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Friday, September 17, 2010

The Darkest Hour - Maya Banks Book Review


Now the people who know me are aware of my reservations on doing book reviews.


First I feel that I suck at them.

Two, I fear giving up spoilers and ruining it for another.

Now there are books that simply prompt me to try my hand at reviews. I feel they "deserve" them because they are that good. The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks is one of those books.

The Darkest Hour was my second foray with Maya's works. This was not as erotic as For Her Pleasure, my first Maya book I read.

Was I disappointed? Heck fire no!

The scenes were not only hot but major tear-jerkers. This book will invoke your emotions, I should give that fair warning out for my heart pained for the hero and heroine.

Will I pick up further KGI books? You betcha! I found that I really liked the Kelly brothers, their interaction with each other and what they perceive as family. And, I really latched and connected with the character Rusty. I should warn all that I do have a penchant on liking side characters usually more than the main ones.

Little kernal of hope sprung that eventually she'll get a book, and well that she'd end up with the youngest of the Kelly family due to their interactions in the book. Yush that is a major hint hint to the author. LOL..

So yeah, this druid definitely gives The Darkest Hour two thumbs up and her Dev Bear's two claws up in approval.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sparks - Laura Bickle book Review


This series has a freshness, uniqueness about it that truly helps it stand apart from the other Urban Fantasy stories. If you are expecting the paranormal elements of vampires, were-wolves, etc, well this series is not for you.

I found it very easy to like and connect with Anya. She has her day job, nothing spectcular like a cop or bounty hunter; however there is more to Anya than what people believe. Really liked how Anya is coming to terms with her past, new light being shed for her to stew on.

Yes, we do have a very interesting character introduced. I am anticipating on seeing more of this character in future books. And of course Sparky, we can not forget about him! Laura had me giggling during the scene with Anya and salamander in a baby store. The image is imprinted there.

Near the end got incredibly sad to the point that I sniffled. It was to be expected but I really did not see it happening this soon. Despite that, the ending brought a smile to my lips and anticipating the next installment, wondering what Anya and Sparky would get into next...


Sparks gets two thumbs up (and two bear claws up) from this druid.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

No Mercy - Sherrilyn Kenyon Review


Kenyon does it again... Action, humor, and romance!

So I am a bit biase since I have been a Dev fangirl for years. I have been anticipating his book for some time, especially chomping on the bit since Bad Moon Rising.

Even though I could not be Dev's heroine I was content and well pleased with the woman that Sherri, the Author Goddess, gifted him. Samia is an Amazon, so you know darn well she is no weak, timid lil thing but a saucy, kick-ass take names later type of woman.

From page five Kenyon had me laughing, falling back in love again with Dev and the other characters. We get to meet more of the Dogs of War, learn about Cael and Amaranda (remember them??), and well, for you guys disappointed in Nick, well maybe you will soften towards him when you read what he does.

The book ranked right up there with Zarek, Val and Acheron's book. I was so incredibly sad that I had to finish the book, my beloved Dev. She ruined me for picking up a book immediately after No Mercy. It has to sink in and for my book high to continue.

Plus it was an added bonus that Dev's book came out on my birthday! Being sick and distractions kept me from finishing it early.

No Mercy get two thumbs up from this druid (and two paws up from the Dev build a bear)

















Yes I am fangirling but can anyone blame me

My Birthday Reading Spread...

Birthday Reading - Celtic Cross

1st - Self - The Hierophant

There is a part of you that harbors a deep understanding of how things work.

The card in the Self position reveals aspects of how you perceive yourself right now.

The Hierophant card implies someone who has exceptional knowledge. Every community includes one or two people who have achieved a measure of Wisdom. This card points to you as someone with inner knowledge above and beyond schooling, who may even be able to contact the spirit world on behalf of others.

In ancient times shamans were healers and astrologers, as well as specialists in the alchemy of metallurgy and medicine. Nowadays the Hierophant represents those who have specialized knowledge in any chosen field. She or he speaks wisely from true and direct experience, and serves in a leadership role.

2nd - Situation - The Devil

Heighten your awareness of the wrestling match between darkness and light. Focus on the relatedness of things rather than the differences.

The card that lands in the Situation position refers to social or circumstantial factors which could be affecting your life at this time.

The Devil card in this position suggests you may be dealing with a feeling of fear or a fearful situation. Don't worry -- instead of crushing you, this particular experience will primarily educate you. If you refrain from judging things in black or white terms, or labelling things as either good or bad, you will appreciate the tremendous amount of life force that is available to you, and rise to the occasion, stronger.

Whatever the particulars of your situation, things could veer from one extreme to another, either manifesting as passionate love or self-centered gratification. Just try to keep your head above water in this powerfully moving situation.

Pay attention to how the life force wants to move through you so that you can follow its flow and keep learning from it. Regardless of how bedeviling they may seem, face your instincts with tenacity and a touch of humor. A deeper spiritual dimension is beckoning you.

3rd - Challenges / Opportunities - Strength

A balance must be struck between survival and spiritual motives.

The card that lands in the Challenges/Opportunities position refers to ways that you can turn obstacles into stepping stones.

