December 29, 2011

Unexpected guest

I just went out to retrieve my mail when I noticed a visitor resting on my porch.  Haven't seen one of these for ages!

December 28, 2011

Christmas reading

Merry Christmas to you all!  I hope your day was as fabulous as mine.

This year was the first time I have never received a book for Christmas.  Strange, but true.  Luckily, a pre-ordered title showed up - just in time for some Yuletide cheer. 

"What book was it?" I hear you ask... well, it was the latest story in the seemingly neverending Breeds saga by Lora Leigh.  Lawe's Justice picks up soon after Styx's Storm and we find Rachel's sister, Diane, hunting for the location and names of Breeds or former Council scientists who can help her niece, Amber.  A Huntress, she is wary of her mate, Lawe Justice, as he wants to corral this high-spirited warrior, and keep his mate safe behind Sanctuary's formidable walls.

Adding to the tension between the two is a feral breed, Gideon, who has endured torture that was beyond compare.  He is using Diane to locate 3 former captive Breeds whom he considers betrayed him by keeping him alive (they did it out of love I think?), and is killing every person he considers guilty.

There are appearances by the other alpha's, and this is a continuation of the Bradenmore storyline. 

Braden and Megan are present for a brief moment, this is their first appearance in a looong time, so I savoured it.

Although this is Dianne and Lawe's story, the introduction of Gideon made me want to read his story instead.  He is such a forceful, tortured character that he simply overrides the others.  He's just like Jonas - only, you know, psychotic.

This book was only about 2 1/2 stars, but Gideon pushed it up to 3.

You can read this as a stand alone book, but it is much more potent when you have read all the others.

December 20, 2011

Great... that's just what I needed

... not.

Frustration is at an all time high as just when I want to print out the final copy of my assignment, my printer dies about 3 pages in. It stopped and told me that I had the incorrect print head.  What the f*#$!

Print Head
 Seriously, just what are the odds of that anyway?

My Canon Pixma MP970 has been an excellent printer, and at only 4 years old I thought that the part I need might still be available.  So I called local office suppliers, and places like Dick Smiths - an electronics chain store for those not in Oz - only to be told that the part would cost around $200!  That's nearly as much as I paid for the printer brand new.  Other places told me that the "print head is the life of the printer.  Lose that and it's cheaper to replace the printer than buy a part"... OMG.

Thankfully, mum came to the rescue.  I called her about sourcing a possible replacement print head, cause she's not out in the sticks, and turns out that it is really cheaper to replace the whole thing.

So after downloading brochures online, I think Santa/Mum will be bringing me a new printer for Christmas.  A new Canon Pixma MG4160. 

Please Santa, let it last.

Salt Dough Ornaments, Part 2

Just thought I'd post a pic of my salt dough decorations.  I blogged about making them over a month ago, and they are finally on the tree.

The snowflakes came out the best I think, but they all stayed a nice off white.  Very rustic, and perfect for the basic colour scheme I was going for.  Red and white, with the only read colour coming from the multicoloured lights.  Now all I've got to do is find a fabulous tree topper.

December 19, 2011

Beautiful Xmas Tree Shadow

No, I'm not kidding.

I just turned on my Christmas tree lights for the very first time and discovered the most amazing byproduct... a trippy, hippy, psychedelic shadow that's being cast on the wall behind!

What do you think of this? Weirdly beautiful isn't it.

Damaged Book Update

You really can get good customer service from internet sellers.  The book I was grouching about last week, Five Odd Honors, was bought online from Book Depository.

I emailed them regarding the quality of the item, they wanted some pictures as proof (I was happy to oblige), and... PRESTO!.... I have a replacement copy being sent out to me.

I wasn't rude, or demanding.  I just stated my case and asked what my options were.

See, there are still some responsible vendors left online :-)

Cooking up a Gingerbread Army

Today was such a tiring day!

I'm editing the final draft of my assignment.  So after staring at the screen for an hour getting nowhere I decide to bake, hoping to relieve my stress...

Yeah, right.

I had bought a packet mix so there I was... I kneaded, and floured, and rolled and cut.  My benches looked like Frosty the Snowman had burst!  Then I had the little darlings in the oven, watching them rise.  Ah, it was all fun and frosting till I saw the washing up... oh boy

Anyhow, next year I'll use my old recipe.  These ones aren't very flavour-some.  A tiny bit of ginger, and no dark brown sugar I suspect.  Next year I'll kick butt with a dark sugar, rich and flavour packed Gingerbread.

In the meantime, I hope all your gingerbread turns out fabulously this Christmas.

