KJ Charles, Magic, & More!

Sep. 25th, 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

AppSumo has a great deal on 100 credits for DepositPhoto for only $49!

Sarah: This is my favorite of the AppSumo deals.

I bought this about two years ago and I still haven’t used all the credits. The credits do not expire, and the DepositPhoto collection includes vector images and stock photos, too. Most of the images on the site that aren’t custom designed begin with DepositPhoto options. Seriously, 100 credits will last you a very long time.

All In

RECOMMENDED: All In by Simona Ahrnstedt is $2.99! Redheadedgirl gave the book an A:

I felt like this was full of Shakespearean drama, and scheming families, and hot sex, and gorgeous clothes, but also some important things to say about how the world is functioning. There’s a lot going on, though, and the ending a tad rushed.

In the cutthroat world of Sweden’s financial elite, no one knows that better than corporate raider David Hammar. Ruthless. Notorious. Unstoppable. He’s out to hijack the ultimate prize, Investum. After years of planning, all the players are in place; he needs just one member of the aristocratic owning family on his side–Natalia De la Grip.

Elegant, brilliant, driven to succeed in a man’s world, Natalia is curious about David’s unexpected invitation to lunch. Everyone knows that he is rich, dangerous, unethical; she soon discovers he is also deeply scarred.

The attraction between these two is impossible, but the long Swedish nights unfold an affair that will bring to light shocking secrets, forever alter a family, and force both Natalia and David to confront their innermost fears and desires.

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This book is on sale at:

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An Unseen Attraction

An Unseen Attraction by K.J. Charles is $1.99! This book published earlier this year. It’s a gay historical romance and was recommended several times in a Rec League on neurodivergent characters. This is also the first book in a new series by Charles and has a 3.9-star rating on Goodreads.

A slow-burning romance and a chilling mystery bind two singular men in the suspenseful first book of a new Victorian series from K. J. Charles.

Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

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The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell

The Irresistible Miss Peppiwell by Stacy Reid is 99c! This is book two in the Scandalous House of Calydon series. The first book is also on sale and the rest of the series is available for $3.99 each. If you like the trope of an “ice queen” heroine, readers recommend this historical romance. However, some felt the pace dragged.

With a longing for adventure, the last thing Phillipa Peppiwell wants is to marry. After a painful betrayal by a man she trusted, she is wary when she unwittingly catches the attention of roguishly handsome – and sinfully tempting – Lord Anthony Thornton. Forbidden desires she secretly yearns for threaten to crumble her icy facade and reveal a past scandal best kept buried.

Dissatisfied with his empty life, Lord Anthony seeks a deep and lasting connection…and finds himself intrigued by the Ice Maiden of the haute monde. Undaunted by Phillipa’s aloof nature and her distaste for the idea of matrimony, he sets out to thaw the bewitching beauty by enticing her with adventures of the most sensual type. But he, too, hides a scandalous secret…and if it’s discovered it could rip them apart.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

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and

amazon

 

 

 

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks is $1.99! This is the first book in The Embraced series and is a fantasy/paranormal romance. Readers felt it was light on the fantasy elements, which they wanted more of, but others enjoyed the Beauty and the Beast elements. It has a 4-star rating on Goodreads.

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

As one of the Embraced—one born with magical powers—the beautiful, innocent Luciana escaped certain death after her father hid her away on the Isle of Moon. Now, nineteen years later, her father has returned with a frightening request. He will be executed unless Luciana returns to the mainland and marries a man feared throughout the land: a terrifying brute known as the Beast.

Luciana accepts her fate and agrees to wed the Beast—Lord Leo—in order to save her father. Soon she learns that her betrothed is also one of the Embraced. With the ability to wield lightning, Leo’s immense power strikes fear into the hearts of men. . .and his mere touch can put an end to a woman’s life. But Luciana cannot deny the passion that burns between them. How can she resist the man who scorches her soul and makes her feel intoxicated with desire—even if surrendering to him could destroy them both?

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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[syndicated profile] terribleminds_feed

Posted by terribleminds

First up, let’s get this out of the way —

Puerto Rico is undergoing a humanitarian crisis thanks to Hurricane Maria.

It’s not good, and it’s getting worse.

It’s devastation, literally and emotionally, for the people of Puerto Rico — which, please remember, is an American colony that already gets the short-end of the stick, and it exists under a president that right now feels very comfortable railing about NFL players taking a knee to protest the oppression of black lives but who apparently has little interest in shining a light on an ongoing American crisis.

