Friday, March 14, 2014

WARNING! Incredibly Long Post Ahead...

I got two awards.  In one day!

I wonder why that is?
Oh, this is why.  Makes sense now. :)

So first off, the Sunflower award.

Amanda and Bella both nominated me for this award.

These are the rules.  Since I am a rebel, I will do everything except nominate eleven other bloggers, 'cause all the eleven I'd nominate probably already received this anyway.

Rule the First:  Share eleven facts about yourself.

Rule the Second:  Answer the questions set by your nomination blogger.

Rule the Third:  Nominate eleven bloggers.
Yeah. That's not happening. I'll nominate SOME.

Rule the Fourth:  Set questions for the nominated bloggers.

SOOOOOO.... First off, here are Eleven Facts About Me.

1.)  With my medical transcription training, I tend to double-space between periods now, in everything except novels I'm writing, 'cause for the most part Editors/Agents/Publishers don't like double-spacing.

2.)  I love watching music videos.

3.)  I have a hard time doing new things.

4.) I usually run out of things to share around Number Four.

5.)  I get depressed with popular young adult fiction and go back to my staple diet of Diana Wynne Jones, Patricia McKillip, and Tolkien's Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wootton Major.

6.)  I have taken to saying "Jeepers" a lot.  Not sure where that came from.

7.)  I don't even know how many books I own.  I think there were a hundred on one bookshelf in my bedroom, and there's got to be five?  six?  maybe even ten times that amount in the closet... and on other bookshelves... and under the bed... and in other sisters' rooms.
Mark Sheppard as Crowley

8.)  I find it amazing how many TV shows Mark Sheppard has played in.

9.)  I was tempted to skip number 9 and see how many of you were devoted enough to read through all these "facts" in order to catch the missing number.  I resisted.  Aren't you proud?

10.)  Right now, one of my most favourite songs to listen to is POMPEII by BASTILLE.

11.)  I want Josh Groban to do another Kid Snippets video NOW!
Josh watches Kid Snippets, you guys!


Now for the questions from Amanda and Bella.


1.) What's your favorite type of dog?
I freakin' LOVE German Shepherds!  But, if we're talking smaller dogs, I'm into Border Collie/Cocker Spaniel mixes, and Shiba Inus.
Shiba Inus TOTALLY look like foxes... minus the tail. :)

2.) Do you sing along to Doctor Who's theme song?

3.) What does Tahiti make you think of?
4.) How did Moriarty fake his death?
'Nough said.

5.) Who's your favorite Superhero.
Iron Man.
6.) If you could choose a superhero name, what would you call yourself?
Hmmm.... I'd probably end up sticking with Cat.  Ooh, I know.  Panther. Cat Panther.  That's my superhero name.

7.) You can travel back in your timeline, and only your timeline. What would you re-visit?
March 27th, 2007, August 24, 2011, and October 6, 2013... because those were the times we saw Josh Groban in CONCERT. And end of April to beginning of May 2013, 'cause that's when we went to Scotland. And every single Christmas Eve and Christmas in the history of my life.

There's Amanda's questions answered. Exciting, wasn't it?


1) Do you like Daylight Savings Time?
I like when Daylight Savings Time ENDS, and we gain an hour.  Otherwise I'm like:
2) What is one really good series which you have just discovered?
Book series?  Um, how recently?  I'd say The 100 Cupboards was good, though technically that's a trilogy and not really a series.

3) Are you a subtle fan-girl or more of a loud excited fangirl like me?
I believe I am subtle.

4) Hamburgers or Hot dogs?
Definitely hamburgers.

5) Do you like wearing sweaters or do you prefer hoodies?
I'm more of a sweater person.  I'm not crazy about hoodies on myself, because I feel totally gangsta in them.  However, I like hoodies on other people.

6) Do you like going out in the evening?
I hope you like the caption  :-P

7) Did you ever play Truth or Dare and did you like it?
You mean Interrogation or Humiliation? *See question six's gif for your answer.* 
And that's the Sunflower Award!  Thanks again to Amanda and Bella for the nomination!

