Friday, September 30, 2011

Thoughts from a Naked Goatherder??

That`s it, I am done with clothes! From here on out I am going to be a nekkid goatherder!

Sure, that might be a rather dangerous decision given the amount of critters around here that have big peckers and-Oh behave yourselves! I was talking about the turkeys and their large beaks! Now where was I? The big peckers, right! (And there goes my PG-13 rating swirling down the gutter where it will snuggle up closely to my mind I`m sure.)

It might be a dangerous decision with those turkeys running around pecking at body parts. And lord knows if I got a boob closed in a gate or pen door that would smart but I am tossing aside my garments to be a nudist caprine raiser! The reason for all this nudity you ask? Oh yeah, a reason would help unless you know, I just decided to run around bare-arsed to help bolster egg sales. *Ponders* Nah, that wouldn`t work well I`m sure.

The reason I`m dropping my clothes-wearing habit is because I can`t seem to keep the rassafrassin` things clean! It is simply appalling how quickly I ruin clothes. I have no clue how I grew into such a slob but apparently I did. My drawers are overflowing with tank tops and tees that I can only wear around the house. Perfect case in point-

Sunday we went to my sister-in-laws for a birthday party for my nephew. She made the biggest dish of baked spaghetti I have ever seen! Boy howdy did it smell good with all that cheese and sauce bubbling up and down. Before we left I changed out of my ‘Only-Wore-Two-Times-Then-Gobbed-Mayo-On-The-Front’ purple tank top into a lovely white sleeveless top. I know, I know. You`re asking yourself why would Feral wear white when she knows spaghetti is on the menu. I honestly don`t know. I thought it would look nice with the dark green khaki shorts I had bought. And it did, until I sat down with my family and a mushroom rolled down my boobs to my plate. *sighs*

My daughter thought that was pretty funny. Mister simply rolled his eyes. He`s gotten used to seeing me perform like this whenever we eat. Last time he and I had our dinner and a movie night I slobbered turkey gravy from my French fries into the same purple top I had cast off on Sunday. Even now as I type I can`t keep my eyes from the toothpaste smear on my shirt. What do they put in toothpaste anyway that resists all cleansing attempts?! No matter how you scrub or soak that spot that darn white mess reappears magically like David Blaine. Sorry, I digressed.

Needless to say my white shirt is now ruined for out-of-home use. So I said the heck with it. I`m done buying clothes only to muck them up before the tag is even properly torn from under the armpit. From this day forth I shall be an unclothed yodeler! I shall scamper across the farm in only my Muck boots, trying to keep a wide berth between me and the meat turkeys who I know shall lumber after me trying to peck my rump thinking my cheeks are loaves of chubby bread. Chores should be much easier, and breezier. No hidden nooks to hold all that hay chaff. No bra to catch chicken feed when I fill the feeders. No pants for goats to chew upon and leave those lovely cud stains.

Heck, maybe this nude farming will catch on! Maybe someday all goatherder`s will be free of the confines of their clothes! Perhaps in the future all we rural critter keepers will be frolicking about with only an egg basket and a smile! It could happen! If we all lived in Texas I suppose. Hmm, maybe I`ll start being a nekkid goatherder after winter is done. Feral in nothing but her Muck boots come February might be a slightly blue Feral.

There are some peaks here in Pennsylvania that I really don`t want to see snow on in further reflection.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Word of Mouth-Moon Called

Howdy gang, time for more word of mouth. My To-Read pile is dwindling, looks like another trip to my local indie bookstore is soon in order! Today we`ll be chatting about the first book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, ‘Moon Called.’

I found this series via Facebook when I spied a little advertisement along the right-hand side of my Farmville screen. Guess those ads really work. What else is there to do while you`re waiting for your virtual farm to load? Usually my reads come from friends, Kasey and Kevin my darling bookstore owner`s or reading other reviews so I was intrigued and yet rather skeptical about Moon Called. My skepticism has been laid to rest and I plan on picking up the rest of the series-Blood Bound, Iron Kissed and Bone Crossed.

