Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Sunday Currently Vol. 9

C U R R E N T L Y . . . 

 R E A D I N G Locke & Key Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill (illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez)

 W R I T I N G tweets and messages to my sister's friends

 L I S T E N I N G to Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend

 T H I N K I N G of why people feel the need to write tweet drafts. And how excited I am to meet Bean!

 S M E L L I N G nothing. Damn sinusitis.

 W I S H I N G for my paycheck.

 W E A R I N G jeans, denim jacket.

 L O V I N G the newest addition to our large family!

 W A N T I N G to see little Cassie!

 N E E D I N G to get skinny

 F E E L I N G excited!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Sunday Currently Vol. 8

C U R R E N T L Y . . . 

 R E A D I N G The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

 W R I T I N G favorite quotes on goodreads

 L I S T E N I N G to Popular - Mika ft. Ariana Grande in preparation for my Halloween playlist!

 T H I N K I N G of what other books to read

 S M E L L I N G lysol. Since I just finished smoking.

 W I S H I N G for a european tour

 W E A R I N G jeans and a hoodie

 L O V I N G my upcoming week-long break!!!!

 W A N T I N G to get the bracket I accidentally knocked out of place secured ASAP

 N E E D I N G to learn to be more zen

 F E E L I N G apprehensive. Can't wait to head to the dentist tomorrow!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Sunday Currently Vol. 7

C U R R E N T L Y . . . 

 R E A D I N G The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

 W R I T I N G texts to my co-teachers

 L I S T E N I N G to Not So Usual - Jason Mraz

 T H I N K I N G of party favors

 S M E L L I N G my shampoo

 W I S H I N G to get out of town

 W E A R I N G my jammies, all day everyday.

 L O V I N G new books!

 W A N T I N G to score tickets to Jason Mraz's concert

 N E E D I N G to earn more money to watch more musicals

 F E E L I N G apprehensive. Monday again!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Sunday Currently Vol. 6

C U R R E N T L Y . . . 

 R E A D I N G Locke & Key Vol. 1 by Joe Hill

 W R I T I N G favorite quotes

 L I S T E N I N G to the gentle pitter patter of the rain

 T H I N K I N G of new projects

 S M E L L I N G the neighbor's dinner

 W I S H I N G for a break

 W E A R I N G a purple sweater and leggings

 L O V I N G my dog

 W A N T I N G to get paid by a client

 N E E D I N G more money!

 F E E L I N G anxious.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Book review: NOS4A2

by: Joe Hill

There are a couple of things that make a horror story good -- a strong lead with an indomitable will and penchant for reckless bravery, for one; the kind that is almost stupid in its capacity to overcome fear. A villain so believable in his treachery that you cannot imagine ever understanding him, for another; it makes the experience that much more profound when you realize you could empathize. A simple story made complex by elements so human and relatable that you begin to second guess your opinion(s); no one enjoys horror that takes itself far too seriously, or cheap thrills just for the heck of it. Writing so elaborate it has the ability to transport its reader to an entirely different world, because if you wanted to stay with horror close to home, you should have watched the news instead of read a book.

NOS4A2 has all of this. In spades. 

Do you fear what I fear?

Joe Hill's NOS4A2 is a bone-aching, hair chilling magnum opus. A tour de force that proves there is more to the horror genre than it is given credit for. In it, Hill juxtaposes the inherent power of love and the crippling fragility of the human mind. It is a story of how one little girl, extraordinary in that there is nothing explicitly extraordinary about her, goes out looking for trouble, finds it, then runs away. And how she spends the rest of her life running.

Victoria McQueen, The Brat to her dad, and Vicki to her mom, has a knack for finding lost things. She rides on her bicycle, long past the Shorter Way Bridge, a bridge that only she can summon, and finds what (and who) once was lost. On a particularly bad day, following a fight with her mom, Vic looks for trouble. And surely enough, with the help of the Shorter Way Bridge which has never once led her wrong, she finds it in the form of Christmasland.

Charlie Manx is on a mission to spare children from pain. The type of pain that is specific only to a world borne by adults. He whisks them off in his vintage 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith and brings them to a land free of adult incompetency and foible. In his beautiful delusion, because no such place exists, children are free to be children forever. The Bad Bread describes it best -- Christmasland is a place where no pain can touch children, where the pockmarked moon winked at passersby, where clouds weren't really clouds but cotton candy.

