Archive for May, 2012


Anyone who knows me knows that I love The Dragonriders of Pern books.  Especially the first big trilogy, and of that… the final book of The White Dragon. 

Carl, from Stainless Steel Droppings, took my fanaticism for these books, one step farther. Unknown to me Carl had found an old used copy of the White Dragon and upon going to a convention of Artists ( Spectrum Fantastic Art Live ) brought it with him and approached  the artist, who’s work I highly admire, and who did the most fantastic cover art ever for my favorite book, and proceeded to tell him of this lady he knows who thinks the world of the book and especially the artwork on the cover…


… then he had Michael Whelan sign the inside of the book!


(a closer look in case you can’t read it…)


I cannot thank Carl enough and although I phoned him immediately after the mailman delivered it,… i still can’t thank him enough!

Not only did he do this wonderful thing but he wrote me about his experience meeting Michael Whelan and talking to him… I have to say… it made me cry.  It brought back so many wonderful memories I have to meeting people like Michael, that I admire and how utterly fantastic it felt inside when they took time to speak to me, and for me to find out they are as nice as I could ever hope them to be.

I used to get those feelings each and every time I went to an autograph show ..each time I met someone that took a few minutes of their time to make me feel important that I was there and speaking with them.  Let me tell you .. to someone who has spent their life feeling worthless and meaningless…. they blow my mind away.

I am more than a bit envious that Carl had such a magnificent time and has made some outstanding memories for himself.

Thank you Carl.  And I am  very happy that I was the reason you got to spend more time with Michael Whelan!

(below: many, MANY, years ago I attempted to copy Michaels fine art work of Ruth, the White Dragon, on to a 36×34 piece of material and then embroider the whole thing!  It took me several months to do this and as you can see thread makes it loose a lot, including Jaxom (the rider) not quite being in proportion but hey..Ruth looks good and that’s the important part! lol.


I will cherish my signed Michael Whelan book… and think of Carl each time I look at it.

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(book 10 for OUaT)

The Druid of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Publisher: Ballantine Books(March 1997)
ISBN-10: 0345911318

432 pages


From Publishers Weekly

The second installment of Brooks’s new series, after The Scions of Shannara , follows Walker Boh as he reluctantly seeks the Black Elfstone, needed to bring back vanished Paranor, a quest laid on him by the shade of the Druid Allanon as part of the effort to save the Four Lands from the wraith-like Shadowen. Walker is rescued from a Shadowen attack by the beautiful and tragic Quickening, daughter of the legendary King of the Silver River. Walker and Quickening, with Morgan Leah and Pe Ell, travel to the land of the Stone King, who has stolen the Elfstone and is determined to turn the world into his own element. As the small band struggles though hostile terrain, Pe Ell’s secret mission to assassinate Quickening complicates the battle with the Stone King’s minions and his awesome powers. While this volume briefly touches on the fortunes of other questers, it appears that they will form the basis of future installments. Broadening the landscape of his magic world, Brooks has produced a deep and thoughtful fantasy.

From School Library Journal

YA– This book in the second trilogy about Shannara, which began with The Scions of Shannara (Ballantine, 1990), is set over 300 years after the end of the first trilogy and the death of the Druid Allanon. The evil Shadowen still retain their hold and continue to drain the Four Lands of the magic that had been their lifeblood. The King of the Silver River, a fabulous being as old as mankind, creates a daughter named Quickening and sends her to assist. She joins Morgan Leah and Pe Ell, an assassin who plans to eventually kill her, on a journey to the far north to recover the lost magic, a process that involves the need to capture the Black Elfstone. Brooks weaves an intricate tale with a richly detailed fantasy world peopled with multidimensional characters. As with the previous four books about Shannara, fans will not be disappointed with this wonderful fairy tale. This should be an automatic pur chase for collections serving fantasy readers.

Well, I am glad to finish book 2 of this series, seeing at it was 2 books in one and over 800 pages total it was getting mighty heavy!

Book 2 departs from the brothers Par and Coll Ohmsford, and lets a few of the other main characters go off in search of the Black Elfstone which is supposed to help Walker Boh find Druids Keep and Paranor and bring them back to life along with bringing the Durids back again.

