For Your Convenience!

We're all busy people these days. When we visit blogs, sometimes we don't have the time to leave the comments we'd like to. So, for your convenience, I've added buttons. Not a LIKE button, but close. I've added GOOD, BETTER and BEST. You can click on any one of those to let me know how you liked the post, if you don't have time for a comment. These buttons will be at the bottom of every post. So try them out now and let me know how they work! Judi

It brings out the animal in you...

A World View

Coming soon to a blog near you...

I thought I would share some fashion history with you. So starting next Tuesday, I'll be posting a brief write up on the beginning of Couture. I'll be starting with the first real haute couture designer, the House of Worth. I'll give you the history of the designer and some pictures of the fashions designed. So stop by each Tuesday for a little historical treat!

The Mermaid's Realm

Pink Lotus

Pattern Mix

An Artistic Offord-ing

Mineral, Metal, or Rock?

Kiss Me

It's for the birds...

Memories & Dreams

A Game of Scepters & Swords

When the King of England's consort dies in childbirth the hunt for a new bride begins. Before the grave is even dug both king and court start to weigh the fortunes and potential dangers of candidates for the royal bedchamber, leading to instant rivalries and the spark of what would prove to be a volatile and deadly resentment. Finally, however, a maiden is chosen and the contract signed and sealed ... but the lady will come at a price King Æthelred will only grudgingly pay: a crown.

Emma of Normandy was the darling of her father's court and enjoys favor only slightly dimmed by the chilliness of her sister-in-law. But when her elder sister is passed over and she is affianced to the King of England her mother warns her that while the honor of being an anointed queen will bring her power and influence beyond measure, the position will demand a strength of will that few would find within themselves. Emma will hold the title of Queen, true, but the power that comes with it will only be hers if she bears the king a son.

Political scheming, forbidden love, the threat of invasion, and a foreign queen's fight for acceptance within a hostile court weave a fascinating tale. Emma is a character we can instantly fall in love with, and those around her build a diverse and ever-changing challenge which she ultimately rises to in a bid to master the treacherous game of scepters and swords.

