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Archive for May, 2010

  • Testing Your Rabid Fan Girl Status

    Thursday, May 27th, 2010

    Dear Citizens of Reality,

    This is an Emergency Health Warning for the well-known Twilight disease Rabid Fan Girl Status. However, do not be alarmed; this is only a warning. Lockdown procedures have, as of yet, not been implemented.

    This warning will be in effect for the next 33 days, 9 hours, and 27 seconds (roughly the time until Eclipse arrives in theaters), during which time you may hear of, or possibly engage in, random bouts of squealing, attempts to keep large blocks of ice in bed, and irregular drooling over Robert Pattinson. You may also see mass droves of human females dressed in such items as flannel shirts and skinny jeans accessorized by large belts and clunky boots. Not to worry, this is normal Twi-behavior. However…if you notice symptoms beyond these in yourself, or in others, you MAY have a case of Rabid Fan Girl Status on your hands. In which case, you need help.

    Some questions you may have regarding Rabid Fan Girl Status:

    What IS Rabid Fan Girl Status?  Rabid Fan Girl Status is a condition also known as Twi-chosis, which is marked by shrieking like a little school girl, swooning over the term “Edward” (even when it is the name of one’s three-legged dog or the pot-bellied pizza boy), slobbering or slurred speech, and an obsessive desire to make out with vampires (or werewolves, depending).

    Are Rabid Fan Girls dangerous?  Extremely. In fact, under no circumstances should you attempt to approach a herd of them without an adequate arsenal of (a) glitter spray, (b) a highlighted copy of Wuthering Heights, and (c) wooden stakes. Also, laughing in their innocent-looking fan girl faces, poking them, or engaging in Robert Pattinson insults of any kind is not advised. It will not go well for you. In some cases, Rabid Fan Girls have been known to accost ignorant men and buildings with glue and glitter paint, resulting in the loss of all body hair and structural fortitude.

    How does a person contract Rabid Fan Girl Status?  Rabid Fan Girl Status can be contracted through direct physical contact with Stephenie Meyer, the Twilight saga, or the frothy-mouthed bite of a Rabid Fan Girl.

    How will I know if I’ve been bitten?  The fang marks just above your collarbone will be distinct—two bloody holes surrounded by a smudge of red glimmer lipstick.

    How will I know if I have contracted Rabid Fan Girl Status?  If you are experiencing any of the above recurring symptoms, or are unsure of your Rabid Fan Girl Status, you may be compromised. For such cases, we have designed this emergency Twilight Rabidity Test for your convenience. (But remember, this is only a test. For conclusive results, blood analysis is required.)

    Please check your symptoms with those below.

    *Ahem.* You might be a Rabid Fan Girl if:

    You own this (for sale at Custom Shower Curtains Etsy shop):

    by request Robert Pattison SHOWER CURTAIN Twilight New Moon Edward Cullen Bella pattinson
    •  

    You WANT to own this (for sale at Vinyl Fruit Etsy shop):

     

    You would hock your firstborn child to own Bella’s engagement ring.

    You would name your firstborn child any of these (Edward, Jacob, Isabella, Cullen):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/us/08names.html

     

    And this concludes the emergency test of your Rabid Fan Girl Status. If for any reason you believe you have contracted this disease, please stay indoors for the next 6 months or until AFTER Eclipse has been released (on DVD).

    Just sayin’.

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    Posted in Genre Savvy, Twilight, Undead Leeches | 12 Comments »

  • “Soulless” by Gail Carriger (a book review)

    Thursday, May 20th, 2010

    A short bit ago, I stumbled upon the quirky, Steampunk book “Soulless” (by Gail Carriger) on Kristin Nelson’s blog. Always up for a light and easy comic read–let alone one with vampires–I figured I’d give it a go. So here YOU go. ;-)