Not an easy task!

Walker Boh looses and arm, Morgan as only a broken magical sword and Pe Ell would kill them all.  Not quite a “walk in the woods”..heh.

Once again Terry Brooks brings to life another part of a big adventure that brings back thoughts of the original trilogy.  I can honestly say that, for those who thought Terry Brooks was doing nothing more then “stealing Tolkiens ideas”… that if that is how they felt with the original trilogy this set of books will prove beyond a doubt what a great story teller he is.

I find it hard when reading “high fantasy” (good against evil adventures) to not find many similarities. But if an author makes good characters, takes the time to make you feel that you really know them, and then sets them into action… you can’t help but get wrapped up into the adventure and wonder how it will all end.  Terry Brooks does that over and over again.

This is a good series even if you haven’t read the original Sword of Shannara trilogy..but It does make it a wee bit better if you know the background.  Brooks does and excellent job filling that in ..but what that does for me is bring back more memories than he even mentions.

This is an excellent set of books.. glad I have 2 more to go~

Next up… The Elf Queen of Shannara.

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The Scions of Shannara by Terry Brooks.

Publisher: Del Rey (June 1993)
ISBN-10: 9993354457

465 pages

(book 9 for OUaT)


From School Library Journal

In the long-awaited continuation of the Shannara fantasy trilogy (Ballantine), Brooks takes readers 300 years beyond the death of Allanon. The Four Lands have sadly changed. The Federation rules with an iron fist, and the land is plagued by horrible creatures known as Shadowen. Par Ohmsford, descendent of the fabled Shea and possessor of the magic of the wishsong, along with two other Scions, is challenged to save the Four Lands. Brooks weaves an action-packed tale set against a richly detailed fantasy world, and readers will be quickly drawn into this survival adventure. The main characters are well developed, and the tale is sprinkled with many interest-generating elements: romance, suspense, magic, and evil vs. good. Readers unfamiliar with the first trilogy will not have any difficulty with this volume, for Brooks clearly sets the stage and gives plenty of historical background.

Having read the original Shannara Trilogy “way back when”, and when I came across this other group of books that followed Shannara at the used book stores I decided to go back to reading what happened 300 years after the Sword of Shannara.

I was glad to see that Terry Brooks  gives a lot of “history” from the other books. It helped my fading memory a lot!  And it also made it so one could read these without having to have read the first trilogy.  However…………. that being said, my feelings always come back to the original books.  Books that follow may be very good… but they never quite seems the same as the original time you fell in love with the land and the characters.

I will say that I am enjoying this group very much.   Terry keeps the decedents of the original characters and by doing so you already feel you know some things about them.

For me this is going back to the first books I loved.  Brooks, Eddings, McCaffrey were among the authors that made me first love to read.  Since then I have broadened the type of books I read and I do find it difficult to encompass them all!  So having just gone back to “Dragonlance” for a bit, it seemed fitting to go back and visit Shannara.

This first of 4 books sets up the next adventures for the Ohmsfords.  They are given a nice cast of characters to help them with their adventure and as always Terry Brooks also gives them all plenty of evil to conquer .

The Scions of Shannara has pulled me back into their world and now I find I must read on to see how they win over the evils that prevail.

Next up is The Druid of Shannara.

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Amber & Blood


(Book 8 for Once Upon a Time)

Amber & Blood by Margaret Weis.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (May 6, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0786950013


Book Description   Publication Date: May  6, 2008

The Dark Disciple’s fate will alter the future of Krynn.
In the concluding volume of this post-War of Souls trilogy, Mina learns the truth about herself and the terrible knowledge drives her insane. Rhys, the monk of Majere, accompanied by his dog Atta and the kender Nightshade, is given the dangerous assignment of guarding the crazed god, escorting her on a long, strange journey to the mysterious place known as Godshome, where Mina hopes to find the answer to the riddle of her existence. Their path is fraught with peril, for the undead Beloved want to make Mina their leader, even as the death knight Krell wants to seize her and Galdar tries to deliver Mina to her most hated enemy.