For Vic and Charlie, there are 2 incongruous and immutable truths: 1.) The Shorter Way Bridge and Christmasland is as real as the world can get. 2.) Vic is most certainly an institutionalized deranged woman suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder due to a childhood encounter with convicted serial killer and child molester Charles Manx III.

As with everything in life, the best plot lines have the tendency to twist. Hill takes his reader on a wild goose-chase for the truth, while ensuring that the two truths stay within the vicinity of human understanding. Vic may be a victim, but it is surely not of circumstance -- at least, not entirely. She is a flawed human being, with the capacity to do both good and bad; as susceptible to mistakes as you and I. She is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a hero. This is no fantasy novel, and she is no fantasy heroine. Manx, on the other hand, is far more simple. A rarity amongst villains! Yes, like Vic, he is capable of both good and bad -- but that is what makes him even more horrifying. As all of us know, the truly terrifying villains are those who so firmly believe that they are in the right.

There is only one thing Vic and Manx agree on: they ruined each other.

And with that, Joe Hill's mastery of storytelling shines. Vic spends her days running from the past she believes to be true, but knows is an impossibility. But when the comatose serial killer-child molester  from her childhood resurfaces and comes out, ready to exact revenge on his one failure through the kidnapping/ "rescuing" of her child, Vic begins to doubt the reality thrusted on her by her many psychologists and psychiatrists. If Charlie Manx is dead, then who is the man in the beautiful vintage car who has just done away with her child?

In the end, NO24A2 is about a parent's saving love. There is no disappointment more disenchanting than the minute we realize that our parents and elders are not quite the paragons of goodness and heroism we believe them to be -- the time that mom couldn't kiss away the pain, the time dad wasn't able to keep his promise, the time teacher was wrong and couldn't tell you why. But there is no moment better suited to show you that despite all this, there is a different kind of love out there. One that doesn't put the other person on so high a pedestal. NO24A2 is about that kind of love, the adult kind. It is no sap story, but it is also much more than merely a story to induce sleepless nights.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book review: His Wicked Seduction

Remember when I mentioned how I've been corresponding with author Lauren Smith and how she was kind enough to send me advanced reading copies of her novels? Well, the first book of hers that I reviewed, The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall, has finally hit the bookshelves! I cannot wait to get my own physical copy and I'm sure you can't as well! You can read my review of TSoSH here and buy the book online here.

Lauren has also kindly consented to allowing me to post my review of her next novel, His Wicked Seduction, so I thought I'd finally share it with all of my lovely readers!

I hope you all enjoy!

If there's anything you'd like me to review, you may send me an email at  :)


His Wicked Seduction
The League of Rogues, book 02
Lauren Smith


Godric, Duke of Essex, Lucien, Marquess of Rochester, Charles, Earl of Lonsdale, Cedric, Viscount Sheridan, and Ashton, Baron Lennox have unwittingly been dubbed by the society pages as the League of Rogues, a merry band of debauched nobles hellbent on seducing their way through the beau mond and occasional demimonde. As word of the pen name reaches their little group, the 5 rakehells are all too happy to oblige their new but notorious sobriquet. After all, a gentleman honors his titles.

Having met the League in authoress Lauren Smith’s first book about our rogues, Wicked Designs -- Godric’s book and possible salvation -- Smith begins Lucien’s story in more familiar territory. Having been chased back to the buxom of town (and the ton) thanks to Emily Parr, new Duchess of Essex and Godric’s wife, Lucien finds himself in constant company of Miss Horatia Sheridan, younger sister of Cedric, Viscount Sheridan, and sole reason for his current discomfort.

Having helped rescue the chit from a carriage accident that took both her parents many years ago, Lucien can’t help but hold a soft spot for the then-young lady. Over the years, he has watched her bloom, albeit from a close but chilly distance, from a young girl to a beautiful lady. And while our hero recognizes that his tendre for the young miss has bloomed into an aching love for the wisened woman, he fears for his black past as well as the repercussions of romancing his bestfriend’s sister.

