Saturday, October 17, 2009

Book Review: Touch The Dark by Karen Chance

Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, #1) Touch the Dark by Karen Chance

The blurb from the back cover:

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits - talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren't usually dangerous; they just like to talk ... a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she's forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

The undead senators won't help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire - and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay ...

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book, really I did, but in the end it was just okay. Which was kind of disappointing since I had read her short story "Day of the Dead" (which can found here - and liked it.

While reading this book I felt like I was missing something and found myself confused for the most part. The constant explanations and descriptions in the middle of conversations and actions between characters contributed to that. I know they are necessary to set up the world and characters in the first book of a series but I found my eyes glazing over on more than one occasion. I may have even nodded off a time or two as well! I did keep reading however, hoping it would improve and it did slightly, mostly towards the end.

Despite my so-so experience with this book, I will read the next book in the series, and hope that it does indeed get better as I've heard.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, October 04, 2009

What I've been reading ...

How to Murder a Millionaire (Blackbird Sisters Mystery, Book 1) How to Murder a Millionaire by Nancy Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a fun read. I like a bit more romance with my mysteries but what there was picqued my interest enough to search out the rest of the books in this series.

3.5 stars

View all my reviews >>

Sorry, still no stitching.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Perhaps ...

"Reading With Camels" may be a more appropriate name for this blog right now! That is all I appear to be doing at the moment - if you are a member of Goodreads, you may have noticed that!

I can't remember the last time I picked up a needle and thread, all I know is that it has been a while. I'm sure the desire to stitch will eventually return but right now I'm content in my world of books :) I'm currently having fun re-organising my bookcases and entering my books into an Excel spreadsheet (I'm sure it would go a lot faster if I could just stop getting distracted by the blessed things!). A lot of the books I read are part of a series or the author is quite prolific, and I need to keep track of what I have and what I need to buy so I don't double up. It is also giving me a chance to put aside a pile for the second-hand book store. I don't like to part with my books but I have a few that I couldn't get into and didn't finish, and I'd rather have their spaces taken up with books that I do enjoy and will read again.

Unfortunately, all this reading hasn't included keeping up with my Google Reader and I'm very much behind on what's been going on out in the stitching/blogging world. I shall just have to keep trying to read a few a day to catch up!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Books, books and more books!

I have become obsessed with them! I've read 13 books so far this month (I'm a recluse - I don't go out much and sleep is highly over-rated IMHO :)). I've been making my way through the pile I bought home from the US but I'm also becoming very well known in my local Border's :) I'm sure the security guard thinks "OMG, she's here again!!!" every time he sees me walk in - lol. Well, I am in there at least twice a week while the kids are at their guitar lessons - the music school is in the same shopping centre and very conveniently within a five minute walk to Border's - and I invariably walk out with at least one or two (or more!) books to add to my collection.

I blame my obsession on Goodreads :) Keep discovering new series and authors, and more recently, monthly challenges that peak my interest which then sends me on yet another quest to Border's. At the moment I'm fantasizing about turning our guest bedroom into a library - wonder what DH's reaction to that would be, LOL?

I haven't completely abandoned my stitching though. I've been making slow progress on Plum Gothic and Dark Cherry but not much else. Will upload pics in the next day or two.

So, there you go. I'm around, just have my nose stuck in a book and in some alternate reality :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sorry ...

Karin and Diane, but I can't oblige with a stash photo. Can you believe that I bought NO stash while in the US? Nada, not a thing, didn't even enter a store selling anything resembling needlework nor did I came across one (wasn't actively looking though).

Very sad state of affairs :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wanna see how many books I bought home?

I think I've forgotten how to stitch!

Oh, and by the way, I read 13 of those books while away too :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

In Washington, DC

Niagara Falls was awesome! We stayed on the Canadian side and had a fantastic view of both the Horseshoe and American Falls from our hotel room. We had one really nice day where we took a tour and checked out the tunnels beneath the Falls, and went up the Skylon Tower. The Maid of the Mist wasn't yet running - too early in the season. Unfortunately, our last full day (Friday) was rather wet and miserable but we managed to explore the main tourist area in Clifton Hill and take a turn on the Sky Wheel.

We arrived in Washington yesterday to an absolutely beautiful day and LOADS of people!! Our taxi driver informed us that the Cherry Blossom Festival was on this weekend. I don't think I've seen so many people in one place!! We awoke to another beautiful day today and after a slow morning we walked down towards the White House, the Washington Monument and then headed towards the Lincoln Memorial. Couldn't get near for the amount of people so we decided to try again later in the week.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Off to Niagara Falls tomorrow!

Another spur of the moment thing :) Three nights in Niagara Falls and then we head to Washington.

