The Unleashing

I have just finished reading The Unleashing which is Book One in the Call of Crows series by Shelly Laurenston. I have not read any of Shelly’s other publications so this was a new author for me too. I got this book through my local library’s Overdrive account.

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I was drawn to the book not just because of the cover (hehe), but also because I have always enjoyed Norse mythology and was very intrigued by the idea of the Norse clans in a modern setting.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It was full of very strong female characters, I read a review that said they were not believable… I am guessing that reviewer was male because I have absolutely met women like that 🙂 I am a sucker for fiction that displays women in a strong light. I like it even more when they do not swoon at the first glimpse of abs. The story centers around the journey of Kera and her growth and discoveries about herself and her world. She’s strong, doesn’t take crap and the main love of her life is a pit bull she rescued off the street after it had been dumped for dead after being used in a dog fight ring… who wouldn’t love this girl?! Obviously I am totally biased as soon as a rescue dog became involved. My dream would be to buy a ranch where abused dogs are rehabilitated and given a second chance so I was hooked as soon as I read this part.

I liked the character of Ludvig as well, wasn’t sure I would at first, but he definitely grows on you. In fact all the characters do. It can get a little chaotic trying to keep them straight as there are a lot of characters running about, but it is not too bad.

I didn’t realise that the book was part of a series when I chose to read it which is a bummer because I will have to search for book two as my library does not have it. The end was a definite cliffhanger and I wasn’t expecting the book to end there. Just all of a sudden people were making statements and overtures and I was thinking to myself ‘huh, that’s weird, this is wrap up talk, but there’s so much more plot to work… oh it’s finished…’ the wrap up was a little to abrupt for me, but I think I felt that way too because I wasn’t ready for it to end.

Goodreads says there are two more books in the series. I would definitely like to check them out. I just like giving fair warning to anyone interested in reading that they might be committing to a series hahaha.

What are you all reading?


Rescue Kittens

Our lives have been super busy and irrevocably changed recently.

At the beginning of June Hubby and I met beautiful twin girls who were up for adoption. A couple of weeks later we learned that they still had not found a home because separating them would be too traumatizing and people didn’t seem keen to adopt both of them.

So we met with them again and we just knew that our big home was exactly what they needed. So I would like to introduce you to the newest members of our family Persephone (Seph) and Athena (Thea).

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When they first came home

For my Husband it was love at first sight. I loved them, but 4 furbabies is a huge commitment and I just wanted to make sure that we were making the right decision for the girls. Yes we had the space and money, but time and patience, did we have enough? I realised though that we are full of love and that at 3 months old the girls had known nothing more than the insides of boxes being poked at by people who weren’t going to take them home and make them part of their family. We could do that for them… and we have.

It took a few days for them to spend time out from under the couch. Though they loved having the top of this gym to escape to as the puppies came to terms with their new sisters.

The girls have basically doubled in size in just a month. They now allow us to actually pick them up and hold them and are HUGE lovers of pats. They didn’t purr when we first brought them home, but now we have a regular purr soundtrack in our household.

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Miss Thea enjoys sitting with Mum on the couch now

It took them I think 2 weeks to realise that there was an upstairs. They now LOVE going up there and tearing around the place… in the middle of the night. They were pretty keen on getting into our bedroom at night which wasn’t the worst thing… until Seph started climbing the curtains!!! Bad kitty.

They are both very adventurous now. Very hard to tell apart as they are almost identical even down to their white markings. Thea is slightly smaller with a thinner tail, but they have completely different personalities. Thea will run all around your feet wanting pats and flop and present her belly the second you look at her like you might pat her. Seph is big on the rubbing against legs, bags, corners, arms etc. to facilitate the patting she wants which is all the time hahaha. Seph is also the one who has figured out she can jump onto the kitchen counter and drink the remnants of my cup of tea, then there was the time she tried to jump into the bloody oven when I opened it. Naturally her craziness has made her Dad’s favourite hahaha.

