Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Double, double, toll and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Eye of newt, toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pink Carnation Spotlight - Claire Foy (Arabella Dempsey)

In celebration of the newest book by Lauren Willig, The Mischief of the Mistletoe, I present, the hero's ultimate foil, the heroine. Arabella Dempsey, friend to Jane Austen, foil to Turnip, and ideally suited for Claire Foy! So stop, and look no further! This is the lady for our root vegetable friend!

Name: Claire Foy

Dream Character Casting for the Lauren Willig Miniseries: Arabella Dempsey

First Impression: Little Dorrit, as the titular character she evoked such sympathy and sweetness.

Why they'd be the perfect actor for the Lauren Willig Miniseries: She has a sweetness and an apparent sense of humor that would be needed in someone to fully appreciate how wonderful Turnip is. Plus, nerves of steel and a no nonsense attitude when needed, and those are needed occasionally against French spies and rogue music teachers, not to mention teenage girls!

Lasting Impression: Going Postal. How that sweet Amy Dorrit could also portray this sassy, street savvy, noir esque lady, Adora, shows the versatility of this up and coming actress that would perfectly suit Arabella.

What else you've seen them in: She has not been in much, but she has quickly made a name for herself starring in an Andrew Davies miniseries followed quickly by her Terry Pratchett miniseries and to be topped off with the remake of Upstairs, Downstairs! She is the next big thing, mark my words!

Can't believe it's them: She was in the Being Human pilot! Granted I haven't seen it in a long long time and it was never showed stateside and has been forever shelved do to the horrifically bad original Mitchell and Annie, but still... she was in that!?! Oh wait... she was George's Ex, wasn't she...

Wish they hadn't: This young'un hasn't made a misstep, and lets hope it stays that way!

Bio: So talented and so young! I can't wait to see what she does next, it's no surprise she was named one of the  "55 faces of the future!" Although, in your bizarre and random facts of the day, Claire and our hero, Nicholas, though never starring in anything together (which I would fix, had I the means and ways) have a real life connection. Nicholas' long time partner, Lou Gish, who sadly passed away four years ago, is best known for playing Jeff's girlfriend on Coupling. Jeff, as played by Richard Coyle was Claire Foy's love interest in Going Postal, Mr. Lipwig himself!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pink Carnation Spotlight - Nicholas Rowe (Turnip Fitzhugh)

In celebration of the newest book by Lauren Willig, The Mischief of the Mistletoe, otherwise known as my favorite root vegetable named hero gets his own book, it's time to cast some characters! As you no doubt remember, I love to cast books in my head with the plethora of BBC actors that reside therein, though they might deny that they live in my brain. Anyways... from day one when Turnip bumbled onto the scene all embroidered waistcoats and good intentions there has only been one man who could play him in the dream miniseries of my mind. I have been in love with this actor since he first foiled Rafe while loosing his love Elizabeth, ok, it doesn't hurt that he says Elizabeth over and over in the film, making it easier to fantasize, but he was a step up from Robin Hood, and I'm talking about the cartoon fox here. Nicholas Rowe who played the dashing Holmes in The Young Sherlock Holmes will always he a favorite actor of mine and also my Turnip!

Name: Nicholas Rowe

Dream Character Casting for the Lauren Willig Miniseries: Turnip Fitzhugh, always a Turnip, never a Reggie

First Impression: Sherlock Holmes, sigh...

Why they'd be the perfect actor for the Lauren Willig Miniseries: He exudes this happiness and goodwill but has the perfect features for a befuddled expression. Also he's a little goofy and I think he could pull off a Carnation themed waistcoat very well indeed, that you very much!

Lasting Impression: The first impression stuck, but I always have a little flutter in my heart when I see he's in something coming up!

What else you've seen them in: Besides treading the boards... Nicholas pops up here and there all over the BBC, from Poldark to Sharpe's, Shackleton to to the French and Saunders comedy, Let Them Eat Cake. Also to be seen in Regency garb in Beau Brummell! But he has not stayed small screen! He's been in movies by Tom Stoppard (Enigma) and starring Anne Hathaway (Nicholas Nickleby).

