Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fall Reading List *Edit

So, I'm a book junkie. You all know this. I'm reading new books and re-reading old books, and just burying myself in stories all together. It's what I do when I have free time. Honestly, I do think I'm addicted. Think they have a program for people like me? Hope not. :-)

A few books on my read/to be read list are MUST READS for you too. No really, I will follow you until you have picked up and read every single one of them and reported back to me.
Just kidding.
Or am I?
Anyways, figured I'd give you all a run down of the books I'll be picking up this fall. Some of them for the first time, some of them for the 2nd, 3rd, or maybe even 4th time. Just incase you were looking for some new reading material. You can tell whoever you have to when you go to the store to buy them that they come HIGHLY recommended.... by me. Cuz I'm that cool.

and Falling, fly by Skyler White. It's a debut novel for Skyler that I was lucky to win in a contest on The Cozy Reader's website. Jess always has awesome giveaways. It's something completely different than any other book I've picked up. Which is always good. I like the "run of the mill" fantasy/paranormal books. The ones where you can predict what's going to happen, but it makes you happy because you can. But it's always refreshing (that word still sounds so weird coming from me) to read something new. Something that no one else has ever done before. In the first couple pages of this one I was hooked. It had me wondering "What the heck?" And then laughing a few minutes later at a dinner conversation gone bad.
Amazon's summary: White's debut is a trippy urban fantasy, an esoteric battle between myth and science told in floods of evocative prose. Olivia, a fallen angel cursed to eternity without pain or pleasure, feeds on the blood of those who desire or fear her. Dominic is her polar opposite, a skeptical scientist explaining away the paranormal as mental illness. He immerses himself in neuroscience to seek a cure through selective memory removal; haunted by images of his past lives, he begins experimenting on himself. Looking for research subjects, Dominic finds Olivia. She longs to be set free by love and returned to heaven, but at what price? Reeking of blood and sex, the swaths of atmospheric text sometimes overwhelm the story. Despite the story's enormous plot holes, longtime paranormal fans will appreciate White's willingness to take chances and try something new. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I know, I know. I've already posted about this one... right? I think I have, in my Summer Reading list post. Anyways, I was all set to try and compare Sam to Jacob Black... but this book couldn't be compared. Again, another new concept to the way we look at the things we've heard so many stories about, over and over and over. Don't get me wrong, New Moon is one of my favorite books, but it's like apples and oranges when the 2 are put side by side. This one kept me on the edge of my seat and had me crying at the end, and if any of you know me, you know I absolutely cannot stand to cry. Because I blubber. Seriously.

Amazon review: Praise for Shiver: "A lyrical tale of alienated werewolves and first love... Stiefvater skillfully increases the tension throughout; her take on werewolves is interesting and original while her characters are refreshingly willing to use their brains to deal with the challenges they face." -Publishers Weekly, starred review "Readers will be able to enjoy Stiefvater's fast-paced storytelling and dedication to the old-fashioned art of creating a believable and enduring romance. Shiver is beautifully written, even poetic at times, and a perfect indulgence for readers of all ages." -Bookpage.com

To Be Read:

Torment by Lauren Kate. Sequel to Fallen. Fallen was a good book. The ending didn't seem to really go with the rest of the book, but it was a great read. Can't wait to hear more about Luce and Daniel's "past".
Amazon description: Hell on earth.
That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.
It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.
At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous.
What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?
The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick. Sequel to Hush, Hush. Hush, Hush drew me in because of the cover (I know, never judge a book by its cover, but I can't help it). And then because it was set in Maine, which is where I live. So some of the places were familiar to me. Patch is the bad boy that you love to hate at first and then can't help but just love later on.

Amazon description: Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.
The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

In Dreams begin by Skyler White. Yes, the very same. Your eyes do not deceive you. Wicked excited about this one. Not ONLY because the 4th word in the description says IRELAND (and I love all things Irish... you wouldn't know it by my married name, but I am Irish) but because again, it sounds like one of those stories that you just haven't heard before. Unpredictable. I love period stories, and this sounds like one with a twist. Because it's a modern day tale as well.
Amazon description: From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power, but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through Hell and across history . . . or destroy it.
"Every passionate man is linked with another age, historical or imaginary,
where alone he finds images that rouse his energy." W. B. Yeats
Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de sicle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls--from an ocean and a hundred years away--passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats's poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.
With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats--the practical materialist and the poet magus--must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever.
Some other books that I'm interested in, but can't post for lack of time currently are (and not all of them come out this fall):
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Temptest's Legacy by Nicole Peeler
Lady Dragon by Jewell Mason (which I actually picked up at work off the book swap table!)
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (I'm going to have to WAIT FOREVER for this one)
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Dark Divine by Bree Despain
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Perchance To Dream by Lisa Mantchev
Luthiel's Song: War of the Mists by Robert Fanney
So there you have it... probably not the entire list, but definitely most of the books that I would like to read in the coming months.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Three's Company

So in less than a week, my youngest will be three years old.

I went through a lot when I was pregnant with her. Car accident and a subsequent full arm cast, kidney stones... was told by docs that because I had delivered via c-section with my first baby I HAD to deliver the same way the second time. ::sigh::

But here we are, 3 years later. No binky, fully potty trained, still learning sign language... my beautiful little girl who loves music and dancing, Barbie, flowers, hayrides and cows, and drawing. It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years. Makes me feel kind of old. I've got a 7 year old who's just started the 2nd grade, and a 3 year old that will possibly start preschool this fall.

