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Kitty Horror

i'm an avid reader whose first love is horror. Come join me over on the dark side.

24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 Russian Mother's Day

 

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  Tell us: What is the mother of all writerly sins in your book (tropes, grammar mistakes, telling instead of showing, etc.)?

 

I hate it when the language or details don't keep in tone with the book setting. I've come across this a few times where the clothing, food or speech/word usage seems out of place. It pulls me out of the story and I find it difficult to concentrate on what is actually happening. 

An example I could give is The Paper Magician. The setting appeared to be turn of the century UK but the author included details like cooking pasta, using plastic and other modern details that didn't feel authentic. Very annoying.

 

Task 2: Do you have a favorite Mothers’ Day memory that you are happy to share? Photos welcome but optional.

 

I can't think of any Mother's Day that really stands out. Living in Oz usually meant I was out of sync with UK Mother's Day date as it's different in Oz. This year it was nice to be home and spend it with my mum. 

 

Task 3: Perhaps the best-known scene in the James Bond novel and film From Russia With Love is 007 being poisoned by Russian agent Rosa Klebb with a venom-laced blade hidden in her shoe. Tell us: Have you ever owned any particular / outrageous / funny / best-beloved or otherwise special pair of shoes? Post a photo if you should still own them.

 

 

These are the only pair of 'designer' shoes I will ever be able to afford. I got these online at Jimmy Choo UK for just over £100 which is pretty inexpensive compared to the rest of their line. I've never seen their shoes discounted as much since so I'm pretty happy I got these when I did. 

(Can't get the pic the right way round)

 

 

Task 4: Make a traditional Russian dish like borscht, blintzes, pirogi or solyanka soup, and share a picture with us. Find recipe suggestions here: https://www.expatica.com/ru/about/Top-10-Russian-foods-and-recipes_108678.html

 

Pass on this.

 

Book: Read a book set in Russia, or involving a story within a story / play within a play (like the Russian matryoshka dolls stuck inside each other), or where a key character (not necessarily the protagonist) is a mother.

 

Saga Volume 4 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples 

 

Alana is mother to baby Hazel. 

(Love this series)

 

5* read 11/12/18

 

4 points earned for Door  11

 

Total - 55

 

Boo has been very naughty and bitten out her stitches so I've had to put her in a pet shirt. It must be restricting her quite a bit, if she were human I would think she was plastered as she keeps stumbling and falling about.

 

 

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 Hannukah

 

 

 

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  Have you had any miracles in your life?  (Kids are a given.)  Just enough change for tolls?  Just enough gas to get you to the station?  Been tragically late for a flight only to find the flight was even more tragically delayed?  Nothing is too small - share your miracles with us!

 

I've been fairly lucky that my family are a pretty hardy bunch and that major illnesses or accidents are a rarity. A couple of years ago I was visiting Scotland for a few weeks, the day after I landed I found out my younger cousin had throat cancer and her prognosis was poor.

She started treatment, a combination of radiotherapy/chemo and eventually surgery. I honestly thought I would be back home for her funeral before the end of that year but she got through her treatment and is still doing well. She still has check ups and I suspect there's a greater chance of recurrence but I think it's miraculous she survived.

 

 

Task 2: Light 9 candles each representing something you’re thankful for (share a picture with us; sharing anything else is optional).

 

 

Task 3: Have a donut – and let us share it via a photo. Homemade donuts and shared recipes encouraged … but any donut will do just fine.

 

 

I bought 18 of these mini doughnuts and pretty much ate them all myself.

 

 

Task 4: A miracle crucial to Hanukkah is the Miracle of the cruse of oil, which concerns a jug of oil that (ostensibly) only contained enough oil for a single day, but miraculously turned out to last all of eight days. – Miracles aside, tell us: Have you ever experienced that something you had bought or you owned lasted a lot longer than anticipated … or where you expected a shortage which then fortuitously didn’t occur after all?

 

I wear contact lenses and for some reason I have at times gotten very low on saline solution. There are many times that I have picked up a bottle thinking it will not be enough to clean and store my lenses but, like magic, I just have enough. 

I also commented on MbDs post that I tend to run out of beauty products that I love but the things I want to use up seem to go on for ever. Very annoying.

