Still Alive

Posted: December 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

Not that anyone sees this to care, but I am still alive. I’ve discovered tumblr, though, which was made for posting random stuff, so I don’t have much to say on a blog; it all goes there. I may or may not be back here anymore, but I’ll keep it up for now.

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Checking in

Posted: April 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m still alive and haven’t abandoned this blog… yet.  I’ve been sick since the week before Easter, and my panic disorder chose that same time to rear its ugly head again.  Anyway – just a filler post to remind myself to come back someday.

The end is nigh!

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Book Addict

Well, not THE end, but the end of a book series I’m hooked on.

Tomorrow is the release date for Spellbound – the final book in the Hex Hall trilogy by Rachel Hawkins.  I always both love and dread the end of a favorite series; I dread it because I know it’s the last time I’ll get to visit the characters and “world” created in the series, but I love it because all the questions are answered and conflicts are settled… most of the time.  Maybe part of it is knowing that I (or the author) won’t die with those things left unresolved.  For this same reason I won’t start watching a new tv series until it has been on for a couple of seasons or at least finished up storyline-wise before going off the air. After Jericho and Firefly I have learned my lesson.

At any rate… I will miss the Hex Hallers, but I can’t wait to see how it ends!

Continuing with the Soul Screamers reading challenge, it’s now time for book 2 in the series: “My Soul to Save.”  Again, I’m not a reviewer, nor do I play one on tv, so anyone wanting an actual review of the book is going to be disappointed with what I write.  Also again, I’ll do my best to stick to what happens in this book without giving away happenings in later books, but this will likely be full of spoilers about MSTSave, so be ye warned if you haven’t read it.

We start out at a concert given by two of the current hottest female singers: Eden and Addison Page.  Nash and Kaylee were given tix then backstage passes by Nash’s reaper brother, Tod (best not to ask how he got them…). Once they get behind the scenes they see Eden collapse on stage, but, instead of her soul hovering over her body, they see this weird stuff sucked up by another reaper named Libitina (Libby). Come to find out the stuff was demon’s breath, and Eden was full of it because she sold her soul for fame and fortune; Libby is a special reaper called in because demon’s breath is a controlled substance and dangerous to those who don’t know how to handle it properly.  Tod knew this was coming and wanted to see Libby in action; afterward they catch up for a little q&a with Libby (Tod seems to have a fanboy crush on her and what she can do); she tells him he can watch again on Thursday as she’ll be back for Addison. At those words, shit gets real for Tod because Addison happens to be his high school sweetheart before fame (hers) and death (his) got in the way of Happily Ever After. He decides he must save her soul from eternal torment and needs Kaylee’s help to do it; Nash doesn’t want to get involved with more dangerous Netherworld crap but he wants Kaylee involved alone even less, so they’re in.  After talking to Addison (telling your ex-gf-who-thinks-you’re-dead that your death wasn’t as permanent as one would think is always entertaining) they learn that she was more or less tricked/blackmailed into selling her soul by the head-honcho of the studio who is in collusion with the hellion who wants the souls. Everything was handled secretly and Addy doesn’t even know the hellion’s name which makes our heroic trio’s efforts a whole lot harder – how do you get something back when you don’t even know who has it?  While they’re trying to find out details and come up with a plan, Addy calls with both info AND a snag – the same deal has been offered to her sister, Regan, who, not knowing the real-deal, jumped at the chance; head-honcho is on his way to finalize the deal.  They get there too late to stop the transaction, but they do manage to throw a kink into future plans by having Tod’s boss there to “fire” the reaper who has been the go-between on these deals. After talking again to Libby and making an unscheduled (and probably unwise) trip to the Netherworld followed by a trip to the drugstore for balloons & Neosporin for Kaylee’s Netherworl-gotten-injury (which makes it worse, not better) and a quick jaunt over to have Addy fill up a few (demon’s breath is currency to the right “people” in the Netherworld), they cross back over to trade balloons for information – which they get.  The hellion is Avari (greedy little bastard), and he headquarters at an insurance building downtown. They grab Addy and Regan and head that way.  Once they get to Avari’s office they threaten/try to bribe him into giving up the souls, but he’ll only agree to release one of them.  I’m not saying which one (or does Avari throw in a double-cross? dunh-dunh-dunh!), but I will say that Kaylee is now firmly on Avari’s radar which doesn’t bode well for her… if she lives through her injury to begin with.