Ok.. so.. I guess I’ve been away from Margaret Weis too long and so she was able to snare me even with characters that I didn’t think would interest me, and keep me reading through all 3 books. But that’s what great authors do.

I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy.  Margaret Weis make some very believable characters and wove a good story around them.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that the kender, Nightshade, became my favorite.  Although he was very different from Taz in the other books, some things remained the same and he managed to get deep within me without my even realizing it until the end of the book.

Once again I will say that if you liked any of the other Dragonlance books the chances are excellent that you will like these also.

Of course now I have the kender, Nightshade, stuck in my mind so it will not be easy going on to another book that won’t have these characters or this storyline.

I am really glad I had these books and am sorry I took so long to get around to reading them.

I want to thank Margaret Weis for yet another good story and great characters. 

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Idle Chatter….

Topic 1:   Florida weather.   I could describe it in one word: ugh!  Ah well, I’m here and I can’t afford to go anywhere else.  The past week I have closed up the apartment against the heat and humidity and the air conditioning is doing it’s thing.  This morning as I opened my vertical blinds to see the waning of the super moon I slid the glass sliding door open for a better view, and shock of all shocks it was not overly hot out! It felt slightly cool so I left it open for Boo to enjoy it.  He misses the doors being open at 5 am.  He would sit in front of it for long periods of time (which is what he is doing as I write this!) I feel bad for him that most of the year we have to remain closed up.


Anyway, to show how quickly the mind forgets as I get older, while I stood at the open door I once again heard the train off in the distance. I had already forgotten how I liked that sound each day.  To be honest I could still hear it while closed up but I’d have to be listening for it.  Hard to believe that sometimes it’s so loud you’d think you could look outside and see it go by!  The horn as it crosses a street is haunting.

Topic 2: Television.  Recently FX has been putting on some good movies.  I’ve watched Avatar twice now (and it will be on again this Thursday). Then I saw Iron Man (the first movie) for the first time.  I like Robert Downey Jr but I rarely get to movies anymore.  No one ever told me it was comical! I enjoyed it a lot!  And then over the weekend I got to see Blind Side with Sandra Bullock twice!  Yup, she deserved that Oscar!

Topic 3: Florida Doctors. It very well could be other states too but I don’t know.  Two weeks ago my girlfriend had a bad car accident (she’s doing ok).  She was taken to Emergency (yet another topic I could go off on but I’ll skip it for now). I went there and brought her home. The next day she called her doctor to ask to be seen without an appointment.  We both thought this shouldn’t be a problem.   Problem.  Once she explained to them she had been in a car accident her primary physicians office told her that they wouldn’t except her to come to the office for a car accident.  Say what?  The woman is in her 80’s, has a heart condition, high blood pressure, cholesterol, back problems and other ailments and the doctor that knows her best won’t see her?  I’ve never heard of this!  She told to go to a Walk in Clinic.  Huh?  The woman, unbeknownst to her is a bit in shock also.. you are really going to send her to a complete stranger who might do something or give her something that would be harmful to her because she’s in shock and didn’t remember to tell them something??!!!!!  It gets worse.. many of the walk in clinics won’t take her either!  I finally found one that would take her.  The reason we were told that her primary doctor wouldn’t see her is because the car insurance would be paying for the visits not Medicare.  Just for the record: Medicare pays 80% of the visits… Allstate car insurance (which she has) pays 80% of the visits.  ‘Splain this to me Lucy!!!!  I am so freeking mad that I am asking other people if they like their doctor and if they really really like him I will call and ask if I were their patient would they see me and if they answer yes, I am changing doctors. (I go to the same off of doctors my friend goes to so I know he wouldn’t see me either if I had an accident)  .  Of course I  hope I won’t have one..but then, the unexpected is the reason they are called “accidents”.  Is it the same in other states?