The Strength card in this position challenges you to calm aroused instincts, angers and desires without suppressing life force to the point where vitality is lost. This requires balancing the urge for control with the urge for natural action.

Find the way to enable the raw lust of the animal nature to be civilized by the spiritual power of higher standards. When you find that balance within yourself, you can begin to model it for others and perhaps offer some leadership during this exciting time.

4th - Foundation - The Emperor

It's clear that you were raised by strong people who taught you the proper use of power.

The card in the Foundation position points to influences from your personal history, your roots and background.

The Emperor in this position suggests that early in life you were cultivated by a mentor or teacher whose aura of command challenged you to develop your own strength and authority. This enlightened role model lives in your memory and continues to guide you. You have the intrinsic intelligence and wisdom to know what right action is and how to use it because appropriate values were carefully demonstrated to you.

Review what was passed on to you and determine what your teacher or inner ally would suggest at times like these. It's no accident that you have this archetype built into your personal foundation.

5th - Recent Past - Six of Swords

You have the confidence appropriate to a capable and proven master of your medium.

The card in the Recent Past position refers to events that are just departing, recently influential but now diminishing in power.

The Six of Swords in this position implies that you have recently demonstrated your mastery and seasoned skills, showing finesse in a situation that could have become dangerously out of control. Having seen yourself rise to the occasion, cut through the chaos, solve the problem and hit the target, your self-esteem should be high.

Not only is your sense of your infinite possibilities reinforced, but your associates are also viewing you in a favorable light. Positive momentum is sweeping you into the present.

6th - Higher Power - Six of Coins

True generosity teaches self-reliance and nurtures independence.

The card in the Higher Power position reflects the broader perspective and influence of your conscience, Guardian Angel, inner wisdom.

When the Six of Coins comes up in this position, you are being called upon to serve as another link in the chain of benefactors to the human race. It is not the destiny of every soul to master the material plane, but some souls do achieve it. Those talented beings are in a position to turn around and share their acquired knowledge with those who come after them. It's a high form of generosity to impart to awaken skills and natural abilities in other people.

Be generous in your acknowledgment of people at every level of society and be willing to encourage anybody with a spark of genius. See if you can fan that spark and bring it into full flame. In this way you are privileged to serve as a conduit for blessing. Be grateful for, and humbled by, that opportunity.


7th - Near Future - The Magician

Now is the time to express your spontaneous creativity.

The card in the Near Future position indicates which way the wind is blowing with regard to your situation. If you follow the Advice card, however, you can improve on or neutralize tendencies.

When the Magus is in this position, you will soon be divinely inspired to share your unique point of view and insights. The circumstances seem perfectly suited to call forth your genius in a context where others can appreciate your brilliant gifts.

Let yourself shine! This is your moment to reveal your natural talents and gifts. You will likely find a receptive audience and achieve positive results. Imagine yourself as a spark of genius creating new and brilliant connections, much to everyone's great delight. Forget performance anxiety and get on with the show--you will be brilliant.

8th - Blocks & Inhibitions - Six of Wands

Resist dogma; think for yourself in order to preserve your integrity and values.

The card in the Blocks position points to self-undermining tendencies, areas where you could be in denial, where you could get stuck -- unless you examine yourself and make some corrections.

When the Six of Wands falls in this position, it signifies conflict between your interests and the desires of a larger group. You may feel a need for approval from others, but the desire to fit in can lead to towing a party line that offends your personal integrity.

Keep in mind that the price of leadership sometimes requires resistance to social pressures rather than capitulation. Look deeply into your own heart, instinct and conscience and ask yourself if you really need to fall in with the group. This could be a time to strike out in a different direction, in order to preserve your integrity and values.

9th - Allies - Page of Coins

Explore the wisdom of tradition and learn from the masters in your area of concern.

The card in the Allies position points to people who can be supportive or helpful to you at this time.

In this position, the Page of Coins (in some decks, a Princess) suggests that when the student is ready, the master appears. Perhaps in your case the teacher appears in the form of a book or a manuscript that is centuries old.

A living role model is not absolutely necessary, but we need to perceive and utilize the traditions and founding fathers of our craft as allies, a support structure for our development. Study your masters, be a good student, and take refuge in traditional wisdom.

10th - Advice - Queen of Coins

Be confident that if you express your truth you will not have to worry about the consequences. You will remain safe and sound.

The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.

The Queen of Coins in this position advises you to trust the forces that have taken care of you up to this point. Continue to express your truth without worrying that you are going to lose the roof over your head or the bed you sleep in. It is your destiny to be safe and sound at this time in your life.

Proceed with confidence and do what you so strongly feel must be done. Since the Queen of Coins is often the person with the best intuition in the crowd, you may feel at first as if you are going against the grain, only to later find yourself becoming the leader of a new trend.

11th- Long-term Potential - Seven of Wands

Cast away perceived limits. Apply what you have learned and be self-disciplined.

The card in the Long-term Potential position points to unknowns still taking shape. It is the "wild card" yet to be played.

With the Seven of Wands in this position, you can make a few proactive moves right now to go beyond your current situation and hasten your rise to the top. Don't allow perceived limits to hem you in -- let them inspire you as a challenge and the situation may become a launching pad for your greater dreams.

