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lady narcissa

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  1. I did decide to reread the first book so it will be a few days before I get to the new one. I did see the SPOILER you are referring to, however, so I have been spoiled to that bit. Maybe we can discuss in more detail in the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance thread? (Actually I will go to that thread and post more then after this.) I, like you, generally enjoy spoilers especially for books like this and will look ahead to the last chapter or seek them out on the internet. That way I can relax while reading and just enjoy instead of speed reading through.
  2. Yes, lots of us have ideas like this as teens! Not so many of us write them fully down and go and get them published. I think she and others like Veronica Roth had the good fortune to come out of college with these books they had written as teens and the YA market was just exploding and looking for new YA authors and they lucked out with timing and getting published. I have read the first Crescent City book. As with all her books I enjoyed some parts and disliked others. I'll read the next one although I'm debating if I need to reread the first one or if I can remember enough of it. If you enjoy this series and are looking for something else to read you might want to check out the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning which was a big influence on SJM for the Crescent City series. The first book is Darkfever.
  3. I think this means you need to build some kind of she-shed/greenhouse out in the backyard!
  4. @Fragile Bird Ahh welcome to the world of SJM books. @kairparavel and I have discussed them over the years in the YA and Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance threads here. A word of warning about the Throne of Glass series...SJM wrote the first book when she was in high school and it is so different from the later books in the series that she wrote as an adult. The later books are not something you could have ever predicted based on that first book. Her writing developed and the stories reflect where she is in her own life and her changing interests and inspirations. Personally, I think A Court of Thorn and Roses is her best book - as in best edited, most tightly composed, most satisfying as a complete story. Most of her books are just way too long and rambling and in need of reigning in - the last book in the Court trilogy is just a bloated mess. But despite that she creates compelling locations and interesting female characters and great friendships between them which is why I keep reading her.
  5. I had to do a search to see if anyone had mentioned this series in this thread and yes, here we are. This bookstore in northern England that I follow on twitter was just tooting the most recent release in the series and I noticed C.J. Sansom has a quote on the cover for it and while I am never one to buy a book because of such a quote, it did make me go look at the series and I'm curious about it. Do the books lean more towards crime than mystery?
  6. Well for the first time I was a bit disappointed by an Anne Cleeves mystery. Just read her newest - The Heron's Cry - which is the second in the Matthew Venn series. It was a bit boring...if one can call a novel with murder, boring. I liked the murder and the murder weapon but the ultimate investigation and resolution fell a bit flat. But I'm just not taking to Matthew and the side characters the way I have taken to the characters in Cleeves' other series. And while I love the location - the north coast of Devon which I have visited before and I can visualize the locations - I just don't feel like Cleeves is really doing it justice the way she does with her other locations. I've had a really good run with Cleeves mysteries so I suppose its okay that this is the only one of hers that hasn't really worked for me.
  7. It's even more painful to read if you live in Chicago since the Chicago in his book is not really Chicago. (He originally wrote the first book as set in Kansas City but there is another series set in Kansas City so it was advised he change the location so he looked at a globe, spotted Chicago and decided to set it there...but didn't change anything except the name of the city. Ugh.)
  8. Thanks! I wasn't expecting a whole additional episode like that but it did help get me clear on everyone. And it was interesting to see that the non-Americans got to get those fact sheets on everyone and scope out who they wanted to partner with so it wasn't quite as random as Episode 1 made it look. I was curious about what happened to Nam during Episode 1 so I looked at a couple of articles and it looks like its still a bit unclear but it unfortunately seems to be due to a Covid outbreak after the filming of the beginning of the first episode. I guess they actually had to take a couple weeks break as a number of the players came down with it. Either Nam got it and didn't recover soon enough or he had to leave due to schedule conflicts due to the delay - both reasons were stated in different articles. One of the things that impressed me about last season was how they were able to successfully film the series while Covid was going on without vaccines in place then. I read a few articles about how they handled it and it was really impressive how well thought out and run the whole process was. So it was a bit surprising about the outbreak for this season but apparently vaccinations were not required for participants. I was thinking with Episodes 0 and 1 there was a lot more focus on the personal relationships / possible hookups than last season. It's more what I remember from earlier Challenge seasons. Apparently while filming was on hold during the outbreak, the non-infected participants had to all stay in the house and it was very much the party house and drove the relationships forward. So I guess we will be seeing more of that this season.