Topic 4: Dancing with the Stars.  Do you watch it?  Well this season, which is quickly winding down has a very young man from the Disney station named Roshon Fegan as one of the contestants.  I have to tell you… he is so young that he probably never heard of the dances he’s taught to do, and certainly doesn’t know the “feelings” to go with them… and yet he’s made it this far, but I fear tonight he will be eliminated. But I’m not sure (if he is eliminated) why.  Finally….. a judge said what I thought all along.. he looks like a professional dancer!  She said: there were times I couldn’t tell you from the professional he was dancing with! (It was a 3-some dance and so a second male was also dancing).  This kid deserves to be in the finals, but I will be shocked if he makes it there in part because he is more unknown then others .  I’ll cross my fingers and hope he makes it… at least he got some 10’s in his scores so he can be really proud of what he’s done.


Ok.. I think I am done chattering. :o)

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Amber & Iron


(Book 7 for Once Upon a Time)

Amber & Iron by Margaret Weis.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (February 7, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0786937963



Book Description

Publication Date: February 7, 2006 | Series: Dragonlance: The Dark Disciple, Vol. 2 (Book 2)

The world of Krynn is ever changing, and even the gods can be taken by surprise. And if that’s true of the gods, what chance can a mere mortal have? Caught up in forces none of them could hope to face alone, a small but determined band of adventurers come together in a desperate attempt to stop an invasion.
Mina, as enigmatic as ever, escapes imprisonment to set off on a quest that will test even her considerable will. All the while, evil spreads across the land, gaining ground with each new day. With so much at stake, with the very soul of Krynn on the line, champions must be found even in the darkest places.

I can’t believe that I didn’t mention the cover artist on the first book!  ack!  That would be Matt Stawicki.  I have many books that have covers made by him!  If you are wondering why I didn’t make his name into a link..let me tell you.. I tried to go there to get the link for others to see more paintings by him… I got a warning page that Malware was there. So I looked further to see if I could find another page and I was on Wikipedia and click on a link to him…when it didnt load immediately I X’ed it off and Nortons popped up staying it blocked something from it… so as much as I’d like to link to him for you all… I can’t! And I would advise just to google “images” with his name and you can see many paintings by Matt Stawicki . I wouldn’t be surprised if you recognized some from books you have read, he’s really one of the good artists doing book covers.

So.. the book.

Once again Margaret Weis keeps me fully interested in the story and the characters.  I like the monk, Rhys who is, to me, the reluctant hero type , along with his herder dog, who now herds Kenders.  One of which is his sidekick, Nightshade, who can talk to the dead. (ummm I  could have used these books for RIP but didn’t know that going into the first book)

I still love that she tosses in names and places from the original Dragonlance books, including reminders of Taz and Flint. (if you hadn’t read those books you won’t recognize the names, sorry)

She has many new characters of course but stays true to certain things about the overall Dragonlance stories.

Rhys, Atta (the dog) , and Nightshade remain the main reluctant hero’s as in book one.  Margaret puts them thru (excuse the expression) living hell to keep them together and on the right track.   In doing so, more of the old Gods are mentioned as Chemosh the Death God keeps rearing his deadly ways.

I am now headed for book three, having devoured book two pretty quickly.    I am sure that any of your that has read a number of the Dragonlance books before would find this trilogy yet another adventurous story.  I am beginning to think Margaret Weis is one of their Gods and constantly knows what’s going on everywhere and every time! If she isn’t she is a source to be reckoned with by all the Gods of the Dragonlance series!

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Amber & Ashes


(Book 6 for Once Upon a Time)

 Amber & Ashes by Margaret Weis .

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (August 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0786932570


Book Description

Publication Date: August 1, 2004

The latest title from best-selling author and Dragonlance setting co-creator Margaret Weis, Amber and Ashes takes up where the War of Souls left off with the central character Mina. While following her story, this new trilogy will also explore the chaos that is post-war Krynn. This is Weis’s first solo hardcover since the publication of the extremely popular Dragonlance title The Soulforge in 1998.

Wow, it’s been a long, long time since I have visited Krynn with Margaret Weis at the helm.

