Archive for June, 2009


Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary by Brandon Mull


Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Shadow Mountain (March 24, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1606410423

Product Description
Brace yourself for a shocking secret. Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton s Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth? The race is on to acquire all five of the artifact keys to the great demon prison. Will the Knights of the Dawn conquer Wyrmroost? Who can stop the Sphinx? Can Vanessa be trusted to help? What artifact will be found next? Find out in Fablehaven: Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary.

Ok… I have one thing to say…. this is the BEST Fablehaven “episode” so far!!!!

Right from the beginning it is nonstop action! 

Every place they go to and everything they see is described without fault!  You can feel as if you are right with the kids wherever they are and doing whatever needs to be done!

In this book they are getting a little older and a little more mature.  Well.. Kendra is.   Seth is another story :o)  But I like him all the same.

I’ve enjoyed this entire series but I do have to say that Brandon Mull just gets better with each book that he writes!  This book will not disappoint anyone who likes the Fablehaven series!!

I don’t generally like to give out much information because I don’t like to ruin anything for anyone but this once I will say that I most enjoyed Raxtus who is a “runt” of a dragon.  I won’t say more, but I think Mr Mull made Raxtus to try to make me a bit happier than I have been!

This is a must read for any who have read the other books in the series.  And I defy you to say it isn’t the best book yet!!

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As I still try to organize this small apartment I came across a real chore.

I found I had over 350 vhs movies.. so I decided to get rid of some and “clean up my act”… so I did.  But I still have over 200 vhs movies!

You can’t see it but they are 3 rows deep…

….and 88 dvds… this is like trying to squeeze my fat ass into a size 8 !   It’s not working real well..

On a brighter note.. I think Dead Fred is looking so good ..

that I’ve decided to pull one of my old favorite photo’s of DeForest, as a cowboy, out of mothballs and hang it near Fred..

the picture is 16×20 and I have to buy a wooden frame for it.. but it’s been over 10 yrs since I’ve seen this picture and, like Dead Fred, I think it’s time to bring it out into the light again.

This picture was a “center of attraction” in my apartment in California..

Surrounding it are other pictures of movie cowboys, such as Harry Carey Jr (signed) Richard Widmark, John Wayne etc..   This apartment was also a one bedroom but for whatever reason it was much larger than what I am in now.

The picture was actually a picture of De and Audie Murphy riding quite fast in a movie called Gunfight at Comanche Creek.  I bought the photo  and then took my own photo of it by zooming in on just De.  When he saw the photo he loved it and asked for the negative to make prints which I gladly gave him.


(original pic ..it’s really black and white.. I had them printed in sepia)

On yet another note…  I talked with Chris (Stuff as Dreams are Made On) on Sunday.  We hit upon many subjects and yes once or twice the subject was books. (big surprise huh?!) We both chuckled at the sizes of our tbr piles and both of us blamed blogging and the great reviews everyone writes.   I finally finished Fablehaven so tomorrow should be a review post. It was good to talk to him and hear his voice.. he really needs to do a few more of the video blogs..those were/ are pretty neat!

Well I guess that’s all I can think of talking about right now.  I’ll take a picture when the De photo is up on the wall… until then ….

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Well, well… my new bird book just came in pretty handy!

Yesterdays photo’s of the Anhinga… I failed to mention that it was a male.  Today I took a picture when I say an Anhinga on the floater.. this one did not have a brown neck and head.  The book tells me this is the female!!  Hello?  How cool would it be one day to see baby Anhinga’s out there!! woohoo!

They aren’t here all the time so I don’t know where they would nest, but if they do I hope they bring the babies back here to fish!


Another notice… now there are two adult Moodhens!  And one keeps chasing the young ones away!.. I do think some hanky-panky is in the future here!


And least but not least.. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten aching arms trying to get a picture of the dang Mullet that jump all the time in the pond!  All the time EXCEPT when I am camera ready! 

But I got one today!  It’s not the best and I’ll keep trying for a better shot but there just no telling when or where in the pond they will jump!  Sometimes they look as if someone has shot them out of the water with a sling shot!

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I know I posted baby Moorhens big foot the other day and then the next day Mama and babies came up out of the pond and on to the path..

……. so I got a good shot of her feet!

(“I take a size 8 but a 12 feels so good!”)

She even lifted it up for you to see better… big huh?

I got the baby shots too and there you can really see how “green” their legs and feet are.

