Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mary Quinn is on the job

The Traitor and the Tunnel (The Agency #3) by Y. S. Lee
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
373 pages
Buy it @ book depository

Get steeped in suspense, romance, and high Victorian intrigue as Mary goes undercover at Buckingham Palace - and learns a startling secret at the Tower of London.

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there's a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quickwitted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary's onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary's most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn't be higher - and she has everything to lose.

Review: I love these books. Mary Quinn is an awesome character; she's witty, brave and independent which a big thing for a women living in the 19th century. 

Some time has passed since the previous book and Mary has finally graduated and become an official detective with The Agency. She has been given her first assignment since graduating to work as a maid in the Buckingham Palace to find out who has been stealing knick knacks from the Queen. These novels are light mystery stories with no horrible murders and light humor. Perfect for teenagers or anyone looking for something a little different but nothing too heavy. There's also some interesting history going on, after reading this it makes me want to research Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales to find out if they were really like they were portrayed in the book. 

Oh and James! At the end of the previous book Mary had told James something about her childhood which left him upset at her and not wanting to have anything to do with her. I was completely shattered! Their relationship up until then had been so fiery, what with their constant arguing with each other one moment and then passionately making up the next! So you can see why I got quite upset when I thought this will never happen again. Well, he doesn't get away so easily! He's back and oh so swoony *dreamy eyes* 

In the last book Mary found some information regarding her father and in this book we find out what really happened to him after all these years. I found this part of the story a little disappointing and that's why I took a star off. That's the only small thing I could fault with this otherwise I highly recommend this fantastic series!

To read my review of 'The Body at the Tower' click here
(My review seems a bit harsh, not sure why I didn't like it as much because I really liked this one...)

On the cover: So this cover is ok, but I would've prefered the other one on the goodreads page. This cover does depict a moment in the books though which is cool!

What I'm reading next: Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Do you like Historical novels?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Poor Unfortunate Souls

Move over Disney Princess, the Disney Villains have taken over! 
The Disney Villains are becoming more and more popular.

I thought I would compile all the Disney Villain merchandise for all you lovers out there!
The link above takes you straight to the Disney store where you can search through all the evil you wish.

Threadless Tees has a new range of Disney Villain T-shirts, my favorite is below.

I have mentioned this very talented artist's designs before but here is Hungry Designs awesome Ursula (from The Little Mermaid) brooch, she's so beautiful.

In a previous post I spoke about the Disney Designer Princess Dolls, well there are now Designer Villain Dolls! I wished they had created some of the male Villains too, for example Jafar from 'Aladdin' & Dr. Facilier from 'The Princess & the Frog', that would've been cool.

Below is a picture of some of my favorite villain merchandise from the Disney store

Which Villain is your favorite?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Book cover style ~ Clockwork Princess

I'm not sure if you've noticed but I love books, I also love a good looking cover. 
Another one of my favorite things is fashion like clothing and accessories.
So I thought it would be a perfect thing to mesh these together and start my 'Book Cover Style'.

In this post I will show you a favourite cover of mine and 
show you how you can re-create the look of this cover. I hope you like it!

The book I've chosen for my first Book Cover Style is 'Clockwork Princess' by Cassandra Clare.
This is a beautiful cover and the model is drop dead gorgeous, I bet she felt exactly like a princess wearing that dress! So below is the cover and underneath that is my re-creation.

Clockwork Prinncess

To re-create this book cover the total cost is $220, not exactly cheap but how can you resist that dress!

What book would you like me to re-create next time?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Adorable viewing ahead!

I was born in the late 80's but growing up in the 90's introduced me to some awesome kids cartoons which I'm sure many people of my time can relate to. I wanted to share with you all some of my favourite shows I used to watch and love! In this post you will see the intro for each show and I bet that you won't be able to stop yourself from singing them :)
This is only part one of my nostalgic posts, there will be more to come. So for now, ENJOY!

My Little Pony
Who doesn't love My Little Pony, it's adorable!
They have even rebooted it and called it 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic'

The Muppet Babies

The Muppets was such a popular program that they made a spin off cartoon called 'The Muppet Babies' where they make dreams come true...


Gummi Bears

The Gummi Bears fight evil and drink Gummiberry Juice. 

The Wuzzles

The Wuzzles are animals that are two animals blended together. 
They got up to all sorts of interesting adventures that were sometimes very funny.

Care Bears

Oh how we all love the Care bears. Such caring, friendly bears who taught us all so much!
Which cartoons did you love as a kid?

Friday, November 9, 2012

What's all the fuss about?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
465 pages
Buy it @ book depository

A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue.

It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.