 

Book: Read a book about light, miracles, characters who are Jewish or books set in Israel.  OR: Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the second temple in the second century; read the second book in a series or a book with the word “second” or “two” in the title.

 

 

3.5* read 8/13

 

5 points earned for Door 14

 

Total = 51

24 Festive Tasks: Door 13 Advent

 

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  Post a picture of your advent calendar - store bought or homemade.

 

 

 

 

 

Task 2: The holidays season is in full swing – tell us:  What’s your favorite tradition?

 

Christmas wouldn't be complete without watching It's a Wonderful Life.

 

 

Other than that it's just a time to eat, drink and laze around. :D

 

Task 3: The tradition of carol singing in the Advent / holiday season is linked to the old Anglo-Saxon (and medieval) custom of wassailing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wassailing). Prepare an apple cider wassail bowl or a wassail bowl containing your favorite drink or fruit. Post a picture and enjoy!

 

I don't have and appropriate bowl and tbh can't be bothered finding something so I'm passing on this (at least for just now, may come back to it).

 

Task 4: Make your own Advent wreath and share a picture of it. Instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWw83CCa2cg

 

Pass on this.

 

Book: Advent also means “second coming”: Read a pastiche, or a book written by an “authorised author” by the deceased author’s estate. OR: There are four Sundays in Advent. Read the fourth book of a series or a book with the word “four” in the title.

 

 

5* read 9/12

 

3 points earned for Door 13

 

Total = 46

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 Bon Om Touk

 

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  Make a paper boat and post a picture of it.   Instructions, if needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiAWx8odStA

 

 

Task 2: If you’ve ever attended a procession or an event involving festively decked out boats, post a picture and tell us about it.

 

Haven't attended anything like this - Pass.

 

 

Task 3: Bon Om Touk celebrates the end of the rainy season. Tell us: What’s your favorite type of rainy day book – and do you have a favorite drink or snack to go with your rainy day reading? Photos welcome!

 

A cup of sweet tea and chocolate biscuits are ideal for rainy day reading.

My rainy day book is pretty much whatever I'm reading but definitely something dark and gothic would be ideal.

 

 

Task 4: Which are your 3 favorite books where a key character is “moonlighting”?

 

I can't think of any books that I have where characters 'moonlight' so I'll have to pass on this.

 

 

Book: Read a book that takes place at sea or on a river OR with water on the cover OR where the plot involves a festival or the moon plays a pivotal role in the plot.

 

Slipway Grey - Mark C. Scioneaux,Dane T. Hatchell 

 

4* read 6/12

 

3 points earned for Door 10

 

Total = 43

 

 

Post op pic of Boo

 

Shadows in the Mist

Shadows in the Mist - Brian Moreland

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Jack Chambers sends his grandson to Germany on a mission to retrieve the bodies of his deceased platoon. He wants the truth to be known about how and why his men were massacred in the Hurtgen forest but there are those who wish to keep what the Nazis did a secret. Jacks diary gives the answers as to the horrors that they endured and also speaks of a supernatural evil that the Nazis wished to unleash on the world and that higher powers would seek to exploit today.

A solid horror that is mostly told through the diary pages of Jack, you become completely invested in the survival of Jack and the 'Lucky Seven'. There's a lot of warfare discussion and this can drag a little but the horror elements make up for it and it ends up an entertaining mix of history and occultism. I did wish the present day story had been fleshed out a bit more, I expected that there would be more of a threat to Sean and those that went to the Church but at the end it was a little anticlimactic in that sense. I did appreciate other aspects of the ending and found it be moving and therefore somewhat satisfying.
Recommended.

24 Festive Tasks: Door 9 Thanksgiving

 

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  List the 3 books you’ve read this year you’re most “thankful” for (your favs) or the one book you’ve ever read that changed your life for the better.

 

 

Powerful story about grief and letting go. Loved it.

 

 

That ending was BRUTAL!!

 

 

Not chosen for it's rating but because it introduced me to a new author, Christopher Buehlman.

 

Task 2:  Describe your perfect meal.  What would you cook for the perfect celebration, or, what would you have your imaginary personal chef cook for you?