  9. Enjoyed the first episode! But so much going on and enough new faces that I will need re-watch before I can take everything in.
  10. I got derailed from the Mercy Thompson series after #8. It wasn't that I disliked the series, but I think I started #9 and got interrupted and never finished it. I did pick the subsequent books up whenever the ebooks were on offer so I have kept up with purchasing them. In any case I was reminded of them because amazon had the 12th one today as one of their deals of the day so I picked up it. Having 9-12 to read now, I think I will get back to them. Oh I did not think you were slandering her! I was just delighted to see the Plum reference as I love them. And everything you mentioned can be found in the Plum books, except dragons...although that being said, I would not be surprised to find a dragon tattoo mentioned if not a Komodo dragon reference.
  11. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray is the first book that comes to mind. The subtitle is A Novel Without A Hero. The 'hero', Becky Sharp, being pretty much without conscience and amoral. Similarly, Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country features a similarly situated anti-hero Undinne Spragg. And I'd add Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind to this grouping as well.
  12. This sentence alone has me committed to trying this series! However, I must object to the placement of the word 'except' in that sentence. Stephanie Plum books include old ladies, a put upon police detective, and baking. The only 'except' is the dragons!
  13. Okay just saw an ad on tv for the new season. Begins August 11st. Looking forward to it. https://deadline.com/2021/07/the-challenge-spies-lies-and-allies-mtv-trailer-cast-premiere-date-1234792822/
  14. Oh interesting! My mom is a big fan of the series but I have not read them yet. I like the quote from GRRM about this: Luckily my mom owns the entire series so I might have to move these up on my TBR pile.
  15. Yes, it was completely fine in the city, all the action was out in the suburbs. Tornados *knock on wood* typically don't make it to the downtown area along Lake Michigan, they swerve or break up. There is speculation the heat put out by the concrete and buildings of the downtown somehow contribute to this. In any case, we just had some heavy rain and lightning down here. And of course, living in a high rise building with no outdoor space, my plants were completely fine! Actually my tomato plant is growing gangbusters. I marked its height at the beginning of last week and then measured again this week and it grew 4 inches in the week. Which seems pretty good for a what is supposed to be small tomato plant that isn't supposed to grow too high. Will it actually grow tomatoes? That is this summers entertainment! Glad your dahlias seem to be pulling through!
  16. I am so sorry about your dahlias! I hope they rally and come around! Living in an apartment with no outdoor space sort of eliminates weather worries for me. My mint is doing fabulously! I do not want to jinx myself but I think I have perfected snipping some bits off every week for mint tea and keeping it replenishing itself. My basil on the other hand is a bit undecided. It was doing great but then the other week it abruptly halted its enthusiastic growing and is now on the fence about things. I will continue to observe it. I got the beginnings of a tomato plant that is supposed to do well in a container and will supposedly grow cute little tomatoes. We shall see. I successfully transferred it to a larger container and I've installed a support stick and marked its current height so I can appreciate if it grows at all this week. Fingers crossed! I will also request that you send your rain up here. I absolutely love rain and we've hardly had any. We are way behind this year.