December 14, 2011

There's a new Horseman in town

I just received a copy of the Larissa Ione book Eternal Rider.  This is the first book in a new series, but continues on from the Demonica world we know and love. 

Meet the Lords of Deliverance.  Ares, Thanatos, Limos and Reseph.  Born of a union between Lilith and Yenrieth (a succubus and an angel), these four siblings have stood for more than 5,000 years as protectors between hell's minions and destuction.

This series begins after the conflict of the previous Demonica books, it is now the Lords of Deliverance's turn to face the evil within.  Eternal Rider is the story of Ares, the one who will become War if he falls.  In the beginning we see Reseph transormation from a Lord of Deliverance into Pestilience, on of the Horsemen of the Apocolypse. 

Now, the only thing stopping Pestilence from turning Ares to the dark side is a plucky, sassy mortal woman whose misfortune it was to heal a badly injured dog... that turned out to be a grateful Hellhound pup she'd named Hal, short for Halitosis (due to his god-awful breath!)

Thanks to Hal, Cara Thornhart is now on not only the Aegis' radar, but a fallen angel's as well.  This dark angel holds the key to Ares salvation or destruction, but knows that Pestilence is after him.  Seeing his chance, he imbues the mortal with Ares' seal.  Isn't that always the way?

Once Ares realises that this scrap of a mortal is his only hope, he not only fights his attraction towards her - Cara keeps telling him No, and challenging him... a first for Ares, and boy does that float his boat :-D - but she has now become the target of Pestilence and his minions who want War to join them.  As the siblings and their allies race to save the now dying Cara, they must keep in mind that if one more of them falls, the others are destined to follow.  And you don't want the Four Horsemen to unite as it would become hell on earth for everyone.

This is a great read.  I couldn't put it down and it took me about 4 hours to finish it.  There is a bit of sex in this book, no more or worse than that in the Demonica series, and the characters that revolve around Ares are just too cute!  Who wouldn't want some Ramreels around the place?  That being said, I did fall in love Hal.  Just wait until you meet Hal's grandfather!  Also Ares' steed was a cutie too.  There is also another betrayal by an Aegis operative, and you meet some familiar faces to boot.

Thanatos, and his sister Limos are believable as Ares siblings.  They fought, made up and carried on like any other siblings I've met - only these guys could have smited you real good :-P  Plus, the tension between Cara and Ares is a nice change of pace from romance books where the heroine jumps into the sack with her 'hero' within hours of meeting him.

Eternal Rider is a reasonable 402 pages long, and that doesn't include the 8 page excerpt from the next installment, Immortal Rider, and it is Limos' turn to avoid falling.  As the promised bride to the Devil himself, it is Runa's brother, Arik, who just happens to be the idiot that kick-start the Devil's jealousy (there are certain conditions that can cause Limos to fall).  Now, all this isn't a spoiler, this is all info you read in Eternal Rider and the excerpt.  Luckily for you, you don't have to wait too long for the next book as it is out now - and I can't wait to get it.

December 13, 2011

Poor quality paper perhaps?

The other day I was reading my new book, Five Odd Honors, but found many of the pages so covered with ink as to be unreadable!

I know mass market format books are cheap, but that's still no excuse for items like this being produced.
Fingers crosses that I can get them to replace it.

Smokin' Seventeen: the middle of the end?

As an avid reader, I will give anything a go.  However, like Anita Blake, I think Stephanie Plum has definitely seen better days.

Having received a new stack of books from Book Depository I was looking forward to indulging in the new Stephanie Plum. I loved the first 10 books, but I think that the dilemma between Morelli and Ranger has dragged on for way too long - and this book is no different.
Not only is SP still torn between her men, now  instead of her standard nookie fall-back of sleeping with Ranger after temporarily breaking up with Morelli, she goes from one to the other cause she and the cop are supposedly having an open relationship!
What the...?!
The storyline is beyond ridiculous, and I'm finding them to be so formulaic that Ms Evanovich must be phoning them in as the storyline just never seems to change.

With the One for the Money movie due in January, I'm surprised that the last books have been so poor.

From now on I'll borrow them from the library.  No more Stephanie Plum books for me until she makes her choice...

Babe or Cupcake

December 8, 2011

Colonel Potter departs

Today I was greeted with the sad news of the death of Harry Morgan, aged 96.  A great character actor, he is best known to most as the delightful grouch with a soft heart, Col. Potter, on M*A*S*H.

Goodbye Colonel Potter.

Harry Morgan
1915 - 2011

Farewell and amen.

December 7, 2011

And then there was three

Five Odd Honors is the final, but hopefully not last, book in Lindskold's new series.