Can't believe it's them: Midsomer Murders! Yes, I know every British actor MUST do Midsomer Murders... but his role! In "The Fisher King" he made a mad driven insane with his lust for his wife who turns out to be his sister completely believable and compelling, in a plot point that might have devolved into pure soap opera!

Wish they hadn't: Doctor Who animated, just because it wasn't "real" Doctor Who... now if this leads to real Doctor Who, then I'm fine with it. I just don't want a repeat of let's forget that Richard E. Grant was the 9th Doctor because it was just a cartoon!

Bio: Is a talented man who has stayed a great actor now for many decades and straddles film, television and indie cult status (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) very well and I hope to see him in things for years to come. And not just in our wedding announcement.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pretty in Pink Giveaway

Though it's not quite Christmas, there is that nip in the air which indicates that it's right around the corner. I can think of nothing better than a new book from Lauren Willig on the lead up to bleak winter. Usually we have to wait for the post Christmas blahs to get a hit of a new Willig book, but not this year! We're getting a pre and post Christmas bounty! To celebrate this glorious publication week and month of Willig on my blog I bring to you a wondrous giveaway. Supplemented by Dutton there is now not one, not two, but 8 WINNERS! Think of that! You have a very high chance of winning. So enter and enjoy what I think is Lauren's best book yet, though it might just be a soft spot I have for a certain man named after a root vegetable.

The Prizes:
1st Prize (2 winners): A Signed 1st Edition of The Mischief of the Mistletoe Signed by Lauren Willig plus a lovely Mischievous Christmas Ornament

2nd Prize (2 winners): A 1st Edition of The Mischief of the Mistletoe plus a lovely Mischievous Christmas Ornament

3rd Prize (4 winners): A lovely Mischievous Christmas Ornament

The Rules:
1. Open to EVERYONE (for clarification, this means international, but no shipping to space stations or TARDI), just because you haven't been following me all along doesn't mean you don't matter, you just get more entries if you prove you love me by following.

2. Please make sure I have a way to contact you if your name is drawn, either your blogger profile or a link to your website/blog or you could even include your email address with your comment(s) or email me.

3. Contest ends Tuesday, November 30th at 11:59PM CST

4. How to enter: Just comment in the space below!

5. And for those addicted to getting extra entries:

+1 for answering the question: If you had a vegetable nick name, what would it be? An extra +1 if it's a root vegetable.

+2 for becoming a follower

+10 if you are already a follower

+10 for each time you advertise this contest - blog post, sidebar, twitter (please @MzLizard), etc. (but you only get credit for the first post, so tweet all you like, and I thank you for it, but you'll only get the +10 once). Also please leave a link!

Good luck!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig
Published by: Dutton
Publication Date: October 26th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"'Tis the season to get Pink! Lauren Willig's beloved Pink Carnation series gets into the holiday spirit with this irresistible Regency Christmas caper.

Arabella Dempsey's dear friend Jane Austen warned her against teaching. But Miss Climpson's Select Seminary for Young Ladies seems the perfect place for Arabella to claim her independence while keeping an eye on her younger sisters nearby. Just before Christmas, she accepts a position at the quiet girls' school in Bath, expecting to face nothing more exciting than conducting the annual Christmas recital. She hardly imagines coming face to face with French aristocrats and international spies...

Reginald "Turnip"Fitzhugh-often mistaken for the elusive spy known as the Pink Carnation- has blundered into danger before. But when he blunders into Miss Arabella Dempsey, it never occurs to him that she might be trouble. When Turnip and Arabella stumble upon a beautifully wrapped Christmas pudding with a cryptic message written in French, "Meet me at Farley Castle," the unlikely vehicle for intrigue launches the pair on a Yuletide adventure that ranges from the Austens'modest drawing room to the awe-inspiring estate of the Dukes of Dovedale, where the Dowager Duchess is hosting the most anticipated event of the year: an elaborate twelve-day Christmas celebration. Will they find poinsettias or peril, dancing or danger? Is it possible that the fate of the British Empire rests in Arabella's and Turnip's hands, in the form of a festive Christmas pudding?"

