Monday, October 25, 2010

"Taming The Wolf" by Lydia Dare

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'Taming The Wolf' is touted as a paranormal , Regency, historical, romance. I might question the historical part, although this book does have a good historical flavor. Generally speak I don't / won't read strictly romance novels - since my long ago years as a bookstore manager left me cold to 'Harlinquin-esqe' bodice ripper sort of books. Of course they did always sell well and we seemed to sell out of Barbara Cartland books very quickly.

Lydia Dare is actually a writing team - and they do a wonderful job I should add. When I saw this book I was really wondering how I was going to be able to read it - the cover screamed bodice ripper and my blood ran cold. I thought that I would let Sourcebooks down and not be able to read the book!

I was really wrong! Once I began reading I had to zip through this fiendishly enticing little tome. What could be more charming than a combination of witches, werewolves and love? The books follows the romance of Caitlin (a witch whose speciality is seeing people's futures) and Lord Brimsworth , a/k/a/ Dashiel or Dash, who, as luck would have it, in a moment of wanton desire during a full moon, marked Caitlin with a playful nip on her neck.- thereby marking her as his mate for life. Alas and alack, Caitlin has no plans to include Lord Brimsworth in any future life of hers ....she cannot see his future at all.  in her coven, Caitlin's gift is to see the future lives that people will lead. Another witch, Elspeth has the power to create weather, while another member can heal all sickness' an ills. The intrepid Lord B., knowing that he must romance Caitlin or live a life alone since Caitlin was already marked as his -follows his lady love to Scotland. Along the way he meets - and growls at - a suitor of Caitlin's -gets counseling from an elder fellow Lycan (werewolf) and has a variety of wolfish adventures that one can only imagine!

After their arrival in Scotland Dash asks Caitlin's father for permission to marry his daughter ,and only child. Caitlin's father quickly agrees to Dash's suit and gives his blessing for their union. Thankfully by this time Caitlin has allowed herself to fall for the handsome , fleet footed brute after she discovers that her mother (a witch herself) had also not been able to see her father's future. It's all in the subtle signs I guess!

This book was an unexpected delight. A fluff book that was thoroughly enjoyable - and well written. It was a real head's up for me to not judge a book by it's proverbial, bodice ripper, cover! II simply had to give this book 4 stars for it's originality and fast paced fun! If you want a light read that is filled with imaginative fun that takes place in an unusual world where werewolves are Lords and witches are multi-talented and are generally accepted - get a copy of this quirky little gem!

Note:This book was kindly provided to me by Sourcebooks/Casablanca for the sole purpose of honest review. No other remuneration was received

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sometimes The Best Laid Plans....

 The steps that I use to go to and from work ... I'll be back there soon

I had several planned reviews that I  thought I would have had  time to post. No such luck! For any of my readers, publishers or authors who are looking for promised reviews.... I am going to be a bit behind due to back surgery tomorrow.

I promise that all reviews will be posted as soon as I can once again put fingers to keyboard and write something that won't embarrass myself !

See you soon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Stitch, Cloth, Paper & Paint : Mixed Media Ideas and Inspiration" by Angie Hughes

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I am very fortunate that Search Press sent this book to me for review. I say fortunate because I get to drool over the book but also because, when I stopped to look at my own library, I was astounded at how many books I own that are from Search Press. Their books are lushly illustrated and always so well done. 

"Stitch, Cloth, Paper and Paint" could not have arrived at a better time for me personally. I was feeling somehow 'unfaithful' to my quilting roots by becoming so enamored with paper lately - this book happily combines all of the things I love working with.....cloth, paint and paper.

Angie Hughes is a name I have known - she writes often for a favorite magazine - Cloth, Paper Scissors. Her work is dynamic, colorful and terribly well executed. She describes herself as an embroiderer. The book opens with a thorough description (with photos) of the material selection that she utilizes most frequently - both what she calls 'base' fabrics and 'decorative'. Next up are great descriptions, that I especially appreciated, about paper and cardstock.  A section that is chock full of information about her use of embellishments and paints is included as well. I really enjoy reading about Angie Hughes process - a section that is well illustrated and contains a full of description of her techniques for reparing the base fabric, and then layering tissues and other fabrics round out the first part of the book.

Other sections of the book - all equally well done include:
  • machine stitching
  • hand stitching
  • adding paints
  • making your own embellishments from many varied materials
Detailed instructions are provided for several really good projects that combine all of the techniques covered in the book. They include a "Sunflower" book wrap, fabulous "Indian Artifact" and one of my favorites a "Sundial Triptych" that I want to try making soon - and it somewhat unusual for me to want to make something directly from a process sort of book.

If you get the idea that I really liked this book, you are correct. It is worthy of the 5 stars I gave it and it is a book that I don't think any artist or mixed media aficionado would regret adding to their library.

Note: this book was provided to me by Search Press for the purpose of an unbiased review. No other remuneration was received.