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So THAT Is How They Do It!

I have to laugh. I keep seeing these absolutely stunning yarn cakes.

No, not This kind of cake . . . yummylayers(though it IS breathtaking, isn’t it?)

 

 

 

 

And not This kind . . . (Though, you have to admit, that is darn cute!)

 

And then there is this one, which is even CUTER!

 

 

 

Nope. We are talking This kind . . .

sockyarnPretty, huh? So, I was wondering how it was done. Droppers pouring? Nah…. So, I was cruising around youtube, taking a break and giving myself a reason to remember that when my work is done, I can go down to my studio and play . . .  and look what I Found!!

Of course, I wanted to show you photos of a bunch of these multicoloured yarn cakes at a shop I found and fell in love with, but of course I can’t find it now…. Found it!

rainbowsockcake

So, next time I indulge myself with a dye job, you know what I am going to be doing!

And then, I happened to see something else that made me do a happy dance . . . I have a metric ton of acrylic yarn that I don’t like . . . bad colours, no colours, etc. So, I was thinking about giving it away, but there is some that I really like the texture of, just not the colour. Ta Daaa!!! Check this!

So, now I have great reasons to get my work done, so I can have some fun in the morning. Woooo Hooooo!!! So, yippee, skippee, time to work!

Hummm… and I have some gnarly acrylic based fabrics too –  great test subjects for doggy beds! Well, someone else’s doggy beds, cause my guys sleep in my bed . . . well, I guess it is really their bed, cause I wind up curled up in a tiny ball with them all spread out like rugs, hogging all the room!

Oh, and I found the cake photos on goodsearch.com/images!

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JINGLE BELLS, BABY!!!!!!! AMBER FARRELL IS BACK IN TOWN!!!

Wild_Card_Cover_04_WithTitles
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Let Amber Farrell be your Christmas Present to yourself and to ALL of your friends, family, neighbors – heck, even your dog! Amber Farrell is how I am spending my Christmas Eve!

Happy Christmas Eve, Amber!!!

I am sitting down right now to start reading Wild Card – Book Four of the Amber Farrell series by Mark Henwick. Anyone who knows me knows I am passionate about Mark’s series and can’t say enough good about it.

Also, I have a confession, I have had the book a couple days, and by rights should have posted this notice before now…. Lay it down to being immediately dropped into rereading the first three in the series and totally losing all good sense when I owed Mark the courtesy of posting this on MONDAY…. I am SUCH a JERK! But I am doing it now, and as it is Christmas Eve, here you go, Mark – and I hope you can forgive me.

To everyone else out there in my reading public – – – it’s Christmas Eve, so buy this book for ALL your friends and family, and send it to their electronic stocking —- Oh, and don’t forget to get the first books for yourself and everyone else also:

sleight of hand
Book One! my review is HERE
hidden trump
Book Two! My Review is HERE
raw deal
A Novella, the Prequel to Bite Back – read it next! My review is HERE

And Happy Ho Ho Ho!!!!!

The Better Part of Darkness – Kelly Gay

better part of darkness
Click to purchase from Amazon

 

Since I am taking a couple of days off, I thought now would be a good time to re post one of my older reviews from Amazon. This is the first in the Charlie Madigan series.

I go back to the series every few months, as I really enjoy reading it. And, of course, every time I go back to an “oldie but goodie” I find something I had not seen before, or something I had forgotten.

I had never really read anything by Kelly Gay before, so was curious when I picked up the first in this series as to what I would think. Fantasy of this type, admittedly, is my favorite. When it is done well, as with the works of Andrews and others, it is stunning. Or, it can be the biggest let-down you can ever imagine (I have checked out some real stinkers in my time).

One of the first things I noticed about this book is the fact that the main character is not only a kick-butt cop, and having just returned from the dead (drum-roll please) she is also a single mother of a teenage daughter. Oh, the horror! LOL….

Like the Andrews “Kate Daniels” series, this series is set in an alternate, ‘Post-Revalation’ world. Gay’s work is different and clever enough to stand on it’s own in a changed Atlanta, which I was glad to see. In fact, the world building is the best part of the book in my humble opinion. Oh, it is a good book for a first of a series, it kept my attention throughout. But I am always looking for that extra bit of “oomph” in the character building over the next books to push it into 5 star territory.

With this start, I am hoping that I can soon award that extra star.

Note:  The following books in the series didn’t fail to live up to the promise of the first.

darkest edge
Click to buy.
hour of dst
Click to purchase
shadows
Click to buy

 

Raw Deal: The Amber Farrell Prequel – It is Out!


raw deal
“I’d lost my entire team, and nearly lost my life. In a way, I had lost my life, and was left with this—a tightrope walk between hunting down creatures people didn’t believe existed, and being locked up as one.”

