Thursday, August 7, 2014
From the publisher:
American artist Joseph Hannigan and his alluring sister, Sophie, have arrived in enchanting nineteenth-century Venice with a single-minded goal. The twins, who have fled scandal in New York, are determined to break into Venice’s expatriate set and find a wealthy patron to support Joseph’s work.
But the enigmatic Hannigans are not the only ones with a secret agenda. Joseph’s talent soon attracts the attention of the magnificent Odilé Leon, a celebrated courtesan and muse who has inspired many artists to greatness. But her inspiration comes with a devastatingly steep price.
As Joseph falls under the courtesan’s spell, Sophie joins forces with Nicholas Dane, the one man who knows Odilé’s dark secret, and her sworn enemy. When the seductive muse offers Joseph the path to eternal fame, the twins must decide who to believe—and just how much they are willing to sacrifice for fame.
Megan Chance's Inamorata is labeled as historical fiction, but I found it to be more solidly in the vein of supernatural fiction, similar to Anne Rice's beloved Vampire Chronicles.
The story is beautifully woven, even as it wades through some uncomfortable subject matter. It is told in turns, from each of the 4 main characters perspectives, and as their paths cross and intermingle the story becomes more complex, dark and at times disturbing. But as you come to understand and even care for each character, you can't help but continue reading.
I'd definitely recommend this novel to fans of supernatural fiction, artfully told period pieces and those looking for a unique story. Because try as I might, I can't come up with a story I've read that's similar.
Thank you to the publisher and Lisa from TLC Book tours for the review copy of this novel. To see what other readers thought, click here.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Today is my due date, but our son decided he was ready to join the world last week.
Orion was born July 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm, after 88 hours of labor - 26 of which were active, almost all of which was in my back. He was delivered naturally without medication, with the cord around his neck twice and was caught by daddy, to thunderous applause from a room full of medical students who had never seen a natural birth while Day-O played on Pandora. Future Beetlejuice fan? ;-)
He weighed 7.9 lbs, 19.75 inches and is ready to rock this life thing. Thank you to our rock star doulas for being by our sides the whole time and helping us know everything was and would be ok. It's amazing how cracking jokes and talking about songs stuck in your head can make something intense seem less so.
This first week (tomorrow) has been one of the hardest yet most rewarding of my life.
Welcome Earthside, baby boy!
Friday, July 11, 2014
You may recall that a few years ago,
A cheeky Goat met and wooed a certain Doe.
Maybe you've wondered what happened to the pair?
Perhaps curious if that love of theirs is still in the air?
Three years have passed since that Midsummer eve,
when the Goat kissed the Fawn 'neath the red bud tree.
The pair sit sipping a romantic tea,
a few shorts weeks before the two become three!
Yes, friends, it's true, a babe is on the way!
"But what will it be?" several of you say!
Will it have horns tall and thin,
or will it have curved ones to match its grin?
Will it be silly?
Will it be cheeky?
Will it be daring?
Will it be hairy?
We won't know 'til the babe is here,
who knows what you get when you mix
a goat and a deer!
Happy Mad, Mad Tea party! Thank you all so much for visiting. To visit other parties, please click the image in my sidebar to be whisked away to Miss. Vanessa's A Fanciful Twist blog, where the list resides. :)
Sunday, June 29, 2014
If you would like to join us, just click the image at the bottom of this post.
This Week I am Grateful For:
* My evening ritual that I wrote about here. I think Joe also really enjoys this evening sit down of ours; he got tied up on the phone and in the middle of a project the other night and when Luna and I came in for the night said he was bummed out that he didn't get to hang out with us. Poor guy!
* It being cool enough a few mornings for me to get out in to the garden and do some maintenance. I needed to put bigger cages on some of the tomato plants, guide the cucumber up some additional trellis, pick some goodies and pull some tenacious weeds. I'm going to need to relocate a pepper plant or two as the plants I put around them have grown out of control and are blocking the sun a bit. And spicy peppers LOVE the sun, so that won't do.