I nominate:
John the Hedgehog

My questions for youse all:
1.)  Do you prefer Arabic or Roman numerals?
2.)  Do you watch My Little Ponies?
3.)  What's the absolute stupidest thing you've ever done?
4.)  What's your idea of the best car?
5.)  What's the worst thing you can imagine?
6.)  Do you know what gif stands for?
7.)  Be honest... did you have to Google "gif" in order to answer question 6 intelligently?

Have fun! :)

And Now...
 Drumroll, please...

I also received the Liebster Award from Rose M.

Le Rules for Le Reward:

Uno: Acknowledge the blog that nominated you. Thank you, Rose from The Golden Road!

Dos: Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger created.

Tres: List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that deserve some recognition.

Quatro: Post 11 questions for them to answer.

Cinco: Notify them that they've been nominated.


1.)  An anonymous someone drops a note on your front porch saying that they will fund a trip to either England, an African Safari, Prince Edward Island, or Italy. Which do you choose? Why?
Italy.  Why?  Because it's freakin' ITALY!
2.)  You're being forced to re-do your room. What color do you paint it?
3.)  Do you have a particular song that you listen to often, but it never seems to get old? If so, what is it?
Yes.  Yes I do.
4.)  Would you rather be lounging in the sun on the beach reading a good book or adventuring in the waves?
Ooh, choices, choices... I'd do both.  Read a little in the sun, and go for a swim, and read a little in the sun, and go for a swim, and read a little in the sun, and... you get the picture, right?

5.)  You suddenly end up with two twin kittens. One is a girl; one is a boy. What do you name them? 
Sam and Jess.

6.)  You're organizing a get together with friends. Would you choose a picnic or a movie night?
Definitely a movie night.  Less small talk.  LOL

7.)  What is your pet peeve? 
8.)  Is there a new hobby you've been wanting to try out? 
 I fancy archery.
9.)  If you could pick one instrument that you would (without any effort on your part) instantly master, which would you choose? 
Pan pipes.

10.)  Would you like to be snowed inside for a week? 
*See John Watson gif used in Bella's question number 6.*

11.)  Pick the closest book to you that you've read. Who is your favorite character in the book?
Right now, the book closest to me that I've read is The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, and my favourite character in that book is John Sebastian Farrell.
And now I nominate:

My questions for YOUSE all:
1.)  What fandom do you "belong" to?
2.)  Would you fight to the death someone who bashes one of your favourite characters?
3.)  Would you use daggers for subtlety, or swords for an all-out "COME AT ME, BRO!" battle?
4.)  What do you do when someone tells you that you have pepper in your teeth?
5.)  To you, what's more awesome... climbing trees, or writing stories?
6.)  Have you ever secretly wished you were a unicorn?
7.)  When you drink tea, do you prefer a mug or a bone china cup?
8.)  What's your opinion on Alka-Seltzer?
9.)  If you are an Agents of SHIELD fan, or a Marvel fan, or just a superhero fan, which agent/superhero do you think you'd be?
10.)  Do you have a lucky number?
11.)  WHY do you have a lucky number?!  (Those of you who replied No to question 10, Why DON'T you have a lucky number?!!
And that's that.
 Hope you all had fun with that, and we'll see you next time!
God bless!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Six-Sentence Saturday 03/08/2014

I always feel like I have very little to talk about. It's Saturday (yay!) and that's about it.

1.)  I can share that in less than a week (and this is a super YAY! for me) one of my bloggy friends will be visiting for about 2 weeks.


2.)  She's actually the bloggy friend of the whole family - those of us who blog, anyway.

3.)  I never thought internet friends could ever be visualized in the flesh. Did you?


4.)  It is Lent now, and I muchly desire chocolate and bread.

Or rather, HAS come

5.)  I also feel the need for a particularly juicy sausage.


6.)  However, tomorrow is SUNDAY, which means chocolate, bread, and sausage! Oh, and of course... wine.


I shall have a wonderful day tomorrow, despite the fact that Daylight Savings begins, and I'll have to greet the morning (oh evil day!) an hour earlier than I'd like.


Other than that, Sunday - especially Sundays in Lent - is ALWAYS a good time. :)

Until next time, gentle audience. (Thank you, Jane Eyre on Broadway, for treacly lines like this.)

God bless, and have a wonderful Lent!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Scorpio Races - Book Review

Barnes and Noble

"It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die."

