Friday, May 30, 2014

Literary Friday: Dark Wolf

Literary Friday

Happy Friday, My Lovelies!  Sorry to get this post up so late, but it has been a busy morning, and I was up until 1:30 helping our daughter study and edit papers due today.

I haven't read much lately….(I know, right?!?  Not like me AT ALL!!!)  But recently I did read Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan.  This is the twenty-fifth book in her Dark [Carpathian] series, and the second book in the wolf trilogy within the series.  This book is Skylar and Dimitri's story, and fans have been waiting for it for years.  Two of my favorite books in the series are about Skylar's adoptive parents and aunt and uncle.  I like the world Feehan has created in this series, but this book reminded me of why I stopped reading it in the first place:  The weird made-up Carpathian language, spells, and chants are just too much.  I don't want to waste my time looking in the glossary to read what the nonsense means.  UGH!

I know that this was a huge undertaking for Ms. Feehan: The pressure is on because expectations from the fans have been high.  Skylar and Dimitri's story should have been one of her more romantic, but instead it contains torture and lots of information about an impending Carpathian/Lycan war. The book doesn't read like her earlier books at all, and it seems like the book was written by a committee.  There is lots of repetition about Skylar's past and her amazing abilities.  Given her background, her talents shouldn't shock anyone in the Carpathian community.  Also, I was expecting to read more about Dimitri.  I always thought he was a bad @$$, but not so much in this book. Big.  Disappointment.  I also thought I read some discrepancies between this book and previous books.  For example, Skylar's mother Francesca lives in France in Dark Legend. She and Gabriel have a home there and are rearing their family there, so why all of a sudden are they talking about the family living in London with no explanation?

The first nine books of this series are worth reading.  I like them all and love about six of them.  Dark Legend and Dark Guardian are books 8 and 9 in the series, but you should start with book 1 and read them in order.

Dark Wolf book trailer

What have you been reading?

This is a linky!

Until next time…

Ricki Jill

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pink Onion

Hey, y'all!  I've been at the studio (Red Dot) all morning, and I wanted to share with you a little painting I finished.

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"Pink Onion"
5" X 5"
oil on artist board

During a crazy month when I feel like I've accomplished nothing, it feels good to finish one {small} project.

I hope your month has been more productive than mine!

Until next time…

Ricki Jill

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Happy List: Happy It's {almost} Summer!

My Happy List

Good Evening, My Lovelies!  I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and Shelley will be out of school on Monday, June 3rd.  YAY!!!  SO HAPPY!!!

My Happy List 

1.  I am so proud of our daughter, Shanley Belle.  May I have a proud mommie moment?  Please indulge me.  

Congratulations to Shanley Belle for winning the Evelyn Sanderson Parker Endowed Scholarship in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Also, congratulations for winning the Delta Zeta Frances Pickens Lewis Scholarship. I know your sisters must be proud, too!

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Shanley has been studying for the GRE, but Finlay wants her to play! He crawled-up into her sweater. We're proud of our girl!

Well the studying paid off.  Shanley made a 320 on her GRE not including her writing portion.  Woo-hoo!  I hope she applies to Columbia...  It's the only Ivy League with a SLP program!

2.   I finally planted some containers.  :D  Happy!  More of our garden later.

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3.   I actually cooked  meal the other night!  YAY, *me*  I'll share the recipe next week.  It was delicious!

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Prosciutto and basil wrapped shrimp on the grill.  Yum!

4.   I received some neat prezzies lately for my birthday and Mother's Day.  *squee*

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from Shabby Chic

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Book and mug from Emma Bridgewater.  More on the book later!

5.   Finlay-Boo is a maniac!  But I love him soooooooo much..... We should have named him Boo Radley or Magnus Bane.  Oh, well....

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Finlay in his life jacket on the boat.

6.   Speaking of Magnus is the day!  The release date of:

*doing my happy dance*

...but I still don't have my pre-ordered copy....MEH!

7.   I'm planning some wonderful trips for the upcoming year.  SO *very* HaPpY!!!

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I want to go here.  :D

But finally, I'm happy to have a little bit of time to blog this week!  I hope to blog at least one more time before my Literary Friday post (on Friday, of course).

Sorry for my absence.  I'll explain all in a couple of weeks!

What's making you happy this week?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Nope!  I'm not on a cruise or anything fabulous like that....

I'm just having a difficult time keeping my head above water.  I miss y'all, and I'm hoping to return to blogging by next week.  Fingers crossed!

I can't explain what's been going on yet, but I will as soon as I can.  (Probably in June....)

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Monday, May 5, 2014

Musical Monday: Yellow Light

Happy Monday morning!  Wow, it has been an emotional spring for us, and I was so happy that we were able to take a quick trip to the lake and go on the season's first boat ride.  We listened to Pandora radio, and one of the stations played a couple of Of Monsters and Men songs.  One that came up was Yellow Light, and I like it!  The lyrics are on the video.