 

I love pork dumplings but wouldn't have the time or patience to make them myself so that  would be something I would have made as well as haggis bon bons. Yum

 

  

 

Task 3:  Name a book you’ve read this year that you thought was full of “stuffing”.

 

 

Have no idea what the point of this story was, no substance whatsoever, thank god it was only 37 pages long. Too long even at that.

 

Task 4:  Show us your 2018 book “harvest” – the books you newly acquired this year, regardless whether bought, received as gift or in whichever other way.

 

 

 Beloved Poison (Jem Flockhart) - E. S. Thomson  The Pilo Family Circus - Will Elliott,Katherine Dunn  The Thicket - Joe R. Lansdale  By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead - Julie Anne Peters,C.J. Bott  The Child - Fiona Barton  The Naturalist (The Naturalist Series Book 1) - Andrew Mayne  We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families - Philip Gourevitch  Klondike Slaughter - David Haynes  Survive - David Haynes  The Church of Broken Pieces - David Haynes  Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Fiendish Killer - Harold Schechter  A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea - Masaji Ishikawa  The Light of the Fireflies - Simon Bruni,Paul Pen  The Air Raid Killer - Steve Anderson,Frank Goldammer  Sparrow Man - M.R. Pritchard  The Hunger - Alma Katsu  The Bleak December - Kevin G. Summers  The Walking Dead, Vol. 17: Something to Fear - Robert Kirkman  The Walking Dead: What Comes After (The Walking Dead, #18) - Robert Kirkman,Charlie Adlard,Cliff Rathburn  The Walking Dead, Vol. 19: March to War - Charlie Adlard,Robert Kirkman  The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War Part 1 - Stefano Gaudiano,Cliff Rathburn,Charlie Adlard,Robert Kirkman  The Walking Dead Vol. 21: All Out War Part 2 - Robert Kirkman,Charlie Adlard,Cliff Rathburn,Stefano Gaudiano  Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion] - Edgar Allan Poe,M. Deborah Corley  Dracula - Bram Stoker  

Journey to the Center of the Earth (Kindle in Motion) - Jules Verne  The Walking Dead Volume 24: Life and Death (Walking Dead (6 Stories)) - Stefano Gaudiano,Charlie Adlard,Robert Kirkman  Lightning Men: A Novel - Thomas Mullen  White Trash Zombie Apocalypse - Diana Rowland  Battlefields, Volume 1: Night Witches - Garth Ennis,Russell Braun  Battlefields: Dear Billy - Garth Ennis,Peter Snejbjerg  Battlefields, Volume 3: The Tankies - Garth Ennis,Carlos Esquerra  Battlefields, Volume 4: Happy Valley - Garth Ennis,P.J. Holden,Garry Leach  Battlefields, Volume 5: Firefly and His Majesty - Garth Ennis,Carlos Esquerra  Battlefields, Volume 6: Motherland - Russ Braun,Garth Ennis  Garth Ennis' Battlefields Volume 7: The Green Fields Beyond TP (Battlefields (Dynamite)) - Carlos Ezquerra,Garth Ennis  Garth Ennis' Battlefields Volume 8: The Fall And Rise Of Anna Kharkova TP (Battlefields (Dynamite)) - Garth Ennis  Garth Ennis' Red Team Vol. 1 - Garth Ennis,Craig Cermak  Dead on my Feet - J.A. Konrath  The Boy on the Bridge - M.R. Carey  The Walking Dead Volume 26: Call To Arms - Robert Kirkman   

The Walking Dead Volume 29: : Lines We Cross - Robert Kirkman  The Walking Dead: Here's Negan! - Robert Kirkman  The Walking Dead Volume 28 - Robert Kirkman  Crime Stories - A Mystery Thriller Collection - J.A. Konrath  A Morning for Flamingos - James Lee Burke  Midnight Riot - Ben Aaronovitch  The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories - Francis King,John Blackburn,Richard Marsh,Michael McDowell,Stephen Gregory  The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume Two - Nevil Shute,Mary Elizabeth Braddon,Michael P. Kube-McDowell  The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories - Tara Moore  White Russian - J.A. Konrath  Last Day - Bryan Smith  Murder Squad - Bryan Smith  Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry  The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman  The Suicide Motor Club - Christopher Buehlman  The Necromancer's House - Christopher Buehlman  Between Two Fires - Christopher Buehlman  Bitch Planet Volume 2: President Bitch - Kelly Sue DeConnick  Saga, Volume 6 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples  Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples,Brian K. Vaughan  Empty Zone Volume 2: The Industrial Smile - Darragh Savage,Shawn Jason Alexander  No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy  The Road - Cormac McCarthy  Geek Love - Katherine Dunn  

