha's guests dead in a hair-raising Halloween display, and a pale, fanged partygoer fleeing the scene.


The cause of death is not immediately apparent, but the victim does have two puncture wounds on his neck. While Sophie's boyfriend, homicide detective Wolf, investigates, rumors start flying faster than witches on broomsticks. Could the killer be a real vampire---the same one rumored to have lived in Sophie's haunted house back when it was a boardinghouse? Good thing a domestic diva never runs out of garlic......

********************************

I get hungry and amazed each time I read a foodie cozy, but especially this series. There is always an occasion to pull out the themed food or meal or flatware/plate/napkin/table runner. I wonder where Sophie gets the time to prep all of these goodies and where the heck she keeps all of the holiday themed dishware. Sometimes this distracts me from what's going on in the story. I know it's likely that I am the only who notices this or is bothered, but there it is.

It is a fun series and I like watching Sophie and Natasha tangle. I'd kick Natasha to the curb, but she's with Sophie's ex, Mars, who Sophie still likes as a friend and Mars comes over to escape the foo-foo life that is Sophie.

The haunted house that Sophie and the kids are working on is pretty cool, the mystery is decent, the food and recipes are gonzo, so all the way around a pretty good book.


Four haunted house beans......


18 October 2011

Jaye Wells Has Declared October is International Urban Fantasy Month!!!



Huzzah!! Jaye Wells has declared that October is International Urban Fantasy Month!!! One can write a love letter to UF or an ode or why one loves UF on their blog. Or you can go to Jaye's websitehttp://jayewells.com/2011/10/18/urban-fantasy-month-contest/ and let her know in the comments.

There are fabu prizes out the ying-yang, of course. A buncha buncha books from various and sundry UF authors.

So get thee over there and make your UF mark.


************************************


My love letter to UF:

I cannot think how long it's been that I have enjoyed the many flavors of Urban Fantasy. Some of it is grim, some humorous, main characters are vampire, shifter, witch, wizard or just plain ol' have a calling that is a legacy of ass-kicking.

One day I will have to make a list of authors and books of all of the Urban Fantasy I have read and loved.

Authors from the top of my cranium:












16 October 2011

Rocket City Rednecks-Newest Guilty Pleasure on TV

I admit to a fascination with Rocket City Rednecks on National Geographic. This is one of my favorite channels, along with Discovery Channel, Cooking Channel, TNT and USA for neat new shows.
RCR is an outstanding addition to my TV/DVR shows. I've no idea how long this show has been on, but I am so very glad to have finally found it.
The show is based on the scientific redneck activity of five Southern Gentlemen (which is one of their S trilogy of rules)
From National Geographic channel site: "Meet the self-proclaimed Rocket City Rednecks. They’re five “backwoods” guys from the rocket city: Huntsville, Alabama, home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the birthplace of the U.S. space program. Sure, they love to shoot stuff and drink beer, and one of ’em lives in a trailer, but with a family tree full of NASA rocket scientists (not to mention their own PhDs and advanced degrees), they aim a little higher—like using homemade moonshine to fuel a rocket! In each episode, we'll see how they apply redneck ingenuity with advanced engineering and physics to creatively solve real-world problems... and have a little fun, of course!"


Watching this show reminds me of one of DH's (my own Rocket Redneck) favorite sayings, "Just because I talk slow, doesn't mean I am slow." Would that the rocket scientists where I work were as hellah cool as these five and their friends.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/rocket-city-rednecks/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rocket-City-Rednecks/282578225104180?ref=ts&sk=wall

15 October 2011

THE RESTORER: The Graveyard Queen Book One - Amanda Stevens

From the back of the book: Never acknowledge the dead. Never stray far from hallowed ground. Never get close to the haunted. Never, EVER tempt fate.


My father's rules. I've never broken them ........until now.


My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetary restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.


It started with the discovery of a young woman's brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I've been hired to restore. The clues to the killer---and to his other victims--- lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret.

Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

*******************************

Understand that I am way behind on my book reviews. I still have a couple from September to do yet. Time has gotten away from me with visits from fam, shift work, life schtuff in general.