Sleeping next to me on my EXTREMELY uncomfortable sofa bed... she still has me astonished at the fact that I'm a mother. It STILL amazes me that 2 beautiful little girls call me mom. I love you girls!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stranger Danger

I took Alanna in to Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts one day with my friend Colleen. I had walked to the counter to order and told Alanna that she could go sit at the table about 5 feet away from me to my right. She was 3 or 4 at the time. I picked up the ice cream (or was it donuts, I don't remember that part) and turned to go sit with her, she was gone. I scanned the store quickly and she was no where to be seen. My heart literally felt like it had slammed to the ground. For about 2 seconds my world flipped upside down... and then I heard her. She was under the table.

Even though she was absolutely fine and there really hadn't been anything to worry about, she was where I told her to go, just under the table not in a seat, my brain automatically registered the worst possible thing that could have happened. And you all know what I mean. One of every parents' worst nightmares.

This wasn't the real deal obviously, and I did have a talk with her about hiding from mommy in public places. But at some point, and I hate to say it, many of you will have the same scare. Unfortunately you will, at some point, experience that same feeling of incredible panic that I felt for 2 seconds in Dunkin Donuts. It's not a feeling that I wish on anyone, believe me. But as a parent you need to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

You also need to prepare your child. Equip them with the tools they need so that if they ARE ever put in a situation you hoped they won't have to face, they will have at least some idea of what they need to do. Even at a younger age, they need to know this. I went over it numerous times with my oldest. I think I watched too much Law and Order SVU and Criminal Intent and too much CSI and I was terrified of something happening to her.

Safety Tips:
  • Teach your children not to talk to strangers. I know it seems simple and I'm sure a few of you will even be thinking "Well, DUH". But I'm serious. You can tell them "Don't talk to strangers" all you want, but they need to be taught WHY. Because, let's face it, sometimes kids need an explanation and reasoning before they'll care enough to listen, and this is one of those situations where you don't want to just say "Because I said so" and leave it at that.
  • Tell your child NOT to be afraid to scream and yell if someone ever tries to take them somewhere and they don't know the person. Tell they to kick and scream and do whatever it takes to try and get away. I told Alanna to stick fingers in eyeballs, scratch at faces, kick at private parts, pull hair... whatever she needs to do.
  • Make up a codeword. A word that only trusted family and trusted friends know. Say that you're not able to pick your child up from school, but they're expecting you. You've asked a friend to get them instead, one they might not know well... tell your child to ask them for the codeword to verify that they did, in fact, have your permission to pick up your kiddo. Make sure you tell your child NEVER to give that word to other people, that if it's someone you've trusted their care to, they will know what it is. And if they can't tell them the codeword, no dice. I don't care if they knew and then forgot it... if there is any doubt at all, stay put.
  • Help your child learn their home address, home phone number, and your work number. But again, make sure that this is not information that they give to people. Make sure that they know their full name (younger ones might know their first, but not last). If they are ever lost or wander away from you, God forbid, they will be able to find someone who can help them find you. But make sure they know what adults to go to in situations like those. And teach them to dial 911 in emergency situations.
  • Always go with your kids if they are doing anything door to door. This means trick or treating as well as fundraisers. Number one, you never know who's going to be out and roaming about. Number two, you really never know who's answering the door.
  • Don't ever leave your kids alone out in public. If you go to the bathroom, take them with you. If you don't want them in the stall, have them stand next to it with a foot near the door so you can see where they are. If you're trying on clothes, bring them in the dressing room if you have to.
  • Tell your kids NOT to believe ANY adult that asks them to keep a secret from their parents.
  • Tell them that if an adult comes up to them and asks them directions to say "I don't know" and walk away. Even if the adults intentions really are innocent, they should be asking other adults. Not your child.
  • Teach them about the "Do you want to come and see the puppy I have in my van" or "Do you want some candy" ploys. As stupid and cliche as they might sound, they are that way because they have been used before.
  • Even though this one might not necessarily be just to prevent abduction, make sure they know that if someone ever touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, they need to tell someone. No matter what's said to them about it.
  • If they go somewhere, don't let them go alone. Tell them not to walk near isolated areas or take short cuts. Always go the normal way and the way that's traveled by lots of people.
  • And one of the age old "no nos", tell them that if they ever answer the phone DO NOT SAY "No my parents aren't home right now". Have them say "They can't come to the phone right now, can I take a message."

Alot of these tips can be found on KidSave. Go there to read more and to find out what to do in other situations.

I know it's not something any parent wants to think about. But you need to. In some cases, ignorance is NOT bliss. And you and your child need to have a plan and need to know what to do if they are ever in this kind of scary situation. I pray that they aren't, ever. But you need to be prepared.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm A Government Nanny

No, not me.

Nanny McPhee.

Has anyone seen that movie?

I think it's more for the older kiddies, Alanna loved it when she was 4-5. Lydia can't be bothered with it. Haha.

Me? I didn't want to watch it. My mom had actually gotten it for Alanna and was going to watch it with her but mysteriously had something come up and so I had to play stand-in for a bit. I ended up LOVING the movie. Go figure.

The color scheme is completely gaudy, but it works. It's.... whimsical in a way. I LOVE Emma Thompson in this movie. And Colin Firth. It's just a great story over all. And I loved it, maybe more than Alanna did.

So if you're looking for something for your kiddos to watch, and they've never seen it before, I'd go with this one. Who knows, you might enjoy it too.