Concentrate on strengthening yourself for what lies ahead and test yourself against bigger and bigger challenges. Faithful training and self-discipline assure your victory.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sins of the Heart Review

BOOK SYNOPSIS:

Half human, half god. Dagan Kryal is the Underworld's most powerful soul reaper. When one of his brothers is murdered, Dagan must use every ounce of his power to hunt down those responsible for his brutal death. But he must move swiftly -- and carefully -- if he's to have any chance of resurrecting his brother.

Yet that ressurection could wreak havoc on the mortal world. As an Otherkin, Roxy Tam has sworn to protect the human race, and it's her mission to stop Dagan. But when she sees him fact-to-face, she realizes that she has seen him once before-- a meeting that changed her life forever.

Neither Dagan nor Roxy expect to join forces for the sake of mankind. Or to have their loyalities tested as they struggled against the potent desire that threatens to consume them both...






Sins of the Heart differed from your usual, run-of-the-mills paranormals. Are you expecting vampires? Forget it. Are you expecting werewolves? Nada, this book does not contain that which made the plot and story so much more refreshing in an Alexis Morgan type of way (since I love Alexis Morgan’s Paladin books, that is a high compliment.)

Egyptian themed especially the pantheon used (Sutekh, Osiris, and Aset). We have an interesting cast of characters. We have a soul reaper (that just sounds so damn interesting doesn’t it, his job is like the name implied) who is a little more.

His match is an independent, snarky, kick-ass heroine who can clearly hold her own - a woman who is slowly fitting the pieces of herself, discovering what she truly is. Together, the two make an awesome pair.

Silver ended the book with part of the large puzzle solved but a large gap remained. Not one would call a cliff hanger, but anticipating the next book to glean more pieces to the puzzle, and the pawns and players involved.

Eve Silvers to me never disappoints from her paranormals to her gothic historicals.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Children's Games....


I'm coming out of my seclusion / hermit cave to write this... My two youngest sons like to "play fight" over me. I've dubbed it "My Mama! Game"

Usually one or the other instigates it. What they do is, they come up to me and either hug me or hold on to me, then look to their sibling and claim "My Mama!" Now I never know when they start this game. I could be doing anything: cooking, dishes, cleaning, watching tv, playing on the computer, or even lying on the floor reading.

Today it was Gabriel. I was not really feeling that hot, acid reflux and I have no idea what was going on with my head. It was not a headache, but like there was pressure not to mention light-headed. My body did not know weither to pass out or throw up. So I took "Dark hunger" by Rita Herron and made a little area on the floor to lie down. It's my new place to read.

So I'm reading. Gaby comes over and drops his head on my stomach, making me go "Whooosh". He looks over to Austin who is playing on their daddy's computer with the oldest Harlen Jr and says "My Mama!"

Naturally Austin can not leave that alone. Before I know it, I have a nine year old cuddling up to my side, hugging on to me with this "neiner neiner" look at Gabe and yes, saying "MY Mama!"

Well... guess who decides to get into the "My Mama! Game"? No, not my oldest. His face is glued to the computer screen. A certain, small, wee little pomchii decides that SHE is going to get into the action. So, along with a nine and five year old hugging saying "My Mama!" I have a little shit climbing up on my chest, nipping at her human brothers and then.

I put her down on the ground, laughing, only for the little shit to climb back up and do it again. So here I am trying to fend off Nyxie girl and my two boys. No reading getting done at all.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sin Undone by Larissa Ione Review

I decided, while riding the strong currents of the book-high Sin Undone produced, an attempt at a review was a definite must. Generally the idea of giving/writing a review for a book makes me bulk and quake (I feel I suck at writing them); however, Sin Undone and Larissa Ione deserves the best I can attempt.

Each book in the Demonica gets better than the last where it becomes hard to choose a favorite. In my estimation Sin Undone was the best out of the previous four before it. Larissa neatly ended the Demonica series and brilliantly introduced/teased with the spine-off Lord of Deliverance

In Lore’s book, Ecstasy Unveiled, we were introduced to Sin and Conall, the attraction the two had. Sin was everything I like in my heroines: saucy, independent, able to hold her own in a male dominated world, bad-ass, a fighter, and yes tortured by her past. Though her past and mine vastly differs (greatly) I connected with Sin on a much deeper level than the previous four heroines.

My evil side is rearing up for me to add this… For you Luc lovers, well let’s just say you will NOT be disappointed about his role in this book and possibly shocked. * grins sweetly* That is all I am going to say on that front.

Wraith was his usual sarcastic, charming self along with the other brothers. As for Conall - his species is completely different which intrigued me. He fit Sin like the perfect puzzle piece. The romance aspect did not disappoint and fed the needs that I had.

For all who are anticipating this book, you all are in for a definite treat. Thanks again Larissa for giving me a world that I can loose myself in, and the sweet message you inscribed in my book.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

De-skimpifying a character's wardrobe

Only a few people (mostly my role playing cronies) possibly remember my golden-haired changeling/shape-shifter Kiirri Dallig (Morindum). She was my very first character, my most beloved and cherished, and the one many of my rping buds responded best too (with my drui Zion and drow Isto'barra coming in second).