Anyway, to get to the meat of it —

For Houston, I donated sales to two of my books (Blue Blazes and Hellsblood Bride) to Americares. (As such, I was able to donate $250.) This time, I’m going to donate profits of my Mega Writing Bundle to the Hispanic Federation, taking a page from Lin Manuel Miranda. You are of course able to donate directly to that charity! But, for the next seven days, if you grab a copy of the Writing Bundle, which gets you ten books for twenty bucks (eight writing books and two novels), you’ll also be donating to the Hispanic Federation.

[Link to Writing Bundle: here]

[Also, Lin Manuel’s Twitter account is worthy of a follow, not just because it’s Lin Manuel, but also because he’s been charting some of the help that the Hispanic Federation is doing for PR.]

Anyway!

Other Updatery-Floo-Dee-Doo

Tomorrow, Good Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise, I’ll be in Philadelphia at the B&N Rittenhouse Square to help Fran Wilde usher in the third and final book in her Bone Universe series. (The one caveat is we’re dealing with a small bronchial plague in Das Wendighaus, so that’s a variable. I’m doing okay, my wife less so, so I’m hoping to make it.)

Then, next week I’m off to Pelee Island for the Pelee Island Writers Retreat.

Then: NYCC.

Then: back with Fran and Kevin Hearne in San Francisco (Borderlands!) on October 17th, Portland (Powells!) on Oct 18th, and Seattle Oct 19th. Quick deets at Kevin’s blog! Kevin is launching his most excellent Plague of Giants, Fran’s rocking Horizon, and I’ll be launching my new book about narrative and storytelling, Damn Fine Story.

Then: home again.

Uhh. What else?

Exeunt remains a giant book. I’m pretty sure I should be done it by now. It’s 800 pages (in Word), currently 182,000 words, and it just… keeps… going.

Invasive is still on sale: $4.99. Zer0es is, too. And the third Miriam Black book, The Cormorant, is now $3.99 for Reasons Unknown and for Timeframe Unclear.

I think that’s it for now.

Onto the macros.

The first of which I love very much:

Because though you’ve seen the ladybug, you haven’t seen the spider.

And another cool camouflaged spider:

Here, have some weird fungus! It’s in your brain now! It’s taking over!

And that’s it for now.

You can always find more of my pics at my Flickr account.

Shine on, you cuckoo rhinestones. Shine on.

A Failure To Communicate, Vol 67.

Sep. 25th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

I think this is what our grandparents call "a senior moment."

The best part?
THEY WROTE IT IN ALL CAPS.

 

[sad face here]

 

"Sprinkles All Over Momther" is the name of my Cake cover band.

 

Ahhh, NOW you're speaking my language.

(The language... OF WRECKS. [eyebrow waggle])

 

In a word?
NO.

 

Thanks to Lani T., Donna C., Patrick L., Anony M., & Rebecca P. for keeping those lines of communication nice and squiggly-like.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

ye gods

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:50 am
alicevangeline: Cigar brand Crazy Alice (cowboy)
[personal profile] alicevangeline
I feel like I'm in a kazillion places at once. But I'm too tired to either be really hyper about it or gungho about solving it. I guess it's one step at a time but first, mental organizing!

- I haz a new car and it's beYOOtiful. My kids whined slightly that they liked the old cars (even though the suspension was done on the Saturn and the Scion was too small for us to use anymore) and that they would have preferred a van with magic doors and a screen in the back seat (and they didn't say this but probably rear speaker/climate controls :) ) but what we do have is a GREAT car with a GREAT deal and I was having problems even processing that it's ours.

- Our family put together a very nice reuinion this weekend at my backyard - so many nice things about it. My favorite was that we ended up with All The Chips, lots of hugs and talking, a few tears, kids at the beach (hey it's a short walk) and grownups watching sunset at the lighthouse, my children recluttering the living room with their stuffed animals and books as party friends and decorations. They specifically wanted their plushie guys for the party. Aw. I keep saying it was kind of important to do that because it's the first party in a year that wasn't a funeral. Aunt Joan and aunt Erin were the conveners and I think aunt erin's having a hard time without Joan maybe? We all are. Anyway. We felt the threads of our collective family sweater getting a litttle loose so we tightened them. And it was lovely.


