Category Archives: Uncategorized

Making friends

Last night, I helped out a friend with an envelope stuffing party. I realized that this person introduced me to seven people in the last year, invited me to dinner multiple times, and pretty much makes this meme true for me.  She is one of two extroverts in my life and I’m so glad for her.

Who are you grateful for today?

Book Banter: The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen

Title:  The Queen Of Tearling514XGcRc9SL.jpg

Author:  Erika Johansen

Genre:  Dystopian

Length:  643 pages

Where Stacie’s Copy Came From:  Oshkosh Public Library

Plot Basics:  The rightful queen was hidden away shortly after her birth to protect her life.  Kelsea Raleigh is now 19 years old and seeks to reclaim her throne.  Her journey reveals that the task is larger than she ever envisioned, if she survives the journey to her holdings.

Banter Points:  I know that this was a recommendation either from a Goodreads friend or a Facebook friend but my typically referrals haven’t read it.  This frustrates me because I’m enjoyed the book and have moved on to book two already,  It would be nice to tell them “thank you” and then ask what else they are reading.

I like the pseudo fairy tale feel to the telling of this story.  Rather than it being historical, it’s future.  Something has happened and the world has lost technology, gained magic, and The Church is an influence similar to medieval times.  Society has reverted in other ways too, losing advancements in equality and medicine.

The how and why of this world is fascinating to me.

Bummer Points:  By the end of the book, I was fascinated by the “why” of what happened.  How did the world step back from technology?  Why did they run to the new place?  What were they running from?  I tried to find some additional information, but wasn’t able to find an author website or book website outside of bookstores or the publisher.

Stacie’s Recommendation:  Read it.  I’m half way through book two and have high hopes for how this trilogy will end.

Book Banter: Black Dawn

black dawnTitle: Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires #12)

Author: Rachel Caine

Length: 370 pages

Genre: YA Fantasy/vampire

Plot Basics: Fearless foursome Claire, Shane, Eve and Michael have gone up against their share of bad guys in Morganville, Texas, secret vampire stronghold town. But that was before the draug — the thing vampires are scared of — shows up. Nothing is the same in town and it’s an all out war. The four friends will have to learn how to re-trust each other if they have any chance of keeping their town alive.

Banter Points: I have every intention of finishing this series and have for a few years. I also am making a new intention of writing well-put-together reviews of them. This is series where I got blurbed, and yes, on the back of this one, is my oh-so-poignant statement: “Fans of Twilight should really check this out.” Because it’s better. Because that was a review written in the hey-day of Twilight madness and I was doing my self-appointed duty to try to point out other, better books.

First, I think Caine must have studied at the Joss Whedon school of “how to hurt your characters” because she definitely stepped it up in this one. I’ve always liked her as a writer because of how well she raises the stakes at the end of each book. All her characters have to face real and imagined losses in this book.

Second, this series remains a great page-turner. Twelve books and it’s not getting rote or repetitive. Yes, the basics of the four friends keeping each other safe and going up against the bad guys is the same, but Caine continues to invent new and different circumstances.

Bummer Points: The big, and flawed, difference between Caine and Whedon is that the main characters aren’t ever really in danger. She does a good job of breaking the relationships between Eve and Michael and Shane and Claire, but she also put them back together. I think Whedon would have left one of them fractured and forced them to keep working together through it until it was really fixed or irreparable.

Word Nerd Recommendation: These books are great for readers in their late teens/20s. The action keeps the books going and the relationships presented are far healthier examples.

Caffeine needs

dst coffee

This second day is always like a kick in the pants. Especially tough after being awakened in the middle of the night by… wait for it… a snoring cat.

Wishing for Spring

Winter in Wisconsin has been a roller coaster of temperature options. Mostly, I’m thinking spring and it shows up in my latest coloring project.

Go forth and “thing”

once upon a time

One Word Nerd is studying her brains out. The other of us is trying to stay on top of a mounting pile of deadlines.

Regulatory Reading

That, my friends, is what I’ve been reading in my study time. The colorfully flagged book is a co-worker’s copy of our text. Immediately behind that is a catalog rack of the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule.  Not pictured: three books containing the Code of Federal Regulations for importing goods into the U.S.

This is the heart of how goods come into the country, the taxes paid on it, and the rules for various details used in labeling, among other things.

I took my first practice test over the weekend and missed a passing score by five questions. My plan is to take six or seven more tests in March, then the Real Test on April 3rd.

How’s your Tuesday going?

The end of the week

I have my Friday night plans figured out…

Inspiration, my dear Watson


Yep, the Fate of the Part-Time Bachelor sounds like a winner to me.