My thoughts:

There’s a lot going on simultaneously in this book: Kaylee is still learning how to do her bean sidhe thing, she’s living with her father for the first time in 13 years (big adjustment for both of them), her relationship with Nash is still in its infancy, and now she has to deal with yet another supernatural crisis.  She isn’t some superhero doing all these things with ease, though.  She really struggles and makes more than a few mistakes, but she’s determined to try her best – especially now that she knows what an eternity in the hands of a hellion means for souls, so she feels extra guilty for not being able to save the girls who died in the first book.  Nash has her back, though, and sticks by her even when he thinks she’s jumping in too far, too fast.  We learn more about Tod, too, and see that he still can’t put his humanity fully behind him no matter what reapers are supposed to do.  This wasn’t my favorite in the series, but it was still a great read and left me wanting more.

Back to hell

Posted: February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’ve gone to hell. Again.  Some people call it dieting, but let’s be honest – it’s hell.

I’m on Weight Watchers (again), but the diet itself is mostly irrelevant; it’s the suffering and calling upon my (nonexistent) willpower that is important.  I’ve done nearly every kind of diet out there – WW, South Beach (worked beautifully until I got to phase 2 where you add in all of those lovely, filling whole grains at which point I was in agony only to later learn that I have gastroparesis which makes digesting those lovely grains take f-o-r-e-v-e-r), Flat-Belly diet, Eat This Not That, etc.  My Dr offered me meds to kickstart things, but I’ve taken them before, and they gave me the freaks – and that was before my anxiety issues.  Weight Watchers is a terrific program that has helped tons (HA!) of people get healthier; my past problems with it were my own fault – did you know you can starve yourself all day then blow your daily points on junk food late at night? Well you can, and, because you’re within points, you will still lose weight that way, but you won’t stick to it for long because your body will eventually want to know just what the actual hell is going on and why it’s only being fed crap and only once a day.

I’m getting older now, though, and the extra weight is going to kill me before I ever get to lay eyes on a grandchild (hoping this is still years away) or celebrate that moment when all of my kids have moved out and I can streak through the house naked at will (yet another reason to lose weight – don’t want my hubby to call the Coast Guard about a beached whale when I do that), so losing weight is a must.  I will also admit that I have a LOT of it to lose – like an entire person’s worth… an adult person.  I am going to try my hardest NOT to game the WW system this time around, but my will-power could fit in a thimble (I’ve quit smoking twice – it all got used up), so we shall see.  Sometimes I wish I still lived under someone else’s authority; when I was forbidden to eat something, well, that was The Law talking, and I had to obey; now I can tell MYSELF not to eat something, but I don’t listen to me very well and end up in an argument over authority. With myself. Yeah; I know.

Anyway. Day two in hell.

Sigh.

I finished re-reading My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent about a week ago, and I learned something – reading a book to review/discuss it is very different from reading one for pure pleasure… at least for me.  The first time I read it, it took me two days, tops, and my thoughts about it could be summed up in four words: “Where’s the next one?” I didn’t have to think about why I liked it; it was enough for me to know that I did. One other thing that I figured out is that it’s going to be hard for me to discuss my thoughts on MSTT without talking about later books, but I’ll try.

WARNING: Though I’m determined to stick to what happens in this book there will be many spoilers for what happens in it. Anyone spoiler-averse who hasn’t read My Soul to Take should look away now.

“Meeting” Kaylee again for the first time is a little bittersweet for me since I’ve read the book before and know that her life is about to blow-up. She may think she’s a little nuts, but she’s innocently ignorant of all of the other that lurks in tandem with our world.