Could possibly be the best book Lauren has written yet, and that's saying a lot!

Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey
Published by: Dutton
Publication Date: October 26th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.

Arcanum 101:  Diana Tregarde, practicing witch, romance novelist, Guardian of the Earth. Studying at Harvard, Diana is approached by Joe O’Brian, a young cop who has already seen more than one unusual thing during his budding career. The distraught mother of a kidnap victim is taking advice from a “psychic” and interfering in the police investigation. Will Diana prove that the psychic is a fake? Unfortunately, the psychic is not a fake, but a very wicked witch—and the child’s kidnapper.

Drums:  Jennifer Talldeer, shaman, private investigator, member of the Osage tribe. Most of Jennie’s work is regular PI stuff, but Nathan Begay brings her a problem she’s never seen before. His girlfriend, Caroline, is Chickasaw to his Navaho, but that’s not the problem. Somehow, Caroline has attracted the attention of an angry Osage ghost. Thwarted in love while alive, the ghost has chosen Caroline to be his bride in death.

Ghost in the Machine:  Ellen McBridge: computer programmer extraordinaire, techno-shaman. The programmers and players of a new MMORPG find that the game’s “boss,” a wendigo, is “killing” everyone—even the programmers’ characters with their god-like powers. A brilliant debugger, Ellen discoveres that the massive computing power of the game’s servers have created a breach between the supernatural world and our own. This wendigo isn’t a bit of code, it’s the real thing . . . and it’s on the brink of breaking out of the computers and into the real world. "

Short urban fantasy bu Mercedes!?! I'm in!

Side Jobs by Jim Butcher
Published by: Roc
Publication Date: October 26th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 432 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher-a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago's only professional wizard. "

I can think of no better way to wait for the new Dresden Files book than a compilation of short stories set in that world!

The Track of Sand by Andrea Camilleri
Published by: Penguin
Publication Date: October 26th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 272 Pages
 To Buy
The official patter:
"Inspector Salvatore Montalbano wakes from strange dreams to find a gruesomely bludgeoned horse carcass in front of his seaside home. When his men came to investigate, the carcass has disappeared, leaving only a trail in the sand. Then his home is ransacked and the inspector is certain that the crimes are linked. As he negotiates both the glittering underworld of horseracing and the Mafia's connection to it, Montalbano is aided by his illiterate housekeeper, Adelina, and a Proustian memory of linguate fritte. Longtime fans and new readers alike will be charmed by Montalbano's blend of unorthodox methods, melancholy self-reflection, and love of good food."

If, like my mom, you can't get enough of Italian murder mysteries, check  out this latest by Andrea Camilleri!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Oh Dutton How I Love Thee!

Oh Dutton, you do spoil me and my blog readers. Look at all the lovely Spy Swag I have which I'm going to share with you, my loyal readers when I announce my Pretty in Pink Giveaway next week! Until then, I think I will praise the greatness of Lauren Willig and Dutton in a warped but traditional Christmas sing-song.

Twelve Days of Christmas,
Eleven Spies a Plotting,
Ten Christmas Ornaments,
Nine Stops for Signings,
Eight Books in Series,
Seven Days to Publication,
Six Pokes by Parasol,
Five Scary Dowagers,
Four Longing Glances,
Three Months till Next Book,
Two Destined People,
And an Orchid Affair ARC! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review - Lauren Willig's Ivy and Intrigue: A Very Selwick Christmas

Ivy and Intrigue: A Very Selwick Christmas by Lauren Willig
Publication Date: December 29th, 2008 - January 21st, 2009
Format: ebook
Challenge: Historical Fiction, E Book
Rating: ★★★
To Read