At the time of her creation I was testing the waters; especially with her ensemble. I am ashamed to say that I followed along with the crowd on the skimpy clothing deal. For a while it seemed the skimpier the outfit, the more people paid attention and wanted to react to her.

Guilty.

Couple months back I had decided to give Kiirri's story a make-over, deleting some characters that no longer fit, and inserting new and improve characters to the story-line. The majority of the story got scrapped (believe me, I did right on this; it jumped far too often.)

For some days now I have had a scene playing in my head. Those who have read the miserable first draft may remember this. It was the one many have reacted and responded to on my fictionpress days.

The scene is where Kiirri gets rip, roaring drunk. She is with Fei, at his place (can not remember "why" she was there in the first place) and well, the two have been skirting around their attraction for some time. Alcohol helped Kiirri loosen her inhabitions (*smirks* doesn't it always?).

Kiirri and Fei somehow manage to tumble onto his bed. She's on top.. there's much kissing and clothing removal. Fei asks again if Kiirri is certain she wants this... Poor girl, she nods only to pass out on the drow.

See, Kiirri was never much of a drinker. Her adopted mother, a sylvan elf royal, never seen the benefit of polluting one's body with booze, and so taught her charge that, just as the woman taught her adoptive daughter to see what is within than the outter appearance (as Kiirri proves to do with Fei on seeing him).

That scene, with some tweaks, is remaining in the story. Hey even I like it.

Last night, and then today, while doing dishes (ALWAYS happens this way) I decided to give Kiirri a make-over. No worries, I am NOT changing her coloring. She will still be golden haired, peach n' cream skin tone, and azure-blue eyes.

To give you an idea of her "old" look is here: http://www.elfwood.com/~rachelf/Child-of-Prophecy.3140238.html (the drawing is old and yes I'm aware sucky)

Now, by looking at her, you would never guess/think that she was raised by a sylvan elf. Yeah, most would think "Bimbo". About Kiirri, she is hunted by demons for an essense buried deep into her person, an essence a certain Demon King covets so he can once more reign havoc on the world. This essense gives her an aura of purity and innocence, no matter what she does.

The new look, hair wise. Instead of wearing her hair loose (which would be a pain in the arse for a bounty hunter when they are thick in the fighting aspect) I thought perhaps she could wear it in a series of braids, much how sylvan elf rangers and trackers do. Gonna skip the hair dying part.

Another aspect that I'm toying with. My sylvan elves, especially from Aelin Forest, to show how much pain they can tolerate, especially since their ears are so sensitive, to see how many piercings they can get in each ear. The con to this... earrings have a tendency to snag and get torn out of one's ears. A friend suggested an ear cuff which I like.

And another aspect is tattooing. Where Kiirri's adoptive mother came from (yes Zhimmer came from Aelin Forest) tattoos are seen as a rite of passage, to show one's advancement from childhood to adult hood. The tattoo is anything the wearer wants along with its placement.

Now we get into her wardrobe. Now I was debating on giving her a top much like in this picture (love this artist's work) but a little longer to tease along the belt/pant line. http://nathie.deviantart.com/gallery/?8631161#/d2r86wc .

Or a leather jerkin. This one: https://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/100764.jpg , without the sleeves, more fitted for a female frame, but not as long. The hem would fall like the top, flirting along the belt and pant line but showing just a slither of her trim belly. Trousers/breeches are loose yet not tight, allowing for easy maneverabilty. Her boots will be much like the sylvan's, soleless. The leather bracers and pauldrons I could see came from Zhimmer so they would be decorated accordingly.. All this she hides beneath a drab, dungy colored cape

Any ideas or input one will like to supply would be excellent. Remember this is for fantasy fantasy, elven type world.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Top Twelve Cons against Book Character Role Playing on Facebook

A little FYI - I, myself, am a role player.

My start was in AOL chat rooms. For a spell, I observed the players before I felt comfortable and confident to join. Now my first character was very loosely based on a book character, the changeling part, but she had my looks and shy personality.

It took me years of modifying the character, flushing her out, and giving her the personality my fellow players liked about her. Kiirri Dalig came from my own mind, her background to her future.

Kiirri's creation taught me a valuable lesson. She was my creation. I had her future and offspring mapped out, and it would kill me to see another attempting their own storyline with my character.


This is why I respect other authors by not attempting to role play their characters.




The Cons Against Book Character Role Players

1. Sooner or later, a player is going to think the author "took their idea" and then demand payment or recognition for "their work"

2. Some fans may not realize that the RPers have no idea or clue what is going on in current WIPs and these fans may believe what the RPers are saying will make appearances in upcoming books. Confusion and disappointment reigns when what they read from the RPers standpoint does not show up in the new releases.

3. Some RPers think nothing of spamming other authors and cause general annoyance.

4. It looks tacky and rude to non role players seeing these characters posting on other author pages where there is no association.

5. Most RPers do not have personal pages just character pages. Their opinion will be coming out of the mouth of a character created by someone else. No matter the skill of the player, they can not adapt to a character they did not create.

6. RPers tend to "sluttify" their "borrowed" characters

7. The RPers eventually stop buying the author's new release because they feel their progress/direction is better than the creator's.