That said, I had to share my thoughts on this outstanding latest book I've read from one of my favorite authors, Amanda Stevens. I've read THE WHISPERING ROOM ( http://iyamvixenbooks.blogspot.com/2009/05/whispering-room-amanda-stevens.html), THE DOLLMAKER
(http://iyamvixenbooks.blogspot.com/2009/05/whispering-room-amanda-stevens.html)


All of these scared the bejeezus out of me, but THE RESTORER had me making it my purse book instead of my bedside book after the wake-up-looking-under-the-bed dream I had one night. *shudder*

This is not a gore-fest kind of scary, it's a tremendously Southern Gothic dark atmospheric style book. Amanda Stevens writes fab atmosphere. I could feel the heat and humidity as Amelia worked her way through Oak Grove Cemetery and could almost smell the magnolia.


The ghost lore is unique. Amelia has a set of rules she lives by as given her by her father. These are not friendly ghosts who only want to share space on this earthly plane.

Nope, these spirits are like psychic vampires, draining the energy of whoever they attach themselves to. So Amelia makes sure she doesn't acknowledge them in any way or she'd have a host of them around her at all times.


There are secrets still to be revealed. There's the police detective Amelia is helping and is strongly attracted to. Devlin is the perfect Southern Gothic male protagonist. Brooding, haunted, gruff, appealing....

Amelia and her family have their secrets they keep, too.


I am very glad that this is a trilogy or a series. And I hear tell that a television network is highly intrigued with the series......


Visit Amanda http://www.amandastevens.com/ and on http://www.facebook.com/#!/amandastevensbooks Read her books. The covers alone are excellent, let alone the story she weaves.


A big bowl of leave-the-light-on-when-you-read-this diamonds......


13 October 2011

DEATH AT DEVIL'S BRIDGE: A Victorian Mystery - Robin Paige

From the back of the book: Together they solved the murders at the Countess of Warwick's weekend house.....and together they fell in love. Now newlyweds Charles and Kate Sheridan have moved into Kate's ancestral Georgian home Bishop's Keep, where Kate plans to devote herself to her writing and Charles to the responsibilities of the landed gentry. He agrees to host an automobile exhibition and balloon race at Bishop's Keep attended by Europe's foremost investors, among them the young Mr Charles Rolls and Henry Royce.


But speed, competition, and money prove to be more explosive than gasoline---and for one automobile builder, more deadly....


Sir Charles Sheridan is a renowned photographer, amateur scientist, and a skilled detective. Kate Ardleigh is his Irish-American wife and a writer of crime fiction. Together, they are unraveling Victorian England's most intriguing and unusual mysteries.....

*******************************

You know I love my cozies however I can get them. So long as they are well written, I don't care what they are about or what time they are set.

I especially like when I get to 'meet' people of history. Like this one where Charles Rolls and Henry Royce are side characters (and might be murder suspects).



The book is set in a time of change. Automobiles are making a showing and life rather miserable for the people who don't necessarily want change. All the people who own stables, feedstores, blacksmiths, wagon and carriage makers..you get the idea. There are plenty of folk who like it quiet and the automobiles are loud and the drivers race about at over 15 mph!


Plenty of suspects to study, lots of history to watch unfold. A highly enjoyable mystery.


I've wanted to read this series by the writing team of Susan Wittig Albert and her husband Bill Fourth, for some time. One of my friends sent this one to me and it has whetted my appetite for more...which are on the way from one of my favorite online used booksellers. I plan on starting at the beginning if possible.


Four Victorian beans.....



12 October 2011

Wednesday Wanton Wantin' Book List






~THE BROKEN TEAGLASS - Emily Arsenault, suspense



~IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT: Den of Shadows Book One - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, paranormal



~MISS DIMPLE DISAPPEARS - Mignon Ballard, cozy set in WWII, TPB



~MUST LOVE LYCANS: A Broken Heart Oklahoma Vampire Mystery - Michele Bardsley, paranormal-romance mystery



~QUICKSTEP TO MURDER - Ella Barrick, cozy



~THE SHAPE OF WATER: Inspector Montalbanco #1 - Andrea Camilleri, suspense



~THE POTTER'S FIELD: Inspector Montalbanco #14 - Andrea Camilleri, suspense



~SHELTER - Harlan Coben, YA suspense



~COUP d'ETAT - Ben Coes, second in suspense series, looking for the first



~WILD, WILD DEATH: Pepper Martin #6 - Casey Daniels, paranormal cozy



~BRYANT & MAY OFF THE RAILS - Christopher Fowler, 8th in series, looking for first in series, suspense