It isn’t often that a writer comes along who really hits all my buttons. Of course, I am sort of an oddball myself. I like women characters who can, in a word, kick-ass, take-names, and generally stick up for herself – with a little help from her friends, and without having to have a male holding her hand and making the big-bad go away with her cheering him on. I like women characters with depth, who have a backstory that is tough, but that she makes it through on her own.

Amber is definitely tough, but she is also a good person, with heart and soul and a deep desire to do the right thing. She doesn’t lay down and cry because her life has gone into the toilet, but she doesn’t take it out on others, either. She is the kind of person that others immediately trust and believe in.

In this prequel to the Amber Farrell “Bite Back” series, Amber’s life is something of a walk through the fun house mirrors. Nothing is as it seems, only when it is. Her life has been turned upside down, ripped apart, and stomped on a few times for good measure by a government she once trusted. She is back “home” doing a job she never expected, with Big Brother watching over her shoulder, waiting with baited breath to snatch her back to a cold, concrete cell, never again to see the light of day, victim to needles and knives. It is enough to make the strongest woman cringe a bit.

If you have read the Bite Back series, this will give you the back story on Amber’s introduction back into Denver’s seedier side. If this is the first you have heard about Amber, grab this novella first, then move on to Sleight of Handsleight of hand

then on to Hidden Trumphidden trump

This is a killer series about a woman who is strong enough to know what she wants and goes after it, without walking all over everyone to get there. Buy the books (this one is FREE) and read them. You won’t be disappointed.

Review: Patricia Briggs – Frost Burned

Audio is the way to go with Patricia Briggs!
Audio is the way to go with Patricia Briggs!

MONSTER FIVE STAR REVIEW!!!!

This is a review of the Audio Edition, which I highly recommended.

I have a confession. There are certain authors that, whenever they have a new book coming out, I go back and re-listen to all their books and short stories, in order, to prepare myself for the newest installment. It has always been my habit with series I love the most, allowing me to re-immerse myself into the series and all the characters. And, as always, Mercy (and Patricia, of course ((GRIN)) don’t disappoint in this newest installment to the series.
Mercy is tough. Tougher, smarter, and classier than nearly any other Urban Fantasy heroine out there today. She has been through hell in the last couple of years, and the quality of Patricia’s follow through and deep care for the development of her characters is still as amazing as always.

Mercy has been beaten, tortured, shot, burned and variously abused. And, she has been raped. Patricia’s handling of that rape was brilliant. She didn’t break Mercy completely, but she definitely is taking her time helping Mercy heal completely. Her handling of the situation across the last few books has been masterful, making me wonder if Patricia might possibly know someone who had this happen to her. The great thing about her responses is the way Mercy(Patricia) is so honest in her handling of the situation, and how her friends all gather around her, support her, and help her through it. She killed the person who did it to her – bully for her!!!! And it wasn’t someone she trusted and had a true relationship with. Unlike other writers, Patricia didn’t make it a close “friend” and she didn’t make her carry the blame for what happened. Sure, she fells at fault at first, but she isn’t made to wallow in guilt and shame. Her flashbacks and panic attacks are realistic, but she comes to realize that she is not truly at fault. Patricia gains my undying respect for that. But, that is another book, the story line carried into this book, but not overwhelming it. Mercy is getting better. Good for her!!

The story line continues soon after the events of “River Marked” where Mercy was once again drug into a situation outside of her control, and did her best to handle it as she always does – she sees what needs to be done, and does it, no matter the cost to herself.

As in her other stories, Mercy is strong, secure and focused. She knows, going in, that it is going to cost her for what she does. But she does it anyway, because it is right and good and true. She is the kind of person anyone could wish themselves to be. She doesn’t whine and complain, she just does the right thing. She is given what she needs to get the job done, and she does it. Often, at great cost – especially to her body, and sometimes to her very soul.

One of the other things I like about Mercy is her relationship with Adam. He is an alpha wolf and a strong one. But he doesn’t lord over Mercy. He doesn’t shove her around, force her to submit to his will. He loves her the way she is, tough as nails, scarred and beaten up and all. He knows that she does what she does because it is right and good. He doesn’t try to overwhelm, but he does give her the support she needs. In this edition, it is him and the rest of the Pack that Mercy is coming to the rescue of, and he knows without doubt that he can rely on her in all things. Very impressive in a writer.