8. They become addicted to the point where they shun friends, family, and their work to spend time with false characters

9. They start to blur the two worlds, reality with fiction

10. Cybering. There is more to role playing than re-acting the bedroom scenes. Then these players get huffy when the impression they give off to the public attracts the unsavory who are not associated with the rping groups want to cyber with them. They get offended.

11. The RP groups are so abundant on Facebook it is not unusual for someone to get five friend requests for the same character a day. This annoys and alienates fans from the series.

12. The different factions of Role Playing groups tend to be Clique orienated. If you do not belong to their little/big group, then they want nothing to do with you.

Monday, May 31, 2010

KINDLE Contest - Lumberjack or Bootlegger?


This post is a part of Moira Rogers’ Creature Feature Kindle Throwdown Contest. By leaving a (meaningful) comment, you will be entered to win a Kindle from Amazon.com, or an alternate grand prize of $275 to spend at an online book retailer. For a full list of rules and more ways to win, visit the contest page.

So, the million dollar question would be... Am I on Team Vampire Lumberjack or am I on Team Werewolf Bootlegger?

And the winner is...... Vampire Lumberjack




I’m on Team Vampire. Find out more.

The decision was quite easy to make actually. Unless I want my friend Lillie Applegarth to whoop my arse clear to next Sunday, I most definitely had to vote/root for her Vampire Lumberjack. Have you seen this woman when she gets testy? Lemme tell you, she puts werewolves and vampires to shame on how S.C.A.R.Y. she gets.

(Lillie knows I lubs her!)

Another reason is because the Vampire Lumberjack actually has a song (Hey I nominated the song to him).



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rock on the Range Adventure Weekend

For those who have never heard of Rock on the Range - it is a weekend metal-concert festival with well-known (major known) bands from noon to ten/eleven at night, held at the Columbus Crew Stadium usually in late May-ish.

This was my second Rock on the Range. My husband and I attended the first Rock on the Range when it was only a one day event. We missed the second because I was not too crazy on the band line-up, and the third we were too busy fixing up our home to move.

All I can say is… they really strive to improve each year. It rocked then as it did last weekend.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON:
I was on the ball. While hubs napped before the trip and before my two oldest got home from school, I had the car packed with not only the cooler filled with snacks, sandwiches, pop, and water but their clothes and my own.

Hell, I had my clothes packed a week ahead of time. Thursday I did the bulk of what needed to be done: clothes found and packed in backpacks and suitcase, notebook wrapped in clothing and put into suitcase, and charged batteries.

There was only one little hang-up when we started on the road that had us turning around and heading back home. The hubs forgot his shoes for he was wearing flip-flops for comfort sake. Thankfully we were only a couple minutes from home when he realized.

We were also fortunate that my mother's was en-route to Columbus. We stayed a few and chit-chatted with my mother. Of course, she had to be motherly and French-braid my hair.

We were on the road then for a grand total of an hour and a half (give or take). Another hour was spent finding a hotel since the hubs wanted to wait until the last minute.

We tried Motel Six, no vacancies. Best Western was next but they wanted ninety bucks a night. I nixed that. The woman then recommended Microtel next door (we find out later, the person who owns Best Western is part owner of Microtel).

Their rooms were fifty bucks a night, and so Friday night to Monday morning cost us around $160 bucks with continental breakfast. The night clerk was super nice and approachable.

Hubs nodded off around eleven; he had told me to set the alarm for seven a.m. I stayed up around midnight, chatting with friends on-line (hence why the notebook was packed) and listening to the thunder outside (yes it was storming badly up there) and news cast for Saturday’s weather. Finally, around midnight, I just crashed to get ready for the next day’s events.

Saturday:
Hubs wakes at six a.m. and checks out the breakfast Microtel offers. I begin to rouse (thanks to the hubby making noises and moving around ) forty-five minutes later only to dress in my jeans and “Kiss my Asphalt” tee-shirt I won from Angie Fox (felt the shirt was appropriate for a metal concert) and head out to grab me some breakfast.

Why not, right? I grabbed myself a blueberry bagel with cream cheese, orange juice and cereal. By the time I finished it was drawing closer to seven, so we went back to our room picked up the camera case with tickets and band listings. We make it to the stadium seven fifteen.

There was perhaps say ten to fifteen car line. They were not allowing anyone to park yet. Not entirely sure how long we waited in that line but eventually they let us in to park.

Off to the front gate to wait… The line was not entirely bad but there were a few people ahead of us. Then someone in the line goes “Last year, those with field tickets had to go in another way.” The hubs and I had field tickets, so he decided to go ask the guard watching the front gate.

Sure enough, those with field tickets had to go to another gate. People found out the hubs asked, so others who had field tickets also, followed us to the gate. We were fortunate to have found it out early.

There was another short line, not really that bad, and so we picked one to stand to wait. Hawkers came through selling Tee-shirts for twenty bucks. Then you had your scalpers looking for tickets to buy and to sell.

Representatives from energizer were giving out battery things for those with cell phones. They were free (they said to buy them outright they were twenty dollars) but the catch was you had to have your cell present to show the port. Unfortunately the hubs and I forgot ours.