    Alexia Tarabotti spends the comfortable hours of her Victorian London life audaciously ignoring the societal rules for proper etiquette. Especially when they interfere with her incessant proclivity to annoy the massive and ill-tempered (did I mention super-hottie?) werewolf, Lord Maccon–head of London’s BUR department–or exchange gossip and fashion tips with the foppish vampire, Lord Akeldama, or indulge in a treacle tart or two or five. In fact, manners-be-dashed, the smart-mouthed, strong-willed spinster (at age 25) has a habit of inserting her rather large nose into just about everything which is (a) supernatural, and (b) none of her business, whether intentioned or not. As a preternatural “soulless” lady of London, Alexia wields a power which renders vamps and werewolves indolent when touched. But can her supernatural ability combined with her aptitude for snooping help unravel the mysterious disappearances of loner vamps and werewolves? And will it save or sabotage her when the creepy wax-faced man comes a-calling with his uncouth chloroform hankie? Worst of all, what WILL her mother say when she finds Alexia and Lord Maccon making out on the parlor room armchair?

    What I liked:

    1. Alexia Tarabotti (head-strong and sassy).
    2. The wax-faced man. Very creepy.
    3. The thought of Lord Akeldama “mincing” and “teetering” around the room in his 3-inch heels.
    4. The story premise.
    5. The witty one-liners.
    6. The author, Gail Carriger. I mean, let’s face it, anyone who includes, “she now resides in the Colonies with a harem of Armenian lovers and tea imported from London,” in her bio is automatically fabulous.

    What threw me a bit:

    1. The use of head-hopping and info-telling in the first three chapters (just took me a while to catch on).
    2. The emphasis on things we already knew just in case we didn’t know.
    3. The ending (albeit in completely appropriate context) + one other small scene: **blush**.

     

    That all said, I’ve actually a question for you, my friendlies. Looking back over the fiction you’ve dipped into this past year, what genre would you say you’ve read the most from? Steampunk, romance, young adult, paranormal, thriller, horror, sci-fi . . . you name it.

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    Mood noise?  Me snickering at this commercial for Steampunk Rayguns (you totally have to wait for the horse . . . heheheh).

    :0)

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    Posted in Book Reviews, Genre Savvy, Undead Leeches | 11 Comments »

  • A Recipe for Coconut Pound Cake with Lemon Curd

    Monday, May 17th, 2010

    Over the weekend I thought of an added benefit to my future as a Steampunk old lady (the riveting topic from Friday’s post). If I am to be a full-fledged, bustle-wielding, rocket-launching, steamy grandmother, I can’t just LOOK the part. For all obvious reasons, I must indulge in every aspect of Steampunk roots, including the Victorian practice of drinking gobs of tea and eating cake. Or is it gobs of cake while drinking tea? I think I like that variation better.

    Yes, I shall eat cake while wearing my tiny, flattering hat. And then I shall complain to all my old lady friends about the blasted corsets they make these days that aren’t what they used to be for holding in my steamy, cake-earned girth.

    And this (see below), my dear friendlies, is what I shall eat, when I am old, wearing my Steampunk outfits. It’s truly one of my favorite cakes. EVER.

    But you know the dealio. Before you read on, tell the best part of your weekend so we can live the moment through you ;-).

    lemon curd pound cake recipe

    Coconut Pound Cake with Lemon Curd and Orange Glaze

    1. 2 ½ cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    2. 2 tsp. baking powder
    3. 1/2 tsp. salt
    4. 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    5. 2 ½ cups sugar
    6. 5 eggs, room temperature
    7. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    8. 1 tsp. coconut extract
    9. 1 cup sour cream
    10. ½ cup shredded coconut
    11. Lemon curd (I’m just lazy these days and purchase it from a store.)

    Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Lightly oil and flour-dust a 10-cup bundt pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, beating the batter in between each. Add the extracts and sour cream, blend well. With the mixer on low, stir in the dry ingredients until almost incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to finish, folding the batter until mixed. Gently fold in the coconut. Place the batter in the prepared pan and bake in the oven’s center for 60 to 75 minutes. Let the cake cool 15 minutes in pan, then transfer to a plate. With a thin, round, craft stick, poke ten small holes in the top of the cake. Drizzle on ¼ cup of the orange glaze.

    Orange Glaze Sauce: Combine 4 Tab. of frozen Orange Juice concentrate with ¾ cup water and 1/8 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the mixture reduces into a slightly thicker sauce. Allow to cool.

    Once the cake is cooled completely, slice it in half (sideways) and remove the top layer. Spread one cup of lemon curd on the bottom portion. Place the top cake layer back on and spread ¼ cup of lemon curd over it. Drizzle 1/8 cup orange glaze around on the entire cake. Enjoy with a cup of hot tea and a loosened corset.

    What’s the mood noise of the moment? Abney Park:  The Wrong Side

    :0)

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    Posted in Genre Savvy, Reading Recipes | 11 Comments »

  • When I am Old, I Shall Wear Steampunk

    Friday, May 14th, 2010

    Long have I been a fan of Steampunk, both in fashion and in fiction. The entire genre enthralls me. A little steam powered action + Victorian era panache + a healthy dose of technological (i.e. totally rad) innovation, and we’ve got a recipe for my own personal obsession. Give me some classic Jules Verne, a rocket-launching wrist watch, and a giant, swaggering Victorian bustle, and I could be a blissful lady. 

    Unfortunately I’d also be the gagging-stock of my children. I can hear our grocery store conversation now. Child #1: “Look at your butt, Mom! It’s HUUUGE (yelled loudly through the sausage section).” 

    Me: “It’s called a bustle.” 

    Child #2: “Wait…a bust-hole or a butts-hole?” 

    Child #3: “Hey Mom, use your watch to shoot a rocket at dad so we can see what it does.”  

    Hmm… No. Steampunk is not for a young mother of three loudmouthed, intelligent offspring. Thus, my current relationship with the genre is limited to the random book (or movie) that happens across my desk. Such as last weekend when I started a novel I’d discovered through Agent Kristin’s website. I’ll review it for you next week, but in the meantime just know that reading the book has brought me to a decision. 

    Namely, when I am old, I shall wear Steampunk. 

    In fact, I am going to BE Steampunk. As in I’m going to be the most techno-gothic old lady anyone’s ever seen, in black lace stockings, purple velvet boots, and savvy eye-goggles (which are obviously necessary for old-lady things like knitting and reading). Plus there’s the added benefit of those tight corsets to secure in all my plump-lady gloriousness. Or perhaps it’ll just squish the plump out in all the wrong places, but I won’t care by then because my senile old mind will imagine myself as looking like this (click the links to see my imagined awesomeness):

    Victorian Steampunk Traveling Dress from clockworkcouture.com 

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    Wearing this tiny accessory:

    Rose Faux Wool Bowler from clockworkcouture.com

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    Using this:

    Steampunk Pistol with Laser Sight

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    Fighting off young men who look like:

    THIS 

    So here and now I am issuing fair warning to my children: If in a good many years from today you see a plump and pruney old lady who looks remarkably like your dear mother dressed in saggy lace stockings, velvet boots, a diminutive top hat, and a watch that doubles as a rocket-launcher / chloroform diffuser,  brandishing a silver-tipped parasol at all the cars driving where I’m trying to jay-walk—just say something kind about my super tiny, super cool hat, remembering that I spared you the humiliation while you were young. And don’t pinch my bustle lest I decide to test my rocket watch on you. 

    Now with that stated, I’ve actually got a question for the reading friendlies:  What literary fashion will YOU dress in during your old and pruney years? 

      

    Jasper Morello Music Video

    (aka Industrial Steampunk Animation 2.0) with music by Interpol:  Pioneer to the Falls   

    :0)

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    Posted in Genre Savvy, Undead Leeches | 18 Comments »

  • The Breach (a guest review)

    Friday, May 7th, 2010

    So I’m wrapping up my week long love-fest of the DIVA group by posting a “man-book” review sent over from Jeanette Morris. You know Jeanette–my writer / editor / might-secretly-be-in-the-CIA-because-she-travels-to-exotic-locations friend whom I adore. This is numero dōs in the series of three. You’ll find the previous one here. And the third will appear next month. In the meantime . . . ;-)