Brenda has saved the day - again - much to her father's chagrin, but has now been ousted by Gaheris (her father) and sent off to university for her troubles.  It's here that Brenda gets hit with another whammy... now her mothers heritage has surfaced to bite her in the butt.

The Orphans are still fighting to make their way into the Lands Born of Sadie's an Sacrifice, and now they have the help of some of the ghosts of the first Horse, Ram, Monkey, Ox and the Snake.  Standing in their way is the ghost of Pearl's father, Thundering Heavens, who is still pissed off that his heir, the Tiger, was his daughter.  Now, possessing a powerful sword, he has teamed up with the enemy to take back his title.

Meanwhile, Brenda is being drawn into the world of the sidhe and will once again hold the balance of power in her hands.
This book goes off in a slightly different direction, but is still a great book.  The only let down is that there is no definitive answer regarding whether or not this is the final of a trilogy, or not.  Either way, you're still left hanging, wondering if Brenda and Flying Claw will ever get together.

Fingers crossed that a new book will be out soon.

Nine Gates a winner

Well after devouring Thirteen Orphans I had to get my hands on the other books on the series.  Thanks to Book Depository I had books 2 and 3 in a matter of weeks.

Nine Gates is the second book in this series, and is a worthy installment of what promises to be a great new series... at least I hope it is, some have been calling it a trilogy.  Anyhow, I digress.  Nine Gates picks up no more than a day or two after the conclusion of 13 Orphans.  Brenda is now a novelty amongst the Orphans - a rat, but not a rat - her position in the group has been altered due to her father recovering his memories. 

Pushed to the edge, Brenda has to deal with not only her infatuation with Flying Claw, but the fall out from his memory loss (and the subsequent regaining of memory) caused with his former lover Honey Dream - a snake with attitude.

Trying to avoid the pitfalls of life, Brenda's conflict with her father is just about the last straw. He constantly dismisses her and pushes her out.  Unfortunately for her father, Brenda is vital to the success of the Orphans plan travel to the Land Born of Smoke and Sacrifice.

If you loved Brenda's first foray into the mystical arts, then you'll enjoy this book.  Look out for the 3rd book Five Odd Honors.

Lindskold does it again!

Hi there.  I've been a tad remiss lately in regards to adding great reads to this blog, but I hope to fix that today.

I found this first book, Thirteen Orphans, at my new local library.  Like Kylie Chan, Jane Lindskold has mixed Eastern mythology with Western contemporary and come up with a winning combination.

Set in America, you follow the story of 19 year old Brenda Morris, who has just discovered her supernatural heritage.  Unlike Chan's series, Lindskold sets her story around the Chinese zodiac.  The descendants of the banished Earthly Branches are being picked off one by one by someone who knows their secrets.

Without getting into the details, Brenda and some other new initiates have to help stop the bad guys (well, a hot girl, her father and her lover) from stealing the power and memories of the other members of the zodiac.

Now, I can't really tell you about the next two books here as it'll give away what happens in this book, but rest assured, the next book, Nine Gates, starts soon after the climax of 13 Orphans.

If you love Kylie Chan, or the Firekeeper series then you'll love these books too.

November 27, 2011

Post M.I.A

I've been blogging from my phone recently {yeah me!} and noticed a most annoying quirk.  I'd finished making the cushions I'd been talking about in an earlier blog, New Xmas Project, Nov 18, and when I published it, it failed of course - it always does on the first try if I'm uploading an image as well.  When I published it again, it sort of got stuck in 'publishing' mode.  And it hasn't changed since!

Now it isn't accessible from either mobile phone, or on the blog page.  It's been over a week and I'm getting very frustrated since I can't remember quite what I'd put in the post.  Grrrrrr!

Does anyone know how to retrieve it?  Has it happened to you?

November 22, 2011


Why does this always happen to me?

I've got my items and then the siren goes off and I have to put them down and evacuate as the shopping centre is having a fire drill.

November 19, 2011

Gingerbread cookies

Just found a good recipe for some Gingerbread cookies - thank God - as I want to make some for presents this year.  I have some festive cookie cutters, and will decorate them with Christmas cheer.

Fingers crossed that they turn out, and if this works... who knows, perhaps there's a gingerbread house in my future?

Great Recommendations for you

Hi there!

I've been getting back into my books lately, checking out the new library - don't ask, I'll just cry - and wishing for a second hand bookshop within an hours drive.  Thankfully, I still have Amazon and Book Depository.  I just don't know what I would have done if I had absolutely NO access to new reading materials. 