It was quite interesting to see how people dressed for these things. There were people by cars playing Beer bombs I think they called it. They had a table, with cups full of booze, and tried to toss ping pong balls in the cup. If they did, the other had to drink it.

Yeah, interesting! By eleven, the guards came out to begin the process of checking tickets and giving our wrist bands. They came out and people SWARMED, pushed and pulled. Finally they stopped and made people go in orderly lines.

Guards patted you down, checked bags, before letting you in. It was funny to watch people sprint for the best spot before the stage. Most of the bands we were interested in played on the Monster stage and Kicker stage. We never went to Jagermeiter stage.

The hubs and I had a game plan. We planned to see Sevendust, Drowning Pool, and Puddle of Mudd. I would not have minded to stay to watch Papa Roach, but he rather us go see Halestorm, Skillet and Killswitch Engage.

So we are like the fourth or fifth level of people close to the fence. Now you simply can not complain how they started things off. They mentioned how it was armed forces appreciation, and had some come out to salute and stand there through the national anthem.

Sevendust comes on and starts performing. Not even two songs in the crowd surfers started. One landed on my neck and shoulder thus giving me a massive headache. When the singer asked people to start moshing, hubs dragged us out of there.

You really could not enjoy the show, sing along or take pictures because of those two things. The bad storms we were suppose to get? Didn’t happen except some sprinkles here or there. So we went on the outskirts to finish the rest of 7dust’s show and then walk around until Drowning Pool. They had an awesome set.

Yeah, again it was plagued with the damn crowd surfing which I got nailed in the right ear by some jerk’s foot only then to get my right sleeve drenched in beer. When they started “Bodies” is when things really got wild, and then the hubs dragged us out again.

Puddle of Mudd came out, which I wanted to see. They started out with some awesome songs only for my enjoyment to be ruined by crowd surfers. My husband thought it was time to take me out of there since I threatened to start punching the guys who surfed overtop me in a certain location (and he knew I meant it.)

We started our way over to Kicker Stage to watch Halestorm but remained on the outskirts because it was getting pretty wild there too. When Skillet was about to perform we dared to get closer (you’d think we would have learnt right? WRONG). As they started Comatose here came the crowd surfing too (and yes they had boobs flashing) AND moshing.

The hubs got hit and the guards who were controlling it asked if he was fine. Then to get my glasses kicked (bending them) and my face drenched in beer, the hubs dragged me out because I was getting testy.

He took me to the tented area for some shade while he watched Killswitch Engage. When they finished their set, we came back to the Monster stage to watch the rest. We really were not into the Deftones or Rise Against so we remained in the shade while they performed, eating, drinking and just relaxing.

My hubs refused to let me get into the crowd to see Three Days Grace. * pouts * We remained on the sidelines to watch the show, and I really did not get very good pictures much to my displeasure.

This was TDG’s second year performing. They had played at the first Rock on the Range. I remember because my hubs got to shake Adam’s hand. The brat didn’t get an autograph. The crowd surfing was just as bad for them as the other shows we learned.

We did not stick around for Godsmack. My neck was still hurting, and I knew my face was burnt even though it was overcast, so we decided to beat the traffic and head back to the hotel. I could not wait to take a bath to clean the beer smell off me.

I puttered around on the notebook chit-chatting with some friends to tell them I survived the first day. Hehe even joked with a couple that I did not need bail though it was damn close. The hubs meanwhile bathed and quickly crashed. I do believe I crashed soon after.

Sunday:
Once again, the hubby wakes up at six a.m. This time I wake up exactly at six thirty, so the two of us could grab some breakfast (again the bagel, juice and cereal). Why so early? Sunday was predicted to be HOT and sunny.

Anyone who saw me knows how pale I am. Fortunately Wal-Mart’s was two minutes away, so we stopped there to buy some sun block, and shot back to the stadium. The line was about equal to the other day before we were allowed to park.

The hubs and I shot over to the gate we had to go in Saturday. There was a scattering of people there. The downside to waiting, when you had to go to the restroom, and the port-a-potties were nasty (we won’t go there on how nasty).

The energizer people were there again today (along with the hawkers and scalpers). We remembered to bring out cell phones, and so hubs took both to get a battery pack. Unfortunately they did not have a jack to fit his but they did with mine.

This time the guards were organized and learned from yesterday’s mistake. Me and the woman in front of me planned on sending our hubs to get a good spot at the gate (hey it’s apocalyptica, the other reason I wanted to go) while we did a bathroom run. Well, that was a fine plan but their scanners didn’t work!

This other guard never noticed but was scanning and sending peeps on. Finally he stopped until they realized what they can do. Rao here made a mad dash to the bathroom to relieve herself then shot off to the crowd.

Luckily I was the second person behind the fence. Good place to be for pictures. I get excited because I spot Perttu with the sound checking peeps. Hehe that shows you how much you like a band. Then out comes Eicca whom I think is totally gorgeous. My camera’s shutters keep going.

My husband looks to me. “You think that man is good looking? And you see him as Kenyon’s Dev? He’s goofy looking. Dev is not goofy looking.” I tell him to shut up. Then the lengthy wait in the HOT sun.