    The Breach (2009): In Patrick Lee’s debut sci-fi thriller, ex-con Travis Chase encounters a downed government aircraft in the Alaskan wilderness. The last thing he wants is involvement—but the dead passengers inside the plane and mysterious notes about a missing item effecting national security begins a story with a plot that ratchets up like levels in a complex video game. Turns out Travis has some excellent tracking and shooting skills (we find out why later in the story). He tracks down a group of terrorists who are torturing hostages from the plane and hiding the mysterious “orb.” Travis rescues the beautiful and intelligent woman hostage (natch). The last words of the other hostage, her father, send Paige and Travis into a dangerous and bizarre world of secrets, conspiracies, and objects from another time and place that appear in “The Breach” housed in a super-secret underground government facility. Don’t worry, it gets weirder. The ending is definitely out of this world. So out there, I wasn’t sure if I actually “got it.” Read it (if you dare), and let me know. I’ll even loan you my copy.

    And Mary’s question for the audience?  You get two actually: (1) Have you / would you read The Breach (I totally would)? (2) In spite of the fact that I know how much Jeanette abhors book trailers, I’ve posted the one to The Breach below (Jeanette, your review puts the trailer to shame, by the way). I have a theory. Mainly that book trailers are targeted at men (as is the book, The Breach). And maybe teens . . .  What say you, my reading friendlies? Discuss.

    Jeanette Morris is a freelance writer and editor who has helped over 30 clients achieve their publishing dreams. You can find her at any of these places:     www.firstimpressionswriting.com   www.worddivas.com   www.ministryofwords.wordpress.com 

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    Posted in Book Reviews, Book Trailers | 8 Comments »

  • A Recipe for Strawberry Cream Crepes

    Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

    Seeing as the weekend post had to do with the Word DIVA writing group, it seems rude to move along without at least sharing one of the yummilicious recipes served up at our last writing retreat.

    You need to try these Strawberry Cream Crepes because–seriously–they’re a guaranteed happy-day inducement.

    I had to double check my memory on how to make them (admittedly I’m terrible about following unimportant details such as ingredient measurements), and thus I whipped them up this past Saturday for my family and nieces before settling in for a few pages of The Idiot (yes–still whittling away at it). I’m happy to say that I remembered the recipe, and the crepes were a success (no one declared they’d been poisoned or fell over themselves gagging–since we all know, when you have kids, the non-gag-reflex reaction is the ultimate measure of culinary success). However, my reading? Not so much. I ended up falling asleep instead.

    Here you go. Enjoy :-). Oh, except before you read through, tell the rest of us what novel you’re currently involved in. . . . And are you loving it, or no?

     

    Strawberry Cream Crepes

     

    2baskets of strawberries (thinly sliced)

    Filling:

    1. 1  8oz. pckge softened cream cheese
    2. ¼ tsp. cinnamon
    3. ¼ cup sugar

    Crepes:

    1. 1 ½ cups flour
    2. 1 Tab. sugar
    3. ½ tsp. baking powder
    4. ½ tsp. salt
    5. 2 cups milk
    6. 2 Tab. butter (melted)
    7. ½ tsp. vanilla
    8. 2 large eggs

    For filling: Mix the cream cheese, cinnamon, and sugar together, beating until smooth. Set aside.

    For crepes: Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients and whisk by hand until smooth. Lightly butter an 8-inch skillet and heat until butter is bubbly. Pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan and immediately swirl skillet until the batter makes a thin film, covering pan bottom. Cook until light brown, then flip crepe and cook the other side.

    Slide the crepe onto a plate and spread 2 Tab. of cream cheese filling along the crepe’s center. Place a layer of fresh, sliced strawberries onto the filling, and then fold both sides of the crepe to overlap. Repeat with the rest (makes 10 total). Top with whipped cream and strawberries.

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    What’s the mood noise of the moment:  Dntel: Dream Of Evan And Chan (Superpitcher Kompakt rmx)

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    Posted in Reading Recipes | 15 Comments »

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