{... no books and no reading make me go something something...}

Anyhow, I've picked up two really good books in the past 3 weeks.  One I managed to fluke at the library, shock horror I know, and the other was an impulse purchase at Big W.

I want to say that I had seen this book ages ago when it was released in trade size, but I'm sick of them hogging space on the bookshelf, so I put it back and promptly forgot about it till 3 weeks ago.  I'm talking about Deborah Harkness' wonderful 'A Discovery of Witches'.

This book is a long read, but I got tangled up in it and couldn't put it down (there went the afternoon, oh well).  The story revolves around Diana Bishop, scholar, who turned her back on her witchy heritage as a child after her parents rather gruesome deaths.  While researching at Oxford's Bodleian Library she came across a long lost book that is desired by all the supernaturals... vampires, witches and even the daemons want to get their paws on it.  Realising that it is a magical book, she is drawn to it, but pushing that part of herself back, she returns it to the stacks.  Fortunately for Diana, the first supernatural to turn up Matthew Clairmont, vampire and professor.  He wants the book, but is drawn to the witch, and their illicit desire is the least of their troubles.

Set in the modern world, with flashbacks to times past, A Discovery of Witches is a fabulous read.  The first in a series, I would recommend it for anyone who enjoyed Gladiatrix, or Kylie Chan.

November 18, 2011

New Xmas Project

I have found a picture in an old Country Living magazine (October 2010 British edition) of a simple Christmas cushion.

I have the basic materials and all I have to do now is to download a template of the word I want to use.  Fingers crossed that I can knock out both cushions over the weekend. 

I want one to say NOEL and the other Je'taime in a lovely handwritten font.

Well, that's different?

Just finished shopping and thought that I'd share with you a picture of my morning tea.  I ordered a sausage roll, and that came out as expected, but the thickshake was brought out in a large ceramic ice cream cone! Definitely different, but darned good.

November 17, 2011

How to make a quilt?

I've been wanting to make a patchwork quilt for ages, but never had the room to spread out, let alone be able to leave my materials out.  Now I'm flying solo I have taken the first step towards making my first quilt.

Seeing how it's nearing Christmas, and I found the picture panels in a remnant box, I thought a simple design of squares surrounding the picture panels would be an appropriate place to begin.

Fingers crossed it'll be ready for Christmas!

November 16, 2011

Cheap decorations idea

Hi there,

I just thought that I'd share a pic of an easy decoration idea that won't hurt the budget.

Our local Aldi shop had some wall decals for $2.99 each.  I found the ones I liked and when I got home I decided the kitchen needed a lift.  They didn't take long to put up (they have instructions on the back) and they really brighten up the blank wall.

A great cheap and cheerful idea!

November 13, 2011

Why do authors do this?

Just a quite question.  I'm rereading Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan and find they way she uses the Carpathian language, followed by the translation in English, very, very annoying.  

Do authors think we're idiots and that they need to dumb it down for us?  As a long time Feehan reader, I find her recent use of this style off putting.

Seriously is it just me, or does it bug you too?

Christmas Overhall

Hi all!

I just thought that I'd give the blog a Christmas overhall.  I've been feeling very festive for the last week or so, and I thought to myself "... I really must change the look of my blog...", so - ta da!

Oh, I also enabled the mobile template for the blog.  I couldn't get the custom setting to go right.  The stupid background wouldn't scroll and I had a really icky colour pink as a background - and that's not even part of the template colour scheme!  So I chose a basic template and will work it out later.  Has anyone else had mobile template problems too?

Bookshelf space issues

It's been a little while since I've posted anything about the books I've read.  Well, in recent weeks I've read a few more reference books (19th Century clothing) and they were extremely helpful.  Darn sight cheaper from the UK than in Australia though!  Ignore that snipe - outrageous book prices in Australia is a pet peeve of mine. 

As for my usual genres?  I bought a few of the Lora Leigh "Elite Ops" series.  They are great, and I'm ever so grateful that there are only 6 of them.  I already have enough trouble trying to find spots for all the Dark-Hunter, Anita Blake, Stephanie Plum, Breeds, Dark (Feehan) and other series on my shelves.  Seriously, there are some series that I think I'll be following when I'm 60!

The latest books to go on my wishlist are:

Lawe's Justice - Lora Leigh
Smokin' Seventeen - Evanovich
Wicked Appetite - Evanovich
No Mercy - Kenyon
Retribution - Kenyon
One Silent Night - Kenyon
The Guardian - Kenyon
Cast in Ruin - Michelle Sargara

I've already made a list for late Dec/Jan to take advantage of pre-sale prices. 
They include:

Death Magic - Eileen Wilks
Fair Game - Patricia Briggs
Spirit Bound - Christine Feehan
Angel's Flight - Nalini Singh

plus later in the year I simply MUST order the new Kate Daniels book.