Sooo… Kaylee sneaks into a club with her bff, hooks-up with one of the hottest guys in school and almost immediately flips out with an uncontrollable urge to scream bloody murder – a circumstance which has already seen her committed once before. After Emma (the bff) and Nash (the school hottie) get her out of the club she regains her composure somewhat only to realize that this will likely be all over school the next day thanks to Nash… only he’s actually pretty cool about the whole thing – almost too cool, almost like… he knew what was going on though Kaylee doesn’t see that until later.  We later learn that a girl Kaylee had seen in the club died there right about the time Kaylee lost it.  After two more deaths and Kaylee using Dr. Google to diagnose herself with a brain tumor (really, who *hasn’t* diagnosed themselves with something terrible thanks to the internet?), Nash can’t take it anymore and spills the beans (haha): Kaylee isn’t human; she’s a bean sidhe – as is Nash himself. Those panic attacks/screaming fits were her body’s attempts to sing soul songs for the soon-to-depart, and Nash being able to calm her was him using his male bean sidhe Influencing abilities. They decide to hit-up Nash’s reaper “friend” (minus cloak and scythe), Tod, to find out if those girls were supposed to die or if something hinky was going on. Lo and behold, hinky wins – none of the girls were scheduled to die (death works by schedule? Wonder if mine will run an hour late like all of my other scheduled appointments?); clearly there is a reaper gone rogue out there poaching human souls, but who? And why?  Before they can figure it out someone close to Kaylee is the next victim of the rogue, but Kaylee and Nash work together to put her soul back in her body. Unfortunately, this means another girl takes her place and Kaylee now has drawn the attention of the reaper.  Kaylee’s uncle, Brendon (who, along with his wife, Valerie, has raised Kaylee since she was 3 when her mother died and her dad moved to Ireland) had promised to take care of things with her dad who was coming home to deal with Kaylee’s awakened abilities, but things didn’t go as planned.  Once Kaylee’s dad arrives on the scene we learn that Kaylee died when she was 3, but her mother took her place, so Kaylee is living her mother’s lifeline now and that the reaper made another attempt which prompted her father to leave her in hopes that she’d be safe if he wasn’t around. These bombshells drop on Kaylee just before the final showdown with the rogue reaper; I’m keeping mum on the details of that showdown and the reasons behind the soul poaching, but we do learn during all of this that Tod-the-reaper-hottie was Nash’s brother and also a bean sidhe.

Now for my thoughts…

I like Kaylee a lot; she has a lot thrown at her in a short amount of time, and she doesn’t totally melt down.  I think of her as “scrappy;” she may not look tough, but you want her on your side when the chips are down.  I think Nash is exactly who she needs in her life right now; she trusts him to be honest with her in a way her older family members haven’t been. Aiden (Kaylee’s dad); I want to like him, but I’m miffed that he allowed her to be committed and think she was crazy rather than coming home and telling her the truth – I could see his reasoning when she was little, but it eventually just became HIM wanting to put it off; I sort of feel the same about Uncle Brendon; he lived with her and saw the writing on the wall – he should have pushed for the truth sooner and harder.  Throw in Brendon’s bratty, stuck-up daughter, Sophie, and it’s easy to see that the family dynamics will never be boring.  Also the love/jealousy relationship Nash and Tod have going on is an interesting one.

All in all, My Soul To Take was very well done: It completely wrapped up one mystery while setting up a whole new “world” to build on in future books.

Reading Challenge

Posted: January 15, 2012 in Awesome books, Book Addict

I have long enjoyed the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. Another fan of the books has posted a reading challenge here: http://www.fiktshun.com/fiktshun/2012/01/06/soul-screamers-reading-challenge  in which we’re supposed to read or reread each of the SS books and discuss it on our blogs or wherever we happen to discuss such things online.  I joined up for two reasons: 1) An excuse to reread some of my favorite books? Color me there!  2) Maybe it will motivate me to post more here – frankly I could use every incentive out there because, let’s face it, I’m a slacker of the highest (lowest?) order.

First up is My Soul to Take.

Off to reread go I.