It's been nine months since Richard Selwick was unmasked as the Purple Gentian and he fled France in the arms of his lady love Amy Balcourt. Nine months away from the action and rusticating with the new missus. Nine months in which the newlywed sheen has dulled just a little under the stress of family and the holidays. Amy and Richard are celebrating their first Christmas together at Uppington Hall with both their families and surprisingly Richard's ex Dierdre. The Dierdre who had sonnets written to her and who was Richard's first love. The Dierdre that resulted in Tony's death due to her unscrupulous lady's maid. Of course her presence is more for Lady Uppington's benefit, to knock Dierdre's nose out of joint and show of her new daughter-in-law Amy, but still, she is one more stress. Dierdre is the embodiment of all that Richard left behind, all that he was forced to give up because of Amy. If it wasn't for her Richard would still be a hero. While standing nearby Richard's thoughts are veering along the same lines, that it was he who cut short Amy's potential as a super spy, the potential that Jane took and made a reputation of. Can these two sort through their holiday misunderstanding and do what they do best, work as a couple? Or will French spies once more try to thwart them?

In this cute little Christmas novella full of Yuletide charm we get to catch up with those Selwicks we know and love. My problem though is the same as Amy's, Dierdre. It's not so much her existence, but that she's not over in France. Correct me if I'm wrong, or back me up if you felt the same way, but when reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation I had the distinct feeling that Dierdre was Richard's kept woman in France, not the girl next door with an amoral maid. This just kept on nagging and nagging at me the entire time I was reading it trying to replay her previous role. I had the feeling that Tony's death occurred quite quickly after Richard told Dierdre and that couldn't be the case if there was all this cross channel communications that had to take place. Other than this rather annoying fly in the ointment, I loved that Richard and Miles are slowly bridging the gap back to how they were before Miles and Hen's precipitous marriage. Also seeing Uppington Hall, first through the eyes of Eloise, and then through her Regency heroes made for a lovely Christmas treat, not to mention, Richard swinging from the chandelier in his best Errol Flynn, oh yeah!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

All Clear by Connie Willis
Published by: Spectra
Publication Date: October 19th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 656 Pages
 To Buy
The official patter:
"In Blackout, award-winning author Connie Willis returned to the time-traveling future of 2060—the setting for several of her most celebrated works—and sent three Oxford historians to World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler’s bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

Now the situation has grown even more dire. Small discrepancies in the historical record seem to indicate that one or all of them have somehow affected the past, changing the outcome of the war. The belief that the past can be observed but never altered has always been a core belief of time-travel theory—but suddenly it seems that the theory is horribly, tragically wrong.

Meanwhile, in 2060 Oxford, the historians’ supervisor, Mr. Dunworthy, and seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who nurses a powerful crush on Polly, are engaged in a frantic and seemingly impossible struggle of their own—to find three missing needles in the haystack of history.

Told with compassion, humor, and an artistry both uplifting and devastating, All Clear is more than just the triumphant culmination of the adventure that began with Blackout. It’s Connie Willis’s most humane, heartfelt novel yet—a clear-eyed celebration of faith, love, and the quiet, ordinary acts of heroism and sacrifice too often overlooked by history."

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: October 19th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 432Pages
 To Buy
The official patter:
"The sequel to the New York Times Best selling phenomenon, Hush, Hush!

Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.
The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?"

Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review - Lauren Willig's The Seduction of the Crimson Rose

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig
Published by: New American Library
Publication Date: January 31st, 2008
Format: Paperback, 480 Pages
Challenge: Historical Fiction
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy
Things aren't going very well for Mary Alsworthy. Her midnight elopement ended with a married younger sister and herself still on the shelf. Not that she really loved Geoff or anything, but the title and the houses were just the thing. Now she's stuck rusticating with the new couple who are sickeningly in love and oversolicitous of her. She might just be able to stomach it if they weren't so apologetic about the whole situation. But when she hears that they are going to pay for her next London season she can't take their kindness anymore. Lord Vaughn, at the urging of the Pink Carnation, has made Mary an offer. With her coloring and her bearing she appears to be just the type of girl a certain Black Tulip might hire as one of his assassins. After his recent foray in Ireland he is short a few petals. Mary agrees to play the game in exchange for one last chance at a suitable match. With Vaughn as her escort and entree to some of the more radical groups, she tries to establish herself as just the type of girl a famous French spy might seek out. From Vauxhall to Vaughn House, she tries to work her way in the world, all while trading barbs with the king of cynicism and insult, Lord Sebastian Vaughn himself. Mary does meet one eligible prospect, a Mr. St. George. But an earnest lord who spends much time rusticating looks less and less appealing next to the unattainable Vaughn. Mary would rather trade insults with Vaughn than words of endearment with St. George. Could it be that the ice maiden, who has always viewed her marriage as a commodity, where the best bank account wins, be falling for a man who turns out to be unattainable after the reappearance of his long dead wife? But matters of the heart might not signify if one of the hearts is no longer beating, because the Black Tulip doesn't hesitate to spill blood. Someone will die and a happy ending might not be in the cards. And while Eloise looks into Vaughn's past, could her present collide with Serena Selwick's heart breaker?