- Work is in that uncomfortable Self-Directed state when I don't really have anything burning NAOW at me so I have to plan and be calm and get the little things done and plan for the deadlines that do exist. I also don't like "lots of little things" that are all in different categories but I'll get there.

- I assembled a rabbit hutch and got rabbit supplies for our new fuzzy friend Thumper who is coming to live with us as soon as I can get to chardon. Not gonna lie, i feel a bit nervous about his cage being in the beautiful new car but it will be good. I'm also worried that he will have a hard time adjusting to us, or that his life expectancy isn't THAT long because he's a rabbit, but mostly I'm excited.

Cover Snark: Rooter & the Sunburn

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

It’s Monday and Cover Snark is here for you! And I do mean for you. Need a laugh? Read through Cover Snark. Looking for a work break? Try a dose of Cover Snark.

Rooter by Teiran Smith. A tattooed man is gripping a woman by the shoulders. In bright blue letters, the cover says Rooter.

Amanda: Excuse me, what’s his name?

Rooter?

Oh okay, just making sure.

Elyse: Wow

Wowwwwww

Sarah: POOTER.

Now that I’ve stared at it, the Roto-Rooter song is in my head. Thanks, book cover.

Carrie: Obviously the title is the worst offender but I also give props to the ways he’s looking at her boobs like “Huh, what do you suppose those are?”

Fake Marriage with the CEO by Amanda Horton. A man, presumably the CEO, is lying in bed with the title covering his bits. The man is also extremely red.

From Gloriamarie: He seems like he is willing to take care of himself. Why does he need a fake marriage?

Amanda: He looks sunburned and I’m not enjoying this weird eye contact.

Sarah: Yes, I agree. I believe his sunscreen was also fake.

Carrie: He waxes his armpits? Do guys do that? I had no idea.

Protecting the Prince by Dana Volney. A woman has her back to the reader. She's wearing a white tank top and loose jeans. Tucked into the back of her waistband is a gun. The hero is embracing her and is looking directly at the reader over the heroine's shoulder. It's discomfiting.

Sarah: I am not on board with the new trend of “the hero is looking at me.” I find it rather unsettling.

Amanda: That gun looks like it’s one step away from falling straight down her pants. No one wants a bullet to the butthole.

Sarah: Is “hide my gun in your crack” a new game or form or foreplay? If so, pass.

RHG: I feel like she’s not being as observant as I would hope a protection detail to be.

Carrie: She’s whispering in his ear, “If you are going to cheat on me with the reader then get your damn hands off my ass.”

 

Romeow and Juliet by Kathi Daley. Essentially, two cats are acting out the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet right next to a fountain.

Amanda: Admittedly, this makes me smile.

RHG: Awwwwww

“But soft! What meow through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juli-cat is the sun!”

Sarah: “Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious cat toy, the laser pointer sick and pale with low batteries.”

Elyse: Would read immediately!

Carrie: CATS! Would not read as a romance novel. But would read for the cats. Because cats

Giveaway: Kate Spade Cat Print Tote

Sep. 25th, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Fall is nearly upon (most) of us and that might be a change in wardrobe. Scarves, boots, and the most comfortable sweater you own. But why not change up your purse collection too?

Good thing it’s giveaway time! Just for you, we have a Kate Spade Daycation Bon Shopper Tote in an adorable black cat print set against a-not-quite-lavender-not-quite-lilac background. Seriously, what shade is that?

Kate Spade Daycation Bon Shopper Tote in a light purple with a black cat print

Though the bag is no longer on the Kate Spade website, Amazon has the bag’s specifications:

  • 13.5″ inches high x 12.3″ inches wide
  • The drop length of the hand is 8.3″ inches
  • Printed coated poplin with patent PVC trim
  • Dual interior slide pockets

I think the bag is perfect for a gloomy, misty fall afternoon!

Standard disclaimers apply: We’re not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Open to international residents where permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18. Must love cats. Or dogs. Any animal is acceptable really. Be ready to fit lots of books or an e-reader inside! Bonus points if your e-reader cover matches the bag. Comments will close Friday 29 September 2017 around noon EST and winner announced same day.

Ready to enter?

Leave a comment and let us know what book (digital or paper) will be the first to find a home in your Kate Spade cat bag! 

Best of luck!

Win One, Lose One

Sep. 25th, 2017 12:19 am
[syndicated profile] grrm_feed

Posted by George R.R. Martin

Life is... messy... on this football Sunday.

The Jets won. To the astonishment of all, or at least of me. What's more, they won in dominating fashion over the Miami Dolphins. Does this mean they are a much better team than expected, and a contender for the playoffs? Hoo hah. If you believe that, perhaps I can interest you in buying the Bayonne Bridge. What it really means is that there is no team team in the NFL so bad that Jay Cutler cannot make them look good.

So Gang Green won't go 0 - 16 after all. Instead, hey, maybe they will make it to 4 - 12. Thing is, at 0 - 16 they would have the first overall pick in the draft and a shot at the franchise qb they have been looking for since Joe Namath. At 4- 12, all the good qbs will be gone and the Jets will be facing the future with the same cast they have now.

That being said, it is always nice to watch the Jets beat the Fins, our original rivals.

As for the Giants game... Big Blue could very well finish 4 - 12 as well. After trailing 14 - 0 and looking lifeless, they came roaring back to take the lead, but could not hold it. When the defense plays great, the offense does nothing. When the offense comes alive, the defense fails. And really Odell, the catches were great, but what the hell was with that first "celebration?" Stupid.

No, not a good Sunday in football land. A gut-wrenching loss, and a win that will hurt more than it helps. This looks like a looooooooooooooooooooooong season.

Trouble keeping my eyes open...

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:41 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Short on sleep again, plus yesterday, plus the roofers will have to come back tomorrow morning because it was a little too hot today and they weren't fast enough to finish. (I mean, it's hot and muggy; go too fast and you fall off the roof with heat exhaustion. Don't do that!)

I have had no brains today, either, for obvious reasons. I did get a shower, at least. Despite the thumpbumpwhamTHUMPTHUMP shaking the roof and house around me...

Havva Quote
-----------------------Quoted by f___-----------------------
To S.L.O., an American gentleman in accordance with whose classic taste the following narrative has been designed, it is now, in return for numerous delightful hours, and with the kindest wishes, dedicated by his affectionate friend, the author.
------------------------------------------------------------
f___ says, “The fact that this is the /dedication/ to Treasure Island gives one an accurate impression of what the prose is gonna be like.”


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Ow. My heart.

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:50 pm
[syndicated profile] thebloggess_feed

Posted by thebloggess

Today is Hailey’s birthday.  She’s now officially a teenager, which seems wrong because this was her yesterday: Or maybe it was seven years ago. Feels like yesterday. Except yesterday she was still a pre-teen and two days ago I tucked … Continue reading
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

This Is Just My Face

RECOMMENDED: This is Just My Face by Gabourey Sidibe is $2.99 at Amazon! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and isn’t being price-matched yet. Check out the other deals today; there are a few romances included! Redheadedgirl enjoyed this one and gave it an A:

This is a really interesting memoir by someone who I didn’t know much about. She’s got a complicated life story, and a great attitude as she sashays her way through her life. She’s funny, and touching. And, as ever, the inner lives of Black women are still not something that receives nearly enough attention.

The Oscar-nominated Precious star and Empire actress delivers a much-awaited memoir—wise, complex, smart, funny—a version of the American experience different from anything we’ve read

Gabourey Sidibe—“Gabby” to her legion of fans—skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels’s acclaimed movie Precious. In This is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story in a voice as fresh and challenging as many of the unique characters she’s played onscreen. With full-throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star, alongside “a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom’s apartment.”

Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face takes its place and fills a void on the shelf of writers from Mindy Kaling to David Sedaris to Lena Dunham.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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Wicked Intentions

RECOMMENDED: Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt is $1.99! Elyse really enjoyed this book and gave it an A-:

Serial killer. And Ghost of St. Giles vigilante. And river pirate. And bondage.

If any or all of those things appeal to you, I’d really recommend this book. If you’re looking for a spicy historical, or one not focused around the glittering aristocracy, Wicked Intentions fits the bill. Aside from a few ball scenes, this book takes place among the working class of London.

A man controlled by his desires…

Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London’s most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand— she’s spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk.

A woman haunted by her past…

Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance’s help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London’s high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control—one that may well destroy them both.

A bargain neither could refuse.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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and

amazon

 

 

 

A Duchess in Name

RECOMMENDED: A Duchess in Name by Amanda Weaver is 99c! Redheadedgirl reviewed the book and gave it a B+:

This book involves a massive renovation, a HERO that was won in a card game, awkwardness, and learning to love each other despite a most inauspicious beginning. Throw in some terrible parenting, and we got ourselves what could totally be a miniseries jointly produced by ITV and HGTV.

Victoria Carson never expected love. An American heiress and graduate of Lady Grantham’s finishing school, she’s been groomed since birth to marry an English title—the grander the better. So when the man chosen for her, the forbidding Earl of Dunnley, seems to hate her on sight, she understands that it can’t matter. Love can have no place in this arrangement.

Andrew Hargrave has little use for his title and even less for his cold, disinterested parents. Determined to make his own way, he’s devoted to his life in Italy working as an archaeologist. Until the collapse of his family’s fortune drags him back to England to a marriage he never wanted and a woman he doesn’t care to know.

Wild attraction is an unwanted complication for them both, though it forms the most fragile of bonds. Their marriage of convenience isn’t so intolerable after all—but it may not be enough when the deception that bound them is finally revealed.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

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and

amazon

 

 

 

Angel’s Ink

Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake is $2.99! This is a paranormal urban fantasy, and the first book in the Asylum Tales series. The book has a 3.6 average on GR, and readers particularly liked the hero, who is a former warlock who now runs his own tattoo parlor. I’m actually pretty interested in this book, but I’m wary about buying it for some reason. Anyone care to weigh in on whether to buy or bypass?

Buyer beware . . .

Looking for a tattoo—and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using unique potions—a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks—to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart’s desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.

No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment—execution—will be swift.

Though he’s tried to fly under the radar, Gage can’t hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead—or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage might just make it through this enchanted world alive.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

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and

amazon

 

 

 

Sunday Sweets: Stained Glass

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

"Color is to the eye what music is to the ear."

- Louis Comfort Tiffany

What does "stained glass" make you think of? Church windows? Fancy light fixtures?

How about gorgeous cakes?

(By Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)

Ooh la la! So soft and pretty; I love the watercolor feel to those colors.

 

(By Paige Fong)

This cake practically glows, it's so vivid. And I like how the flowers are mirrored in the artwork.

 

(By Maggie Austin Cake)

I can't imagine the time it took to pipe and paint even one of these layers, much less four.

 

(By Corrie Cakes)

These cookies look like sun catchers! Doesn't the blue background look like a cloudy sky showing through?

 

(By Melissa Alt Cakes)

One of my personal favorites today! There's a great little Tiffany museum here in Florida, and this one reminds me the most of some of his windows there. Something about all those glowing greens and rich orangey-browns... Just lovely.

 

(also by Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)

Both are amazing, but that blue! WOW.

 

(By Bittersweet Pastry)

Perhaps more of a mosaic than stained glass, but I'm blown away by the 3D flowers! Such a great design.

 

And another tile mosaic:

(By Passionate Cakes)

So much detail! Can you imagine how long it would take to place all those tiny pieces?!

 

These flowers look like they're bursting out of the glass design:

(Also by Maggie Austin Cake)

So. Cool.

 

And finally:

(By Vinism Sugar Art)

I take it back; I think this is my favorite. The balance of dark and light, the perfectly blended colors, that butterfly...! It belongs in the Tiffany Museum! Or my belly. One of the two, anyway. ;)

 

Hope you guys enjoyed! Happy Sunday!

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

Finally I made a pair of trousers

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:05 pm
frualeydis: (Default)
[personal profile] frualeydis
I have had a pir of green cotton twill trousers cut out for at least a decade. The pieces are too big now, but I plan to cut down the pices and make them up soon-ish.
But yesterday I made my first torusers since the 1980s, when I had my mother's help and a store bought pattern. These are based on the shorts pattern I made this summer and I think that they look alright. The fabric is a wool blend remnant I found in my fabric cupboard.

yllebyxor


[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Lightning Reviews are back with another trio of quick thoughts on a few selected books. We have a must-have cookbook, a Clueless graphic novel, and a YA book that blends fantasy, Chinese folklore, and high school!

 

    Clueless: Senior Year

    author: Amber Benson

    While nothing can match the divine quality of the movie Clueless, the graphic novel Clueless: Senior Year is a fun reunion with Cher, Dionne, and Tai, the main characters from the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should watch it before reading the comic, because the comic will make more sense and because everyone should watch Clueless.

    The story picks up on Cher’s last day of junior year. One of her teachers tells the students that they are being assigned a project. By the end of their senior year, they have to turn in a report on what kind of adult they want to be. Cher, Dionne, and Tai each get a chance to answer that question in their own chapters while Cher’s romance with Josh, her boyfriend who is now in college, suffers due to her experimentation with being an “activist-environmental-entrepreneurial grown-up.”

    Cher’s storyline is, like Cher, adorable. She jumps into her project in the graphic novel with the same overboard enthusiasm with which she jumped into the Tai makeover in the film Clueless. It’s even more fun to see Dionne and Tai come out of Cher’s shadow and develop their own confidence. All three stories are relatable and celebrate both independence and female friendship, with some romance as well.

    My favorite thing about this is the art. It matches the aesthetic of the movie but throws in some grunge drab for a visit to Seattle, and soft earth tones for a trip to Tai’s family farm. Movie fans will be pleased to see that Cher’s poufy pen (what did we call those?) makes many appearances, as does some Lisa Frank-inspired art and a lot of cassette tapes. It’s a fun love letter to the movie and to the 1990’s.

    Carrie S

    This book is available from:

    Order this book from Barnes & Noble

    and

    amazon

     

     

     

    The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

    author: F.C. Yee

    Y’all, I gotta tell you, I’m getting some great pitches from Twitter these days.

    This was billed as a treatment of Journey to the West, and I totally admit that most of what I knew of Journey to the West is from The Forbidden Kingdom, which is not a good movie, and has significant problems, but also has Jackie Chan and Jet Li. As an introduction to “Hey you can read more about this!” for JttW, the film doesn’t suck and the fight scenes are glorious.

    Anyway, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is about our heroine, Genie, a Chinese-American high school student who is in the midst of college prep when a new student shows up and turns everyone’s life upside down, especially Genie’s. Quentin is annoying, and always around, and Things Happen around him….and he’s also the embodiment of the Monkey King. And he’s drawn to Genie because she’s a reincarnation of another member of the Journey’s party. Together, they have to save the world from escaped demons. And also get into college.

    This was a FUN READ. Genie is hilarious, and fights so hard against destiny because goddammit, this isn’t in the schedule, and also this Quentin dude is annoying and clingy! I find that romances based on literal destiny can be dicey – I like agency in my romances. But they spend enough time together that Genie gets to know Quentin on his own terms and like him for himself, not just because they are supposed to.

    There’s also some great tension between Genie and her mother which explores the children of immigrants dynamic. Add a little magic in there, and things get really fun. Yee also does a really good job of instructing the reader in the salient points of Journey to the West, so if you didn’t grow up with this tale as one of your childhood stories, you can still follow what’s up. I recommend this for anyone looking for fun adventure stories that invert a lot of destiny-romance expectations.

    Redheadedgirl

    ,

    This book is available from:

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    and

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    One-Pan Wonders

    author: Cook's Country

    I don’t usually review cookbooks here, but this book has been making me so happy, I had to share. I first borrowed this cookbook from the library, because the Cook’s Country/America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks can be costly, especially if I end up liking one or two recipes. I ended up liking this cookbook so much, I bought my own copy and have been adding recipes to our rotation since it arrived in July.

    Y’all. Y’ALL. I love this cookbook. I love recipes where I can put a bunch of stuff on a sheet pan or in a dutch oven and let heat and time do their thing while I do all the other things I have to do. Some of the recipes are more hands-on than others, but the ones I’ve made I’ve enjoyed so much. Each section focuses on one container or method of cooking: skillets, sheet pans, dutch ovens, casserole dishes, roasting pans, and slow cookers. There are a set of recipes designed for each method, and I’ve tried several so far.

    I’ve made:

    • Lemony chicken with spinach and potatoes: This one is made in a skillet, and comes together very quickly (a number of the recipes are labeled as “weeknight friendly,” which I appreciate!). The flavors are simple but interesting, and I liked the wilted baby spinach. Usually spinach that’s not raw in a salad makes me gag.
    • Lime ginger chicken with rice: This made a lot of rice, but it was delicious. There are a bunch of different flavors and the combination didn’t get boring. I wanted to keep eating.
    • Italian sausage with peppers, onions, tomatoes, and polenta: I loved this recipe. It’s all cooked on a sheet pan, and the combination of textures and the balance of the sausage, the polenta, and the pepper/tomato mixture was perfect. We’re making this one again very soon.
    • Mexican-style spaghetti squash casserole: I’ve made this three times already. I usually hate squash – I think it has a weird aftertaste. But by heating the spices in olive oil, then tossing the spaghetti squash and the chopped vegetables with that oil means that the spices permeates the squash and yay, no weird aftertaste! I have eaten a portion of this casserole every day for lunch for a week and have been very, very happy about it. (Seriously, yum.)

    If you’re a vegetarian, alas, there aren’t too many recipes in here for you. Most involve meat or fish. And if you eat zero carbs, like no potatoes, rice, or pasta, the pickings get a little sparse.

    But for my weeknight cooking rotation, this cookbook has made me so happy. I am trying new recipes in the next few weeks, and I’ll report back how they go. I love the ease and convenience of using one method or container for the food preparations, and so far the flavors and combinations have been terrific.

    SB Sarah

    This book is available from:

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    and

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[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

Sarah: I had my hair cut this week, and as I got in the car, I thought that having very short hair is very appropriate for watching this film.

“And Introducing Audrey Hepburn…” Oh, we have met, I assure you.

I love the long opening credits. And Edith Head did the costumes! Of course she did.

This is a trope that works for me – individual bound by a massive weight of duty and expectation finds a temporary escape to be themselves or the opposite of their lives. It’s a lovely mix of behind-the-scenes and public self vs. private self, both of which I love.

CarrieS: If I were going to present her with stuff it would be cookies, tennis shoes, and a puppy.

“I’m just being veeery happyyyy” yes dear, I know that’s exactly what happens to me when I eat creme brulee. No lie.

Sarah: I also love the tension in the boring “please meet everyone” scene where she nearly loses a shoe, and then the Cinderella reference when she can’t get it back on in time. Adorable. Also the relief that they helped her avoid a breach of protocol.

Though I question the protocol that requires all these people from different countries bowing to her

CarrieS: What is it about Italy and romance? How many romance movies have we looked at so far with an Italian theme?

Sarah: That said: here is some fun, though not sourced trivia:

The Embassy Ball sequence featured real Italian nobility, who all donated their salaries to charity. The reporters at the end of the film were real, too.

Audrey Hepburn as a princess with a crown and dress

CarrieS: If there’s anything we should have learned from romantic comedy it’s, “Never make a bet.”

“What would you do for $5000” is a line with strange overtones when it’s spoken by one guy to another while grappling in a bar.

Sarah: “It’s nerves. Control yourself, Ann.”

Bugger off, lady! Girl is dramatically upset and it’s totally earned. And she gets a royal sedative.

Sarah: Nighttime gallivanting with a sedative in your bloodstream seems like a bad idea. But if you’re going to pass out on a low fence, Gregory Peck is the best thing that could happen, I think.

CarrieS: Peck improvised the Mouth of Truth so her reaction is genuine.

Sarah: I love the “dance” on the staircase going to his room.

“I’m terribly sorry to mention it, but the dizziness is getting worse.” I love the absurd politeness. I’m going to say this all the time now.

I love that he thinks he holds all the cards (ha ha) and he does not.

CarrieS: Gregory Peck should always be wet and disheveled.

Sarah: The haircut scene is one of my favorites. When I last donated my hair, and my stylist put my hair in a ponytail to cut it all off, even though we both knew what we were doing, I was so nervous, and so was she. Also why the hell is he back-combing her hair before he cuts it off?

And short bangs! She looks so good with short bangs. Interesting pacing note: she gets her hair cut at nearly exactly half way through the film. She buys ice cream and flowers at about 1:02 and the film is about 2 hours long. Epic change midway through!

CarrieS: Um they totally just smashed up a lot of other people’s stuff, people who probably didn’t have a lot of stuff to spare, and lied their way out of paying for it and that is a jerk move, also, how old are these characters supposed to be? Peck you are a little stalkery.

CarrieS: “You should always wear my clothes.”

“It seems I do.”

Sarah: I love how Joe is early on a varying level of jerk, and slowly does something unselfish. I also like the way the film parallels itself. Her princess agenda includes going to all these sites to improve trade relations and connections on one level, and her tour of Rome in semi-disguise is more personal, and focuses more on how real people in Rome live day to day. She’s supposed to be given a car which she will refuse, but then she steals a scooter and drives it all over Rome (and makes a big mess – geez, woman). And the movie begins with her dancing at a ball, distant, silent, and impersonal from each person, and midway through she’s on a barge dancing (scandalously!) close with Joe and actually talking to him. There’s the distance of her role contrasted with the intimacy and experience of her day as a (sort of) anonymous individual.

Her realization that her job and her role mean a lot to the people of her country: “Were I not aware of my duty to my country and my family, I would not have come back tonight, or indeed ever again.” Also: she’s wearing a dark almost-black dressing gown instead of white silk — o RLY?

Audrey Hepburn with short hair and bangs!
CarrieS: The grab and hug just kills me. Every. Damn. time.

The hug and kiss moment!

Sarah: They do a lot of subtle face reactions and they get my right in the hearty feels.

Also, I LOVE that the first question is like, “So, princess, what do you think about a European Union?” Well, let me tell you some things from the future! You’d better sit down.

Expressions of personal affection through bland press statements – I am terribly sorry to mention it, but I am a puddle of feels right now.

“I will cherish my memories here as long as I live.” I’ve seen this movie a mess of times, and I am all sniffly.

CarrieS: It’s an A movie, obviously. Am helpless before its powers.

Sarah: Meeting the press contrasting the opening meeting of the dignitaries — this movie’s parallels are so well done. My catnip, so much catnip.

And then he stays there, waiting longer than anyone before he leaves. Oh, gosh, this movie works so well on me.

I just did the dumbest thing: I wondered if there were fanfic for this movie. Can you imagine such a ludicrous question? Of course there is!

This is so timelessly effective and charming, and gets me every time I watch. It’s easily an A for me.

Audrey Hepburn sadly telling Gregory Peck that she doesn't know how to say goodbye

Complete aside for trivia via IMDBThe original writer, Dalton Trumbo, was blacklisted as one of the legendary Hollywood Ten, and therefore could not receive credit for the screenplay, even when it won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture Story. Instead, his friend, Ian McLellan Hunter, one of the writers of the final screenplay, took credit for the original story and accepted the Oscar. Hunter did, however, pass on the $50,000 payment he received for the job on to Trumbo. Trumbo’s wife, Cleo, was finally presented with the award in 1993, long after his death in 1976. The Oscar she received was actually a second one, because Hunter’s son wouldn’t give up his father’s Oscar. Thus, two awards for Best Motion Picture Story of 1953 exist. The story credit was corrected to credit Trumbo when the restored edition was released in 2002, nearly fifty years after the original release.

The drunken Ann recites a poem, “If I were dead and buried when I heard your voice, beneath the sod my heart of dust would still rejoice.” which prompts Joe to declare her “well read.” The poem is actually an original work by Dalton Trumbo, the blacklisted writer.

Sarah: The history of the blacklist in Hollywood is both fascinating and very eerie given current political media climate. I really enjoyed this series from You Must Remember This devoted to the history of the blacklist. If you’d like to know more about it, I hope you enjoy it.

Is Roman Holiday a romantic classic for you? Or does it not hold up to modern scrutiny? Let us know what you think! 

Not enough sleep for brains

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:40 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Got to bed around 3:40. Roofers showed up around 9. If that's "maybe 5 hours sleep," then yeah, this is why I have no brain.

I have 2 things I need to edit. ...gods, the roofers will show up again tomorrow, around 9 again. *sob* Hopefully I'll have more sleep.

Or at least a shower. They are not in any position to see in the window if I take a shower, really...

Kid is shattered by all the roofer noise. *sigh*

Oh, and we discovered a bad bit of construction that means a few corners of the house are going to be rotted out. (Particle Board Sux, people.) AND we're gonna wind up re-roofing the whole house after all. And contacting insurance on Monday...

At least the new gray shingles look Very Nice.

Havva Quote
M•• decides he doesn't want to be an alpha male. Will be a stable release male with regular update packages.
arcangel giggles
I__ says, “I think I'm still in beta at best.”
I__ says, “There are so many bugs. ;_;”
M•• [to I__]: You don't have bugs. You have features. :)
I__ [to M••]: That's nice of you to say, but the meltdowns are very much /not/ a feature.
E~~~~ says, “Even if some of them are undocumented.”
M•• {to I__} tries to be positive.
E~~~~ [to I__]: Even the best software runs out of RAM or disk space sometimes.
M•• {to E~~~~} nods.
I__ [to E~~~~]: <3


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Sunday Secrets

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:46 pm
[syndicated profile] post_secret_feed

Posted by Frank

        

Dear Frank-
Years ago I started writing notes and putting them in random places like behind paintings in hotels, between the pages at book stores and in Sky Mall Magazines on airplanes. While browsing through a PostSecret book, I found one of my notes. That small ripped piece of paper is featured above. I attended your event last week at CMU. I’m thankful for your ability to speak to people in their broken places.
-JM

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