Weis and Hickman wrote the first 6 Dragonlance books that I ever read. And I will admit right here and now, firstly, that I was sucked into this book and was surprised that I liked it as much as I did.  For one thing.. Mina, the main protagonist was not a favorite character of mine, when last I read about her (eons ago) And so when I saw this my thoughts were doubtful that I would indeed get into this trilogy.  But Margaret Weis ‘s great storytelling swept me right into the book.

I have to say that hearing a few familiar names and places brought me back as if I hadn’t left the series for so long.  I even felt a bit nostalgic and might be forced to do some rereading!

All I can really say past what the Book Description reads from Amazon is that this book is nearly as good as all the other Dragonlance books.  I’m sorry, but I have to say Nearly because, to me, none have really come as close as the first two trilogies: The Time of the Twins/ The Test of the Twins/ The War of the Twins and Dragons Autumn Twilight/ Dragons Winter Night and Dragons Spring Dawning. Those 6 books are among those that will never leave my home! (nev-er, ev-er!)

However, and even without Tracy Hickman by her side in “dragonlance”, Margaret Weis once again has put forth another very good book to read… with 2 more in the series to come!

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April Books


Some time ago I mentioned I was no longer worried about the amount of books I read and a monthly  post like this one shows that I stick to it lol…

I didn’t read a lot but I did get 3 out of 4 read for the Once Upon a Time challenge!

The books I read are listed below:

 Tuck……………………..Stephen R Lawhead, the third book of his trilogy.


Wilkie Collins…………….Peter Ackroyd . Obviously not for OUaT but, it’s the book I enjoyed most this month.


The Snow Child…………….Eowyn Ivey.  Overall I enjoyed this book but I can’t say I loved it, as I am not big on fairy tales.


The Night Circus…………..Erin Morganstern. This was the least enjoyed. I didn’t care for this book, but many others do. I am guessing it’s a “like or dislike” type of book.



………keeping with the topic of books………

A few more have found their way into my apartment (nothing new, huh?)

Witch Hunt in Hollywood is not the book I wanted but the book store didn’t have Odd Man Out by Edward Dmytryk, which is what I wanted.  Both books are about the time in Hollywood when Black Listing was going on.  A long time ago I read the Dmytryk book but in all my moves it seems to have gotten lost and so I’d like to get it again to read. (I am happy to say I met Mr Dmytryk once and that he directed some westerns that my friend DeForest was in)  Anyway, Witch Hunt mentions him as he was one of the big 10 that was the core of much of the black listing.


The Charlie Chan book was a whim.  It’s about how they took a real life Detective from Hawaii and turned him into  a movie detective. (Warner Oland, pictured on the cover, was not my favorite actor who portrayed Charlie Chan. Although he was a fine actor, Sidney Toler was my favorite) I also loved Victor Sen Yung as Jimmy Chan and Mantan Moreland as Burmingham Brown.

The Witch Hunt and Charlie Chan were free from turning other used books to the store.



A Cottage by the Sea was just one of those books that sounded like a good read.

That leaves, Wilkie Collins book of No Name. (big mistake)

I don’t make it a habit of getting “paperbacks” unless they are trade paperbacks. I wanted a Wilkie Collins book and had this on the wish list a long time and for 9.99 decided to get it.. if anything beats being stupid it’s proving you are stupid. 

When the box arrived I wondered what was in it and then I thought, ok.. I did send for two books, so they put them side by side for it to be a longer box.

NOT. It’s an 8×10, very heavy and an awkward book to hold!


and to make matters worse.. (could they get worse?!) it’s typed , as if on an old typewriter.  Wait.. still worse…  it’s typed like on an old typewriter that needs a new ink ribbon because it is so light!  ARGH!!!! First it’s too dang heavy to hold up for any length of time and second it’s very light and that makes it hard to read!!!…


I see a donation to the Friends of the Library in my near future.  I really don’t think I will be able to hold it or enjoy reading it this way… and it’s my own fault!  I always look for the size of paperback books to be sure they are trade paperback size… so why I didn’t notice this was 8×10 is beyond me!  stupid, stupid, stupid.   Can I chalk this up to having a Senior moment?

ok.. I think it’s time to go back to bed now..  :o)

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