This is the book that made me fall irrevocably in love with this series. Mary and Vaughn are the perfect sparring partners. They duel with words in a way that is sheer entertainment and hasn't been seen since Elizabeth and Darcy. No saccharine and sweetness, we have barbed and witty repartee that just keeps the pages flying long through the night. They are what this series needed more than ever, a balance. Not all heroes are virtuous and good, not all are in it for the good of the country. Some heroes are just in it for themselves. If this book had one flaw, it's that once they start to fall for each other, their bark is worse than their bite. Their claws retract a little and it's never more enjoyable than when they are at each other full force. There are also no misunderstandings between the two. They have their obstacles, that's for sure, but they always know where the other one stands. They are a perfectly matched pair. I just hope that married life doesn't sweeten them one bit. But aside from the titular hero and heroine, we finally get a satisfactory conclusion to the identity of the Black Tulip, who is far more deranged, deluded and demented that we thought. With motivations that work for and against France, he was a nice surprise and not a simplistic ending to a plot device that has been going strong for three books. A satisfactory ending all around, even if just the tiniest bit of sweetness sneaks in at the end, but who can fault a happy ending?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Review - Lauren Willig's The Deception of the Emerald Ring

The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
Published by: New American Library
Publication Date: November 16th, 2006
Format: Paperback, 464 Pages
Challenge: Historical Fiction
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy
Letty and Mary Alsworty are as different as two sisters can be. At a frizzy haired five foot, Letty will never be like her statuesque sister. And she would NEVER run off in the middle of the night for a midnight elopement with Geoffry Pinchingdale-Snipe. She might try to stop the elopement with all good intentions, but never elope herself. Until fate intervenes and she's the one being spirited away in the night to a rendezvous with a certain member of the peerage. Geoff, being Geoff, marries the sister whose reputation he inadvertently ruined. He might see her as a conniving and manipulative upstart who took her chance when the opportunity afforded itself, but at least his obligations to the Pink Carnation mean that he can hare off to Ireland and put some space between his broken heart and his unwanted bride. Practical Letty for once doesn't know what to do. She's been the one who has always taken care of her family and has never had a spot of bother. Now she's married to a man who has vanished and he hasn't let her explain what really happened. A little drunk, she gets the first packet out of London to follow Geoff to Ireland. But an unwanted wife in England is a completely different situation to an unwanted wife in Ireland interfering with his mission and the threat of a French and Irish alliance. Begrudgingly taking Letty into his confidences with one Pink Carnation named Jane Wolliston and one parasol wielding pyromaniac in the making, Miss Gwen, they all try to muddle through for the good of England. But add a dangerous cousin on the prowl for Geoff's title, Lord Vaughn, who's every word has double and triple entendres, and evidence that the Black Tulip is at it again, things might be trickier than anyone thought. Can this all be untangled and England saved? Because maybe fate intervened for a reason and Letty is the sister Geoff should have been wooing all along. But back in the present Eloise has an even more pressing problem. Can she get a certain Colin Selwick to call her and set up a date?