Moon Called introduces us to Mercy Thompson, a mechanic that is also a shape-shifter. What I liked about Mercy is that she turns not into a wolf, although there are plenty of werewolves skipping about her town, but instead phases into a coyote. It`s something just a little different that grabbed me right off. But it`s the tight plot that kept me hooked and made me keep turning pages. Mercy ends up in all sorts of trouble with assorted witches, vampires, werewolves and other fey sorts when the young drifter who appeared in her shop one day seeking employment ends up dead on her front porch.

Things go from bad to worse when her neighbor, the Alpha of the local pack, has his home torn apart, is almost killed and his human daughter is kidnapped. Did the lone wolf on her porch have any connection to the attack on the Alpha? What do the vampires know about this? Can Mercy aid her handsome neighbor and get to the root of this problem before all hell breaks loose? And what about the man she was in love with back when she was younger and being raised by a differing wolf pack? Those questions move the book along with more and more speed, carrying us from a rather innocent beginning to the must-finish-this-even-if-it-is-midnight conclusion.

This paranormal thriller/mystery brings us a new world of vamps, wolves, witches and shape-shifting beings. There is very little romance in this first book of the series, which was a let-down for me but I`m hoping to see some as the series progresses. For those of you who aren`t into the tawdry bedroom scenes like I am but still love a good twisty book, then this will please wholeheartedly. There are tons of turns and tense moments. The protagonist is instantly likeable. The mystery is tight and compelling and this world that Mercy lives in is unique and rather fresh, even if we are dealing with the usual things that go bump in the night. It`s a very satisfying read (Aside from the lack of nookie) and will keep you spellbound and wishing you too could run free like the coyote.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Is It Safe??

*Peeks around door cautiously*

Well it looks safe but I`ll be keeping an eye on the sky in case it falls. What a week it`s been. Y`all ever heard the saying that when it rains, it pours? It has been pouring on me for days and I`m hoping it`s time to dry off a little bit. My feathers are sodden to say the least.

It all started last Saturday evening when my beloved laptop decided to cough up a lung, or a byte or whatever it is computers cough up. As it ran slower and slower and even slower I rushed around like that proverbial headless chicken to ensure all my work, and my completed novel, were on my flash-drive. Sunday I ran it down to my nearby computer wizard. Monday he called back and said it was done. A hundred and fifty bucks for that visit….. I grimaced but bit the bullet and merrily skipped home with my Dell. Tuesday night my daughter got on (her laptop got broken recently when Mom dropped it. Yikes, I know) and she wasn`t on for an hour when she started having troubles. *Insert large maternal sigh here.* So we broke into another round of frenzied flash-drive copying. I am uber paranoid about losing my book as you can tell.

Wednesday morning I just got enough out of the old girl to post my book review then she gave up the ghost yet again. During all this I was feeling more and more rumpled and had a wee thought that I was catching my daughter`s nasty head cold. So I placed another call to my repair man, took another trip to his shop only to find that my child had picked up a Trojan, and a rather nasty one at that. It took the man eight hours and much hair pulling to finally get the thing out of my laptop. That ended up with another hundred dollar bill and a very stern discussion after my child got home from school about safe internet sites.

As I type my head feels like it`s stuffed with cotton, I sneeze roughly every fifteen seconds and the president of the Kleenex corporation just sent me a personal ‘Thank You’ e-mail. Now I have to set off for town to buy some food. Personally I`d rather stay in my safe little coop in case some malady befalls my truck. But I shall not be Chicken Little! Onward I shall go, tissue box in hand!

Maybe I`ll just take another peek before I set off though…..

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Word of Mouth-Envy

Seriously, my book habit is getting out of hand! I am either reading too much (Is there such a thing?) or the books on my shelf are just that darn good! Whatever the case may be I`ve wrapped up another one and am ready to pass along some word of mouth. This time around we`ll be talking about the latest book in the Fallen Angels series ‘Envy’ by the one and only goddess of paranormal romances J.R. Ward.

Now first off I do wish to say that I went into this third installment with one thing in mind. That was to not compare it to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series Ms. Ward pens. Obviously I am a HUGE fan of those sexy vampires as my little picture on the right there states. I settled things in my mind that I would approach this book as if the authoress had not penned those well-worn and dog-eared copies of the BDB that sit so erotically beside my pillow.