Horatia, deeply grateful for the comfort the red-headed Marquess extended to her during such a painful time of her life, cannot help but cling on to the heroic memory of her older brother’s friend, no matter how cold he is to her at present. Still, after so many years of perceived unrequited yearning, Horatia is finally ready to give Lucien a woman’s love, and no longer a child’s infatuation.

Soon, a threat to their not-quite-peaceful coexistence emerges in the form of a near accident and death threat, a story arc carried over from Godric’s book. Worried that their childhood nemesis, Hugo Waverly, is upping his game, so to speak, the League decides to have Cedric, along with his sisters Horatia and Audrey, hightail to Lucien’s estate in Kent.

Once properly ensconced in the country, Horatia and Lucien begin to wonder if they can put away their demons and maybe discover that a future with each other is bright, even amidst the bleakness of their present.

Smith blows my mind once again with her artful story-telling and edge-of-your-seat plots! It is no secret that I favor series’ over standalones and with the LoR, I’m proved, once again, why it is so. While I did highly enjoy Godric and Emily’s story, there were precious few moments outside of the two. Here, however, having already established most of the men in the league, we were treated to many interesting anecdotes and supporting stories sans Lucien and Horatia.

A particular favorite series trope of mine is character development and buildup, as well as a glimpse of the previous leads. In HWS, we re-visit Emily and Godric and sneak a peek at how married life is faring for them. More than that, however, I like to keep guessing at whose story will develop next. In this, Smith humors me plenty. I was kept constantly guessing as to who ends up with whom. Her way with characters and words are kept so human that each character has a specific and definite relationship. Chemistry is oozing from their pores, and you are left with many a ship to root for.

For example, while Cedric’s youngest sibling, Audrey, has expressed interest in Jonathan, Godric’s younger half-brother, I love the playfulness and historically gender-bending friendship she shares with Linus, the youngest Russell brother. While inter-sex friendships were encouraged for children, they defied the odds and kept a close relationship even as a in-the-marriage-mart Miss and Cambridge graduate. And speaking of young Linus, we also peep a light flirtation between he and a daughter of a close family friend, Lucinda. I suspect the two can cause many a jealousy between their respective love stories.

Gregory, Lucinda’s brother, has also shown a possible partner for the youngest Russell sister, Lysandra, as evidenced by the sparks that I detected during a very fun snow fort battle. Lysandra, a character I already love due to our similarities in name – and nature! She’s a bluestocking of the tallest order! – is also a contender for Charles, Earl of Lonsdale and a member of the league. Jane, mother of the Russells and current Lady Rochester, is a matchmaking mama and is promoting a match between the two. Ironically, Charles is also whom Audrey tries to seduce in the beginning of HWS so I am curious as to see what adventure Smith has in store for him. Back in London, Ashton, Baron Lennox, may have met his match with businesswoman Lady Melbourne – a seductress of the tallest order. Lastly, Cedric is paired with Miss Anne Chessley in the epilogue leading me to believe that his story is next in the saga.

It is no easy feat to keep the sheer number of characters and possible matches in a single novel but Smith manages this beautifully. And even with all the excitement found in the book – duels, accidents, murder plots, fires, hidden identities – she is able to infuse a warmth and familiar joviality and gaiety in the book. A competitive snow battle reminiscent of the Pall Mall game in Julia Quinn’s The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton book 2) comes to mind, as well as Lady Rochester promoting a bit of devilry and sibling rivalry to push her eldest into action. Another scene is the founding of The Society of Rebellious Ladies – a bit of teasing and mocking by Emily, Horatia, and Audrey due to the high-handedness of the men of their lives.

We also can’t forget the story between our leads, Lucien and Horatia. Though both appear to accept their deeper feelings for each other, a rarity amongst the usual denial rakes favor in hisrom novels, it is more heartwarming to know that Cedric was the reason the two were so apprehensive to pursue their burgeoning relationship. It is usual with ladies to forge friendships that will test fire, especially during the Regency when ladies were not even considered their own persons, but a rarity with the men. I applaud Smith for sticking to her guns and showing us a story where friendship is the unifying factor.