It seems that everytime I make out a list of books, and get them, the author's decide to torture us all by announcing the next book in the series - that doesn't come out till next year!  It's a never ending cycle I tell you.
Hopefully this year Santa will be feeling generous, but I think I should really ask him for a huge new bookshelf before I buy anymore books.  Santa? ... are you listening? 

As it is, I've already filled up all the bookshelves I brought with me in the move - as well as the large one my mother and Aunt bought me as a 'house warming' gift.  I tell you, its insane.  I still have over 5 big boxes of books at my mum's house that still have to make the trip over here... and that doesn't even include the boxed up books from my childhood.  If I don't have over 5000 books, then I just can't count properly! 

I did do a little searching online for some interesting bookshelves and found some fabulous (and weird) ones.  Hmmm, maybe something like this perhaps :)

I could really enjoy filling all these shelves.  They just might hold all my books!

Update: my Salt Dough ornaments are nearly ready for painting. They have completely dried, and I've given them an undercoat to prepare them for the paints. Pics will be posted after the messy job I promise.

November 9, 2011

Salt Dough Ornaments, Part 1

Okay, this was quite a project. The recipe was simple enough:

1cup salt
2 cups plain flour
1 cup water
3 tsp lemon juice

Once mixed, the dough is rough, but kneading for a while makes it more pliable.  It rolls out well, and cookie cutters work really well on this dough.

Keep some excess flour on hand to dip cookie cutters into, and to dust rolling pin, bench, etc.

I put them on some baking paper, and will put them in a warm sunny spot to air dry for 2 days (if you want to speed it up, place in oven for a couple of hours @ 120°c).

Remember, before drying (or baking), to put holes in the tops for your ribbon to thread through if you want to hang them on the tree when finished.

Once dry I'll paint them up in Christmas designs.

Oh P.S, leftover dough can be wrapped in cling wrap and put in fridge.

November 8, 2011

Looky what I made!

I just finished my first ever patchwork item. It's only a little pincushion, but I'm darn proud of it!

I think I'll get some nicer material (this was made with scrap stuff), and perhaps make one for mum? She loves handmade gifts.

Only in the country...

Just heard a news update and had to share. 

Apparently, 3 guys are in hospital with burns to their butts.  Intrigued, I put down my book to listen.  The idiots had been drinking around a campfire, and drunk, had branded each other on the bum with a poker! ... Ouch!

November 6, 2011

It's THAT time of year again...

Yes, it's heading towards Christmas time my dears.  The time of year where you spend too much money on stuff you really don't need - and lets face it, a lot of its a little tacky these days - to make your house look pretty!  This is my first year away from home and friends and family, so I have to buy a tree - oh, God!

Since making the big move I'm a little strapped for cash this yuletide season.  So I put my thinking cap on and decided to d.i.y this year.  That's right ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to toss my tiara into the ring and make things!

I've found a great recipe for salt dough, which will become tree ornaments and possibly some room ornaments, which will be painted in festive colours (watch this space...).  I've delved into my craft and home decoration magazine piles to find some simple, yet inexpensive and quite fabulous looking projects that I hope to complete before my visitors arrive to spend the Christmas with me.

Looking into my remnants bag, I've got some festive coloured material, so it's bunting for me, baby.  I'm thinking of making some NOEL cushions (just red and white fabric), perhaps a Joyeux as well.  Some paper cut/lace decorations.  I found a great one for a fancy reindeer... a gift tag perhaps?

As I make these fabulous wonders, I'll blog about them - even if they sucked and were a complete failure.  Perhaps someone else can learn from my mistakes :-P

Wish me luck, and fingers crossed that it turns out okay....

November 3, 2011


Well, after 12 years, my cheap DVD player has finally gone to silicon heaven.  I put in the first disc of season 3 Big Bang Theory, and as I picked up the remote to press play there was a loud *POP * and the horrible smell of frying electronics.

I then had to pull it apart to get the disc out. There was a black mark where it had fried itself too.  God, I do hate the smell of fried wires.

Good thing Big W is having a special on TVs and other AV goods.  Now I can get a blu-ray player - yeah!

October 8, 2011

Just a little morning shower...

... not!

We here in the South Burnett have just had one heck of a thunderstorm.  Unfortunately, I still had my laundry drying on the balcony (2nd floor unit) so had to haul ass out there - before 6am mind you! - to get it off the line.  Thankfully it was only slightly damp.