 

64 new books this year - I've read 14 of them since being bought,

 

 

Book:  Autumnal covers, set in New England, or a turkey shows up in the story.

 

Elevation - Stephen King 

 

3* read 5/12

Set in the fictional SK Castle Rock in New England

 

5 points earned for Door 9

 

Total = 40

 

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 Penance Day

 

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  “Confess” your book habits.  Dog-earring?  Laying books face down?  Bending back the spines? Skimming?  OR: Confess your guilty reading pleasure, or comfort reads.

 

I'll confess my guilty reading pleasure. I love Sophie Kinsella and have read a lot of her books. The Shopaholic series was a particular guilty pleasure of mine and even though it's pretty much run it's course I will devour the next one like it's chocolate cake.

 

 

Task 2:  It’s “Pennants” day according to MbD’s husband:  post a picture of your favorite team’s logo / mascot and the last time they’ve won a championship (or not).

 

 

Team GBR

 

I'm a fan of showjumping and always look forward to GB competing in the olympics. The team didn't fare that well in 2016 but won the gold in 2012. 

 

 

Nick Skelton won the individual gold in Brazil in 2016 which was an amazing.accomplishment for him.

 

 

 

 

Task 3: In centuries gone by, penance would often end up in what might be described as a very extended bad hair day (complete with sackcloth and ashes). Tell us: What’s a bad hair day to you – and what (if anything) do you do about it?

 

Some of the worst days I've had have just been a combination of small irritations that just pick away at you. It's usually always started off with me sleeping in,  making me late for work and feeling like I'm several steps behind for the entire day. It's impossible to catch up and usually I just feel resigned to riding it out and getting through the day and putting it behind me. 

 

Task 4: Early Christian spiritualists would sometimes do penance by spending time in the desert. If you’ve ever visited a desert region (or even live there), post a picture and tell us about it. Alternatively, post a picture of sand dunes (NOT with water in the background!).

 

I can't recall ever visiting a desert but if I had a choice of visiting one it would be the Gobi desert.

 

 

Book:  Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution.

 

Odd Man Out - Pete Kahle,James R. Newman 

 

3.5* read 5/12

 

5 points earned for Door 8

 

Total = 35

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 Mawlid

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  Make two “prophesies” you think will come to fruition in 2019 in your personal or reading life.

 

1. I will take on reading challenges at the start of the year, downsize them by the middle of the year and still panic about finishing them by the end it.

2. I will manage to get through about 100 books off of my TBR yet mysteriously not make any dent in my TBR numbers as they will be magically replaced by new books.

 

 

Task 2: The Five Pillars of Islam include almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mekka. Tell us: Have you ever donated books or rescued them from (horror of horrors) being trashed? Alternatively: Is there a book-related place that is a place of pilgrimage to you?

 

I like to have a clear out now and then and remember donating books to friends, family and charity before I left for overseas. I also had a few massive clear outs before coming back, the charity shop near me got a few books out of that. Out of everything I would get rid of books are something I'm reluctant to let go of as you form attachments to them.

 

Task 3: Prophets are messengers. Tell us: Which book characters are your favorite messengers (no matter whether humans, angels, (demi)gods, etc.)?

 

Hedwig from the Harry Potter series would be the one that springs to mind. A source of comfort for Harry I cried when she was killed.

 

Task 4: Muhammad was a merchant before becoming a religious leader. List 5 books on your shelves in which a key character makes / undergoes a radical career change.