If there is one thing left to say about Smith’s prowess in writing, it is that she weaves her wand and poof – you are entranced. Lucien and Horatia saw to that. Besides, who doesn’t love a man who buys his woman a dress, propriety be damned?

The Sunday Currently Vol. 5

C U R R E N T L Y . . . 

 R E A D I N G NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

 W R I T I N G my Christmas list!

 L I S T E N I N G to Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons

 T H I N K I N G of budgeting. Phew.

 S M E L L I N G crisp, cold rain.

 W I S H I N G to complete my Christmas list already! (The Pamandanans like to get this out of the way ASAP)

 W E A R I N G a disney princess nightgown.

 L O V I N G the weather.

 W A N T I N G to settle all account with a previous client.

 N E E D I N G to finish my shopping list!

 F E E L I N G relaxed.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Sunday Currently Vol. 4

C U R R E N T L Y . . .

 R E A D I N G Community helpers pins on Pinterest.

 W R I T I N G Activities and worksheets for community helpers.

 L I S T E N I N G to Chasing Time - Allan Pownall

 T H I N K I N G of tomorrow's activity with the kids.

 S M E L L I N G baby powder.

 W I S H I N G to stretch my paycheck until the next payday. Or for more money.

 W E A R I N G beige polo and brown skinnies.

 L O V I N G food.

 W A N T I N G to lose weight.

 N E E D I N G to diet. Seriously.

 F E E L I N G full.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Sunday Currently Vol. 3

C U R R E N T L Y . . . 

 R E A D I N G Fables: Camelot, Bill Willingham

W R I T I N G Lesson plans and schedule blog posts.

L I S T E N I N G to Mayer Hawthorne's The Walk. #SoLongYouDidMeWrong

T H I N K I N G of braving the weather to head to the bookstore.

S M E L L I N G cigarette smoke. Again.

W I S H I N G my paycheck comes through tomorrow!

W E A R I N G my nightrail and dressing gown. Which is my pretentious and fancyshmancy way of saying I'm still in my jammies and robe.

L O V I N G all the opportunities to find, if one remembers to look. :)

W A N T I N G a new book! Or five.

N E E D I N G to get off my ass and shower.

F E E L I N G happy.

Cheska's Doll

Before & After
There was a time when make up artists and friends used to ask me to model for them but those days have long since passed. So imagine my surprise when budding make-up artist Cheska Gonzales asked if I would sit for a session for her!

I met the beautiful Cheska about 3 years ago, give or take, and the two of us took an immediate shine to each other. Keeping this in mind, I agreed to sit for her and we decided to make a date of it and invited fashion blogger Mackenzie Molina, aka Preppy Steeze, to join in on the fun. The two immediately got along and you can read about Mack's session with Cheska here. :)

For my session, Cheska did the classic smokey eye look. I'm usually barefaced so the changes her work wrought was staggering! I tend to shy away from very obvious looks but I am pleased to say I am happy with the results.

I'm definitely bringing my Kardashian A-game.

Thank you, Ches! You work magic. :)

You can contact Cheska and inquire of her services through:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book review: The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall

A couple of months back, I exchanged messages with a budding author in goodreads. The messages were short, sweet, and just filled with discussions about book genres and the like. A few days into the chat, she generously offered to send me not one, but two -- TWO -- advanced reading copies of her yet-to-be-published novels in exchange for honest reviews. I tell you, I could not believe it. It's hardly something I ever thought of, let alone consider, happening to me. I was ecstatic, of course! I've read and made a review of both books since then but I promised the authoress I wouldn't publish them until release date, or her go signal.

A week ago, she asked us to post one of our reviews on goodreads, even if the book technically doesn't reach your shelves until the 29th of September. Bearing that in mind, I figured it'd be okay to share my review with my readers already.

Hope you all enjoy!


The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall
by Lauren Smith


To defeat a dark evil, they must face his family’s past…

Bastian Carlisle, the Earl of Weymouth, doesn’t believe in ghosts. Even though tragedy and mysterious hauntings have driven his family away from his ancestral home, Stormclyffe Hall, he is determined to restore the castle to its former glory. His plans are disrupted when a stubborn American shows up on his doorstep hoping to pry into his family’s tragic history.