Even baby cooperated and lifted his foot for you!

“A pedicure please!”..

I got lucky twice with the birds today.. the Anhinga had disappeared for over a week and I saw him drying his wings on the other side of the pond..

the zoom lens lets me get out there pretty far, but then they aren’t as clear even though the camera “says” it’s focused.

(above is the Anhinga pretending to be an eagle)

I wish they had whatever they put there for the bird on my side of the pond so I could get better photo’s.. oh well… at least you can see his duck like feet that help him swim underwater.  Sometimes I think he’s drowned because he hardly ever sticks his head and neck up for air!

Well, that’s it from the Pond for today.

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Boo.. in search of a lizard to watch.

one of the very hot evenings produced this “sunset” on the pond..

“Woody” the resident Wood Stork came back for a visit..

…he’s still not “pretty”! But he does let me take good pictures of him.

I thought this was interesting… when Woody is feeding in the pond, what he does is: takes one step, then lifts and resets the foot down a few times to stir things up on the bottom… then he lifts one wing so he can block the sun from reflecting and he can see.. then he reaches in and gets his snack!

This last picture is blurry .. the baby Moorhen was close by and dashing about I thought I had it focused but then the camera focused on the plant it was under.. ah well.. but it does show something I wanted you to see!.. the unusual big feet the bird has!  I’ve been trying to get a picture of Mama Moorhen on the paved path so you can see her green legs and big feet but so far I haven’t had any luck.. eventually I’ll get one!

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Susan, over at You Can Never Have Too Many Books, has given me an award.

I don’t know how creative I’ve been, especially lately.  I’ve been a slacker and posting photo’s so that I don’t have to think.   Well, that and my mush brain has me reading the simplest of books at a snails pace so it’s hard to write reviews when reading has slowed down so badly.

Thank you Susan for this award!  I have already placed it on the side bar to be seen by all !!


Tuesday My sister in law sent me a book on Birds so that I could maybe identify some of the birds that I have been posting about.. (Thanks again Pat!)

The book is absolutely beautiful!

… and already somewhat helpful!…  I do think my one fellow with head feathers is a tricolored Heron!

Of course since the book arrived not  one of those birds has made an appearance!


When I opened my door to go check my mail on Wednesday I was surprised to find a box from Amazon.  Don’t get me wrong… Amazon boxes don’t surprise me… but I hadn’t ordered anything!

When I opened it I was totally shocked to find a Terry Pratchett Trilogy! I’ve been wanting to try some of his books but where to begin and how many books are involved was always so daunting for me. 

So.. here was this book.. from whence did it come????

When I finally got to the small print I found that my “sister” in England, Cath, had sent me this book!  

I was not expecting anything but there it was!.. so of course I called her right up to yell at her for sending me a book!  (not that I have any plans on sending it back of course!)

It was a very special surprise .. thank you so much Cath!

No promises where on the TBR list it will find itself.  I would like to do it justice and have my brain working a little more than it is.  I do think there’s been a small improvement.  I’ve noticed while reading Fablehaven that a little more is sticking with me and I’m reading a few more pages before setting it down.  If that sounds bad, it is! Possibly why the doctor is trying to get me on an antidepressant.  I’ve been on them before and they do help!… my worries are: 1: that doctors no longer seem to try to get you off any medication once they get you on it.. and two: this particular medicine is not one you “just stop taking” because it can do some nasty things like give you convulsions and such.  I’ve bought the meds but haven’t taken any yet… need to talk to the doctor one more time.

Anyway.. I am not rushing into this book because I do want to enjoy my first Terry Pratchatt!


Meanwhile.. a minor miracle has occurred!  I won a contest over at Libra Touches! I won a book.  One I’ve wanted to read so this is great news!  I won A Charmed Life by Diana Wynn Jones.  It seems to be a book week for me!!  I also wound up having a nice IM chat with Shanra after I  gave her my address. I found out she is still in College and lives in the Netherlands!  It never ceases to amaze me that we can meet people from other countries and act like they lived right next door!


And just so there aren’t too many posts without birds in them.. have a look at this…

…. this is the top of the little tree outside by the pond.  I was feeling a bit like Tippi Hedren when she first noticed The Birds gathering near by..heh.

Other than large birds this is the only bird I’ve seen around here!  They are “crows” of a sort.  (note the “black bird” to the left) The other birds are young ones that haven’t turned black yet.