We spent our last day in New York today at the Ripley's Believe Or Not Odditorium. We arrived just as they were preparing to unveil a likeness of President Obama made out of gum-balls and they asked the kids if they wanted to help unveil for the press conference. It was pretty cool. CBS Worldwide were there too so family and friends in Australia and Dubai might see them. The marketing and PR ladies took our details and said they would email us any pics and/or articles. I think the experience will be a highlight of the kids' trip :)

We wandered back to our hotel in Times Square via Fifth Avenue where DH did a little shopping. Had hoped to get to Strand Books (thanks for the tip, Megan) but we'll have to save it up for next time. We all enjoy New York so I'm sure we will be back again :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Hello, New York!

Yes, I'm in the Big Apple! It was a spur of the moment idea DH had about a month or so ago and the last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind of organising dog/house-sitters, passports (had to renew the kids' passports before we left), etc, but here we are.

The weather has been a bit chilly but the first couple of days have been clear at least so we managed to get some great views from the top of the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. Today was foggy and rain has been forecast this afternoon so we decided to just do some exploring on foot. DS wanted to find a Games Workshop outlet as well as a new scooter. I just wanted to find a well-stocked bookstore (I've been reading a lot more than stitching lately). We've walked quite a bit today and weren't very successful with DS's mission but I managed to find a Borders and cross off several books of my wish-list. I tend to read a lot of series (ie. Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter, Julia Quinn's Bridgertons, Keri Arthur's Guardian, Cheyenne McCray's D'Anu/Tuatha D'Danann series) plus a few new-to-me authors through Goodreads that I'm keen to discover :) I do have a regular bookstore in Dubai but frustratingly they will be missing a vital volume and I am quite anal about reading my books in order. Anyway, I've filled in a few gaps today and hope to find a Barnes & Noble or some other bookstore tomorrow to fill in a couple more that I couldn't today. DH's expression when he saw my armful of books was priceless - lol. I don't think he quite believes on how serious I am on hitting another bookstore tomorrow :).

Well, I must go and see if anyone is interested in dinner :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The reason for my absence ...

Blowing raspberries at crazy Aunty Mel :)

My SIL and nephew stopped over with us for a few days on their way through from the UK to visit family in Australia. J was born in August seven weeks early - he's six months old now and is just adorable :)

Friday, February 13, 2009


QS Plum Gothic (C) HAED & Caron Vinson - Progress as at 30 Jan 2009

Don't you just love those pouty lips?!

I've been working on Dark Cherry and The Encounter too but just haven't got around to taking up-to-date progress shots yet. It is SAL weekend for Dark Cherry so I will wait until that's finished before taking another pic.

Ruth asked how it is that I find over one stitching to be soothing - lol. I honestly don't know :) I get into a zone where I can just leave everything behind, be it a crappy day or worry over a family member or friend, and head off to daydream land for a couple of hours. If something's bothering me I've usually thought out a solution after a stitching session too :) And, it always amazes me that after hours of stitching tiny little crosses, it will take just one and suddenly an eye or a mouth, or a turret of a castle or a tiny little flower or leaf, will appear.

Or it could be that I'm just bonkers - lol!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quick Stitchy Update

Have a few things to blog about but have only got time to quickly upload some HAED WIP updates at the moment. Normal (and hopefully regular!) blogging to resume shortly!!

I've recently gotten back into my HAED stitching, I'd forgotten how soothing I find it and it has helped me get through these last few weeks.

First up is a new start, QS Dark Cherry by Ching-Chou Kuik. This is my yearly challenge SAL piece on the HAED BB with monthly SALs on the second weekend of each month. This is what I managed for the January SAL and given that I had family here didn't think this was too bad an effort :) Stitched on antique white 25 count lugana with DMC and PB10 for the sparkles. Started on 10 January 2009.

QS Dark Cherry by Ching Chou Kuik (HAED) - 2009 HAED BB SAL Challenge Project

Next up is my current progress on QS Plum Gothic by Caron Vinson. I was hoping to finish this last year but with one thing and another that didn't happen. This year!

QS Plum Gothic by Caron Vinson (HAED) - Current progress

Lastly, my current progress on The Encounter by Ed Beard Jr. This is a full size HAED (36 pages, which is not as big as some). DS chose this chart and wants me to stitch it up for his birthday. He didn't specify which birthday but I'm estimating I may have it done in time for his 21st - lol! Stitched on 25 count white lugana with DMC and PB10 for the sparkles. Can't remember when I started this - early last year I think.

The Encounter by Ed Beard Jr (HAED) - Current progress

Monday, January 05, 2009

Lovely PIF received!

This arrived in the mail the day before Christmas from Karen - isn't it lovely? An email of thanks is on it's way to you, Karen :)

Since I had no sign-ups I will be sending out random gifts over the next month or so.

My parents are visiting and well, to be honest, things haven't gone well for the start of their trip. However, this post isn't the time or place to go into details. Another time, perhaps.