Jane Seyton, an American graduate student, is convinced there’s more to the tragedy of Stormclyffe Hall than history claims. Ever the scholar, she is determined to discover the truth, even if it means putting up with the arrogant, yet sexy, Bastian.

Although Bastian wants nothing to do with the pushy American, it soon becomes clear that something evil is in the house—and that something is targeting both Jane and Bastian. The two must join forces to purge the ghosts of Stormclyffe Hall once and for all—even as they try to fight a physical attraction between them that grows more and more impossible to deny.

Lauren Smith's The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall begins in Regency England, where Richard, the handsome Earl of Weymouth, wakes to find his weak bride out of bed during the rampage of a storm. Concerned, he checks on their month-old son, Edward, and tempers the little heir's sounds of distress. Not long after, he spies his much beloved bride standing in the cliffs near the castle, braving the weather, and in her apparent suicide. Heartbroken beyond repair at his Countess's, Isabella's, untimely passing, and confused by her reasons (or lack thereof), the Earl falls in a drunken stupor for months before succumbing to his death.

Thus so, we find ourselves at present day England following American grad student Jane Seyton. After years (6, to be exact) of horrible nightmares all regarding her fascination with the dark and imposing Stormclyffe Hall, estate of the Earls of Weymouth, and home to many paranormal-loving fans tales and urban legends, her academic life reaches its pinnacle when the current Earl of Weymouth allows her access to visit his family's haunted manor, and so allowing her to make a detailed and researched dissertation on her topic -- The tragic stories of some of Britain's ancient castles and manor houses with a particular emphasis on Stormclyffe Hall and its effect on modern day Weymouth England. His sole condition was for her to wait until renovations were completed. Jane, having estimated that 4 months is time enough, decides to brave the lion's den and heads on over to the feared hallowed walls of the castle.

Here she meets Sebastian Carlisle, Earl of Weymouth and playboy-academe extraordinaire. Having long since forgotten about his promise to the American scholar, Bastian is not thrilled to find himself having to deal with a nosy American chit hellbent on exposing his family's dark secrets and tragic pasts, on top of personally overseeing a renovation to a cold manor home with seemingly insurmountable problems (and plumbing), and managing a staff that trembles at the mere sight of their own shadow.

At wits end, he comes face to face with his great great grandmama's spitting image in his drawing room. Great. Rankled and with no good humor in the near future, he girds himself to kick the striking scholar out of his home and away from his family's private business. With a heart broken from her months-long failed engagement, the firecracker of a miss is determined to see her research through and refuses to kowtow to the arrogant Earl's demands that she leave. Sparks immediately fly between the two and both are left to wonder if it was just an immediate case of lust that threatened their just-promised co-existence or if something otherworldly permeates the air.

Without giving too much away (as well as the various plot twists!), I bow down to Lauren Smith's amazing aptitude for spinning words into tales that enchant and ensnare the reader in its trap. The chemistry between our h/h is sizzling at its lowest and scorching at its best. With none of the propriety strictures of Regency England between the two, we are instead given a realistic take on two people determined to avoid each other fall prey to their strong attraction.

Jane is no milk-and-water miss and isn't afraid to go out there, guns blazing, for what she wants. It must be the American in her. Bastian, on the other hand, is every girl's dream come true. A dark and brooding hero one moment, and a charmingly teasing rake the next, he embodies the term dreamboat. A perfect blend of what we love with the arrogance of regency england's titled peers mixed with a modern day playboy, he hits every fantasy come to life. The good, the bad (and I mean baaaaaaad), the beautiful, and the ugly. A real man with real concerns and burdens.

As the two explore the inexplicable pull they have for one another, they also explore the manor's history and secrets. It is no surprise that with so beautiful a setting, the two find themselves falling deeper and deeper in its trenches, as well as each others'. That is exactly what TSoSH does to the reader. It takes you to the edge of your seat, fingers locked in a death grip, and you feel yourself getting lost deeper and deeper in Smith's work.

A truly wonderful read, you can't help but be glad you picked up Lauren Smith's gothic romance. And like the winds whispering, calling your name, you follow gladly. And you will be all the better for it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Sunday Currently Vol. 2

C U R R E N T L Y . . .

R E A D I N G  Goodreads recommendations.