It’s very odd that I haven’t seen any other small birds.  Even the sky’s are void of small birds.  I can see a hawk or Osprey now and then flying but no small birds like Sparrows or Blue Jays… or the equivalent there of.

Oh well, at least mama Moorhen and her babies are still at the pond… even if they are ignoring me!

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Ok.. here’s the deal..

I would KILL for an ARC of this book!  Anyone have any ideas how one goes about getting a specific ARC such as this???

The View From the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood (Hardcover)

by Nicholas Meyer

Nicholas Meyer (Author)

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This title will be released on August 20, 2009.


Of course many who know me are probably smiling in the midst of calling me a “Trekkie” because of the book..  but they are only partially correct.

I do like Trek (duh) and love the Old Trek (double duh).. but I don’t read as much about it as one might think.  I do, however.. really want this book and I’d love to read it NOW ..because Nicholas Meyer wrote it.

You see.. a long time ago I met Mr. Meyer.  And I met him at Paramount Studios while on the set of him directing The Undiscovered Country. 

I can even tell you the exact scene I was watching being filmed.  I was when Kirk and Bones get beamed OFF of Rura Penthe only to arrive on the ship to find some of the crew members dead.

But before I watched that scene being directed by Nicholas Meyer, DeForest kindly brought him over to meet his guests,I of course, was one of.  

Now, there are two key factors here, and I have told the story of meeting Nicholas Meyer before.  One is that DeForest likes to play jokes, and the second fact one must know is that Nicholas Meyer is… well.. short.

DeForest was in a playful mood and when my turn came to be introduced he hemmed and hawed and pretended he forgot my name.  Seeing what he was doing I thought I would “get even” real quickly and instead of just shaking Mr Meyer’s hand I said aloud that “hugs are so much better to get to know someone”.. and I hugged Nicholas Meyer (much to his surprise). 

Nicholas Meyer is short.

I think his nose wound up in between my breasts somewhere!

DeForest thought it hysterical.

I cringed.

Nicholas Meyer was heard to say as he walked away that he had to meet more guests!

So.. you see.. I’ve had a fondness for Nicholas Meyer ever since.. and when I discovered this book I felt that old “GOTTA HAVE IT” urge strike me!  Aaaargh!… I don’t want to wait until the end of the summer to read it!!!!!

If anyone knows how or where to ask for a copy of an ARC for this book… pahleeeeze let me know!

(below are two photo’s I have with Nicholas Meyer in them)

…and in case you are wondering… if I’d “kill for and ARC” of his book… you’d be amazed at what I’d do for Nick’s Autograph on it! heh..damn !

Of course, even if I can find a way to get an ARC of this book.. it’s a “must have” in hardback when it’s released ! 

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Sci-fi author Sharon Lee has declared:

“So! In my Official Capacity as a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I hereby proclaim June 23 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day! A day of celebration and wonder! A day for all of us readers of science fiction and fantasy to reach out and say thank you to our favorite writers. A day, perhaps, to blog about our favorite sf/f writers. A day to reflect upon how written science fiction and fantasy has changed your life.

So … what might you do on the 23rd to celebrate? Do you even read fantasy/sci-fi? Why? Why not?”


Ohhh, yes I do, yes,yes, yes, I do read fantasy (and a little sci fi). 

Fantasy really grabbed a hold of me when my brother bugged me to death about reading a little book called, The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien. 

When I found myself stirring my spaghetti sauce with the book in my hand and reading non-stop I figured there was something special about this book and Fantasy in general.


J R R Tolkien, author & Scholar.

This is the cover of the first Hobbit book I had.  I have had others since then, including a nice green hardback in its own protector cover.

…long before Peter Jackson came along and did his glorious rendition of Lord of the Rings (and soon to be producer of The Hobbit), there was Rankin/ Bass who put out this musical/ cartoon version of the Hobbit, along with a book of pictures from it (this was yet another copy I have of the Hobbit).

It was followed quickly by reading the trilogy that followed, The Lord of the Rings. 

    Although I remained a bit confused on my first and even second reading of them, having a few names so close to each other I’d have to backtrack to see who I was reading about Saruman or Sauron. Very different characters but since I was putting my own pronunciation on them they suddenly became confusing to me.  Eventually I figured it out!

