Monday, December 20, 2010

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway

GIVEAWAY ENDED, Winner has been contacted and will be announced later today!

Welcome to my Midwinter's Eve Giveaway.  I'm so glad that you stopped by!!

For this giveaway I decided to giveaway one of the books that I am looking forward to buying in January.  This will be ordered from the Book Depository if you are international.  If you are in the US, I reserve the right to order the book from a store of my choice. 

So what books I have I decided to let you chose from? How about these:

To enter all you have to do is fill out this FORM!

Since this is a quick hop, I'll make it easy.  Just be a follower and tell me what book you want if you win.  Good luck, and don't forget to check out all the other blogs!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Snowman story

I'm feeling rather bad that my blog is getting neglected, since the holiday season keeps me busy, and I allow myself to get distracted.  Since I feel bad, I decided I'd give you all a story to read.  I wrote this back in Dec. of '04.  I hope you enjoy it.

George always knew in his heart that he was not like other snowmen, but for weeks he could not understand what set him apart. Then one day he happened upon a book titled "The Cannibal Cookbook" and all of his questions where answered. The reason that he felt different from the others was because he had an insatiable hunger to eat them all. (Funny how he didn't notice this sooner). So, with a true understanding of himself he set out to become what he felt that he was inside, a true cannibal.

For days George poured over "The Cannibal Cookbook" making sure that he understood everything that he was supposed to do to make his life as a cannibal successful. Then, finally, he set his plan in action.

Now, if any of you have ever had dealings with snowmen you will know that, in general they are not very swift creatures (unless you happen to be on a hill and there body parts get a nice gentle shove that send them rolling, but George avoided these ones). George had absolutely no trouble catching his first snowman victim. He made sure that his victim was unconscious and then placed it in a large black cauldron full of water, put a fire under it and walked away because the cookbook had warned that it would take a while. A while to do what, you may be thinking, since you, I assume, are not a cannibal. Well, as George learned in "The Cannibal Cookbook" if you want to be a successful cannibal there are many ways that you can do it, but the easiest way, especially for beginners, is to boil the body for a good long time, so that the flesh falls off the bone, making your job much easier (and if you are worried about the loss of nutrients, drink the water). The cookbook warned that this can take a long time, depending on the size of your victim, which is why George walked away and left the pot unattended.

Hours later, when he came back, the fire had already gone out, and he approached his cauldron, mouth watering at the thought of his first meal as a cannibal. But, to his surprise, when he looked inside he saw no bones and flesh to eat. All that was there was the water he had used to boil the snowman in...and, to his shock, it seemed deeper than it had been before. George was furious, wondering what other cannibal snowmen there were in the area that would come to steal his meal. But in the end, none of that mattered, he was still without food, and so he went out and found himself another snowman, and repeated the process. But again, when he came back the pot held no meat just water, a little deeper than when he left it.

George became desperate. He felt as though he was starving and was furious that someone would take away his only food more than once...surly they didn't need that much to be satisfied. So, he concocted a plan to catch his thief. He caught a new snowman and put it in the pot of water, then walked a little ways off and hid behind a tree, to watch the pot and see the perpetrator. But, no one came. He waited the full length of time he had in the past, maybe even a little longer, but he saw no one. With great pleasure he rushed towards his cauldron and looked inside. There was no flesh and no bones, just water, a little deeper than when he left it.

George was confused now, more than furious. He wanted desperately to know what was happening to his meals. When he caught the next snowman and put it in the pot he decided to stay right up next to the simmering cauldron to see what happened to his victim.

Now, I am sure that you and I know exactly what was happening to George's victims. They were melting. But I am sorry to inform you that George was never able to discover this for himself. As he sat and watched the Snowman in the cauldron the heat of the fire so close began to make him perspire, and by the time in the snowman in the cauldron had melted, so too had our dear, sweet cannibal snowman, George.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Manga Reviews vs. Manga Recommendations

I own and read a lot of manga, and I've been wanting to start reviewing them here, but I've been struggling with how I can review the newest volumes of long series, because if you aren't already reading the series, the review would be rather useless as you can't just start at that volume. It would also be rather hard for me to go back and review volume one as a stand alone, because so much of my love or hate for that volume would be based on what I know of the plot in the remaining volumes.  So how do I review them? 