~BLOOD ROCK: Skindancer Book Two - Anthony Francis, UF



~THE LAKE OF DEAD LANGUAGES - Carol Goodman, thriller



~GHOST IN THE POLKA DOT BIKINI: Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #2 - Sue Anne Jaffarian, paranormal cozy



~BLOOD AND GUITARS - Heather Jensen, UF, TPB



~DARKNESS BECOMES HER - Kelly Keaton, YA paranormal



~SHADOW BOUND - Erin Kellison, UF



~SHADOW MAN - Erin Kellison, UF



~SLEIGHT OF PAW: Magical Cats Mystery #2 - Sofie Kelly, cozy



~THE TRAITOR'S WIFE - Kathleen Kent, colonial Massachusetts suspense



~DEATH IN A DIFFICULT POSITION: Mantra for Murder #4 - Diana Killian, cozy



~MIND OVER MURDER: A Raven's Nest Mystery #1 - Allison Kingsley, cozy



~POISON PEN: A Forensic Handwriting Mystery #1 - Sheila Lowe, cozy



~COOKIE DOUGH OR DIE: Cookie Cutter Shop Mystery #1 - Virginia Lowell, cozy



~LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA - Scott Lynch, fantasy



~EMPIRE OF GOLD - Andy McDermott, archeological thriller



~DEATH BY THE DOZEN: Cupcake Bakery Mystery #3 - Jenn McKinlay, cozy



~DUE OR DIE: A Library Lover's Mystery #2 - Jenn McKinlay, cozy

11 October 2011

BUTTON HOLED: Button Box Mystery - Kylie Logan

From the back of the book: In a big-picture world, it's the little things that appeal to button dealer Josie Giancola. There's history in every button. There's art, and craft, and style. There might be clues to murder, too.


Working out of her button shop in a Chicago brownstone, Josie Giancola has quietly become one of the country's leading experts on buttons---antique buttons, jeweled buttons, artistic buttons. Her reputation draws a Hollywood starlet to the Button Box to shop for one-of-a-kind buttons for her made-to-order wedding gown.


But after the Button Box is ransacked and the actress is murdered, Josie's cozy world is thrown into chaos. Homicide detective Nevin Riley is looking to her for clues, starting with the murder weapon---an antique buttonhook. But a killer has other ideas, likekeeping Josie's lips buttoned up....permanently.


Includes tips on antique button collecting!!
***********************************

Here's what I adore about reading cozy mysteries, I learn something new in each one. It's either the niftiness of owning a cupcake bakery or managing a fab New York coffeeshop or making quilts or owning a bookstore, running a library or solving crimes with two Siamese cats.

BUTTON HOLED is a new one on me. Josie Giancola is a bit of a nerd for buttons, all kinds of buttons. And she has a button shop. She knows the walk-in clientele might be limited, but she has a healthy online button business, too.

One of her walk-in clients is movie star (and major league not-nice-person),

Kate Franciscus, who demands the best of Josie's specialty buttons for her one-of-a-kind wedding dress for her upcoming wedding to uber wealthy Prince Roland.

Then Kate ends up dead in the Button Box and it's up to Josie to help solve the case so she can get her buttons back in order and her life back to mellow.


Excellent characters abound through the book. Along with Josie, there's the crusty retired cop, the schmoozy ex-husband, and the hottie detective. Add in the new-to-me button collecting gig and it's a winner all the way around.


Five win-win buttons beans....


10 October 2011

HARD MAGIC: Book One Paranormal Scene Investigations - Laura Anne Gilman

From the back of the book: Welcome to PUPI: Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations


A handpicked team trained to solve crimes the regular police can't touch---crimes of magic.


My name's Bonnie Torres. Recent college grad, magic user and severely unemployed. Until I got a call out of nowhere to interview for a job I hadn't applied for. It smelled fishy, but the brutal truth was I needed the work---so off I went.


Two days later I'm a PUPI--me and Nick, Sharon, Nifty and Pietr. Five twentysomethings, thrown into an entirely new career in forensic magic.


The first job we get is a doozy: proving that the deaths of two Talents were murder, not suicide. Worse, there are high-profile people who want us to close up shop and go away. We're sniffing out things they'd rather keep buried.