Whenever I think of this series of books as a whole I've always thought that The Deception of the Emerald Ring was the weak point. Maybe it was that here we have another idealistic, King and Country couple who are good and sweet and pure, who have just some misunderstandings to overcome and then everything will be as right as rain. On re-reading the book I realized I couldn't have been more wrong. I loved it. This time, not reading it just for Colin and Eloise, I realized that this book had so much more. Not only do we get the fun of having Lord Vaughn around with his ambiguous alliances, but we get Miss Gwen and her formidable parasol. We also get to see the inner workings of one Jane Wooliston, alias, the Pink Carnation's organization. We see how she's able to morph into other people, other lives, so that she is a force to be reckoned with. Those Frenchies better watch out! But what I love most about this book is how it takes the unsatisfactory resolution as to who the Black Tulip is and gives a far more plausible explanation with more depth and more terror. To not have just one sadistic spy, but sadists working for a criminal mastermind makes more sense that the Marquise ever did. She mistook Turnip for the Pink Carnation! I'm sorry, but anyone who could think that doesn't deserve to be a criminal mastermind. A pawn though... totally suited for a pawn.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review - Rick Riordan's The Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid: The Kane Chronicles Book 1 by Rick Riordan
Published by: Hyperion
Publication Date: May 54th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 528 Pages
Challenge: Fantasy, 1st in Series
Rating: ★★
To Buy
Carter and Sadie Kane have lived apart since their mother's death six years previously. Carter has travelled the world with his father, Dr. Julius Kane, while Sadie lives with her grandparents in London. One night everything changes. They have the opportunity to visit the British Museum at night and their father takes this opportunity to try to set things right. But all hell breaks loose, literally, the Rosetta Stone sets loose the evil gods of Egypt and one of them, Set, is hell bent on destroying the world. They are then taken to New York by their Uncle Amos, an uncle they had never met till this horrid day. Their they learn about the House of Life and how the magic of Egypt is preserved and protected, until Amos is "gone" and Zia, a younger member of the house who Carter takes a shine to, takes them to Egypt. But everything goes wrong when the leader of the house dies and it becomes known that Carter and Sadie have developed magical powers by unknowingly doing the forbidden, letting Gods posses them. So not only do they have to keep themselves safe, but they also have to stop Set from building his evil Red Pyramid that will destroy the world all while proving that perhaps The House of Life was wrong and that Gods and mortals must work together, versus the Gods being banished.

I had many, many issues with this book. First off I should say that I have not read the Percy Jackson series, so I'm going into this pretty ignorant. But I wonder who someone who loves Greek mythology thinks of the Percy Jackson books. The thing is, I'm an Egyptological nut, and this book just left me cold. I just didn't like how the Gods were portrayed and every time that damn monkey (yes, there's a monkey who likes basketball) showed up I could just see the horrid movie adaptation... Dunston Checks In anyone? Can't you see him in his little basketball jersey right now? Yeah, see what I mean, it's that bad. And while I liked that they explained away Sadie and Carter's sudden and miraculous powers by making them provided by the Gods, it was really just a lame cop out to make it more imperative to get to the end, and if they needed borrowed power versus learned power to do it in the time constraints, that's how it's going to be. Also with the double narration with the two siblings "voices" being so much the same I forgot who was narrating until Sadie would throw out a measurement in metric and then I'd be like, oh, "Brit" girl cause of metric. Also the last few pages became too Spiderwicky for my taste, not that I'm against Spiderwick, it's just too nudge nudge wink wink self referential. I will not be checking out the sequel I can tell you that. Though I think I will try Percy Jackson.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

The Charming Quirks of Others by Alexander McCall Smith
Published by: Pantheon
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
In this latest, felicitous addition to the Isabel Dalhousie series, our inquisitive heroine comes to see that there are very few of us who are not flawed . . . herself included.

A couple who are old friends of Isabel’s ask for her help in a rather tricky situation: A successor is being sought for the headmaster position at their alma mater. The board has four final candidates but has received an anonymous letter alleging that one of them has a very serious skeleton in the closet. Could Isabel discreetly look into it? And so she does. What she discovers about all the candidates is surprising, but what she discovers in herself turns out to be equally revealing—and she finds that she has also unwittingly upset Jamie, the father of her young son.