I’m slathering on the sun block at intervals to keep from frying. Apocalyptica comes on. My husband can not see the appeal of these guys but he somewhat changed his tune at their performance. He was really impressed when Eicca’s cello broke a string. The man whipped one out, and like fifteen seconds later, he had it restrung and back into the song like he’d been playing all along.

Good thing about them, there was no crowd surfing or moshing. They made my entire weekend. When their set ended, hubs decided to buy a hat to keep the sun off his forehead, and he bought me an Apocalyptica t-shirt.

The heat was starting to get unbearable. The hubs set me in the shade in the back of the field while he went up to watch Five Finger Death Punch (they are his favorite band). I saw one young man walk through with blood on his fingers. Evidently the moshing got a tad violent.

The singer invited fans to crowd surf just to shake his hands. When the security guards prevented it, he smacked them upside the head in retaliation. Yeah, my husband had to gush over the performance and he was a happy man.

We decided to walk around before Bullet for my Valentine’s set when I realized I was famished which really struck me odd since I had a full breakfast. The hubs and I bought us a pizza and shared a drink while remaining in the back to listen to Bullet for my Valentine.

They are cool but not my cup of tea. Again, we never went to the third stage, none of the bands were familiar or ones we wanted to hear. We did start going closer when Theory of a Deadman was about to play.

I was getting into the music when I had trouble breathing; I could not breathe deeply which was ruining my fun in watching the band, waiting for them to play Bad Girlfriend and Hate my Life. Third song in, disappointed that none where the songs I like, my stomach started to get queasy.

Finally, the two got too much for me to bear. I yanked on my hubs shirt and said “I don’t feel good. I need some shade.” Now my husband knows it has to be bad for me to admit I don’t feel good. I can feel sick and brave it out; however, this I could not.

He leads me to the tented area near the Kicker stage and I sit on the floor since people had the tables packed. He said “Today really sucks for you since not much of the bands are what you want to see. Since you’re not feeling good we can leave after Seether.”

I told him to wait to see how I’m feeling by then. Since I had already seen Slash in Velvet Revolver the first Rock on the Range, I was not overly disappointed missing his set. So not to ruin the hubs fun, I shooed him off to Coheed and Cambria with my camera.

I laid there on the cool cement and let my stomach settle. Finally I brought out my cell to text Lillie on the symptoms of heat stroke and sun poisoning. I have awesome friends, she texts me back on the symptoms which I didn’t have. So I fired one back explaining what was wrong with me.

Hubby comes strolling in after C&C’s set to check on me. I was breathing easier and not so sick in the stomach. I explained how Lillie said the heat was playing havoc with my sugar. He’d been pushing the liquids anyway due to the heat; he goes off to buy me water, and we walk to the Kicker stadium.

They were prepping for Mastodon’s set. Hubby parked me in the shade with trees. The jerk had gone to the bathroom, took off his tee-shirt, soaked it, and slapped it around my shoulders to help cool my body down. We stayed enough for him to get a feel for the band before he said “Let’s go check over there.”

Naturally we could not pass up the Harley exhibit. I had to take pictures! Then we checked out the Playstation area. Finally he asked how I was feeling, and by then I was feeling my usual self again. He asked “So are we going to miss Zombie?” I shook my head and said “Nae, let’s check him out.”

No reason to deny him the pleasure since the heat got too much for me. I know what a fan he is of them. Besides, he was being so attentive during that spell of mine. So we come strolling back to the Monster stage to see Seether. Unlike Saturday, we remained on the outskirts because I was still a bit testy about crowd surfers.

Seether didn’t disappoint. They played a lot of songs I liked. Finally their set is over, and hubs asks again if we are going to watch Zombie. Well he had to do a bathroom run, and I sat down because my feet were KILLING ME for standing (yesterday was no different along with my lower back).

While waiting, evidently someone got hurt in the stands. So I was watching people go past. Mohawks, which I felt honor bound to take one, picture of one guy’s for my nine year old; he would have loved seeing it since he had one.

Girls running around with barely anything on their bodies. Then the real show of boobies started happening. Sunday was a little freer than Saturday was. We had two women flashing and then kissing one another. Then we had one woman who went completely topless and fondling herself, and last but not least, another waving her toy before going oral on it.

Classy. I am no way a prude but my limits do extend so much. The set up for Zombie’s hour was awesome. The hubs liked his mike stand. You could not like Zombie but his bit you would have felt the energy and had fun, and get into it.

There are a couple songs that I do like from him… but I have to hand kudos to the Zombie, when he puts on a show, he puts on a fucking show! The best of the entire weekend. You have this need to see another. He had the crowd pumped.

We did not bother to stay for Limp Bizkit; evidently, we were not the only ones. The hubs and I are not fans of their music, not to our tastes (and we have a wide range of tastes in our music).

Hubs and I did notice a good chunk of the crowd left alongside with us. We though “Hey we’d beat the traffic by leaving early.” Now that was not happening. As we were walking to the car, I heard some people wondering why Limp Bizkit got the last act instead of Zombie, that the band could not measure up to the performance.