Looks as if this job is gonna get interesting. The only problem is, we're making it up as we go along.....

*************************

HARD MAGIC is a highly cool mixture of what it would be like watching a hybrid episode of CSI and Supernatural.

This newly minted team is given the task of investigating crimes against magic-using beings by using magic. Magic users are called Talents and use the current, or magical energy, that flows through all things. This can cause issue since it runs along-side electrical current and the two don't exactly get along. Think disposable cell phones a must.

There's also the issue of the two types of Talent, the Council and the Lonejacks. Council is the sort of governing group of the magic users and the Lonejacks are the loners, non-team players. The two types of Talent don't always get along. And the team is made up of Lonejacks and the people reluctantly coming to ask for help are Council. Oil and water.


There are people trying to stop the team's investigation and formation. Dangerous people using magic and non-magic means to stop them.


I think what I enjoyed the most was how the magic use was explained as rather non-mystical. It's explained as a fact of life and as real as science.


I look forward to the rest of this series and, really, anything Laura Anne Gilman writes. I've read STAYING DEAD: The Retrievers Book One in the past (http://iyamvixenbooks.blogspot.com/2009/09/staying-dead-retrievers-book-1-laura.html) and highly enjoyed it. I can definitely recommend both series based on just the first book in each one.



Five highly excellent Talent beans.....

Books in the House Monday - 10 OCT 2011

It's been a couple of weeks since I've been able to post what all's been rolling in either through the mail from orders or friends or wins or even a trip to the ye olde B&N. Here goes...

B&N online order:
~CEMETERY GIRL - David Bell, thriller, TPB
http://www.davidbellnovels.com/
~WELL OF SORROWS - Benjamin Tate, fantasy, MPB
http://www.sff.net/people/benjamintate/
~THE SKEWED THRONE: Book One of the Throne of Amenkor - Joshua Palmatier, fantasy, MPB
http://www.sff.net/people/jpalmatier/

B&N shopping trip cuz I had a coupon (that's my story):
~SINS OF THE ANGELS: The Grigori Legacy Book One - Linda Poitevin, UF, MPB
http://www.lindapoitevin.com/
~GHOST A LA MODE: A Ghost of Granny Apples Mystery #1 - Sue Ann Jaffarian, paranormal cozy, TPB
http://sueannjaffarian.blogspot.com/

Library Thing for September win (http://www.librarything.com):
~BEYOND DELICIOUS: The Ghost Whisperer's Cookbook - Mary Ann Winkowski and David Powers
http://www.maryannwinkowski.com/

From the author via Dark Faerie Tales (http://darkfaerietales.com/) contest:
ISLE OF NIGHT: The Watchers Book One - Veronica Wolff, YA paranormal romance, signed and she included some bookmarks (awesome!)
http://www.veronicawolff.com/

From Kat Richardson (http://katrichardson.com/):
~a signed bookplate, "Return to my minion"
~ two very cool bookcards

From Jenna (http://imzadidragonfly.blogspot.com/):
~DEAD IRON: The Age of Steam Book One - Devon Monk, signed, steampunk, TPB
http://www.devonmonk.com/

~DOWNPOUR: Greywalker # 6 - Kat Richardson, signed, UF, HB
http://katrichardson.com/

~the coolest T-shirt ever for The President's Vampire
http://chrisfarnsworth.com/

From Dad, extra bennies from his visits:
THE POACHER'S SON - Paul Doiron, thriller, TPB
THINK OF A NUMBER - John Verdon, thriller, MPB
HEAT LIGHTNING - John Sandford, suspense, MPB
THEY'RE WATCHING - Gregg Hurwitz, thriller, MPB
THE PARIS VENDETTA - Steve Berry, suspense, MPB
THE WRONG SIDE OF DEAD - Jordan Dane, thriller, MPB

09 October 2011

Blooms on Sunday - 9 OCT 2011 - A Trip to the Denver Botanic Garden

I took my dad to the Denver Botanic Garden earlier this past week. Neither of us had been in the longest time and knew it was time for a visit much as we both love playing in the dirt. It has grown! It's always been gorgeous, but it is even more so now. And it's logistically easier to access with better parking and more pathways. Dad and I spent over three hours meandering and wandering the paths, getting ideas, adding to the list of plants we want.
If you find yourself in the area, please visit the Denver Botanic Garden at 1007 York St. http://www.botanicgardens.org/ Stalking the butterfly on the plentiful asters