THE SCORPIO RACES is a novel based on Celtic water horses.  Every November on the island of Thisby, the fierce and feral capaill uisce are born from the black ocean water to race along the hard sand of the beach. And every November, the men of Thisby capture these horses to ride them in a deadly race.

“Tell me what it's like. The race."

"What it's like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It's the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It's speed, if you're lucky. It's life and it's death or it's both, and there's nothing like it.”

The capaill uisce are not your normal horse. Larger, wilder than their terrestrial cousins, predatory and mercurial, the water horses are dangerous beasts at any time of the year, but especially dangerous in November, when the ocean sings in their blood. Hard to tame and unpredictable as the weather, the Scorpio Races are a mixture of celebration and deadly spectacle.

"These are not ordinary horses. Drape them with charms, hide them from the sea, but today, on the beach: Do not turn your back."

Nineteen-year-old Sean Kendrick is a four-time champion of the Scorpio Races. Year after year he has brought home the purse to his employer, Benjamin Malvern, the man who owns a stable of sport horses he exports to the mainland. This year, however, Sean has more than just his love of the capaill uisce driving him to race. This year, he races for the freedom to leave Malvern Yard, and for the joy of finally owning Corr, the red capall uisce he rides in every race.


“I've grown up alongside Corr. My father rode him and my father lost him, and then I found him again. He's the only family I have.”

Katherine "Puck" Connolly never meant to ride in the races. Since both her parents died in a capall uisce attack, she has had no desire to join that reckless, deathly sport. Her brothers Gabe and Finn, her pony Dove, and their house in Thisby is all she needs. But now there is a real danger that the three Connollys are going to lose their home. In order to save her home, Puck joins the Scorpio Races, pitting her little land pony against the wild tempers of the water horses in a gamble to take home the purse.

"There is nothing special about the mare, nothing at all. A fine enough head, good enough bone. As a pony, she is a beauty. As a capall uisce, she is nothing. The girl too, is nothing special - slight, with a ginger ponytail. She looks less afraid than her mare, but she's in more danger.”

There is initial friction - Puck is the first girl to ride in the races, and she expects to race docile little Dove against the fearsome, meat-loving capaill uisce. Sean, understanding the moods of the water horses, knowing how the salt water makes them as intemperate as the ocean itself, at first resents Puck's intrusion into the races. He knows her danger, knows the probability of her failure and the possible outcome of her death. But Puck is indomitable.

“My mother always said that I was born out of a bottle of vinegar instead of born from a womb and that she and my father bathed me in sugar for three days to wash it off. I try to behave, but I always go back to the vinegar.” 

The two eventually form an alliance. Sean understands the water horses. He especially understands the mood and heart of his own fierce Corr, and in knowing such things has the ability to train Puck and Dove in learning what it takes to beat the capaill uisce.

"This time of year, I live and breath the beach. My cheeks feel raw with the wind throwing sand against them. My thighs sting from the friction of the saddle. My arms ache from holding up two thousand pounds of horse.

I am so, so alive."

The stakes are high for the two of them.If Sean wins, he will have the money to buy Corr and start his own Yard. If Puck wins, she can save her home.

But it is a race, and only one can win.

“I say, 'I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.'
Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, 'It's late for that, Puck.'


Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book.  The water horses are fierce and terrifying creatures, meat-eaters from the sea. They will kill you as soon as look at you. But there is something gorgeous and free in their ocean souls. When I read about them, I understood Sean's love and distrust of them. They are magical and dangerous and wonderful at the same time.  There is a little bit of island magic in the handling of the water horses, and Sean is a really well-written, quiet, vulnerably invincible kind of character. I really liked him.

Puck is a pretty good female character too. She is spunky enough to be brave, and humble enough not to be annoying. For the most part I really enjoyed the way she played off Sean, even though he was my favourite.

The writing is quite lyrical. You can feel the pulse of the ocean in your blood, smell the ocean air mixing with the saltier stench of the water horses. You can feel the rush of wind and the sense of uncertainty in each line. It's really quite good.

There are some brief suggestive sentences, never anything over the top, but the occasional line that makes you know exactly what the speaker is getting at.  There is some language, but for the most part I never found it totally offensive.

If you're looking for a book about races, high stakes, and very subtle, almost-not-there romance, then this is the book for you.

“He is slow, and the sea sings to us both, but he returns to me.” 

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