 

Kricket (Under Different Stars) - Janiter/bar person to Priestess and Royal advisor

Meg (The Others Series) Blood Prophet to Human Liaison officer

Angel (White Trash Zombie series) Low level store worker to morgue attendant

Fitz (Mythbreaker: Gods and Monsters - Crooked accountant to Chronicler and Prophet

Gala (Mount) Carer to Jockey

 

 

Book:  If you can find a copy, read Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.  Or read any book about a leader of a movement, nation, religion or large group, OR read a book with a green cover OR with a half moon on the cover.

 

 

3.5* read 20/11.

I'm hoping this is green enough for the challenge.

 

5 points earned for Door 7

 

Total = 30 points

 

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 Veterans/Armistice Day

 

 

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  Using book covers (real or virtual), create a close approximation of your country’s flag (either of residence or birth), OR a close approximation of a poppy.  Take a pic of your efforts and post.

 

The St Andrews Cross (Scotland)

 

 

Task 2: Make an offer of peace (letter, gift, whatever) to a book character who has particularly annoyed you this year.

 

Dear Katniss,

 

I understand you've had a tough time of it what with poverty, starvation, having to partake in barbaric games for the enjoyment of the elite. This year I read about your adventures to capture the capital and whilst I greatly admired your bravery I do think you need to remember that it's not all about you.

You're not responsible for every little thing that goes wrong in peoples lives, they have choices the same as you so please stop beating yourself up when someones choices prove fatal. People have a right to fight for what they believe in, you can't take that away from them.

I hope you have a peaceful life with Peeta and your children, you both deserve it.

 

 

Task 3: Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by which author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)?

 

I've read 45 James Patterson books, I don't think this makes me a veteran of him however as I stopped appreciating his work a number of years ago. I still have a few of his books on my shelf but I won't be following any more of his series or reading anything of his I don't own. 

Richard Laymon and Garth Ennis are tied at 37 books, this I am much happier about. I love Richard Laymon and was a huge fan of his work, there's not much of his I haven't read.

 

 

Task 4: Treat yourself to a slice of poppy seedcake and post a photo. If you want to make it yourself, try out this recipe: https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/poppy-seed-cake/ … or this one: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1629633/lemon-and-poppy-seed-cake

 

Pass on this, not a fan of poppy cake.

 

Book:  Read any book involving wars, battles, where characters are active military or veterans, or with poppies on the cover.

 

 

4* read 4/12

 

4 points earned for Door 5

 

Total = 25

24 Festive Tasks: Door 6 International Day of Tolerance

 

 

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

Task 1:  Find some redeeming quality in the book you liked least this year and post about it.

 

There’s a Giant Trapdoor Spider Under Your Bed - Edgar Cantero   

 

At only 24 pages you were thankfully a very short read.

 

Task 2: Tell us: What are the tropes (up to 5) that you are not willing to live with in any book (i.e., which are absolutely beyond your capacity for tolerance) and which make that book an automatic DNF for you? (Insta-love? Love triangles? First person present narrative voice? Talking animals? The dog dies? What else?)

 

I have only DNF'd one book and that was 1001 Arabian nights. It was so boring and just felt that it was repeating itself for a lot of the stories. 

The tropes that make me cringe would be people who are TSTL, Mary Sues and inadequate world building. 

Characters who make stupid decisions and put their lives at risk for no reason, characters that are too perfect but somehow don't know how perfect they are and authors who can't be bothered to flesh out their books with details that give readers a proper vision where the book is based. In the case of a book I recently read, the author made up a fake alien language, it was laughable and distracting and just came off as lazy.

 

Task 3: The International Day for Tolerance is a holiday declared by an international organization (UNESCO). Create a charter (humorous, serious, whatever strikes your fancy) for an international organization of readers.

 

 

Task 4: UNESCO is based in Paris. Paris is known for its pastries and its breads: Either find a baker that specializes in pastries and bring home an assortment for your family, or make your own pastries using real butter and share a photo with us.

 

Skipping this, I've put on a few pounds and shouldn't even be looking at pastries much less buying and eating them.

 

Book:  Read any fiction/non-fiction about tolerance or a book that’s outside your normal comfort zone.  (Tolerance can encompass anything you generally struggle with, be it sentient or not.) OR Read a book set in Paris.

 

Under Different Stars - Amy A. Bartol 

 

3* read 1/12

 

A lot of romance in this book which is not really my thing.