I want this gorgeous rustic Southwestern style shelter in my back garden



I am planting masses of this gomphrena next year...pinks, whites, and this strawberry hued one

I became fascinated with this bloom. The stalks towered over our heads, the blooms looking like something out of a Dr Seuss illustration...Found out it's called Giant Lion's Ear..I am searching for a source to get it added to my garden


We never did find out what this South African plant was...it looked a school of puffer fish...and I want one! I heard from Shelly at Garden Country that I can send this pic to the Botanic Garden and they will be more than happy to identify it for me


A highly probable project to attempt soon....not quite as ambitious as this one in one shade garden area...the entire path was paved with on-edge black pebbles, about 25 feet or so. I think I will start small like a paving stone or so....off to start collecting pebbles....


This is just one patch of asters among the masses of gorgeous purple blooms....I think if you click on the pic, you can see the gazillion bees that were happily buzzing about


Another pretty little plant that I coveted...and couldn't identify...adding to the email to the Garden peeps

08 October 2011

Guilty Pleasure Flick Saturday - The Princess Bride - 25th Anniversary



I saw the reunion of the cast of The Princess Bride on Good Morning America this week and hadn't realized it had been 25 years (more or less) since the movie's release. I remember seeing this at the theater while stationed at Kunsan AB, RoK after being talked into it by my buddies. I ended up loving it and seeing it every night it was there. AND bringing our guy friends from work to see it after they heard us raving about it. They ended up digging it as much as we.


What's not to love about this classic fairy tale that makes you laugh, wince, sigh....and remember the classic lines?


With its tongue firmly in cheek, Rob Reiner's delightful revisionist fairy tale The Princess Bride simultaneously challenges and reaffirms the conventions of happily-ever-after stories. Once upon a time, as this particular yarn goes, there was a beautiful princess named Buttercup (Robin Wright) who was being held against her will by the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) and his dastardly henchmen. Luckily, her childhood sweetheart, now the Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes), and his newfound friend, the dashing swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), come to the fair maiden's rescue. In chronicling their adventures, director Reiner and screenwriter William Goldman tinker playfully with time-honored plot devices and counterbalance swashbuckling action with plenty of laughs. Broad character turns by Billy Crystal, Peter Falk, Carol Kane, and André the Giant give the film a loosey-goosey feel, and all the actors play it to the hilt throughout. Although the twinkles in their eyes could have made this a cloying affair, Reiner finds a nice balance, never making it feel as if they're trying too hard to have fun. (Ed Hulse, Barnes & Noble http://video.barnesandnoble.com/DVD/The-Princess-Bride/Cary-Elwes/e/27616092199?itm=1&usri=Princess%2Bbride)


************************

The Grandson: A book?

Grandpa: That's right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I'm gonna read it to you.

The Grandson: Has it got any sports in it?

Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...

The Grandson: Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try to stay awake.

Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.

**************************


Grandpa: [voiceover] Nothing gave Buttercup as much pleasure as ordering Westley around. Buttercup: Farm boy, polish my horse's saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning. Westley: As you wish.

Grandpa: [voiceover] "As you wish" was all he ever said to her.

Buttercup: Farm boy, fill these with water - please.

Westley: As you wish.

Grandpa: [voiceover] That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying "As you wish", what he meant was, "I love you." And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.

Buttercup: Farm boy... fetch me that pitcher. [It's right over her head, so he has to stand next to her]

Westley: As you wish. [Cut to them kissing]

The Grandson: [interrupting] Hold it, hold it. What is this? Are you trying to trick me? Where's the sports? [suspiciously]

The Grandson: Is this a kissing book?

Grandpa: Wait, just wait.

The Grandson: Well, when does it get good?

Grandpa: Keep your shirt on, and let me read.

**************************


Inigo Montoya: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Count Rugen: Stop saying that!

*********************


Westley: I told you I would always come for you. Why didn't you wait for me?

Buttercup: Well... you were dead.

Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.

Buttercup: I will never doubt again.

Westley: There will never be a need.

**********************


Miracle Max: You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.

***********************


[Vizzini has just cut the rope The Dread Pirate Roberts is climbing up]

Vizzini: HE DIDN'T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.

Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

*********************


Inigo Montoya: I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?

Man in Black: Do you always begin conversations this way?

***********************


Westley: Why won't my arms move?

Fezzik: You've been mostly-dead all day.

****************


Inigo Montoya: Who are you?

Man in Black: No one of consequence.

Inigo Montoya: I must know...

Man in Black: Get used to disappointment.


************************


Man in Black: All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right... and who is dead.

Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Man in Black: You've made your decision then?

Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.

Man in Black: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Vizzini: Wait till I get going! Now, where was I?

Man in Black: Australia.

Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Man in Black: You're just stalling now.

Vizzini: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong, so you could've put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

Man in Black: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.

Vizzini: IT HAS WORKED! YOU'VE GIVEN EVERYTHING AWAY! I KNOW WHERE THE POISON IS!

Man in Black: Then make your choice.

Vizzini: I will, and I choose - What in the world can that be?

[Vizzini gestures up and away from the table. Roberts looks. Vizzini swaps the goblets]

Man in Black: What? Where? I don't see anything.

Vizzini: Well, I- I could have sworn I saw something. No matter. First, let's drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.

[Vizzini and the Man in Black drink]

Man in Black: You guessed wrong.

Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha...

Vizzini: [Vizzini stops suddenly, his smile frozen on his face and falls to the ground dead]

Buttercup: And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.

Man in Black: They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.

*******************************


Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

***********************


Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.'s?

Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

[Immediately, an R.O.U.S. attacks him]

**********************

Inigo Montoya: You know, Fezzik, you finally did something right.

Fezzik: Don't worry, I won't let it go to my head

**************************

Inigo Montoya: Are you the Miracle Max who worked for the king all those years?

Miracle Max: The King's stinking son fired me, and thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it? We're closed.

*************************


Miracle Max: Have fun stormin' da castle.

Valerie: Think it'll work?

Miracle Max: It would take a miracle.

******************

07 October 2011

BEYOND DELICIOUS: The Ghost Whisperer's Cookbook (More Than 100 Recipes from the Dearly Departed) - Mary Winkowski & David Powers

From the back of the book: What you hold in your hands is completely unique.

For the first time ever, here's a cookbook that will tickle your tastebuds while making your paranormal senses tingle. BEYOND DELICIOUS is half cookbook and half ghost story---the two ingredients you need to create meals that are yummy and chilllingly unforgettable....

We cook because our connections to food is everpresent. We cookd for sustenance and joy. What Mary Ann Winkowski (aka "The Ghost Whisperer") has learned over the years in talking with spirits is that this connection with food is not broken after death. In fact, some spirits become earthbound because of food.

Mary Ann has been communicating with earthbound spirits for most of her life. Through the years, she has received countless recipes from spirits of great cooks who have passed on. As she notes, these recipes are the best home-cooked meals you can find because they came straight from the kitchens of families who prepared, and perfected them, over a lifetime.

BEYOND DELICIOUS includes more than 100 recipes. Each entry includes the ghost story of how Mary Ann learned about the dish then the recipe. The cookbook is divided into sections such as soups, casseroles, beef, chicken, vegetables and sides, desserts, and much more. The stories and recipes come from every slice of society.

These are meals so beloved that the living asked Mary Ann to get them before a loved one crossed over, or so meaningful that a spirit asked her to record them for those they left behind. Each one inspires the kind of love and attention that fills homes with mouthwatering aromas and creates long-lasting memories for guests. The stories that go along with the recipes are often sweet, sometimes spooky, and always transfixing. When you reach for your favorite cookbook, make sure to grab BEYOND DELICIOUS so you can prepare family favorites that have been handed down "directly" from previous generations.

******************************************
Another book that I am very pleased to have received from LibraryThing (http://www.librarything.com/). I had a lot of fun reading each recipe and the ghost story accompanying each. I have to admit to a fondness more for the dessert choices, like Ted's Coconut Kisses, Mitzi's Golden Pumpkin Cookies, Lemon Sour Bars, Elderberry Pie, Frying Pan Cake (sort of a pineapple upside down cake in a frying pan)

There were some intriguingly named ones: Hank's Rabbit Pie...take one cleaned rabbit...., Florence's French Pork Pie, Grandma's Cuban Chicken, Toledo Lebanese Meatballs.