It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

Review: So I have finally got around to reading, well listening to this. Way before the hype, a staff member I work with at the library told me I have to read this book because it's so good! So of course I gave it a go, only to have read about 50 pages and not understood a single thing. I found that the names confused me and it wasn't easy to read so I gave up. So now, I decided to get the Audiobook version to see if it was any better than reading. The first disc was boring and it didn't really make much sense to me but now that I've finished the book I can understand why that was part of the story.  And I'm so glad I did get it on Audio because I didn't have to worry too much about name pronunciation. One thing that annoyed me was how characters weren't always called by the first names - Larsson would swap from calling them their first name, then their last name. For example one minute he is calling Henrik Vangar - Henkrik and then later he's called Vangar. It got very confusing because it happened with most of the characters and I feel it's even more confusing because the names are Swedish, I think it would be different if they were common English names. I  know that sounds really terrible of me to say but it's the truth! The only character I really liked was Henrik Vangar, I thought he seemed like a cool old dude - I didn't feel anything for the other characters.

There are 17 discs for this Audiobook and the tenth disc didn't work! So I had to skip about 30 pages of the story, this was so frustrating because the story was just starting to get interesting. (Just so you're aware that was the tenth disc, so that's more than halfway when the book JUST starts to get interesting)

I don't feel the need to read or listen to the other books, instead I read the plots on wikipedia and I'm quite satisfied with that. In the end this book was OK. I don't know why it got so much hype, the mystery was interesting enough but I've read better mystery novels. Oh and a little side note, the main character Mikael Blomkvist has too much coffee and too much sex, he is anybodies! I can totally see why they picked Daniel Craig to play him in the American version of the movie. I am looking forward to seeing the movie version so I can compare them.

A huge warning for people who haven't read this and are thinking of giving it a go - there is a very graphic scene in it which I didn't think was all that necessary to the story but it was explained at the beginning that a high amount of women in Sweden get sexually assaulted so maybe it's common to have that sort of things in Swedish books...

On the cover: Wow what an awesome tattoo! I thought the story was all about a girl with a tattoo but it was more about an excessive coffee drinking journalist who likes women a little bit too much. Oh and What's that about over 1.5 million copies sold? Don't know why?

What I'm listening on Audio to next: Handle with care by Jodi Picoult

Have you read this and did you continue reading the others?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Market Day Tips

Market Day is an exciting day, but it can also be a nervous day too. I've attended quite a few markets now and I thought I'd give you some tips on how to make the day successful.

Markets aren't always held inside where it's nice & warm and the weather has no effect on your stall. So when setting up a stall outside you have to be aware of wind! Wind was my first issue I came across, I wasn't prepared for it and didn't bring anything to hold my tablecloth down. Thinking back now I feel very naive in not allowing for this problem, so I tell you now bring clips or weights to hold down your tablecloth!

In case of rain it's good to invest in a really good marque/gazebo. If you think you may be attending a lot of markets and they are outside then I would highly recommend buying one, it's a great investment. I bought mine from boating, camping & fishing which you can see it online here. My gazebo is easy to put up by myself but I've found that other stall holders are more than happy to give you a hand if you ask. You may even need to buy some sides for your gazebo so it keeps out the rain and wind. You can buy tarps and lots of hand clamps or you could buy the proper sides for this gazebo which are so easy to put up as it's made perfectly for your specific gazebo. I purchased my sides from a local Bunnings Warehouse, just make you buy the correct ones!

Another tip for having a market stall outside is that you should always wear something comfortable and warm because you're at the mercy of mother nature. So if you're not warm and comfortable then you will be miserable all day!

Important things to take with you to a market are: a pair of scissors, sticky tape, pen, paper, bottle of water and some snacks.

I hope these tips have been helpful and I'd love to hear any tips you may have during your experiences being a stall holder

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Completely Spellbound

Spellbound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins
Rating: 4 out of 5
327 pages
Buy it @ book depository

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Review: I'm sad that we're at the end of a fun & magical series. I can remember the feeling I had when I read 'Hex Hall' (the first in the series), it was amazement. I hadn't read anything like it, since then I have but you never forget your first. As always with a series there was a huge cliffhanger at the end of the second book and left you dying to find out what happened to everyone after the fire.

Sophie is back with lots of spunk and spunks in tow. As with SO many teenage series there's always a love triangle and this one is hard for me because I like both the guys involved. There's sweet Cal and funny boy Archer. Which one, which one?! I'll let you read to find out.

Some of my favourite characters are back and some new characters are introduced. The thing I love best about these books is the characters banter with each other. Sophie seems to make bad situations funny because of her comebacks and comments.

I was so upset at one stage towards the end but Hawkins seems to have made it all better in the end.
I decided to give this only 4 out of 5 stars because it wasn't as flawless as the previous two. I thought that it felt rushed and I hate to say it because I love this series, but after all this time wondering about why someone had created demons it was a tiny little let down to find out who was behind it all.

And finally I have to say thank you to Hawkins for writing this series, I have enjoyed reading about Sophie and the rest of the characters. *Sigh* there's no more, but I feel happy with the ending.

If you would like to read my review of Hex Hall click here and for my review of Demon Glass click here

On the cover: Is that Sophie on the front cover? I didn't even realise she looked like that. She's really pretty, no wonder she had two guys chasing her. I can't complain about this cover because I like it!

What I'm reading next: The traitor in the tunnel by Y.S. Lee

Do you have a favourite book series? 

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