Of Monsters and Men
"Yellow Light"

What did you do over the weekend?  We rested, and tried to recover from mild colds.  What songs did you listen to over the weekend?  Share @ My So-Called Chaos!

Finlay also took his first boat ride this weekend.  More about that later!

Until next time…

Ricki Jill

Friday, May 2, 2014

Literary Friday: Fool and The Serpent of Venice *plus* Friday Confession for 5/2/2014

Recently I read Fool and The Serpent of Venice  by Christopher Moore.  The Serpent of Venice is (sort of) a sequel to Fool, but you can read it as a stand alone.

First of all, I think that Christopher Moore is.  Not.  Right.....(as we say in the brick short of a French Fry short of a Happy get the picture....) and although this is primarily a Literary Friday post, it's also a Friday Confessional post as Christopher Moore's books are definitely my guilty pleasures due to their twisted nature.  Sacré Bleu is one of my all-time favorite books, and you can read my review here.

Fool is a retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear, and I must warn you that there is a disclaimer printed in red on the book flap meant to prepare the reader for the "gratuitous shagging, spanking, murder, and profanity" among other things.  I must admit that I laughed out loud, and actually let the word "f^ckstockings" slip into conversation.  Accidentally.  

The hero of Fool is King Lear's cherished court jester named Pocket.  I confess I love his name, and I love Pocket's character.  Slight of build but quick of wit, Pocket's snarky assessments and hysterical asides (with the help of his puppet Jones) don't quite overpower his sweet and endearing spirit. (Speaking of spirits, be forewarned that there's always an "effing ghost," and this one follows Pocket all over Britain.)  He's Princess Cordelia's confidante and hero, and he manipulates people and events (with the help of three Scottish witches' sorcery, of course) to fix the mess that Lear makes of the kingdom due to his rash outrage at Cordelia's honesty and annoyance. It's fun how Moore "borrows" from several of the Bard's other plays, so if you love Shakespeare, social satire, and some of the wittiest dialogue ever written, then this is the book for you!

In The Serpent of Venice,  the genius of the story is it combines two of the Bard's plays, Othello and The Merchant of Venice with one of Edgar Allen Poe's short stories, "The Cask of Amontillado."  Plus, just for fun, Moore throws in an amphibious sea serpent/dragon that has very, um, odd tastes.  

I.  Love.  This.  BOOK!

Because the book is a sequel (of sorts) the setting is the twelfth century rather than the sixteenth century, but Moore explains in his notes how he worked out the history and the plots.  Fascinating reading, truly.   We find our Sweet Fool Pocket in Venice as Queen Cordelia's envoy.  He is attempting to thwart yet another expensive Crusade, but a cartel of creeptastic conspirators (Pocket thinks that over use of alliteration indicates madness  :/  ) lure Sweet Pocket to the basement of a palazzo promising wine and fun.  Pocket is then drugged and chained to a wall only to be walled-in by one of the sociopathic conspirators.  This part of the book gives me the willies.  I can't begin to imagine a basement in Venice *shivers uncontrollably*....

Pocket does escape because it wouldn't be much of a book if he didn't, and as in Fool, he's aided by yet another "effing ghost, because there's aways an effing ghost" to save tragic heroes and the honor of the fair Dread Pirate Jessica (love the nod to The Princess Bride).  But having a mythological creature (smuggled from the orient in Marco Polo's knapsack, of course) helps Pocket even more than having friends in high places.  Truly the serpent (and I'm not going to tell you her name) pushes the book just far enough over the edge to keep me very happy.

I confess that the language is bad in both of these books, but especially in Fool.  If you're offended by it, don't read it.  It really did bother me, but I liked the story and I loved Pocket in spite of the fact that he's the one with the language most foul.

I also confess that I really shouldn't read Christopher Moore because he hates Southern fiction written by women.  I guess being the West Coast Lib and all it's okay for him to be a mysogynistic hater...especially of Southern women. He just doesn't want to even attempt to relate to us Southern Gals...

"As far as I can tell, you make some cornbread, sew some calico, have sex with some close relatives, marry an abusive redneck who you are forced to kill with your Momma’s iron skillet , then you’re done. " 

ummmm....well......maybe that's the way it is in YOUR FAMILY (Moore's mama is Southern).  Mayhap this explains his pragmatic language issues and general madness.

Seriously, you can read about it on his website here.

So maybe now you understand why Moore's books are truly guilty pleasures to me.  He hates me and all my Zeta pledge sisters.  Well, let me tell you something, Mr. Christopher Moore:  You can go suck and elf!* You might hate me, but I hate myself more for LIKING YOUR PONCING BOOKS! (For the definition of ponce, read the books....)

Off to clean my cast iron skillet!

*Nicked from NBC's The Tenth Kingdom

If you're still following me after this rant-tastic review, please link-up to Literary Friday!

Literary Friday

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

(Yes, Mr. is a double name quite common in the South....while you're mocking me GO SUCK AN ELF!)