The storm cut power to my place so I couldn't even make a cup of tea (very annoying), or read my book.  It passed after 40 min or so, but now we're getting a second storm cell.  Just what I needed - all this lovely rain and no tank to put it in (our complex doesn't have tank water even though town water tastes bloody awful).

So this was my Saturday wake-up call... and I just wanted to sleep in this morning too.

September 20, 2011

Steampunk... whuh?

Okay, I've never given much thought about Steampunk.  It always sounded too sci-fi for me, that is until I took the advice of one of the guys at my old bookshop.  Although I was still hesitant about trying it, the cover was so intriguing I thought "what the hell?"

I don't regret my decision.  The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger (love the logo) is truly wonderful.  It is full of the customary corsets and carriages, teapots and tiaras, that one expects from a period series, but don't let the Victorian setting put you off from reading this awesome series.  Our heroine kicks butt with her jumped up hi-tech parasol.

For those of us who adore a little supernatural spice, you will get your fill of werewolves, vampires and other things that go bump in the night - rest assured that they play a major part in the storyline.  The central story revolves around a bluestocking, Alexia Tarabotti.  A lady of Italian extraction, who just happens to be soulless.  Her curse, if that is how one wishes to view it, is that if she touches another supernatural being, they become human - and can be killed.

And if that didn't set her apart enough, then Alexia has the most superficial and gossip-mongering family.  If I was in Alexia's shoes I would have tried to do away with them long before now. . . hint hint

And yes, I know it's actually 'An Alexia Tarabotti Novel', but it doesn't have the same ring as the Parasol Protectorate does it :D

About the Books

So far there are four books available in the Parasol Protectorate series, with Timeless being released on 28 Feb 2012;


Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.


Alexia Tarabotti, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can.

She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.


Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.


Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf's clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama's second best closet?


Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

UPDATE - this does seem to be the last book in the series {searching for tissues to sniffle into} however Ms Carriger is planning another series set in the same funky Victorian period, only 25 years earlier, and at a Finishing School.

About the Author

Ms. Carriger began writing in order to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by a harem of Armenian lovers, where she insists on tea imported directly from London and cats that pee into toilets. She is fond of teeny tiny hats and tropical fruit. Find out more about the author at

PS all book descriptions and author bio were taken from Amazon.  The bio is the same in the back of the books, but it just saved time to cut and paste.

September 17, 2011

Freezing west of the Great Divide

Hi there folks,

It's been quite a long time since I've been able to sit down and blog.  Finally got my internet connected again yesterday - yippee - and can now surf to my hearts content.  Seeing how I've moved west I forsee a great deal of time spent online, whether it be emailing, messaging or skyping family and friends back home.

The weather here has been a real eye-opener.  Back on the coast, my family are enjoying nightly temperatures of about 9-12°c, but over here I haven't been quite so lucky.  In the three weeks that I've called this town home there hasn't been a night when the mercury has risen above 5°c, indeed the other night it was a chilly 1°c!  Seriously, that's like being in Antarctica for a Queenslander!

I'm still finding it hard to be by myself.  At night there is a silence that I'm just not used to yet.  My little cat keeps me company, but I find that I do miss the daily interaction I had with my family, friends and neighbours.  Thankfully I'm in an area that reminds me of home.  There is little traffic noise in my street, and there is a park only a few doors down, which means that I can hear the numerous species of birds as they forage during the day.  It may not be much, but it does make this strange environment seem a little less foreign.

The one thing I don't think I'll get used to in a hurry is no shopping on Sundays!  Yes, that right people.  The towns shopping centre shuts down on Sunday.  I haven't had to worry about shops closed on a Sunday for over 10 years!  They should tell people these things when they move into a new town.  Thank God I didn't have to get anything vital, just a few odds and sods.  Lucky for me I was able to flag down an old gentleman with a shopping bag and ask him where he had shopped.  So I do have one or two food shops as an option, but seriously, no Big W, clothes shops, anything.  I feel like I've stepped back in time about 20 years.

Anyhow I must dash.  Adieu for now possums.  I'm off to find some warmer blankets to adorn my bed with.  I have a feeling I'm going to need them tonight as its only 10.20am here - and I'm freezing already! . . .  now which box were they in . . .

September 6, 2011

August 28, 2011

Unpacking sucks

Have just about unpacked.  The place looked a complete mess for the first few days with boxes everywhere!  I was so sore the first night.  With 17 steps to navigate my feet were throbbing and aching like you wouldn't believe - even a hot soak in a deep footbath didn't help.  Remind me never to move again. . . or at least not to d.i.y it next time!