  17. So Chicago's beloved piping plovers - Monty and Rose - have returned here for the summer. I find it utterly amazing that they find their way back to the same beach, year after year. Especially since apparently Monty spends the winter down in Texas and Rose spends her winters in Florida. Yet they both showed up within a day of each other. https://news.wttw.com/2021/04/26/reunited-monty-and-rose-both-confirmed-montrose-dune-time-get-reacquainted
  18. Zorral, I've seen a couple of articles analyzing the Faerie Queen quotes in Troubled Blood - Elizabethan poetry experts jumped on the opportunity to talk about something 'new' - but I have to admit I just skipped over them. Similarly I could not muster interest in all the Rosmersholm quotes in Lethal White. Anyway, glad you are giving Troubled Blood a look. I am also currently reading C.S. Harris' What the Devil Knows. I have been less satisfied with the most recent books in the series. We have really entered into a formula with these later ones with the greatest emphasis on the murders being solved and less advancement with the personal lives. I think what I liked best about the stories was Devlin's personal life and his personal growth. Now that he is in a content point in his life - despite there being countless attempts on his life in every book, of course - I am less interested. There has been such a long drawn out few back plots on hold these past few books that could spice things up if brought to the forefront but we still wait for those. I enjoyed the first half of this newest book and learning about the real life events that inspired the story as well as the history bits - but there are so many characters and so much talking to them and Devlin just investigating in the later half, I am sort of just skimming.
  19. Thank you! I have embarked on horticultural experiments and snipped snipped snipped away! Hoping the basil and mint survive my snipping.
  20. I wasn't able to watch this for the past few months but finally spent this weekend doing my favorite thing with these type shows - watching 12 episodes in a row so I am pretty much caught up and now can keep everyone straight. I am still baffled by MTV's lack of repeated airing of this show. And I am curious who they think the audience for this show is? With the endless 80s music featured are they thinking only GenX is tuning in? Or is 80s music popular with younger viewers? The one thing that has been interesting for me with this season is the minimized drunken brawls / relationship dramas included in the episodes. I have not watched any of the recent seasons before this one so I do not know if there has been a gradual shift over the years towards this. And I don't know if there just wasn't anything worth including this season or a deliberate choice on the producers part. But my recollection of the original years of the Challenge type shows was a lot of hooking up and endless drunken evenings and screaming matches. Some with this round but much less. Its in some ways nice to just have the main focus be on the challenges and I especially enjoy seeing all the gorgeous Iceland locations featured in them. I don't have the streaming service so I don't think I will be watching All Stars unless they actually air it on MTV. But again you wonder who their target audience is for these shows.
  21. Thanks @Fragile Bird and @Tears of Lys ! I think what I am really trying to understand with both the basil and the mint is if I cut off a branch or a stem, will that cut off growth at that point or will it split and start again from that point? For example, I have a jade plant and a branch broke off but now I have two new branches growing from the cut point - will basil and mint do this? Or will from the roots, the plants generate and send up new branches? I have a shamrock/oxalis plant that is constantly sending new shoots up from the roots as the old ones die off. My mint is in a pot and there are 6 branches that have grown 11" high. They are very orderly and contained just getting to the point where I'm wondering how much higher they can go before they start leaning over. And I'd like to use some. But if I cut off a branch is that the end of it? Or will it regrow?
  22. Can you provide more information on the "trimming" and what pieces should be trimmed and where to trim? I probably won't use the correct terms but - do I but off some branches from the main stalk? Or do I cut out entire stalks? Or both?
  23. Thanks for sharing the information. I do get that. I am probably okay with that so long as he keeps writing the Peter stories - and enjoys writing them and has fresh stories to tell. But I do feel it speaks well for this world he created when the stories are not dependent on Peter being in them. Not all authors are so successful when trying to broaden their universes.
  24. So my potted basil and mint have grown like gangbusters in 2 weeks and are threatening to jump out of their pots and take over the neighboring ones. Any advice on harvesting from them / thinning them out but not killing them off? I've only ever had herbs for short term use before, I've never tried to long time sustain them. I can't move them to larger pots because of limited room but would like to keep them going in their current pots for as long as possible.
  25. I'm glad to hear that red winged blackbirds are exciting to see even for more seasoned birders. I for sure have not noticed any females. Just males. In my neighborhood cardinal news....I did hear him today. I was walking home, I could hear it, it was coming from that tree at the end of the block...would it still be there when I passed???? Would I see it? I got halfway there and he stopped and took flight and flew right above me...well 20 feet above me but I could see the blur of red as he sped past. Ah well. There were 10 on my loggia when I got home and I stared my hardest at them and then looked at pictures...and I am not good with shades of beige and brown. I need some primary colors to see differences. I love these little birds but they are tough nuts to crack.
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