That's when I came up with the idea of doing manga reviews and manga recommendations.  So, here is the break down of the difference:

Manga Reviews:
    Will be review of only the first volume of a series.  I will do this when I'm starting a new series, or when I don't feel I've read enough of the series to do a manga recommendation. I'll rate the artwork of the volume, the characters, and the plot.  I will also give a brief synopsis of the plot. 

Manga Recommendation:
   This will be my opinion on whether you should read or pass on a full series.  I will only do this if I have read more than half of a series (or more than 10 volumes for really long series) or all of a series (if a series is under 5 volumes I must read all of them before I'll put them in this category).   I'll rate the artwork and let you know if it improves, stays the same or gets worse as the series continues.  I'll talk about whether characters grow, grow on you, or just grow annoying.  When it comes to plot, many manga can tie up one plot line and move on to a next and then a next, but I'll let you know if its episodic or if they head towards a certain goal, and more importantly, if it is an enjoyable story.  Unlike a manga review or a book review I may not give much of a plot synopsis since , for the reasons mentioned in the last sentence, but I'll make sure you know the general idea of what the series is about.

I'm going to try to post more reviews of both books and manga, but I'm not sure how many I'll be able to do in the next couple of weeks since I must focus on getting all of my Christmas presents bought, made (hoping to make Teddy bear ornaments this year), and wrapped, but after the new year you can expect a book review and a manga review or recommendation every week. 

This week I shall be posting a review of "We Were There" since I'm giving away a copy in my current giveaway.  Before the end of the month I will also be doing recommendations on both Fruits Basket and Time Stranger Kyoko, since I'm also giving them away.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Manga Means Merry (Christmas) Giveaway

The Holidays are taking up a lot of my time as I stress over and search the internet for gifts for the 20+ members of my family that I insist on buying for.  I'm so sorry that this has kept me from my blog, and adding some of the reviews I've hand written.  But, though it may be a couple days later, I am finally posting my "Manga Means Merry (Christmas) Giveaway".

This Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL

So, I'm going to be giving away two price packs in this one:
Prize 1: Fruits Basket 1st Bite, Time Stranger Kyoko V1, We Were There V1,  and a few extra items will be thrown in (including my usually "reader companion" once I pick him out)
Fruits Basket 1st bite is a reissue of the first Volume of Fruits Basket, with a new cover and a few bonus character info pages in the back.
These three are all manga I enjoy quite a bit, and I will be reviewing them in the next few days. Time Stranger Kyoko is even by my favorite manga-ka of all time, and at 3 volumes, there won't be many for you to buy if you like it.

 Prize 2: Any Japanese Manga you would like, to be shipped from the Book Depository. 
If you need some suggestions, here are a couple more of my favorites:

To Enter all you have to do is fill out this FORM
          You Must be a follower to enter
           Giveaway ends 12/31
           You can enter once a day
           +1 for sharing the giveaway each day (a new tweet, having it in your blogroll all count as long as its there every day I check...)
            +1 extra if your way of sharing is this button where people can't miss it:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


We have another WINNER!!!  Time for a another CELEBRATION!!!!
 Lets Congratulate our winner: Khristine of Musings of a Happy Reader who has chosen to receive a copy of Entice!!!  She was luck number 2 on my scale of 2-604 (1 being column headers)!!!  I've sent an email and she has until 11/4 to get back to me. 

If you didn't win, be on the look out for more giveaways. Tomorrow I will be posting my Manga Means Merry (Christmas) Giveaway, and later on this month I will be taking part in the Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop.

(image above is of Kero-chan from Card Captor Sakura, the work of the wonderful and amazing group known as CLAMP.. this exact image can be credited to Natsumi Yuu who's blog is My is my dream)