Envy is the tale of two men actually; one is Jim Heron, a fallen angel working to save the souls of seven people. This is a fight for the world, good vs. evil and only one side can emerge victorious. Jim and his two angelic helpers Eddie and Adrian have faced the demoness Devina in the two previous books and Devina really defines the term sadistic, heartless and cruel. There is also a B word that fits her quite well.

The other story deals Thomas DelVecchio, Jr., a homicide detective and an Internal Affairs officer Sophia Reilly. Officer Reilly is called to the scene when Detective DelVecchio is found standing above the badly mangled body of a serial killer that DelVecchio set out to capture. Sadly he can`t recall one blessed thing about what has transpired but he feels, deep down inside, that he is responsible for the grisly attack. Now DelVecchio has grown up in the shadow of a terrible evil and one has to wonder if ‘Like father-Like son’ is true. Seems the senior DelVecchio was a serial killer as well. Will DelVecchio be saved in time, or will he make the wrong choice at that crossroads?

The battle between Jim and Devina over Detective DelVecchio`s soul is tense, brutal and at times nerve wracking. Since the angels lost the last encounter this one is very important for them, lest the tide begin to turn too heavily in favor of the dark side. Heron is really starting to grow on me. I`ll be honest and say that the first two books in their series were rather luke-warm reads for me. They just seemed to be lacking something and I couldn`t put my finger on what it was. I thought it could be, as I said above, that I was comparing them to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And while they do have some nice links and a Caldwell connection that is a joy to read, they are not the same books.

This novel really felt like Ms. Ward is getting into her stride with the characters involved. I grew to care about each one strongly (Something I couldn`t do no matter what in the first novel) and was literally brought to tears at one point. I won`t divulge any spoilers but the loss was terrible. Jim is growing into one hell of a savior! He is strong, soft, driven, flawed, rough and gentle.

And then there is DelVecchio. Wow. This man wrapped his fingers around my heart and tugged every string that needed tugged. The struggle of him fighting his inner demons was superbly penned. The romance that blooms between DelVecchio and Reilly is smoking hot. I mean, ‘Forget the extinguisher because this baby is fully engulfed’ hot! This couple had the pages igniting and I feared I might have to douse the book in a bucket of water. Then I opted to dump the water over my head.

‘Envy’ is J.R. Ward at her best. The dialog is snapping and bristles, the plots are neatly woven and tight, the action is crisp, bloody and realistic and the sex is driven, passionate, raw and steamy. It gave me blisters from holding the book. Just the way I like it! I don`t even mind typing with band-aids on my fingers, I really don`t. The pain was worth it. *Winks at Vishous*

By far this third book is the best of the series in my opinion. This book now has me gnawing at the bit for the next one to hit the stands, just as I do for any Black Dagger book. It is a page turner, a face fanner, a roller coaster and I devoured it in less than three days. That says something to me as I was wrapping up my own book and revising and editing. That I couldn`t put it down with all the work I had to do shows me that the WARDen was at top form.

If you are a fan of this genre do not walk to the nearest bookstore. Run. Or, if you are lucky enough to have wings as Mr. Heron does, fly to that bookstore and grab ‘Envy’. You will not be disappointed. Just be careful when reading and keep a bucket of water nearby. You`ll need it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Harvesting and Spooky Things Occuring

Good morning gang, there`s a fresh pot perking so come on in and have a sit-down.

It`s a glorious day here in the hills of Pennsylvania. The sun is shining and it`s fall all over! Leaves are just beginning to tint and a crisp kiss of a chill is in the air. Actually yesterday I had to start the truck up a few minutes before we left for the school bus to get rid of the ice. Ah yes, that time of year is creeping up on us here in PA. Speaking of creeping, we`ve had a few odd things happen here the past few days. Creepy disappearances and odd destructive poltergeist type things…..

Miss Yodeling has been the target of this ghostly presence, having her MP3 charger come up missing and the charger for her cell phone mysteriously riddled into bits. Amazingly I have a photograph of the mischievous specter. Please don`t let her innocent appearance fool you; this little imp is pure devilment!

I know, it`s hard to imagine that Lu-Lu would do such things, but she was caught red-pawed yesterday on top of Miss Yodeling`s dresser, trying to swipe ponytail holders and/or the brand new cell phone charger I picked up just that morning in town! Thankfully the MP3 charger was found underneath Miss Yodeling`s desk. Needless to say both chargers are now in a drawer and hopefully the devilment will abate.

Other than the spooky feline stuff all has been pretty serene here. I`m thrilled to say I finished my book and it is now in the hands of my editor! *Does happy goatherder clog dance* I foresee many red marks and at least another revision or two before I submit it to the publishing company I`ve chosen. I`m hoping to see some preliminary sketches from the two artists that expressed an interest soon as well! I will keep you all up-to-date as this process moves along, since it`s all new to me and I`m finding it very exciting!

Last night Mister and I took to the garden for another round of harvesting. Miss stayed inside due to a nasty cold settling in. That`s pretty standard. Back to school one week and already sick. It was a beautiful evening with a rustling wind that made us both tug on a flannel shirt. We picked three fifty pound feedbags of silver queen for my sister-in-law to put into her freezer.

More corn stalks were needed and our pumpkins had to be picked as well.

We cut down enough corn stalks for a feeder full for the goats and a wagon load for Patty. They promptly dove in like hogs in a freshly filled trough!

Today looks like a laundry day for me after I visit with my blogging buddies. I may whittle a bit on some fan fiction then tonight we`re going to settle in and watch Thor on DVD. Yes, I made a trip to Wal-Mart earlier in the week just to pick it up. I am such a comic nerd!

So, how`s things in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Word of Mouth-The Throne of Fire

Good golly another book read and looking to be reviewed! They sure are going fast and that is a pretty good sign that I`m enjoying the novel. This time around I`ll be passing along some word of mouth about the second book in ‘The Kane Chronicles’ series by my hero in all things mythological, Rick Riordan. We`ll be chatting about ‘The Throne of Fire.’

Now you all know I have a deep love of Greek mythos and that leads me into other realms of ancient gods as well. Norse deities are right up there with Egyptian in my number two ‘Gotta Get Me Some Gods’ love. Mister Riordan once more steps up to bat and smacks one out of the ballpark. On our second journey with Sadie and Carter Kane things don`t slow down one bit!

This time around our two intrepid heroes are out to try to bring Ra, the king of gods, back to life. Not a small trick for anyone, let alone two teens! Oh, did I mention they have a time table of perhaps three days to accomplish this feat and are constantly battling dark forces, Egyptian gods that don`t want Ra back and an evil magician that could give He Who Must Not Be Named a run for his wicked cash?! If they fail, the evil Chaos snake Apophis will arise and the world will cease to exist. Typical run of the mill adventure for any of Mister Riordan`s characters. Maybe if the two wise-cracking tellers of this tale knew where to look for Ra, it might make things easier! But first they have to find three scrolls and learn how to chant the spells correctly……Same old, same old for Carter and Sadie.

On this journey the brother and sister team are aided by the Egyptian god of dwarves, Bes. Oh but did I fall in love with Bes! He is funny, crass, witty, loyal and one heck of a BOO-er! Mister Riordan has a wonderful gift for taking these old gods and crafting them into characters anyone in this day and age can relate to. I know…..this series is aimed at young readers some of you may be saying. So what? Just because it is aimed at middle school kids does not mean adults can`t enjoy the work. Don`t let that YA heading make you miss this adventure gang! The plot is tight; the story flows gracefully and is filled with action, humor, sadness and wit. It keeps you turning page after page just to see how our duo of descendants from the House of Light will fare.

I recommend ‘The Throne of Fire’ to any reader, regardless of age, if they`re seeking a thrill ride of a book.

Also a big yodel of welcome to Days at Buttermilk Cottage! Knowing how to yodel is not required to stop in and visit, but if you know how to clog dance that`s always an asset! *Wink*

Monday, September 12, 2011

Veggie Tales

Good morning gang! Drop on down and have a fresh cuppa while we jaw.

We goatherder`s have been keeping busy now that the garden is ready. Seems we no sooner get one batch of tomato`s stewed down and there are more waiting. That`s all for the good though, especially given what a crazy growing season we had. First it was so dry we feared everything would shrivel up, then the monsoons set in and we feared everything would drown! Over the past week we did get some of our silver queen in the freezer. Doesn`t that garden fresh corn always taste SO good in the dead of winter? Kind of like macaroni salad in January. You know, you eat salad all summer and get tired of it but by the time January comes you`re really hungry for macaroni salad!

Yesterday we trundled to the corn patch for another wagon-load.

Good thing we had gotten what we wanted because it looks like someone *Cough* Mister Black Bear *Cough* got into the patch.

As we were chopping and braiding corn leaves (Mister was chopping, Miss and I were braiding) this dark cloud rolled overhead and a clap of thunder that shook the hill rolled over us. Mister got to chopping a whole lot faster after that sound! We just got into the truck and were heading home and the sky opened up. It rained so hard we could barely see to drive.

Once we harvest the ears then we have all those stalks just standing there. Frugal goatherder`s that we are we hate to see anything go to waste, so we go up nightly, chop down a wagon load and bring them up for the critters. The goats love the leaves but not the stalks. Patty eats everything--Stalks, leaves and especially the ears that either were missed or are too small for the freezer. I wonder if he`s checking out Miss Yodeling to see if she`s as sweet as silver queen!

Aside from gardening chores we finally got all the wood that Mister had cut and split hauled. *Breaks into happy goatherder clog dance* Now we won`t freeze and Mister has a clean slate for fall hunting. Or at least he thinks he does. Mau-ha-ha-ha! Little does the poor man know, but I have some odd jobs that need his attention. Like that leaky bathroom ceiling for starters! Fall seems to bring its own load of labors doesn`t it?

What else is new and exciting here on the hillside farm? Let me take a sip and try to recollect. *Lifts mug to lips* Mmmm, what wondrous stuff! The book news is good. I`m working on the last chapter and have two artists that are interested in doing the jacket cover! I`m really excited to see their sketches. Once they have their drawings done I`ll choose which one gets their artwork on the cover.

We have our yearly monarch caterpillar in a jar. A couple of days ago we actually caught him or her (kind of hard to tell even when you do lift their tails) shedding his skin and forming his chrysalis. That was very cool to witness. We`re on our last week of drying down the milking does. I miss my goat milk terribly but I like to give the ladies a break while they`re gestating. Auron has become a sad sight, standing in his pasture and calling to the girls just across the driveway. So close and yet so far away……..

Other than that it`s pretty peaceful here at the moment. I finished one book and have started on the newest ‘Fallen Angel’ novel from my hero J.R. Ward, so a book review of the completed novel will be coming round the mountain soon. Funny thing, Miss came home on Friday with two books from the high school library. One was ‘The Iliad’, which yeah, Greek gods? Feral like! The other was ‘Beowulf’, also a spanking good read! I asked her if both were for her honors English class.

“The Iliad is,” she replied. “Beowulf is for fun.”

Give that kid a knuckle bump! Any teenager who will read ‘Beowulf’ for fun is okay in my book! Ha! I made a witty with Beowulf and book and….Ahem. Yes. Anydoodles she said while blushing, I hope y`all had a good weekend and that the rest of the week smiles upon you!

Off I go to clean. Or write. Or maybe read. Or brew a fresh pot and write and read! Yeah, that`s the ticket!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Drip, Drip, Drip

Come on in! Just drop your umbrellas on the back porch.

My header pretty accurately describes how the past twenty-four hours have been here in the hills. Rain, rain and oh look! More rain fell yesterday and is still falling as I type this. I hope all who celebrated Labor Day yesterday had a warm and wonderful time with their family and that extra day off!