 

4 points earned for Door 6

 

Total = 21

 

November Reading Round Up

Things Slip Through - Kevin Lucia Mockingjay - Suzanne  Collins Hollow Shell: A Zombie Epic - Part One - Mark C. Scioneaux Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland V for Vendetta - David Lloyd, Alan Moore The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness, Jason Isaacs After: First Light - Scott Nicholson The Wind in the Willows (Kindle in Motion) - Kenneth Grahame The Rose Master - Valentina Cano

 

 

I've missed a lot of round ups this year so thought I should post at least a couple before the end of the year.

 

Just the 10 reads for me this month, but only 1 comic was included so that's a plus.

 

Yearly Reading Challenge update - 122/140

 

Read in November - 10

 

Audio - 0

Novels/novella/short stories - 9

Comics/Graphic novels - 1

 

5*

 

Things Slip Through - Kevin Lucia  A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness,Jason Isaacs  

 

4.5*

 

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues - Diana Rowland  The Lesser Dead - Christopher Buehlman  

 

4*

 

Mockingjay - Suzanne  Collins  V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore  After: First Light - Scott Nicholson  

 

 

3.5*

 

The Wind in the Willows (Kindle in Motion) - Kenneth Grahame  

 

3*

 

Hollow Shell: A Zombie Epic - Part One - Mark C. Scioneaux  The Rose Master - Valentina Cano  

 

 

Just gearing up for the end of the year now, I'm pretty much done with my Christmas shopping and only have to post a couple of presents off to Oz for friends. 

 

I'm working this Christmas which is shit and I've noted in my recent pay that it has STILL not been sorted which now makes it 6 months of management pissing around. 

In all honesty I don't think I can stay there full time anymore, I've really hit my limit and the frustration of several elements is driving me insane. 

Next year will bring a few changes work wise but I'm not quite sure what that will be at the moment. 

 

I'm off on leave at the moment and tomorrow I'm taking Boo to the vet to have her neutered so I'm feeling a little anxious about her having an anaesthetic. I'm sure Suzy will love this as it will give her several hours of peace and quiet.

 

Under Different Skies

Under Different Stars  - Amy A. Bartol

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Kricket is trying to live under the radar until she turns 18 and no longer a concern for social services. A few months shy of her birthday she is abducted by a group of men who take her to another world, according to them her true home, where she must pay for her crimes.

Once there she learns she is a hot commodity due to priestess lineage and special gifts but she has fallen for Trey, the lead soldier who brought her to Ethar. Civil war is also mounting on Ethar between warring factions and Kricket is being used as an excuse for attainment of power by the elites.

First the positive, this was a pretty fast paced read, even with its fault (which I'll get to) I was still engaged enough to keep reading. It was a simple, straightforward read that doesn't tax your brain in any way. Even with all of Krickets faults (which I'll get to) I still sort of liked her feistiness.

The problems I had with it are the following:

- Kricket - She's so stunning, so smart, so brave, has beautiful platinum blonde hair, has unusual violet eyes, is so special, etc, etc, etc. She's too perfect and isn't relatable or believable and it grates after a couple of chapters.

- The love interest - Kricket is told by Trey (the soldier and love interest) that it's not customary for strangers to touch but then goes on to touch her at every given opportunity, it felt creepy and contradictory to the info dumping on Ethar etiquette.

- World building - The author decided to make up an alien language and it's so ridiculous that it pulls you out of the story whenever it comes up. Words such as fardroom, venish, wigg, chester, knob knocker are just a taste of what the language is made up of, This was the worst part of the story for me which was frustrating as it crops up in almost 80% of the book.

It's not the worst book I've read but I'm no fan of romance and there was a lot of that so I was a bit out of my comfort zone. There are lots of very positive reviews out there for this so it's probably just personal taste and as such I will not be continuing any further with the series.

The Rose Master

The Rose Master - Valentina Cano

 

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Anne is a housemaid who is forced to take a new job at Rosewood Manor. Once there, she notices that all is not as it should be. Only three other people work at Rosewood, they are all mysteriously bruised and scratched and something is scratching at her door at night. The master, Lord Grey, is battling a supernatural evil, one that is now targeting Anne and means to end them both.