W R I T I N G  Lists and budgets.
L I S T E N I N G  to the sound of my puppy chewing dentastix. Oh, and some Bright Eyes.
T H I N K I N G  of absolutely nothing. Thank the good lord.
S M E L L I N G  baby powder.
W I S H I N G  for a camping trip with friends!
W E A R I N G  a beige polo and jean shorts.
L O V I N G  my new job!
W A N T I N G  to shop for an entirely new wardrobe.
N E E D I N G  to control my eating habits.
F E E L I N G  Free.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Sunday Currently

After having stumbled upon (and getting inspired by) Sidda Thornton's The Centennial Sunday Currently, I thought I'd try it out and check to see if it's a really good way to keep updating my blog in spite of my negligent blogger behavior.

Sunday Currently is  pretty self-explanatory. It's a round-up of answers to various current questions about yourself.

C U R R E N T L Y . . .

R E A D I N G  Just finished Neil Gaiman's Stardust (novel), and about to pick up the graphic novel.

W R I T I N G  html and css scripts. Random ramblings. Snarky tweets and comments. I think I'm blocked.

L I S T E N I N G  to Joshua Radin. It is a dreary sunday, after all.

T H I N K I N G  of what other books to pick up. Ideas for a friend's blog. Starting up a new business. Work. Teaching children.

S M E L L I N G  cigarettes. Always cigarettes. I reek of cigarette(s'?) smoke.

W I S H I N G  for opportunities to further my goals and dreams and ambitions.

W E A R I N G  a black polo from my university (and university days!) and red nails.

L O V I N G  family, friends, my dog, and dreary sundays. 

W A N T I N G  the new hazelnut milk tea from chatime. I was late to the milk tea game, only developing a taste for it this year (and being a much bigger coffee drinker than tea drinker), but Chatime's oolong tea and roasted milk tea are a particular weakness for me.

N E E D I N G  to start dieting. 

F E E L I N G  Anxious.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Inspiration: Boldini and Degas

From L-R: Giovanni Boldini's The Woman in Red, The Mondona Singer,
Princess Marthe Lucile Bibesco 

Not until historical romance did I begin to appreciate classical impressionist art, but Boldini and Degas are quickly changing the game for me.

My first encounter with Degas was back when my then 15-year old sister, Shutterhound, started painting ballerinas. I was a wee tot of 7 back then. I knew zilch in those days and just a little more than that now. At present, however, I am more able to appreciate their strokes of genius now. (Get it?! lol)

From L-R: Edward Degas's The Green Dancer, Dancer Resting, Reading a Newspaper,
??? Please feel free to email me if you know the title

Both Boldini and Degas produced work during the late 1800s through to the early 1900s. Their various art contain both a lightness and darkness to it, a whimsy that manages to carry a thick, blanketing malaise -- a hauntingly bright effect that is specific to these two.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The White Queen

Men go to battle; women wage war.

Just finished reading The White Queen, the first book in authoress Philippa Gregory's take on the infamous Cousins' War, The War of the Roses, a bloody battle between two rival branches of the House of Plantagenets; Houses Lancaster and York (the red rose the former, the white the latter).

Gregory's story follows that of one of England's most controvesial Queens, Elizabeth Woodville, through whom will begin Kings and Queens of the most famous royal line, The Tudors.

Elizabeth Woodville is also the mother of the famous Princes in the Tower, her two sons by the beloved York King Edward IV, as well as Queen Elizabeth who marries Henry Tudor (Henry VII) and is grandmother to historical England's greatest queen, Elizabeth I.

You would think that with so rich a historical basis that Gregory would build herself an enchating world of drama and political intrigue. In this instance, Gregory fails the Yorks. The first half of the book is woefully banal, even more disheartening as the two most interesting characters, Jaquetta Rivers (mother of EW who was tried and executed on charges of witchcraft) and the Earl of Warwick (widely known as the "Kingmaker") is featured heavily in it.

The second half picks up in pace which makes it a better read but one cannot help but grow bitter at the self-aggrandizing and ambition of the beautiful but prickly Elizabeth Woodville.

