Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today I'm at...

Vampire Book Club

I'm talking about some of my favorite vamp (or vamp-like) books that don't get mentioned as often.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Returning to the Clockwork Century...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: This is my kind of Western.

The American West of the late 1800s fits steampunk just as easily as Victorian London. The character types are different, of course, as is the setting, but the expansionist zeal of the United States, the settlers who had to rely on their own ingenuity, and the sense of being removed from law and order make it a very exciting setting, and one where gadgets and airships would come in handy. Cherie Priest has tinkered with history and science to bring to life an America where the Civil War has gone on for 20 years, Seattle is overrun with zombies, and a few good (or mostly good) men and women do whatever it takes, come hell or high water, to get the job done.

I watched 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea over and over again as a kid (I believe I had a giant crush on Kirk Douglas' Ned Land), so I have a soft spot for stories about mysterious submarines. This one is stuck in the bayou, not having adventures on the ocean, but it still was a very fun ride.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

So yesterday the kiddos and I made our own marshmallows. It was the first time I'd tried them, but it ended up being easier than I thought it would be. The hardest part was finding potato starch (3 stores until I finally found it). Just call me Martha Stewart - if the domestic one was into Ninja marshmallows.

Last Christmas I got the Ninjabreadmen Cookie Cutters - the kids love them, but I think I love them more. So of course, we had to make Ninja marshmallows. One has a little battle damage (to be expected when a three year old wields the cookie cutter) but they turned out pretty well. They taste like store bought ones, just fresher.

Next time I will try the chocolate marshmallow recipe I found in Cooking Light. We were also thinking it would be fun to put them on a stick and dip them in chocolate. Maybe add some sprinkles, sea salt, caramel, other toppings.

I got the marshmallow recipe from Bon Appetit magazine:

Like the Ninjas? The cookie cutters can be found at ThinkGeek and Amazon

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Book Was Better
Another shirt from to add to my wishlist. With the exception of Peter Benchley's Jaws, the rule stands. From the character of the Marine Biologist (in the book he's a douchebag who sleeps with Brody's wife) to the end (without being spoilery let me just say, this did not end with a bang), I thought that Spielberg vastly improved things.

How about you? Do you have any books where you thought that the movie was better?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sci Fi Romance Novellas

Coming soon to your eReader (or applicable eBook app) is the latest Kinsmen romance novella from Ilona Andrews. We first encountered this futuristic, beautiful, and dangerous world in Silent Blade. While I do recommend the first novella, it is not necessary to read it (although getting an update on Meli and Celino was a treat).

A little background: You have a planet that while beautiful to look at, is ruled by mafia-type families whose feuding often leads to bloodshed. Only the strong survive and thrive here. Also, some people have technological or biological enhancements. This usually makes them much more efficient at killing people.

This is the kind of romance I like.

Latest YA Reads

This time I've got 5 YA books. Trying to get caught up on lots of stuff. I got a bit behind because of the craphole that was August, but I am making progress.

Sidenote: If I can offer any personal advice, it would be to take as many trips to see loved ones and as many photos as you can. Recently put together my dad's remembrance video and was surprised by how few photos I had with him (tons with the kids, though, which I'm grateful for). Even candids if you are like me and dislike posing for pics. End of my two cents on that topic.

Read on to get to the fun stuff - good books!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Recent eBook Reads

I am loving when great authors get together and bundle their shorts as eBooks. I've been a fan of anthologies for a long time, but sometimes you just want to keep one or two stories from an antho. Lately, a lot of my favorite shorts have been re-released by the authors as eBooks.  Here's a few I recently read.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Girls With Brains

Last week there was much hubbub about a t-shirt JC Penny's was selling (it read "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do if for me"). Lots of condemnation rocked the internets and the retailer pulled the shirt and issued an apology. Needless to say, this was NOT a shirt we bought when going back to school shopping.

Stellar Four* ( my favorite geek girl site) posted this which sums up for me the problems and how fundamentally, attitudes need to change. (Megan S. does a great job here, and her mom is very awesome too.)

This issue is more than a little personal for me. See, I'm the mother of a young girl. She is 100% a girly-girl: loves pink, glitter on everything, and being a princess. She also loves school, math is her favorite subject, and she's really getting into science. This is the way she is. (She also would be incensed if anyone told her that boys, especially her brother, were smarter than she was.) We spent the weekend experimenting with colors and made a volcano erupt. Then we watched The Princess and the Frog.