This was an extremely enjoyable read about a lesser-known figure from the darker nooks of England's history. The development of Emma's character in these few years of her first marriage was also very satisfying and not cloyingly cliche (at the end she made decisions that proved her maturation through the trials she had suffered, and set up an expectation that she will be a potent player on the political stage in the coming sequels). I can't wait to see how Bracewell interprets the rest of Emma's career as a queen twice over. Bravo!


~~~

No news yet on the coming sequel to Shadow on the Crown, but I'm keeping my ear to the ground. Some authors tend to keep a regular release schedule of a book a year, while others can take years to bring out a new offering. Which way will Patricia Bracewell go?

Poire

Noir, Gris, et Jaune

To Top It All Off

Earth Day Every Day

Wood & Water Tones

DVF Jori Dress - Blue Story

B & W Story with a few Red Herrings

Hot Coral and Red!

Michael Kors Silk Shirt Dress

First and Second Book by New Author Audry Fryer

11030701Going Barefoot in Greener Grass by Audry Fryer


Bethany and Olivia are best friends. One is the married with children gal. One is the dating with exciting career gal. So, of course, they each want what the other has. Only they have never admitted that to each other in twenty years of friendship. When people don't talk, misunderstandings arise, feelings get hurt, people say things in anger or out of hurt or under the influence of too much wine. Mix in the men in their lives, children, extended families, and day-to-day life stresses. Stir until everybody reaches the breaking point. What you have is a great first book! I can hardly wait to get my hands on Audry's second book!

 18250066 Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies by Audry Fryer

This is Audry Fryer's second book. When you look at plot and character development, you would think she had been writing for much longer than she has. Her characters are great! They are full-blown, well-developed people. The action moves along well from one crisis to another!

Braeburn has read a text message not intended for her eyes. In fact, it's about her. But it leaves her with more questions than answers. It's a text from her best friend to her husband. It sends her thoughts spinning out of control. She's a busy lady and isn't paying attention to the weather report or heeding the warnings of the people around her. She's in a hurry trying to get everything on her mental list done. Another message to her husband's phone, which she is carrying with her, sends her thoughts into overdrive. Before she knows what's happening, her mini-van is as out-of-control as her thoughts and careening off the road and down a hill through the unseasonal blizzard.

Braeburn has traumatic brain injury as well as other physical injuries. She has no memory of the accident. Her recovery is not easy and she alienates almost everyone in her life, including her husband and her best friend. She struggles to figure out what is happening to her and what has gone wrong in her life. In doing so, she angers and hurts people right and left, flings accusations around without any real cause, and almost loses her life again.

Secrets cannot be kept and lies will be exposed. Join Braeburn and her family as she serves up the apple pie!

Picasso Dress

Comfortable Stripes

Sophisticated Stripes

Fun & Young Stripes

Find Your Coral Lip Shade

A Rainbow of Pillows

Circles of Black & White

Children, Gladiators ... Moral Conflict

What would you do if you were an adolescent who found yourself confined in an arena with eleven other teens surrounding a pile of weapons and told that only one of you could walk out alive...?

I'll admit it. I saw the movie first. I know! I know! Shame on me. No worries, though, as I still think the book is much better. As with most books we were tuned into the leading lady's thoughts and reactions, and Katniss is a fascinating character to tap into on that level. She doesn't exactly fall into any of the set "Heroine" categories. Tough and embittered, there is still enough whimsy in her to twirl about in a pretty dress on camera. She possesses a rigid moral compass, but she is self-sacrificing only to a point. Katniss is imperfect, but not in the physical or social ways in which we have come to expect. In a rare stroke of brutal and shamefaced honesty Collins has written a genuine human being with all of the dark nooks and shades of gray that truly make up the building blocks of our souls. It is the most riveting aspect of the story.

The rest of the cast is very much made up of standards and this is glaringly obvious when they are set next to Katniss. It is not a failing, however. The story needs us to melt for the sweet little Rue and dither over the uncertainty of Peeta's behavior. President Snow's the big baddie and angelic Prim is the little sister worth fighting for. They're a great supporting cast that really forces Katniss to stand alone amidst them all. By circumstance and the other characters' choices to either accept or object to the Capital's dictates she is presented with all of the options available to her, and an understanding of the varying fates they all would lead to.

Fast-paced and action-packed, "The Hunger Games" is definitely one of the most powerful stories out there. With themes that draw from classics such as "The Lottery" and "1984," this leads us to question what humanity is capable of and how strong the spirit needs to be to withstand the corruption that Panem fell against. I can't wait to see what chaos Katniss stirs up in the other two books! Bravo!

Fun on the Fringe

Collared, but not Buttoned Up!

More purple?

Mr. Birdy Gives a Gift

Spring is Sprung!

Purple Mountain's Majesty

Vintage YSL Coat - Still Chic!

A little bit of the Orient

Spring Sunshine

Oh, Have Mercy!



Still-my-heart werewolves, romantically tragic vampires, and dastardly Fae … OH MY!

There’s a lot going on in this world that mere mortals remain blissfully unaware of. That is, until a rogue vamp drains a neighborhood dry, a lone wolf challenges the local Alpha and starts a minor war, or the Grey Lords of the Fae pull the strings and magical mayhem breaks loose downtown! For the most part the supernatural population of the Tri-Cities area manage to keep things quiet, and the mundane community can go about their daily lives with almost no interaction or interference from things that go bump in the night. Mercedes Thompson doesn’t have that luxury … but then, Mercy isn’t all that mundane herself.

Mercy is an auto mechanic. She can take a broken down piece of dump yard
trash and fix it up bright and shiny. Her garage is a go-to place for those in need of anything from a quick repair to an outright miracle. If you can drag it over to her, Mercy can fix it. She’s not exactly a pillar of the community, but she likes to think that she does her bit to make life a little easier for her fellow citizens. She studies martial arts – the I am about to rip your spine out through you face kind – she has a degree in history that she tries to use at least twice a year, and batches of cookies pour out of her oven whenever she needs to do some serious thinking.

And she can change into a coyote whenever she feels like it.

Something special, Mercy has found that while she doesn’t exactly fit in with the other supernatural groups around her she can certainly hold her own. It’s a good thing because when she gets sucked into a disagreement between the Columbia Basin pack and an unknown hunter on the eve of werewolves coming out to the general public as something that can no longer be considered a myth, there is no turning back. Before she knows it, Mercy finds herself at odds with the local vampire Queen, at cross purposes with the officials of the Fae reservation, and kicking up all kinds of trouble with the werewolf who lives next door – the Alpha himself who just so happens to declare her is mate and lands her right in the frying pan! 

It’s a lot for one little skinwalker to cope with, but Mercy is a tough cookie and doesn’t go in for
self-pity. With her gold lamb necklace around her neck – crucifixes just aren’t her style – and a wealth of snarky retorts in her arsenal, she never backs down when those she cares for are threatened. Full of action, humor, intriguing plot twists, steamy romance, and a fascinating new take on all things supernatural, the Mercy Thompson series is a pleasure – one you can be guilty about or not!