One can only hope that the next 4 books aren't as dull and lackluster as this one.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Late Post: SINGAPORE 2012

CEBU 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

SUBIC 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Quotedump: Broken Empire Series

 I find it's the coldest threats that reach the deepest.

Cowards make the best torturers. Cowards understand fear and they can use it. Heroes on the other hand, they make terrible torturers. They don't see what motivates a normal man.

Terror and entertainment are weapons of statehood.

I lived in a world of soft things, mutable truths, gentle touches, laughter for its own sake.

Assassination is just murder with a touch more precision.

Anything that you cannot sacrifice pins you. Makes you predictable, makes you weak.

Sometimes a bit of pain's just what we need: to cauterize the word, burn out the infection.

When in doubt, reach for the wisdom of others.

When in doubt, let your hate lead you.

Never trust a lettered man.

There are few things more satisfying than taking out your frustrations upon the bearer of bad tidings. 

Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you’ll find an edge to cut you.

I looked into my own darkness. I knew what it was to be trapped, and to watch ruination.

Each day the memories weigh a little heavier. Each day they drag you down that bit further. You wind them around you, a single thread at a time, and you weave your own shroud, you build a cocoon, and in it madness grows.

You sit here with your yesterdays queuing at your shoulder. You listen to their reproach and curse those that gave you life.

Hate will keep you alive where love fails.

It was a defeat, resorting to crude threats in a game of subtlety, but sometimes one must sacrifice a battle to win the war.

Is revenge a science, or an art?

There's something brittle in me that will break before it bends.

The road may ever go on, but we don't:  we wear out, we break. Age makes different things of different men. It will harden some, sharpen them, to a point.

Hold to a thing long enough, a secret, a desire, maybe a lie, and it will shape you.

I held to my anger, drank from my well of poison.

We wrap up our violent and mysterious world in a pretense of understanding.

The biggest lies we save for ourselves.

Some pain you can distance yourself from, but a headache sits right where you live.

There's something magical about a departed headache. It's a shame the joy fades and you can't appreciate not having one every moment of your life.

We're brittle things, us men.

When a game cannot be won, change the game.

With enough hurt, we all sound the same.

Wounded is good. Sometimes wounded is better than dead. The wounded cause trouble. If you let them.

A man who's got no fear is missing a friend.

To know thyself must be terribly dull.

We die a little every day and by degrees we're reborn into different men, older men in the same clothes, with the same scars.

As a child, there's a horror in discovering the limitations of the ones you love. The time you find that your mother cannot keep you safe, that your tutor makes a mistake, that the wrong path must be taken because the grown-ups lack the strength to take the right one... each of those moments is a theft of your childhood, each a blow that kills some part of the child you were, leaving another part of the man exposed, a new creature, tougher but tempered with bitterness and disappointment.

Trust is a fine thing but try not to build plans upon it.

When pain bites, men bargain.

The thing about the path less travelled is that it is often less travelled for a good reason.

Anger always opens a new reserve, a little something you'd forgotten about.

So much in life is simply a matter of timing.

Disguise lies in how you move.

You can't present your good side to the whole world.

Sometimes you can only win if you're prepared to sacrifice everything.

After all, getting everything you wish for is nearly as dire a curse as having all your dreams come true.”

No half measures. Some things can’t be cut in half. You can’t half-love someone. You can’t half-betray, or half-lie.

We're fashioned by our sorrows - not by joy - they are the undercurrent, the refrain. Joy is fleeting.

I maintain a balanced view of the world, but that balance is always in my favor.

Hurt spreads and grows and reaches out to break what’s good. Time heals all wounds, but often it’s only by the application of the grave, and while we live some hurts live with us, burning, making us twist and turn to escape them. And as we twist, we turn into other men.

There are hard paths and there are the hardest paths.

Too much soft living and peace can choke a man sure as any rope.

Sin doesn't stick to a child's skin the way it clings to a man's.

When age speaks to youth, it goes unheard.

Too much cleverness can be a torment to a man, setting his wits against his faith.

Even clever men could be fools.

A married man is always outnumbered.

The world eats good men for breakfast.

Fear and ambition, a good combination.

Lesson in life -- keep moving.

Men have far more to fear than boys.

Though I might walk where angels fear to tread, I try not to rush in like a fool.