This was an okay read, I think the author was going for a gothic feel but there was no tension in the story telling. Any build up of Anne's first couple of days at Rosewood Manor was ruined by two characters telling her everything about the supernatural elements, there was no mystery to it and the big reveal wasn't a surprise.

I also found the language and tone a bit off, it felt too modern at times and pulled me out of the story to question whether someone from that period (victorian or earlier?) would say that. I also found the speech flowery and there were too many boring scenes where Ann is cleaning.

I didn't hate it but it's just an average story that could have been a lot more.
There's another book in the series but based on this I'll be giving it a miss.

24 Festive Tasks: Door 3 Melbourne Cup Day

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Snow

 

 

 

 

Task 1: Pick your ponies!  MbD has posted the horses scheduled to race; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order).  

 

 Cross Counter - 1 point + 1 point for participation ( I think, correct me in the comments if I'm wrong on this).

 

Task 2:  Cup day is all about the hats.  Post a picture of your favorite hat, whether it’s one you own or not.

 

Not a lover of hats, any hat I wear would be a woolly hat, bucket or baseball cap. 

Here are out there hat creations I found online.

 

 

 

Task 3: The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across?

 

I found a recipe for making your own lip gloss using Jello. I haven't tried it but I'd never think of using it for this.

 

10 Alternative Uses for Jello

 

Task 4: Have you ever been to or participated in a competition involving horses (racing, jumping, dressage, whatever)? Tell us about it. Photos welcome, too!

 

As a youngster I competed in pony club competitions, I gave it up when went to nursing college but my sister still has horses and regularly competes in dressage and show jumping.

Here I am at 14 years old on my pony Sunni doing cross country at Bruckley Castle.

 

 

 

Book: about horses or a horse on the cover.  Books with roses on the cover or about gardening; anything set in Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

3* read 27/11

 

6 points earned for Door 3

 

Total = 17

24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 Diwali

 

 

hosted by Murder by Death, Themis-Athena, and Moonlight Madness

 

 

 

Task 1:  Share a picture of your favorite light display.

 

I love it when there's thunder and lightning, there's something comforting being all cosy inside whilst there's thunderstorms outside.

 

 

Task 2:  Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it.  Give us the before and after photos.  OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information. (If in doubt, see here: http://jenn.booklikes.com/post/1782687/state-of-the-database-booklikes-database-halloween-bingo-and-a-mini-rant-with-pictures).

 

Before

 

 

After 

 

 

I’m not convinced it’s any better but I’ll go with it for just now.

 

Task 3: Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali. Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us.

 

Peanut butter truffles

 

200g milk chocolate

100ml double cream

3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

Salted peanuts (crushed)

 

Slowly melt chocolate and cream over a low heat.

When melted, take off the heat and add the peanut butter until thoroughly mixed.

Put mixture into a plastic container and put into freezer for 30-60 mins.

Remove from container and cut into squares.

Coat truffles in crushed peanuts.

Done!!

 

Task 4: During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower. Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images.

 

Whilst I browsed through my book titles such as Genital Grinder and Hellspawn, it dawned on me that I don't have many covers depicting ladies with flowers. Still, I just managed to scrape these 5.

 

 

Book: Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series)kk

 

 

4* read 19/11.

 

5 points earned for Door 4

Total = 11

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues!

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues  - Diana Rowland

 

The second book in the white trash zombie series sees Angel being falsely implicated in the theft of an unusual body from the morgue. With her job on the line she investigates who could be behind the theft and comes across a disturbing organisation that ties in with the zombie mafia.

 

This was almost as good as the first book, there's not much difference in my rating for 1 & 2 just a feeling that I liked the first book slightly more. That being said this was all out fun, a little slow to start off with but there's a lot going on and it was a fast read once I got into it.

 

The biggest reason I am loving this series is Angel, she's such a great character. She undergoes quite a bit of character growth in this second book, starting to better and believe in herself more and it was heartening to see her move forward in her relationships with others, especially her father. She is a very relatable and overall likeable character, in no way perfect and better for it. 

 

A fun read that has me itching to get the next one started. Highly recommended.

Currently reading

Snow Day by Dan Maurer
Progress: 21%
The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride
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The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
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