Friday, December 19, 2014

Crafty update - December 19th 2014

Ta-da! I finally got Kelly to take photos of the blanket I made myself:

Kelly's sister, Sherry, celebrated her birrthday near the end of November. This is the card I made her:

Today is my Mam's birthday. This is the card I made for her:

I also made this knitted bear, but I haven't decided what I'm doing with it yet.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Of holidays, teeth and books

We're a few days away from the Winter Solstice, and a week away from Christmas... Are you ready for it?

I am. Or, I will be after I get the rodent gang's gifts wrapped up, which I plan to do either later today or some time tomorrow.

Well, other than the fact my tooth still hurts, and nothing's getting done about it until after the new year, because it's going to have to come out and I have to be referred to the hospital to have it out. Not because it's going to be difficult to take out, but because I'm anemic and mouth wounds often bleed a lot, so it's safer for me to be at the hospital in case I have issues from the blood loss and end up needing a blood transfusion.

So, in the meantime I just have to put up with it and do what I can to keep the pain to a tolerable level; luckily I'm doing a decent job with this.

Oh, and while I'm in having that one out, I'm having my wisdom teeth pulled - the two that came through anyway. They both came through slightly cracked (possibly from the effort of trying to force themselves in to the small space they had) and one has been badly broken for a while (my old dentist said not to worry about it; possibly because of the hastle involved in arranging for someone like me to have a tooth pulled) and the other one's looking like it's heading the same way.

Won't that be a fun start to the new year for me?

On a brighter note...

My Christmas story - which is called "The Forgotten Angel" - is due for release on Tuesday (December 23rd).

I've also pre-released two books for the start of next year. One is a chapter book called "Yua And The Great Wizard Hunt" (due for release on January 20th 2015) and the other is a short pet themed poetry collection called "Rodent Rhymes And Pussycat Poems" (due for release on February 17th 2015).

Anyway... I hope your holiday preporations are going well, and that you're ready to celebrate whatever you're celebrating!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gerbil photos - December 17th 2014

Bilbo and Baggins:



Bilbo playing with one of the gerbils' wooden toys:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Degu photos - December 16th 2014

A couple of sleepy degus:

I'm not sure which of the degus is in the above photos; they're really difficult to tell apart when you can't see their noses, and I don't remember who it was. But I know this one is Jasper:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Skye and Star (LBE)

Here are some photos of my ratty girls... At last!

This one is Skye:

And this one is Star:

Me holding Star:

When we got the rats we got them a soft rat hammock we'd found in the pet shop...

They didn't like it; wouldn't go near it except when Star bit through the ropes atatching it to the cage.

We also got them this rat house, since Skye was trying to make herself a place to hide. Plastic houses aren't usually a good plan, but it was the one that most closely resembled the shape of the hiding place Skye was working on.

Besides, they hadn't made any attempts at chewing the plastic wheel that came with their cage... They seem to think it's a seat or extra hiding place...

And we had gotten them some rat toys they could chew on...

But they chewed a hole in the side of the plastic house - which we weren't all that shocked about - and since it was plastic we figured we shouldn't just let them carry on with it; plastic is bad for the digestion, after all. So we got them this wooden one instead:

And when Star chewed through the ropes of the shop brought hammock, I made one like the degus have. Both the girls were much more interested in the hammock I made with the wash cloth and keyring rings, and were quick to check it out...

And didn't take all that long to decide it was safe to sleep in...

They've even slept in it together, but we didn't manage to get a photo of that yet.

The rats have found a great way to keep warm in the very cold weather we've been having... Use hay to build a barrier in front of the door to their bed...

Wish it was that easy for the rest of us to keep warm in this bitterly cold December we're having!

Anyway... That's all the ratty photos I have for now.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Random ramblings - December 12th 2014

Mostly my birthday greetings this year were just done via Facebook or phonecalls. I did get a couple of actual cards though... Here they are:

(I'm posting them pretty much a month late, but never mind).

They're from Rita, my Nan, my Dad and his girlfriend, and my Grandma. I'm pretty sure Karma the cat and Jayde the Yorkshire Terrier were included on Rita's and Grandma's cards too.


I did a quiz that was going around on Facebook recently for what fantasy world you belong in, and it said I belong in Narnia.

I REALLY want to go there, so that's awesome!


Despite the extra books I read during October when I was reading the short books I have as PDFs on my computer while waiting to get a new Kindle, I'm a few books behind on my Goodreads reading goal for the year.

This is partly due to not reading much during the first half of November (partially because of trying to get to grips with how the new kindle works, but not entirely) and also because I picked some longer books to read since I was ahead of my goal, and the extra time needed to read them has made me fall behind a bit.

I should be able to still make my goal, but it's going to be very close.


The weather's been pretty cold lately. It was 1 degree C (34F) this morning, for example.

We've had some awesome storms too.

No snow though!

It seems like almost everyone else is getting snow, but not me.

I want snow!


My tooth is killing me!

I just woke up this morning - well, at about 1:30am - with a toothache that got worse as proper morning approached. But the dentist can't see me until Wednesday morning.

