Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I just noticed that my bookshelf in the Kindle app on my iPad is pretty telling regarding the kind of books that I read, i.e., almost exclusively urban fantasy. Also, I just counted, and I have 196 books in that app that contain the word "Dead" in some fashion, also telling.

Current favorite series': oh, there are just too many! But the absolute best things I've read lately are "Wicked As They Come" and "Wicked As She Wants," by Delilah Dawson. I somehow ran across the first one on the publisher's site, where it could be read online for free for a few days. I didn't think it was really something I wanted to read, because 1) the cover looked too "romance-y", and 2) it sounded kind of steampunk, which I don't normally do, but I tried it since it was free, and was immediately charmed by it, enough so that I went ahead and bought the Kindle version so I wouldn't have to hurry through reading it.

The story begins with Tish Everett, a hospice nurse, rummaging through the estate sale of her last patient. She finds an old locket that looks interesting and, when she is suddenly paged for an emergency, she absentmindedly sticks it in her pocket.

Once she gets home and is able to open the locket, she finds that when she falls asleep she is transported to another world--the land of Sang, which is populated mostly by "Bludmen," or vampires. The particular Bludman that she runs across first is the ringmaster of a traveling carnival who, it turns out, had cast a spell to bring the perfect woman to him, and voila, there she is!

The world-building is great, the most inventive and interesting that I've run across in a long time. The second book, "Wicked As She Wants," is loosely based on the story of the Russian Tsars, and the upcoming third one, "Wicked After Midnight" (January 2014) is to be set in the Paris cabarets.

There are also a couple of novellas set in the same world, "The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance," and "The Mysterious Madame Morpho," as well as a short story, "The Three Lives of Lydia," included in "Carniepunk," an anthology of carnival-themed urban fantasy.

Monday, June 24, 2013


I stopped carrying around the Mulberry journal for the same reason I always do -- because it's just too heavy. I already have my laptop and iPad to carry back and forth to work, and that heavy binder just added too much weight. And this time, of course, unlike the other times with Franklin Covey products, I can't get Mulberry refills, they just don't exist. I tried to make it work by punching my own paper, but I wasn't happy with it.

So I moved back to another favorite, Levenger Circa. As someone in my office remarked when she saw the Levenger catalog on my desk, Levenger is dangerous. As I've mentioned before, there are a few products that I am obsessed with, or a few retailers, I guess. One of them is Levenger. They produce the most wonderful, high quality leather and paper goods. I have, for the most part, resisted buying any of the leather goods, but I've bought quite a few paper products over the years.

Circa stuff is very cool. You can build a notebook using several different kinds of paper, different covers, dividers, etc., and rather than rings, the pages are held together by plastic or metal discs. You don't have to open rings like you do with a ring binder, you can just pull the pages away from the discs. Levenger was having a sale on a lot of the Circa stuff, and I bought a punch. So now I can take any kind of paper and punch it to fit into a Circa notebook. The one in the picture above was a piece of scrapbooking paper. The possibilities are endless! The filler paper that I prefer is their dot grid paper. For some reason, it seems smoother to write on than some of the other choices. I probably prefer the layout of their notation lined paper, but it is rougher.

Anyway, this is my current paper love, my custom Circa notebook with dot grid paper, white plastic tab dividers, clear covers, and an ever-changing colorful flyleaf, currently mauve and blue retro flowers.

I'm fickle like that.