It led me on a wild ride after that.  I couldn’t get enough Fantasy books.  I got deeply involved in The Dragonlance series, written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman,

and then David Eddings came along with his Belgaraid series,

then came probably the love story of my life… Anne McCaffrey wrote the Pern series!

There have been many other books.. but these were the ones, in the beginning. I will always be grateful to these authors and their glorious imaginations.  For taking the time to write it all down, and fighting the odds of getting them published and then waiting to see if the public liked what they wrote.

I can only tell you about this one public… and I loved them all ! 

They gave me hero’s and heroines and characters I could only dream about meeting in person.  And then they gave me dragons.  Glorious dragons. (the good ones of course)  Anne McCaffrey, Anne McCaffrey, Anne McCaffrey.. I can’t cry her name enough.  Thank you for the dragons.

Has reading fantasy changed my life?  I doubt it. 

But it has given me moments of joy I would not have had otherwise. 

It has given me things to reflect on.

It has given me …. dreams. 

I want Gandalf to be real..

I want to live where there is magic…

I want to talk to a dragon…

I want to meet MasterHarper Robinton, and Lessa and F’lar..

I want to live on Pern!

Glorious Fantasy Books …. they take me to places I’ve never been but want to go to…  and there is no such thing as Impossible!

Now, many will say that these authors are not writers who have not done well.. that they are very recognizable but the truth is.. that (other than Tolkien) these books came out a long time ago… and today’s younger readers (and I don’t mean 9-12 yr olds) don’t know who they are or that the books they wrote are so wonderful !

And so I put the names of:  David Eddings and Margaret Weis/ Tracy Hickman and Anne McCaffrey out there as Authors that are soooo worth remembering and are more than worth the time of a new reader to become entranced and enamored with.  If you have never read their books.. do yourself a favor and try them.  My feeling is that you won’t be disappointed.

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I am really glad some very smart readers started using “comment” on Mr Linky to post a few reviews and to let others know of their wrap up posts!

Since I knew I was going to be moving I signed on Carl’s Once Upon a Time to read just one book.  I did that.  Then I kept reading.  Which was a little more difficult than other years but I did ok I think, having read 10 books.

Heroes of the Valley……. Jonathan Stroud
100 Cupboards ………….. N.D. Wilson
Dandelion Fire……………. N.D. Wilson
Wings……………………… E.D. Baker
Thirteenth Child………….. Patricia C Wrede
Graceling………………….. Kristin Cashore
The Looking Glass Wars…. Frank Beddor
Dragon Strike…………….. E.E. Knight
The Death Collector………Justin Richards
The Magic Thief: Lost….. Sarah Prineas

It was a shame that Mr Linky decided to take a hike and never really got back to working.   That prevented me from reading many reviews and probably adding a whole lot more to my wish list… all things considered, that was a good thing for me, but I still missed reading all those great reviews!!

None of the books I read were a “bad read”.. but if I had to choose a favorite out of them it might be Graceling.

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The Magic Thief: Lost by Sarah Prineas


Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 12, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0061375896

From Booklist
Book Two in the Magic Thief series begins where the last one left off. Young Conn, once a pickpocket, now a wizard’s apprentice, is helping his master, Nevery, with the strange goings-on in Wellmet, including an unexplained weakening of the city’s magic. New readers may feel disoriented, but happily the illustrated book has excellent back matter featuring people and places, which will help them get up to speed. In this story, some of the action shifts to the desert city Desh, where shadowmen who may be responsible for terrorizing Wellmet reside.

I have to admit it… I chose the first book to this series because of the title and cover art! (duh)..

Its a very good YA series. 

I cannot do it justice, this or any book just yet, but I will say it is quite enjoyable but it reads better having read book one first.  As the Amazon review states, the book does have excellent back matter, which not only would help someone if they didn’t read book one, but it also helps a dulled memory awaken!

Conn is still learning his “craft” of becoming a Wizard, but not without causing himself an awful lot of trouble.  It makes him human, but some might say a bit annoying that he doesn’t seem to listen, but honestly the book would not go forward as well as it does if he did a silly thing like listen to the adults!

Along the way Conn gets a few lessons on the results of his actions which in turn makes him begin to grow up.

Once again Sarah Prineas was lucky enough to get Antonio Javier Caparo to fill her book with beginning chapter illustrations.

This is another enjoyable YA book.

Lost, has a bit of a mystery surrounding it and the characters are developing nicely, with each book,  and I am curious to see where the author takes Conn next!

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