Many of the other characters in the series make a stronger appearance in this edition than they have had the opportunity for in past books, and I love that. Patricia’s ‘extras on set’ are fascinating in their own right, with back stories that deserve all the attention they can get. She could go on writing this series for as many books as she wishes, and I would invest in every one. But I would also happily invest in books lead by some of the other characters as well – especially Zee. I was, however, heartbroken by the loss of a pivotal member of the story. I know, I know, losses are to be expected, and there has been little true loss through the story line, but the loss of this particular character had me in tears.

As for Stephen, Mercy’s vampire friend – well, I am prejudiced. It would be very, very hard for me to be friends with Stephen, no matter what. Hey, there has to be someone you can’t bring yourself to like, right? Well, besides Marcillia . . . Stephen has been around since that witch Marcillia first showed up in what was an undiscovered country back in their day – and had everything to do with the fact that Mercy is nearly alone as a Walker these days. Stupid vampires. Hate em, hate em . . .

Even though Stephen is a “friend” of Mercy’s, he is still just as guilty as Marcillia and the others of slaughtering Mercy’s people. No forgiveness here, Stephen! Of course, as a “Native” myself I am allowed to be bitter about the slaughter of our peoples, right? That is my excuse, and I am sticking with it!

Overall, Patricia’s series is quality all the way. As I always listen to her books, I can also assure you that Lorelei King again delivers an incredible narration. We have been blessed to have her brilliant voice as Mercy for each of the books in the series and she never disappoints. Much as Renée Raudman IS Kate Daniels, Lorelei IS Mercy. Talk about matches made in Heaven!

You can read “Frost Burned” as a stand alone. However, I don’t recommend it. You would be depriving yourself of a brilliant writer’s work, magnificent characters (even those you love to hate), tremendous world building and many hours of pure pleasure.

Highly, highly recommended – as in, however many stars you want to add on to the FIVE I give all of the Mercy Thompson books, you may still want to toss in a few, they are THAT good.

Here is a list of Mercy Thompson books, in order. I HIGHLY recommend that you start at the first and go all the way through. It is well worth it!

moon called

Moon Called: Mercy Thompson, Book 1

blood bound

Blood Bound: Mercy Thompson, Book 2

iron kissed

Iron Kissed: Mercy Thompson, Book 3

Bone Crossed: Mercy Thompson, Book 4 bone crossed

silver borne

Silver Borne: Mercy Thompson, Book 5

River Marked: Mercy Thompson, Book 6river marked

Audio IS the way to go with Patricia Briggs!!!
Audio IS the way to go with Patricia Briggs!!!

And I just saw on Patty’s website the name of her next installment:NIGHT BROKEN!!!!

Doesn’t say when, but it is going on my MUST BUY IMMEDIATELY FROMaudible  list!!!

Sanguine Eyes Beta Read Completed

I just finished beta reading J. K. Walker’s “Sanguine Eyes.” It is in beta right now, so not out yet, but I was entirely impressed by J. K.’s latest edition of the “Salt Lake After Dark” series.

This series, set in Salt Lake City, Utah,  begins with “Glacial Eyes (Salt Lake After Dark).”  Jasmine glacial eyesBedeau’s life has suddenly become quite, shall we say, interesting. The kind of interesting that is like that old Chinese curse: Shall you live in interesting times. And her interesting is more than she ever could have imagined. From my review:

Waking up naked in the woods is no laughing matter. Neither is finding out that everything you thought you knew about reality suddenly needs to be swept out the door with the dust bunnies. Suddenly witches and warlocks and were (oh, my!) are no longer the creatures of fantasy. Waking up to discover you are the newest member of the furry set is a bit more than Jazz can handle at first. Well, that and the fact that she now has boobs. Nice boobs. Way bigger boobs. And what is this thing with the six-pack abs all of a sudden? Yep, things are changing for Jazz.
Hollow EyesAfter such a fine beginning, I am always hesitant to see how well the second installment lives up to the first. In this case, I was far from disappointed. Hollow Eyes: Salt Lake After Dark (Volume 2) more than lived up to the promise of its predecessor. Things are changing for Jazz, in some good ways, and in some very bad. From my review:

. . . as if it isn’t bad enough that orphan Jasmine Bedeau, struggling student, suddenly discovers she is different from everyone else. No, now she’s a troubleshooter for the local supernatural council. Oy. Zombies and werewolves and monsters, oh, my . . .

The third book more than lives up to the second, impressing me with the writers ability to continue the growth and development of all of the characters in the series. Jazz is growing, sometimes too quickly for her peace of mind,and it isn’t always easy, but her growth is believable within the setting. It was a hard-to-put-down read that more than left me looking forward to the next. In the authors words, “Book three, Sanguine Eyes, is loosely scheduled for release this summer.”

I would recommend you find, and enjoy, the first two books in the series. You will find yourself looking forward with great anticipation to Sanguine Eyes.

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