Our three days were darn busy. Seems Mister has realized that hunting season begins in less than a month and that all the wood he had cut needs split and hauled. It`s amazing how fast a man can work when there is the faintest chance of having his hunting time interrupted. *Winks at the ladies* Saturday and Sunday we hauled and stacked. Of course no job is complete around here without some caprine encouragement and supervision.

Monday we had a family cookout planned up at my sister-in-laws. We oared up to her house and although the weather drove us inside that didn`t dampen our spirits!

We ate and chatted and ate and talked and ate some more. When the three of us drug ourselves through the front door last night I commented that as full as I was, I shouldn`t need to eat for two days. *quickly shoves empty paper plate with bagel crumbs behind laptop* you didn`t see that.

Oh! I woke up this morning after Mister had left for work and sluffed into the bathroom to find one of my dishpans sitting on the carpet beside the bathtub. Already knowing what was going on I still had to peek at the ceiling. Yep, we have a leak. I have to assume that we have a loose or broken shingle on the roof, and all the rain yesterday and last night found a way in. One more job to add to the ‘Before You Take Your Gun into the Woods’ list. I bet my husband was SO pleased to find THAT at three in the morning!

What else? Hmm, well Saturday night we went to the movies to see Ryan Reynolds latest film. Good thing our theater finally got it in or I might have gotten mad. I`m sure the manager of the Arcadia is trembling in fear. Not.

This week will see school starting for Miss Yodeling tomorrow. I shook off my lazy shell and trundled up the hill in the dark at six just to get reacquainted with doing chores with a headlight. The birds all blinked at me and glared. Oh yeah, chickens glare as do geese. The turkeys are too concerned with getting something to eat, no matter the time of day, to glare. They just leap down from the roost, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, their forks and knives in wing, waiting. Okay, they don`t really have forks and knives but I think they may have been wearing bibs. It was dark, hard to tell. Also this week I`ll be going to the writers group at our local indie bookstore on Thursday evening. *Waves to all who will be in attendance*

Other than that I`ll probably be trying to whittle on the book, edit what I`ve written so that I can get some of it to the editor and do some housework…..Yeah, the housework is iffy I admit. A woman has to have her priorities right? Time spent mopping and dusting or time spent with a Greek god? Yup, I`ll chose that hunky god of warfare every time, as the dust bunnies under the couch can attest to! Oh before it slips my mind, which happens far too often anymore, a hearty yodel of welcome to Russ Stickacres! Welcome to the hillside farm!

So, what did you all do over the weekend?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Special Treat

Howdy all! Drop on down and have a fresh cup won`t you?

I know I`ve been prattling on about my novel-in-progress for awhile now. Y`all must be getting tired of hearing about it and not seeing a thing. Well, for my blogging buddies I have a special treat, and those who are friends with me on Facebook will get this as well via Networked Blogs.

On Facebook whenever I hit a ten thousand word peak I post a snippet, usually from where I ended when my fingers gave out. This is a fun way to keep folks updated but it also can be kind of confusing, coming into a novel without having any idea of whats come before. So in celebration of hitting 80,000 words yesterday I thought I would give you, my faithful friends and family, the first page of my rural romantic comedy 'Of Gods & Goats'to whet your whistle.

I hope you enjoy it and that it gives someone a smile. This image is of a couple of fine looking Saanan goats since I have yet to start looking for an artist for the book jacket. *Adds another note to the growing To-Do list* Saanan`s play a pretty big part in the book as this is the breed my lead character raises. Do keep in mind that this is the rough version. I`ve started compiling pages to take to my editor but her red pen hasn`t seen any of this yet.

So here is the first page, thank you all for your support, it really does mean a lot! *Hugs*

Libby`s Morning Trend


Have you ever awoken in the morning and known that the day was going to be a life-changing one? That this day, this very wonderful sunny day, was the one? That special day that would see your hopes and dreams realized? That this vibrant day would lift you from loneliness and the unrealized? Where your fairy godmother would wave her sparkly little fairy wand over your rumpled head and you would blink and stare in wonderment at the new life spread out before you? Neither have I. I have though awoken to a cat`s ass in my face. If that doesn`t show you how the day, and perhaps your life is going, nothing will.