Now, its looking more like a home. All the kitchen stuff is washed and put away and I now have a fridge.  Will put up a pic soon. Need to organise internet connection still.

Ah, home sweet home!

August 17, 2011

Return to Wonderland

Wow, what luck.  I was passing our local EB (Electronic Boutique) shop the other day and decided to look around.  Among the utter violent crap I happened to spot a lonely DVD case on a high shelf.  Grabbing it, I couldn't believe that I'd gotten my hands on the last copy of Alice: Madness Returns that they had!

I'm not really into PC games - or Xbox, PS whatever, etc - but I just had to have it.  I found a copy of the original game at a local cheap shop for about $8 (na-na-neh na na) and found it to be entertaining, you know, for a complete gaming novice.  So with that in mind, I bit the bullet and bought A:MR.

Okay, its a lot harder {oy, no laughing at the newbie!} and the graphics are certainly better than the first Alice.  The Cheshire Cat is back in all his tribal glory, as Alice, ably accompanied by her trusty Vorpal Blade, hunts for the monster corrupting Wonderland. . . again.

This series hasn't gotten the best of reviews, but I don't care.  I love the Alice in Wonderland story and collect the books, movies and games.  The only thing I've found disappointing about this game so far is that there is no Offical (or Unofficial for that matter) Strategy Guide.  Some enterprising people have guides online for PS3, etc, but as yet no PC versions.  There isn't even a PC Cheat list!

Anyhow, must dash.  I'm off to run havoc in Wonderland - will be back in time for tea! :P

August 15, 2011

Moving Day approaches

Well, this Friday it will be official.  I will be signing the lease for my unit.... woohoo!

I'm so excited by the move, but I also feel queasy at the thought of striking out on my own.  Thankfully, family will be less than 2 hours away.  So stiff upper lip and all that.

It's an exciting time but reality is hitting me as I now need to organise to have all my stuff hauled out there.  There will be boxes everywhere in the coming week or so.  I have so many books its not funny - and I can't even take my huge bookcase because it's too heavy!  The furniture shops out west are sure going to luv me :P

My only real problem will be getting my cat out there.  Poor little darlin' gets upset if you drive down the end of the street with her stuck in the noisy growling people-mover.  Two hours over the mountain range is just going to suck. . . I think I'll hit the vets before I go to get her something to calm her down.

Oh, and then there is my collection of plants, ferns, roses.  How the hell is this going to work?

Meanwhile, I'm just about to start another lot of units in my studies.  Oh, joy - not.  I certainly didn't pick the best time in the world to move, did I?  I'll have to chose the least demanding of my remaining units so that I don't stress while I'm settling in.  Who'd of thought that there would be so many details to see to?  Insurance, rent, utilities, internet, mobile phone coverage, changing address with everyone (banks, school, etc), arranging new Dr's, vet, dentist, finding a good hairdresser . . . oh God, the list never ends!

August 11, 2011


I've been trying to find a place to rent for the last two years.  I have pets, I don't want to share, the GFC shot the rental market to hell, etc, etc.

Well, the other afternoon I received a phone call out of the blue (actually it came during the delivery of the couches - but that's another story :p) with the offer of a unit!

I won't be able to move for few weeks, but I don't care. . . I got a place! 

Oh God, that means I have to pack up all my books. . .

August 9, 2011


Am feeling soooooo sore today.  New couches arriving tomorrow, so old one moved into office. . . Only it took 3 of us to move it.... stupid big butt couch.  The new couches had better be heavenly or I'll be really ticked off.

Anyhoo, will be sleeping with the hot water bottle tonight :P  Fingers crossed I can move tomorrow.

In other news, during the massive cleanup I found some old copies of the Merry Gentry series that I had squirrelled away.  I do enjoying them, but. . . I don't know. I think my squickiness over the AB series is rubbing off on it - or maybe I just need a nap :-)

August 5, 2011

Hit List surprise

Talk about a total surprise!  I was so sure that reading the latest offering in the Anita Blake would leave me feeling disappointed that I nearly didn't read it.  Happily, instead of finding Anita and friends burning up the sheets by page 10, I found myself reminded of LKH's earlier style of Anita Blake novel - she's back baby!

Edward's role in this story just reinforced my feelings.  Olaf is back, but this time he isn't Anita's biggest problem.  She's away from her power base, and the Mother of All Darkness is still after her.

I won't give away the whole plot, but if you've thought that the series had lost it's shiny, then you'll be pleasantly surprised.

While not as good as books 1 - 10, its certainly no Skin Trade.

Give her another chance.

July 25, 2011

Back to Middle Earth

Just finished watching Lord of the Rings DVDs.  Still absolutely amazed by the landscapes of middle earth, aka New Zealand, especially the snow capped mountains that seem endless in the background.  Can't wait for The Hobbit!

Caved and bought the 50th anniversary 3-in-1 hard cover edition and even found a 70th anniversary copy of The Hobbit.  Wish airmail was a little faster! :-)

July 18, 2011

New Books, New Units

I've fallen back into my rut.  I've got assignments due, but have found myself unable to concentrate on them 100% and have fallen back into my bookshelf to escape.  I'd say that this is a bad habit, but I've aced all my units so far, so maybe there's something to this?

A few months ago I bought myself some new roses (bare root stock) and just thought that I'd brag a little here as the first of my roses has blossomed.  It is a gorgeous pink and I'm only sorry that you don't get a chance to smell it because the rose scent that wafts my way when I walk passed it is heavenly.  This is my beautiful 'Jacaranda'. 

Next to flower should be 'Eiffel Tower' which nearly died on me the first week it was in the pot (harsh westerly winds), and now my favourite, Mister Lincoln, has a bud.  Should be inundated with roses soon.   Ahhh, beautiful!

I forsee buying myself an outdoor lounger and sitting in the sun, reading my favourite books while being surrounded by the intoxicating smell of my roses.  Hmmm, I don't know why, but I feel like a cup of tea now? 
(PS - I blame this on too much Miss Marple :-P )

July 4, 2011

Santa Claws!

As you know, it's been rather chilly here.  So to commiserate with the weather, I decided to sort out my craft box and all the wool I've been amassing over the last few years.  Ah, blessed warm wool.  I bravely dug deep and dragged out some wool and a few patterns, plus projects started last year (oops - my bad), and decided to get stuck into them.  I'm nearly finished knitting a huge chunky wool shawl in verigated autumn colours, and will post pic when complete.  I did happen to complete a santa's bonnet for the cat.  I know, it sounds strange, but it's for a local knitting competition. 

So, with a ball of half used red that just screamed 'Christmas', I took some measurements (when I could get the tape measure on her), made up a pattern and off I went.  My cat was not the happiest of models during the various stages of construction....
Do I have to?  I look like such a dork!

Little Cat on the Prairie
That's IT!  I'm outta here!
Oh God... just get it over with!
And after a few hours - and a few bribes for the cat - the Santa Claws hat was finished!  Yes.  One project down, many more to go.  Now if I could only get the her to look at the camera instead of hiding her face.  Hmmmm....

June 30, 2011

Is Paranormal fiction the new Historical Romance?

Do you ever feel like just about every book you pick up these days has a supernatural flavour to it?  Have we, as a generation, just fallen out of love with the average Jo and Jane story?  I think we have.

I was trolling through my large bookshelves the other night and found, to my horror, that a huge percentage of space was devoted to romances of the paranormal kind.  It seems that Paranormal romance has become the new Historical Romance.  We are bombarded with covers of sexy vampires, witches, or werewolves.  If you walk into K-Mart, Big W, Target, or any other shop that sells books, all the romances are tucked away in a little corner while the Vampires, Witches and Werewolves are in your face up the front.  The extra tinge of dangerous love seems to have hit the spot with most women these days. 

Seriously, which of these books would you buy?

Think about what your local bookshop was selling 15-20 years ago.  Fabio was the hottest cover model out there, and if the blurb mentioned hunky knights, corsets and castles we bought it.  Fast foward 15 years and we are no longer drawn to a cover with Fabio manhandling his wench - face it, we cringe and put it down, nor does the windswept vista of a medieval castle high on a hill in the background have the power to woo us.  Have we just become too jaded? 

Now, feeling a little shamefaced, I went to one of the boxes where I store some of my older books, and sure enough there they were.  All my old favourites, slightly battered and looking extremely well read.  I felt like I'd just discovered old friends that I hadn't realised I'd missed.  There were my favourite romances that I'd discovered in high school (French was quite boring at times), and found my old Johanna Lindsey's.  The Mallory's and who could forget Warrior's Woman - my first Sci-fi/Fantasy romance.

I still have Nora Roberts' The Donovan trilogy (Captivated, Entranced and Charmed) and even some one-off historical romances that I'd managed to rescue from library book sales.  All of them, waiting patiently in this old brown box for the day when they'd be read again.  I don't have the heart to put them back in the box, and I don't want to get rid of them . . . I guess that means I'll be getting a bigger bookcase instead.