Basically Seph goes where she pleases and now believes that the new dog bed we bought before we adopted the girls belongs to her. She stretches out as far as she can to show there is no room for anyone else and doesn’t even like her sister joining her for a nap. To be fair I did situate it where it would get the best sun 🙂

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Here’s our boy Sam reclaiming the bed for a short time this weekend to sit next to me while I had my morning coffee 🙂 

The dogs are mostly okay with the girls now. Thea LOVES Sam and every morning she runs up to him and makes him pat her with his snout by rubbing herself under his chin. She will often then roll onto her back and present her belly to him. One day she will figure out that he cannot pat her hahaha. She also jumps around and over him inviting him to play… he just looks at me like “WTF Mum!” like any older brother with a toddler sister in play mode hahaha.

So our world has been very full of cleaning, playing, retraining, bringing out of the closet (figuratively and literally), giggling at antics and all sorts of other things lately.

I hope you enjoy the pictures of the newest additions to our family 🙂


Burned

WARNING: There are some spoilers ahead. Short non-spoiler version: This was a good follow on from the other novels. Found some surprises in here. There were things I liked and didn’t like. Was interested very much in how she developed Dani’s character whilst hating it at the same time.

BurnedThis book seems to be receiving some serious flack in some of the reviews I have read. I was pretty happy in general with this book. I didn’t tear through it as much as the other books in the series for some reason, but it certainly wasn’t the travesty that people are making it out to be. There were parts of it I loved and parts not so much, but the likes far outweighed the dislikes.

In general this was a good installment in the series and I am looking forward to the next one. I still LOVE the world building in this series. There were a couple of completely new areas that we visited with the characters and I could completely construct a visual in my head thanks to Moning’s world building. Her descriptions of the Crimson Hag are just spot on and at times made me cringe, they could possibly give someone nightmares haha.

The characters interacted well and I still love the arguing between groups and the banter that goes on. We saw more of some characters that have so far been mostly in the background which was great and I liked the development of Lor’s character very much. I also appreciated getting to know more about the Nine and finding out about some of Ryodan’s much protected secrets.

-WARNING – BIG SPOILER – SKIP THIS PART IF YOU WANT –

I loved the character of Dani from the other books, I was a bit put off with the changes to her character. I knew something was coming with her because it felt like this was the way we were going with some kind of hidden personality. I was just disappointed when Dani disappeared right at the beginning of the book and I guess her character was so full of life that I really felt the loss in the group. Especially when she was replaced with this next gen Dani/Amazon warrior with the personality of a paper bag. I struggle with this because I love Dani, but at the same time it was such a clever development.

I’m glad I finally got to read this book. It has been on my TBR pile for some time (like you know… since it was published haha). Looking forward to getting hold of the next one.


The Princess Diarist

WARNING: There are some spoilers ahead. Short non-spoiler version: It was good… you should read it 🙂 Yay Carrie Fisher!

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Ahh The Princess Diarist… When I found out this was coming out I made sure the library was getting a copy. With the release of the Star Wars VII there was a lot of renewed interest from our patrons in Carrie Fisher’s books. As well as pretty much anything that could in some way maybe be slightly related to anything Star Wars 🙂

When we got it in there was definitely interest and I wanted to read it myself so I put on a reserve and waited patiently. Unfortunately no librarian perks when it comes to the reserves queue hahaha.

When I borrowed the book I got a few chapters in that night and the next day Carrie Fisher passed away. Some of what she wrote in the book talked about her eventual passing and it was just too weird and sad to continue reading it at that time so I returned it and let the other masses waiting for it go first.

So a couple of months down the track now the hordes have cleared I decided to give it another go. I really enjoyed this book. Bios are not generally something I steer towards, but I have found that when they are well written and interesting I do enjoy them.

It was quite interesting to see the differences between the writing styles of “present” day Carrie and the pages of 19 year old Carrie’s journals. It was very apparent from 19yo Carrie’s writing that she was very much infatuated by Harrison, though present day Carrie is reasonably discrete about the affair itself 19yo Carrie seemingly (to me) struggled under the banner of secrecy. If you are looking for some ground shattering literary genius out of those diaries you are not going to get it. They are what you would expect of a creative, somewhat angsty 19yo who’s smoking joints and head over heels. Kind of felt as though perhaps she had gotten hold of some of my old journals except I had more of a penchant for songs than poems.

I really enjoyed the behind the scenes parts of the memoir and I liked how she simultaneously loves and hates cons. She has a special tongue in cheek love for her fans as well.

Her writing style is quite quirky and you can almost imagine her saying the words as you read along. Actually the audio book would probably be great!

She does make a few references to her inevitable passing as well as that of her mother which made reading the book quite touching, but beautiful at the same time. One of the most poignant parts of the book for me was in the acknowledgements when she thanks her mother for “being too stubborn and thoughtful to die, “I love you, but that whole emergency, almost dying thing, wasn’t funny. Don’t even THINK about doing it again in any form.” Given that her mother died just one day after Carrie what was probably meant to be a wry joke took on a much more tender meaning.

If you are a fan of Carrie Fisher you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for some scandalous tell all on “Carrison” then this is probably not for you 🙂 But you will likely find some amazingly graphic fan fiction online hahaha. Whatever floats your boat, no judgement.

 


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Back in January I talked about my goals to reduce our household waste. So I thought I would do a little recap and see where we are at.

We have been doing okay with this in general, though there are some areas we could improve in:

  • We have not been as good on plastic bags as I would like, but we are recycling them instead of throwing them out as we used to do. It’s mostly an issue because I ensure I go for a walk at lunchtimes and often do some household shopping then and I don’t always remember to go to my car to get the eco bag first. Definitely something I need to work on habit wise.
    Eco Bags
  • Meal planning has also gone out the window for us for the most part just due to different crazy life things going on. I try to do it in my head a bit, obviously this is nowhere near as good as if I were doing it properly though so I really need to make an effort with this. Not only is it better for reducing waste, but it is also kinder on our wallets and better for our health because when I plan we end up with healthy well rounded meals.

Things we have done include:

  • I have done research into some of the things we buy and try to only buy items that have recyclable packaging (harder than you might think – though the redcycle program at Coles has helped a lot).
  • When it comes to items like egg cartons which are recyclable I will also look for opportunities for reuse. For instance our library storytime sometimes uses egg cartons for craft. In fact I found a flower craft recently for Mother’s Day that I sent through as a suggestion that uses egg cartons. This will mean that all staff’s egg cartons will be donated for the next few weeks to be used to create Mother’s Day gifts rather than being thrown out or recycled.
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    There are so many fun crafts you can do with egg cartons that I am actually going to save that for another post I think 🙂
  • Though we do not want junk mail it seems to keep magically appearing so I use the elastic bands from them on my frozen veggie bags once open to reduce the chance of freezer burn and recycle the junk mail. It’s only a little thing I know, but I also feel that that thought and little effort if magnified by many certainly counts.
    I also found out that my girlfriend who lives 30 minutes further bush than me doesn’t get junk mail at all so I now keep them for her and she recycles them after use.
  • When we next needed rice I bought a 5kg bag. Every one that sees it thinks I am crazy and it does take up a lot of room, but I used to buy the 500gram packet so I am literally saving 10 plastic packages and it saved me a BUNCH of money!
    We may not have sugar in our house, but if you need a cup of rice I am definitely your girl
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  • At work I have noticed that I have naturally become a lot more conscious of recycling and providing opportunities for people to learn more sustainable habits. No matter how small the scraps are now (from cutting out or whatever) I will put them in the paper recycling bin. I have also gotten into the habit of checking the staff paper recycling next to the internal printer for scrap paper as this is always in high demand at the library.
    Our Council has business card sized laminated signs with a cute cartoon of a light bulb reminding people to turn off switches. I have ordered some of these to place above the switches in our study areas as people often leave these on. I have also convinced Council to add recycling bins into all the libraries and centres (gyms and pools) which is amazing!!!
    I also had a chat with the guy from Council who runs eco programs like creating sustainable gardens, building terrariums and composting at home. It started with me offering to promote his programs in the library particularly on our social media sites. He was super excited about this and we are now talking about him possibly running some programs at the libraries which is amazing because we get a whole new slew of programs whilst our resource output would be minimal and we would be collaborating and networking with a whole new area of Council so I am pretty excited about this possibility 🙂

It was great for me to discover that I was able to make a difference at work as well as at home.