Isabel’s investigation will have her exploring issues of charity, forgiveness, and humility as she moves nearer and nearer to some of the most hidden precincts of the heart."

It's always a good time for another Alexander McCall Smith book, and he writes like 5 million a year.

Jane by April Linder
Published by: Poppy
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, a world-famous rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance.

But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is soon tested by an agonizing secret from his past. Torn between her feelings for Nico and his fateful secret, Jane must decide: Does being true to herself mean giving up on true love?

An irresistible romance interwoven with a darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers."

Yeah Jane Eyre re-tellings! Sure, you have a lot to live up to, but this cover is looking good!

Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star. . . .
Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls' fortunes will rise and fall—together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age."

Godbersen goes from the age of innocence to the decade of Waugh... should be fun!

The Heroes of Olympus Book 1: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Published by: Hyperion
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 576 Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"After saving Olympus from the evil Titan lord, Kronos, Percy and friends have rebuilt their beloved Camp Half-Blood, where the next generation of demigods must now prepare for a chilling prophecy of their own:

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,

To storm or fire the world must fall.

An oath to keep with a final breath,

And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Now, in a brand-new series from blockbuster best-selling author Rick Riordan, fans return to the world of Camp Half-Blood. Here, a new group of heroes will inherit a quest. But to survive the journey, they’ll need the help of some familiar demigods."

Yeah Percy Jackson continues (with a little technicality).

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Published by: Little Brown
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 512 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems. "

I won the first book in this series, and can't wait to read both!

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Published by: Delacorte
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 496 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present."
This sounds sooo awesome!

Busy Body by M.C. Beaton
Published by: Mintaur Books
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 288Pages
To Buy
The official patter:
"Agatha Raisin has always been ambivalent about holiday cheer, but her cozy little village of Carsely has long prided itself on its Christmas festivities. But this year Mr. John Sunday, a selfimportant officer with the Health and Safety Board, has ruled that the traditional tree on top of the church is a public menace; that lampposts are unsafe for hanging illuminations; that May Dimwoody’s homemade toys are dangerous for children… Things have reached such a desperate pass that the Carsely Ladies’ Society joins forces with the ladies in the neighboring village of Odley Cruesis to try to put a stop to Mr. Sunday’s meddling—only to find that someone has literally put a stop to him with a kitchen knife.

Agatha’s detective agency is on the case, but when a man has made as many enemies as John Sunday, it’s hard to know where to start…"

This one's for my mom! She loves the M.C. Beaton, would love her even more if this was a new Hamish Macbeth...

My Booky Wooky 2: This Time It's Personal by Russell Brand
Published by: It Books
Publication Date: October 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"In the electrifying follow up, comedian Russell Brand details his rapid ascent into the upper realms of fame and picks up where his international bestseller MY BOOKY WOOK left off.

"As with the clinical finality of death, all things must end; just as surely, all that exists must have a beginning. When then did I become famous? Was there a moment that could be recognised and pin pointed? Yes for me notoriety was neither incremental nor intangible..."

So begins Russell Brand's electrifying memoir of his rapid ascent into the upper realms of fame. Rarely has a sequel delivered on the promise of the original with such literary and comic gusto. In My Booky Wook 2: This Time It's Personal, Russell Brand takes off where his international bestseller My Book Wook left off. Brand is sober and, after dedicating his life and compromising his sanity in the pursuit of fame, he has had his first taste of national notoriety. Does fame bring happiness and inner peace? Not exactly, but it does mean a lot of sex. It also ushers in an unforgettable and raucous ride through chat shows, tabloid scandals, and Hollywood, all the while detailing Brand's search for the contentment that fame can't quite grant.

My Booky Wook 2 is a "celebrity memoir" unlike any you've read before: more clever and inventive than ever, Russell Brand explores the consequences of massive stardom just as he demonstrates the power of language and wit to make sense of it all."

There's just something about Russell Brand, that while he offends, he's so funny you can't look away.

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