This morning was one of those feline kiss-my-rump kind of morning`s. Most of my mornings start off with at least one furry derriere in my face. It is not the finest sight first thing off but then again it does beat the heck out of the sight of the empty pillow resting beside you. This morning it was Argus who had his fluffy white can plastered across my forehead. Yeah, he`s named after that character in that famous book about wizards. You know the one that loved his cat and was crabby and not magically inclined in the least? I`m waving my hand mentally just so you see the similarities between me and that crotchety old cuss, although in my defense I am not wandering about some vast British castle trying to make trouble for young wizards. Also, at thirty-six I am not quite as old as he is despite what that wise-ass kid who carries groceries at the Stop & Shop may think!

I was in my bed with Argus` tail draped over my lips, cat fur on my tongue and sleepy dirt in my eyes as the sun flittered through my bedroom window. I tried to lift my head but Argus had it pinned to my pillow. I highly doubt there`s a fairy anywhere near this small farmstead anyway. If there were my steer Paddy would have chased her down the dirt lane I call a driveway. That is so how my life would run. Fairy godmother appears full of fairy goodness; fairy godmother gets run off by watch steer.

“You know,” I sputtered and coughed, “There is plenty of room down there by Hermione,” I told Argus after removing his tail from my face.

He padded down over my stomach and swatted Hermione my beagle soundly on her nose. Timid little thing that she is, she ran up and buried her face under that empty pillow to my left which put her brown and black rump in my face. There is a theme here I noted and rolled over to look through the sheers that rustled in front of the open window. Up here in the mountains of Pennsylvania we don`t close our windows at night. Nor do we lock our cars in our driveways. I inhaled the fresh smell of May and my heart tightened. Matt loved this time of year. When we were first married and moved to this little twelve acre parcel it was May then as well. The smell of leaves warming in the sun and grass kissing the robin`s feet made me yearn for him just as it always does.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Word of Mouth-Heartless

Time again for some word of mouth! We`ll be chatting about the latest book in the Parasol Protectorate series by the delightfully wry Ms. Gail Carriger titled ‘Heartless’.

Honestly, I couldn`t wait to get this latest installment in the series for I feel madly in love with our heroine Lady Alexia Tarabotti Maccon in the three previous books. Sometimes as a series progresses though the author seems to drift. That is not the case with ‘Heartless’ let me assure you! Ms. Carriger returns, as does her VERY pregnant protagonist, with a vengeance and a parasol that would put James Bond`s gadget man Q to shame!

This time around Alexia finds herself embroiled in things and amazingly it isn`t her fault. A ghost has come to the soulless one with a threat against the queen. Alexia, being the woman that she is, dashes right into the thick of things. She has to deal with a possible link to her dashing and so very appealing werewolf husband`s past, a sister that has come to live with them that has joined, of all things, the suffragette movement ( Gasp!), a horde of zombie porcupines and a French inventor`s possibly dangerous mechanical invention. All this of course has to be dealt with while carrying about her ‘infant inconvenience’ and stopping for tea and treacle tarts whenever possible!

Will Alexia be able to work out who is plotting to kill Queen Victoria in time? Are those cagey vampires behind this plot again? Could there be a furry traitor in the Woolsey Pack? What is now residing in Lord Akeldama`s second best closet? And will her bustle survive intact when all is said and done?

This book will answer all the above queries and will do so with impeccable manners and a deftly tied cravat. Ms. Carriger delivers the goods and then some with her fourth outing into this engaging and steampunk rich world. The pace never stops to allow us, or poor waddling Alexia, time to catch a breath. The world that Ms. Carriger has created is superb and richly detailed and the characters…Oh the characters!! I will say it now Lord Akeldama, that foppish vampire with a monocle to match every waistcoat he owns, has completely stolen my heart! And he is a secondary character!

Alexia and Lord Maccon are a lovely and loving couple, the romance is light and fluffy and their banter is wickedly proper yet conveys how very much they adore each other. I cannot recommend this series enough to my friends! If you`re looking for a supernatural comedy with a dash of steampunk and a refreshing romance, look no further than ‘The Parasol Protectorate’!