What changes have you made or do you suggest I make?


Free Comic Book Day

So there is this annual event called Free Comic Book Day. Never heard of it? Check out the information here http://www.freecomicbookday.com/ We have an amazing time with it at our library service with kid and family friendly activities that run all day. We have actually had people tell us they are visiting us rather than the big comic book stores which is amazing! I have taken my nephew to it for all of his 5 years he has been around.

I have been asked to participate this year as a character. Huge excitement!!!!! I get to choose who I want to be and source the costume which hopefully means I can find something that fits okay.

So here’s the thing… have you ever looked for plus sized costumes? Pretty much all of them have the word “sexy” in front whilst men get these awesome looking things like the below with options for fat or skinny people.

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Where are all the awesome costume options for shapely ladies?!!

At this stage I am pretty much assuming I am going to have to put one together myself so I have started thinking about who I might like to be. One of the other librarians is going as supergirl. I found some interesting costume (DIY) options for wonder woman which I think could work well. Another one I am pretty interested in currently is Claire Redfield from the Resident Evil comics/world… at least then everything is not as clingy and bodysuity… plus I really like the character.

Here is the current list I am considering:

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  • Claire Redfield – Resident Evil
  • Alice – Resident Evil
  • Wonder Woman – Wonder Woman
  • Lady Mechanika – Lady Mechanika – would be awesome, but huge amounts of prep.
  • Poison Ivy – Batman – would be a GREAT costume, but worried about doing a villain and having the kids be afraid of me when I am trying to get them involved with stuff 🙂 Also sometimes kids might “fight” villains.

Side note: I would totally love to do Abby from the new Ghostbusters, but that character isn’t from the comics 😦

What are your thoughts? There are other comic book characters I love, but I need it to be fat friendly, movable to some degree so I can interact with kids and hopefully more than one piece for ease of pee breaks 🙂 I would LOVE some suggestions from you all!

Annnnnndddddd…….. GO!!!

 


The Beauty of Darkness

The Beauty of Darkness is book 3 in The Remnant Chronicles saga and is my book number 2 for 52 books in 52 weeks.I talked about the second book in a recent post and was looking forward to reading the final installment. I will be as vague as possible, but some might consider what I will write slight spoilers 🙂

This was a thick book at 679 pages, so if you are someone who cannot commit to long books you might struggle, but I don’t mind them personally and I felt it was worth the read. When the story is good I don’t generally notice how long it is. Plus I was already two books in, I wasn’t about to stop now 🙂

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Love the cover art for this series!!!

There was this really interesting message through this whole story that I felt repeated over and over again through different storylines and that was that ‘no one is too great to fall’. This is SUCH a true message in day to day life for every person as well as in this book and I think that is why I appreciated it. It also shows how those that fall respond, do they become desperate and cruel or evil, or do they have an inner strength and sense of self that sustains them through the harshest of times. Let’s not mince words, these characters went through some hellish ordeals, particularly the female protagonist Lia. From a waited on princess to someone’s prisoner covered in filth and blood wearing a hessian sack, Lia’s resolve never faulted and her inner strength and leadership qualities just grew. Everything was taken from her and she didn’t crumble. This is a great book for young women to read for this message alone.

The other thing I liked about Lia and some of the other main characters is that they often didn’t make the popular choice. They were not afraid to make the difficult choice that would be immensely harder and possibly end in death because ultimately it was the right thing to do and could save many lives. Too often you read books where people throw the lives of thousands out to dry in the name of love and whilst I understand that being an impossible choice I do get frustrated by the sheer amount of these type of novels – like the Fallen series for example (not that I didn’t enjoy it – you can tell here and here).

Relationships were so interesting in this book. To be honest it didn’t end the way I wished it had. The ending I wanted wouldn’t be the popular version, but to me it was more realistic and I cannot say much more about how I felt about this without spoiling things so I will stop here.

I was a fan of the overall ending and was definitely a fan of many of the messages in the book. I was a particular fan of the women in this book. There is a strength to the women in this book that you cannot help but admire. Seriously SUCH a great read for young women today.