There were two that I know I will never ever, no way, nuh-uh make: Grandma's Pickled Beet Soup, Secret Harvard Beets...ask my mom, she'll tell you.

The stories accompanying each recipe were sweet, funny, odd and any mixture thereof. I do hope that Mary Ann does do a travel book sometime like she thought about in the book. I'd love to read about where she goes and the sites she visits, as much as the ghosts she sees every day.

I have a new cookbook for the keeper shelf in the kitchen. I look forward to trying many of these and see what my family thinks. I know the desserts will be a hit. Brown Sugar Refrigerator Cookies or Chocolate Torte to start.....

Four spooky yummy beans.....


06 October 2011

THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER - Christopher Buehlman

From the back of the book: The debut novel that has everyone talking and scared.


Haunted by memories of the Great War, failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate---the Savoyard Plantation----and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But under the facade of summer socials and small-town charm, there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.


It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of the Savoyard Plantation still stand. Where a long-smoldering debt of blood has never been forgotten.....


Where it has been waiting for Frank Nichols....

*********************************************

WOW!

I cannot get over how utterly frightening this book was to read. Perfect Southern Gothic horror with excellent pacing to draw you in to the story. I had to read this either in the daytime or at night, but surrounded by people in a lit place.


It is definitely more than a horror story. The story is the sensual relationship of Frank and Eudora, how they came to be a couple and move to Whitbrow, Georgia. They could easily let everything that happens to them overwhelm them, but they take everything in stride for as long as they can.


Atmosphere was everything throughout the book. Dark, bleak, frightening, you-do-not-want-to-go-in-those-woods atmosphere.


I feel like if I say more, it will be filled with spoilers. What I can absolutely do is definitely recommend this read-in-the-daytime horror Gothic novel.


Thank you LibraryThing (http://www.librarything.com) for sending this book to me! I won this from their August Batch of Books for Early Review.


Five darkly sparkling horror diamonds....

03 October 2011

September Book Journal

Not too bad this past month for reading. Might have been more, but didn't get as much reading done while on stay-cation and one of my audiobooks was 15 tapes long (but really good, so worth it)

BUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF: A Cupcake Bakery Mystery #2 - Jenn McKinlay, cozy, MPB, SO good!!

THE LOVERS: Charlie Parker #8 - John Connolly, supernatural thriller, BOCD, WOW!

REALLY UNUSUAL BAD BOYS - MaryJanice Davidson, paranormal romance, MPB, good

SMALL FAVOR: Dresden Files #10 - Jim Butcher, UF, MPB, highly excellent

DEATH SONG: Kevin Kearney Mystery - Michael McGarrity, suspense, BOCD, good

AFTER HOURS: Tales from the Ur-Bar - anthology, fantasy, MPB, good

BLOOD PRICE - Tanya Huff, UF, MPB, excellent

HEXES & HEMLINES: A Witchcraft Mystery #3 - Juliet Blackwell, paranormal mystery, MPB, super

BUTTON HOLED: A Button Box Mystery #1 - Kylie Logan, cozy, MPB, super

HARD MAGIC: Book One Paranormal Scene Investigations - Laura Anne Gilman, UF, TPB, super

THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER - Christopher Buehlman, horror, ARC from LibraryThing, so so amazing!!!

MORTAL FEAR - Greg Iles, thriller, BOCD, exhaustingly good

Books: 9
Audio: 3
Total for September: 12
Total for 2011 so far: 100

02 October 2011

Blooms on Sunday - 2 Oct 2011

Even though it's officially fall, there are still a few blooms left...this is the Joe Pye against the back fence valiantly making its way through the ornamental grasses in front of it

Rose Heart Althea that we were sure had given up the ghost earlier this year...apparently just biding its time


Newly planted sedums I bought yesterday at Harlequin's Gardens (http://www.harlequinsgardens.com/) in the trough we made at 'Spa Week' this summer


I yanked the copious amounts of cosmos at the side of the house and found that the roses are still blooming


Fall is a great time to dig in new plants and it's also when nurseries have some fab sales...this is a solidago we picked out at Harlequin's Gardens yesterday at their mag sale...I think I need to get back there...


The rogue blanket flower that keeps popping up in the front berm


Paprika achillea is blooming again once I did some deadheading