Our thoughts mirrored the same. On our way back to the hotel we realize (well mostly me) that I was ravenous which again is odd with me. Hubs stopped at Mickey D’s to get me a meal while he stopped at White Castles (which was literally next door to our hotel) to get him a bite.

I tore into my food like it was nothing while chit-chatting with Lillie on AIM and just unwinding from the day. My husband is already planning on attending next year, having a plan of action to use our income tax refund to buy the tickets and call Microtel for reservations. Now if only I can talk some of my internet buddies to attend, it would be a blast. Rock on the range will NOT be the same.



http://s210.photobucket.com/albums/bb147/Raonaid1976/Rock%20on%20the%20Range%202010/?start=80

Monday, May 17, 2010

Peek in Rao’s Life

So I am in a silly kind-of-mood and decided to do an update newsletter-type thing on my life and what I am doing. Yes, I seriously doubt too many people are interested in the going ons behind-the-scenes.

First agenda - This weekend (May 22 and 23) I will be in Columbus Ohio for the two day concert, Rock on the Range 3. Four days and counting! Friday, after the boys get home from school, we will pack everything up and take them to my mom’s for the weekend.

My mother only lives about say about an hour or less from Columbus (actually doing this puts us en route). Once the boys are dropped off, the hubby and I will continue on our way up to Columbus to get our hotel and rest up for Saturday.

Who am I looking forward to seeing? Three Days Grace and Apocalyptica. They were the main two reasons I text the hubby about wanting to go. Plus! Rao here got field tickets which means I do not have to remain right in the stadium seats but the field closer to the stage.

Squee! Here’s the lineup: http://rockontherange.com/lineup.html . I just hope it does not storm and I can bring my Nikon camera so I can get some shots.

Second Agenda - Writing and My Current Works-in-progress

I have added yet another WIP on my “to-do-list” bringing the total up to three. This one, unlike the previous two, is much, much older. Heh, yes I have decided to bring Kheldin and Kiirri’s story out, dust things off, and give it a much needed face-lift.

Changes in my life prompted this decision.

One of the massive changes in the story shall be characters. There are several characters that just did not exactly fit well. No worries, Kiirri and Kheldin remain about the same.

There are a few characters that are going ‘bye-byes’ and brand-new characters slid in their places. Unfortunately those who are familiar with the sad first draft of Child of Prophecy will have to wait until I manage to write it to find out which characters got cut.

The remaining characters - a few got minor changes like shortened names, tweaked looks, necessary profession.

Another massive change in the story: the plot. Ehh, the bulk of it will remain about the same. The majority of the story’s content got scrapped and some chapters are salvageable on the new twist I want to take the story.

When I read over the pitiful attempt the story jumped far too much and the scenes inside, the interactions, came off too cliché for my peace of mind. Now the twist that I want to add the story will fill things out smoothly and better.

The last massive change in not only this story but Warrior of the Moon. Child of Prophecy and Warrior of the Moon takes place in the same world, one that I had help in its creation. Feiden does not solely belong to just me, but it is a collection done by myself, and my two friends RJ and Keeshe.

Last month, a good friend got me to thinking about long-term goals and possibilities. True, for now I have absolutely no desire, drive, or want to be published. I get discouraged way too easily and my skin is not as thick as I like.

But what about down the line? Once my youngest is in school? Ten years from now? Many of my works in progresses taking place in Feiden would need tweaking. Why? Well because I use DnD/Wizard of the Coast pantheon.

Instead of adding heaps of work on myself in the future, I decided to tackle that now. I even went so far as to email RJ and Keeshe about modifying and creating our own pantheon for Feiden. One jumped instantly on board, and so we are doing the slow but laborious journey of creating these Gods and Goddesses.

I still plan on writing Burning Times and I do not plan on stopping Warrior of the Moon. They, like Child of Prophecy, will come at their own pace. Possibly, I will not be writing too hardcore until my children are firmly in school, I have some “Rao time” set up.


Third agenda - I am currently reading two books: “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones and Sword-sworn by Jennifer Roberson. Both books are fantasy which I have been sorely lacking in my reading of late.

I’ve heard glowing reviews about Howl’s Moving Castle, the book. Yes, I am aware that there is an animation. I had found the anime first, and then discovered years later, it was loosely based on a book.

Am I enjoying it? Yes, however, there was one part in the book (so far) that simply lost me. Oddly enough I am in the mood, once again, to put the movie and immerse myself in it.

Sword-sworn, the last book (currently) in Jennifer Roberson’s Del and Tiger series. Now Roberson is an auto buy author for me because her novels always satisfy the beast inside me that needs its fantasy fix.

This series, along with Roberson’s Cheysuli books, were highly recommended to me. I’ve fortunately got to finish reading the Cheysuli series a good many years ago. Not so with Del and Tiger because I was missing key books to finish the series.

However, this year I fixed that little problem by getting the one book I needed to finish the last two in the series from the library. This does not mean that I am ceasing in my search for that elusive book (may have to give up and order it from half.com).

But my intention this year, book reading wise, is to finish reading many of the series books in my collection. So far I have been doing really well. I’m currently up-to-date on Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels/Blood; Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunters; JR Ward’s BDB; Gena Showalter’s Lord and all the Eve Silver books in my collection.