We all carry the seeds of our own destruction with us, we all drag our history behind us like rusted chain.

A man who can't make sacrifices has lost before he starts.

If you must run, have something to run toward, so it feels less like cowardice.

Alea iacta est. The die is cast.

It's an unsettling business having to re-evaluate your world view.

It's an irony of our times that men seeking peace must make war.

The worst traps are the ones we lay for ourselves.

My anger is never more than a moment away. It makes a fool of me more times than I can say.

My whole life has been a series of dangerous choices wrestled around to better outcomes.

Dark times call for dark choices.

Men to die with rather than for.

There's a power in the telling of a truth.

Whilst the holy man may fail in any moment, the damned may in any moment reach for redemption.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Seducing Mr. Knightley - Maya Rodale

Life takes a strange turn upon occasion, does it not?

He would talk. They always did with the hangman's noose swaying in the not-too-far-future.

Funny, the power of an almost kiss.

Cool verging on cold.

Did love really require grand gestures? Wasn't true love to be found in the little things, like holding one's hand or sitting comfortably around a gentle fire?

(Like) the world had met her low expectations.

That was the problem with longstanding friends -- they felt utterly free to go too far and to enjoy every step they took over the line.

He drank, as a man is wont to do when confronted with his innermost emotions, particularly ones pertaining to the heart.

I think you might be absolutely mad, but that is always what they say of the most courageous.

We might as well go for broke.

There was something wild and exciting about a man who might be imprisoned. It meant he was bold, daring, adventurous, as if he could be a hero or a villain in equal measure.

Fools will persist in their madness, will they not?

It involves a lover, of course, as all great gossip does.

Practical Magic - Alice Hoffman

The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun longs for something dark and deep.

Desire had a way of making people oddly courageous.

The most dangerous thing of all in matters of love was to be granted your heart's desire.

Some people cannot be warned away from disaster.

Real love was dangerous, it got you from inside and held on tight, and if you didn't let go fast enough you might be willing to do anything for its sake.

Goodness, in their opinion, was not a virtue but merely spinelessness and fear disguised as humility.

Sometimes the right thing felt all wrong until it was over and done with.

Crossed knives set out on the dinner table means there's bound to be a quarrel.

Everything goes wrong if you give it enough time.

A white lie doesn't count if you cross your fingers behind your back, or if you tell it so that someone you love will stop crying.

If a woman is trouble, she should always wear blue for protection.

People want to ignore what they can't understand.

Love is worth the sum of itself, and nothing more.

Unrequited love is so boring.

Two sisters cannot live in the same house and ignore each other for long.

It's easy to forget what you do in the dark, if you need to.

Grief is all around; it's just invisible to most people.

Pride is a funny thing; it can make what is truly worthless appear to be a treasure.

You can usually uncover the truth, or a version of it at any rate, if you ask enough questions.

The greatest portion of grief is the one you dish out for yourself.

There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

The easiest kind of lying is when you leave things out of a story rather than make them up.

When someone won't let you in, eventually you stop knocking.

A supernova in miniature.

What an unchallenging life it would be if we always got things right on the first go.

I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was.

How To Tame Your Duke - Juliana Gray

Beware the man who has nothing at all to say for himself.

Is it not strange that love borders so much open hate? But this wicked love is not like the true virtuous love, to be sure: that and hatred must be as far off, as light and darkness. And how must this hate have been increased, if he had met with such a base compliance, after his wicked will had been gratified.

How To Master Your Marquis - Juliana Gray

Only a man with something to hide kept his face from revealing anything at all.

Pain didn't exist in finite quantities that could be transferred to someone else. Pain was elastic, it stretched and grew.

Perhaps it was true, that in suffering for another's sake you achieved some sort of absolution for your own sins, uncounted and unpunished.

The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton - Miranda Neville

When a gentleman offers advice, pretend to consider it before doing whatever you originally planned.

The tyranny of affection is hard to withstand.

Dismiss the follies of your youth and hope others are equally forgetful.

When it comes to a book, the good bits are always worth reading again.

It's easy to be brave when nothing threatens you.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Child of the 90's

Thank you, Microsoft, for coming up with this extremely wonderful and nostalgic ad.

We will always have the 90's.