* Having a surprise dinner date with the hubster when I said I was having a craving for a Mexican Coca Cola (made with real sugar and not corn syrup - so much better!). Rather than taking me to the store for a bottle, he took me to this little Honduran/Salvadoran restaurant for Pupusas and Coke. :)
* Getting outside and making some flower/plant mandalas on the patio table. I've never done them before but have been feeling this urge to do so. They're a great way to take a few minutes to really be "in the moment" as I gather, arrange and handle all the different natural elements involved.
* Having a great meeting with our doula. Baby is in an excellent position, we're all healthy, our birth plan is in place and we had good convos about all sorts of non-baby stuff too. When I'm less busy after baby's arrival she may even have a lead on some illustration work for me.
* Finished up the trio of small firefly paintings I've been working on for myself. Now to find a good place to display them in the house!
* Altered some maternity pants that friends gave me in to shorts so I can be comfy since I'll be pregnant and recovering throughout the entire Summer.
* Going out to dinner at our favorite pizza place to celebrate a birthday with friends.
* Small bunnies and baby birds all over the place in the yard! I love watching them all when I'm out there throughout the day.
* Re-Reading Harry Potter again, as I do every Summer. I don't think I'll ever get tired of reading the stories over and over again.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
This Week's Color are:
Lavender, Grey and a Splash of Plum.
This week's colors are so elegant and I felt could only be properly represented by a particularly regal monster; a dragon! Really. Grey and purples just cry out for a great scaly beast in my mind. Though, as you can see, this one isn't quite grown up yet. :)
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Lately, despite the smothering heat and the lack of moisture that is killing everything in my yard and making my trees drop leaves like it's Autumn, I've been taking even more comfort and solace in the simple act of being outside than usual. Perhaps it's the discomfort I'm in most days as this baby gets bigger and bigger inside of me, maybe it's just a hatred of being cooped up in the Summer hiding from the heat that swells my feet and makes my body stream sweat, could be that it gives Luna mental stimulation while she is still on physical restrictions. Most likely though, it's simply that I've always been a dirt worshiper who feels better when I get outside, stick my bare feet on the ground and breath deeply.
On the rare mornings when it is still below 85* at 8am when Luna and I wake up and head out for her morning business, I grab a big cup of iced coffee and a book or my Moleskine and we sit side by side in chairs for as long as we have before the heat drives us both inside, panting. On breezy afternoons, I grab a quilt and a big cup of ice water and we head out to sit wherever there happens to be a lot of shade and a lack of fire ant hills.
But what's become a nearly nightly ritual, which I look forward to and don't even mind having to swat the blood sucking mosquitoes away to enjoy, is sitting outside at dusk watching the fireflies come out. Some nights I only manage to sit outside for 20 minutes, because I got out late or am not feeling very well and others I stay out there for hours. Usually Joe and Luna sit outside with me, he brings out a fan to blow the blood suckers away so I don't get eaten or have to bathe in bug spray, and we either chat or just sit quietly and let the sounds of Summer nights mingle with the dancing insects around us.
While I'm out there, my mind and body feel like they've shut down as I enjoy this magical display of tiny fireworks over grass and in the trees. For that period of time there are no bills, no concerns about the big changes coming, no discomfort, no stress, no worries. I'm completely relaxed, even more so than after a warm shower or bath, and everything that was previously filling my head, any tension at all, just slides away. When the lights have faded away, the lightning bugs thinning away until barely any are left and I go inside, I'm not bothered by the things I didn't get to on my To-Do list, I'm not aggravated by my lack of energy during the day, I don't beat myself up for the unwashed dishes, the unfolded laundry, the half-finished projects on my desks. I don't view that time outside as wasted or pointless, like I do with so many other forms of distraction (like when I've spent a lot of time watching TV or online).
Instead I view it as a nourishing and important ritual, something that I seem to need right now. Those magical little bugs, the frog princes and crickets singing their song as the sky darkens over head create moments for me to renew and replenish myself, moments to be treasured and to fall back on when I need them.
Nature is by far the most powerful of healers and no time spent with it can or should ever be viewed as wasted.
Friday, June 20, 2014
Week Two's Colors are:
Colar, Teal and a splash of Bright White.
And here is this week's monster, based on the color prompts. He's a silly, fuzzy, many eyed bugger. :)