A combination of chamomile tea and painkillers is taking the edge off the pain. But it still hurts a lot!

On that note... I think it's time for more pain relief treatment...

Monday, December 08, 2014

Rita Lee Chapman

Rita Lee Chapman was born in the UK and migrated to Australia in her early twenties. It was only when she retired that she wrote her first novel Missing in Egypt a romantic travel mystery. Her second book Winston - a Horse's Tale is for horse lovers from teenagers upwards. Told by Winston himself it relates his life experiences in Australia, as well as those of other horses he meets along the way. Her latest book, Dangerous Associations is her first foray in to crime mystery. When she is not writing or reading Rita enjoys playing tennis, swimming, walking, travel and the theatre.



Missing in Egypt
"Missing in Egypt will intrigue you with its twists and turns, romance and adventure as well as its insights into Australian and Egyptian cultures. Australian Anna Davies travels to Egypt with her lover to help him search for his brother, who disappeared whilst on holiday. The Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel and the Temple of Karnak are amongst the settings for their search. Will they be able to track him down and find him alive - or is Ramy already dead? What tragedies await Anna and Kareem as they come closer to retracing his footsteps? This fast-paced action plot will keep you guessing until the end."


My opinion:
"All the details about Anna's job at the start of the book meant it took a while to get in to the story, but once the story picked up a bit the book was a pretty good read."


Winston – A Horse’s Tale
"One for horse lovers! Winston is a good-looking palomino horse whose life involves several different owners and many adventures. As you read his story, told by Winston himself, you will appreciate horse ownership from the horse’s point of view. Born on a country property in Australia, Winston tells of his breaking-in and education and the different people he encounters – good, bad and ignorant. As well as his own story, Winston includes the experiences of other horses he meets along life’s way."


My opinion:
"A beautiful and moving story."


Dangerous Associations
"An ex-husband, a new love, a stalker. Cathy Thompson’s link to her ex-husband fills her life with threats and intimidation. She must either trap her stalker or find Geoffrey to put an end to her life of fear."


I haven't read this one yet, but have a copy and plan to read it before the year is out.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Slip and Grip blog blast

slip banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Slip (Slip #1) and Grip (Slip #2) by David Estes. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 1 till 5 December, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

Slip coverSlip (Slip #1)

By David Estes

Genre: Dystopia

Age category: Young Adult

Release Date: 1 December, 2014


Someone must die before another can be born...

As sea levels rise and livable landmasses shrink, the Reorganized United States of America has instituted population control measures to ensure there are sufficient resources and food to sustain the growing population. Birth authorization must be paid for and obtained prior to having a child. Someone must die before another can be born, keeping the country in a population neutral position at what experts consider to be the optimal population. The new laws are enforced by a ruthless government organization known as Pop Con, responsible for terminating any children resulting from unauthorized births, and any illegals who manage to survive past their second birthday, at which point they are designated a national security threat and given the name Slip.

But what if one child slipped through the cracks? What if someone knew all the loopholes and how to exploit them? Would it change anything? Would the delicate resource balance be thrown into a tailspin, threatening the lives of everyone?

And how far would the government go to find and terminate the Slip?

In a gripping story of a family torn apart by a single choice, Slip is a reminder of the sanctity of a single life and the value of the lives we so often take for granted.

You can find Slip on Goodreads

You can buy Slip here:

- Amazon

Grip coverGrip (Slip #2)

By David Estes

Genre: Dystopia

Age category: Young Adult

Release Date: 1 December, 2014


In a tumultuous world of population control, one illegal child has slipped through the cracks. Now, as a teenager, Benson Kelly has escaped certain deaths at the hands of the Department of Population Control, only to find himself the symbol of a rebellion, something he never intended.

While trying to survive one day at a time, Benson seeks to unravel the tangled knot of secrets left behind when his father died, the key to which has something to do with his mother, Janice Kelly, recently escaped from the insane asylum.

As the rebel group known as the Lifers continue to use brute force to send a message to the government, Benson's twin, Harrison Kelly, seeks to exploit a loophole that could be the key to freedom for his brother. All that's required is a simple act of murder.

Meanwhile, Population Control's attack dog, a sadistic cyborg known as The Destroyer, closes in on Benson and his family. His directive: Kill them all.

Faith, family and love will be pushed to the limits in the GRIPping sequel to Slip.

You can find Grip on Goodreads

You can buy Grip here:

- Amazon

Author Photo - David EstesAbout the Author:

Author of popular YA dystopian series, the Dwellers Saga and the Country Saga. Voted books to read if you enjoyed the Hunger Games on Buzzfeed and Listopia.

Join 2,400+ David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite in David Estes' official fan group at:

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. They now live together in their dream location, Hawaii. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012. Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David's a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

You can find and contact David here:

- Website

- Facebook

- Twitter

- Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Slip. These are the prizes you can win:

- Winners choice of book to the value of $15.00 U.S. from The Book Depository

- A signed copy of SLIP plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only

- A signed copy of BREW plus bonus swag- U.S. entrants only

- 3 ebook packs with three David Estes ebooks of your choice

- 4 signed packs of bookmarks

You can enter the blitz wide giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway