Sunday, July 24, 2011

Griffin's Daughter

This is the first of a trilogy called the Griffin's Daughter Series by Leslie Anne Moore.  Griffin's Daughter is the exact type of fantasy fiction book that I LOVE reading!!!  I love fantasy worlds... in this case, we have humans and elves.  There is a poor, tortured soul that goes off on an adventure to find a person that she has never met but gave her life.  During this adventure she meets and falls in love with an elf soldier who is also from a noble family.

There are so many little things that I love about the way this writer tells her story.  First of all, I love all of the unique names in this book.  Maybe they are common somewhere else, but I've personally not heard of many of them before.  :-)  There is our main character, Jelena, her husband, Ashinji of the Sakehera family... what cool names are those!  I also love how each character has these little things about them that makes them more 'alive'.  You can't believe how many books I've read where the characters are pretty much just robots that don't have very many thoughts or unique feelings, or their personalities are just too shallow.  Yes, I'm talking about some of the traditional 'romance' books that I am stupidly still reading, hoping to find something that I'll like.... this book would  not be classified as a romance, but you still have some of the romantic aspects that are found in that genre.  Though I have to say that I'm glad that the bedroom parts, with the exception of one, are tastefully written.  The part where Jelena and Ashinji make love for the first time, okay - it's definitely something that prevents me from recommending this series to a younger reader, but so much of this book would be so much fun for other readers!  So, I really don't understand why this part had to be so detailed.  It was written well, but really?  I broke my heart because I love to share book names and authors with other people, and well, a lot of them are the type that would not appreciate even one small part written with so much detail.  It makes me sad that I can't go out and tell my groups to get this book now!

Well, let's move one... for the ones that do not mind that kind of reading, like I said before, there is a bit of detail but it is tastefully done.  The writing is very impressive.  What I like about this writer is that she puts personality in many of the smaller things... the horses have personalities, one trying to bit another, and even the brief encounter with a wild boar was written so well that I could almost see the whole part in my mind.  This is what I like to describe as writing with all 5 senses and not very many writers can do this without over wording or just plain going overboard.  This writer has a nice balance and makes so much of her book come alive.

Now, you all know that I'm not a very patient reader.  The story does have a nice transition at the end of this book to go into the next, but now I'm very curious to how the adventure will continue.  Though I'm happy to say that this can also be a stand alone book - there are a few small issues that are not completely resolved in the first book, but it's enough to get some closure.  So, unlike some of my favorite authors, I don't feel like I'm left dangling.  :-)  :-)  I hate being left dangling but also love it at the same time.  I get too anxious for the next book and if I have to wait a whole year, I am not a happy person with that.  I'll be curious to see how well the next two books stand on their own.

So you're probably asking, am I going to get the next book?  I just looked it up on Amazon.  The answer is yes!  The price is not too bad and I can download one book this week and if I finish quick enough, I can get the last book next week.  :-)  The price is comparable to getting a used book, so I feel that the price is right.  :-)  If I would have had to pay full retail for a paperback or higher, I can't justify getting the ebook.  I'd rather go hunting for the book at the library or in a used copy.  I'm just cheap that way - I can't justify paying full retail price on anything anymore... because I can't afford it!  Do you realise how many books I read a year!!!?!?!?!

At the same time with this book, I've been listening to the final Harry Potter book.  No, I haven't read it before.  I've actually only read the first book, and the first two chapters of the second - I've reading the books to my 7 year old  for the past year.  I have, though, listened to all of the other books in audio book.  I need something to keep my mind busy as I do my daily chores and laundry and such.  :-)  Plus, when I can actually knit, crochet or bead, if I'm working on something really simple, I'd much rather listen to an audio book than watch TV.

But reading has always been my first passion.  I love books and now love my Kindle.  I have to thank Pixel of Ink and the author for offering this first book as a free download.  If it were not for this first free book, I would have never discovered this talented author.  I look forward to not only finishing this series, but reading any other books that she may have written.  :-) 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Blood that Bonds

I have no idea how long this book took me to read!  Hubby's been on vacation this week and I think I started it last week but am not sure.  This book was not all that short, but I have a feeling I just kind of flew through it.  The book that I'm talking about is called The Blood that Bonds by Christopher Buecheler.

This is the first book for a series from this writer and I have to say that I am really impressed with the quality of the writing and the story.  You have fantasy fiction and a pretty good story along with interesting character names; the main character being named Two (yes, like the number).  :-)  :-)  I can see how this kind of book may have more of a female reader following because of the romance aspect, but I actually like the way it was written.  I don't remember reading any of the super uber cheezy cliche phrases that so many writers overuse, and though still a bit explicit with the beedroom parts, not as bad as some other books that I've read.

Of course, I have to complain about something, right?  The book probably could have had a better editor or had a final editing before publishing.  In many areas the wrong word was used or it looked like the writer started to say something but changed it - forgetting to delete some of the original phrase.  There was also the part that kept getting on my nerves... Two's lover, Theroen, how old was this guy?  Sometimes the numbers just didn't add up.  Half a millennium? or century?  Both were used at one point.  But considering that one of his "sisters" was 140 years old, I think the half a century was a typo.  Come on, I'm a former accountant, counting and adding is second nature to me so give me a break!  :-)  :-)  Also, one word that I think was misused (and that gets on my nerves too) was the use of millennium.  The writer used the phrase "half a millennia" - but the word millennia is plural for millennium - so how can you say that Theroen's age was half of multiple millenniums?  So, maybe emphasising his age was not the best idea?  Okay, enough of the English lesson, I'll shut up for now.  :-)

I was able to get past all of these little things, though, and can truly say that I enjoyed this book.  This story is not your typical vampire romance story and it looks like it will continue with another book that should be coming out soon.  I'm looking forward to seeing it out and possibly downloading it to continue reading about Two's adventures. 

Two has a lot of potential here.  She was turned into a vampire but reverted back to human because the vampire that made her was killed only a few days after she was turned.  Now, it was either tremendous amounts of luck or some kind of skill that she didn't know she had in her, but Two was able to defeat the evil vampire that considered himself a god, Abraham.  This was supposed to be the same vampire that killed Theroen, who was supposedly very strong himself at about 500 years old.

So, either Two's mother was Anita Blake and her kick-vampire-ass is a genetic thing, or Two is not who she seems.  I think our writer is trying to save this kind of surprise for us later in the series.  :-)  :-)  I can be wrong, but I can usually smell this kind of stuff in books.  It would be dumb if he didn't come up with an explanation like that.  There is no way that a new vampire who is reverting back to human again can actually kill such a strong vampire with a bit of heroine and a machete.  I guess we'll just have to see.

The writer himself has so much potential.  Like I said before, the story is really good and I like flow and where he's trying to take this series.  Of course, I can only guess as to where he's taking it, but the build up is still very impressive.  From what I read of him on Amazon, he seems to still be very young himself so he has lots of time to improve his already impressive writing skills (if he can find someone to do the editing).  I would almost like to compare him to another writer that I knew a long time ago that went by the pen name of Gustav Benjava.  I was fortunate enough to read both of his books before publishing and the writing style seems so similar.  It was funny how I thought of Gus while reading this book, but I'm pretty sure that it was the writing style that brought back those memories.  :-)  Unfortunately Gus didn't continue his writing and we lost contact, but I hope that Chrisopher Buecheler finds success with his writing.  :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hit List - Anita Blake book 20

I am an Anita Blake fan... yes, I'm proud to say it and will admit it openly to anyone.  :-)  So you are probably going to expect having me gush all over the latest book, Hit List by Laurel K. Hamilton.

I'm going to surprise you a bit (as it did myself) that I started out really liking this book because one of my favorite characters, Edward/Ted, was in it.  This character just really cracks me up.  He reminds me of Tackleberry from Police Academy mixed with the Terminator and a few other characters mixed in between.  He seems to come up with a new mega weapon each time he makes an appearance and he didn't disappoint this time either.  :-)  :-)

The book started off pretty well and I was really enjoying it until something just kind of happened.  I can't really put my fingers on it, but the story just started to fizzle out.  There was a little bit of deja-vu from some of the other stories so I wasn't as impressed as I was with the others.  Maybe Anita Blake needs to either retire from the US Marshals or something else needs to happen to change the direction of the series because I think (and this makes me gasp) that I may be getting a little bored with this series.  Don't get me wrong, I still love the characters and enjoy reading (or listening if on audio book) about their shenanigans.  But really, how many more lovers can Anita really bring back to St. Louis?  It almost seems like she picks up lovers like those lonely old women and their stray cats.  I can almost see Anita showing up back at the Circus of the Damned asking Jean Claude, "Can I keep him? Please?"  :-)  :-)

Now that Olaf (I can't remember if that was how to spell his name and I'm too lazy to grab one of the books that are way, way over there in the other room) caught the lycanthropy virus, who knows where that may lead.  Hopefully into something a little more interesting and not with Anita taking him in as one of her lovers either.  Gosh, come on Laurel K. Hamilton, does Anita really have to have that many lovers?  Plus, I do find it funny that almost all of Anita's lovers are so needy and so emotional.  Yeah, I guess Anita did describe herself as being more of a guy to an extent, and I think that is the appeal that she has with her fans.  I also like the fact that she's part Hispanic and that even though she's still small, she's not skinny and can really kick butt.  :-)

I'll be curious to see what happens with the next book, but I'm in no hurry to read it.  I'd rather have the writer come up with a brand new twist than regurgitate the same old stuff.  Have you ever read any of the Christine Feehan books?  You want to talk about regurgitating!  The only difference in the books are the character names and a bit of plot, but those books are almost all the same.  I didn't have to read all of them to know this, but I read enough.  :-)

I have gone back to re-read the very first book in the series and really enjoyed it.  I like re-reading some of my favorite books.  I hope I can find books 2 and 3 at the used book store sometime soon so I can read the whole series in order.  It really annoys me when I can't do that.  :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Seduced by the Wolf

Okay, this book is called Seduced by the Wolf by Terry Spear.  The title is a little cheesy, but I shouldn't complain too much because I probably couldn't come up with a better one either.  :-)  :-)

I have to tell you that I have mixed feelings about this book.  It started off really good and it was very interesting and had my attention.  The characters were good, the story was interesting, and the writing exceptional.  But once the seduction happened and the writer started adding those descriptive sex parts, the story kind of fell apart.  If the writer is that good at writing fantasy fiction, she should have made this book a true fantasy fiction book.  The seduction and the sex parts were okay if you like reading that kind of stuff, but the overall story kind of starting falling apart from that point.

The story went from being fun and exciting to read to all of the sudden being an "oh gosh, you've got to be kidding" type of ridiculousness.  Now I'm not trying to say that I could have done better, because I know that I couldn't, but the story just didn't have the same... oh, could I say quality here? - that the first half of the book had.  All of the sudden you have this character that is very strong and almost impressive that she's been able to accomplish all she had alone or with only a little bit of help.  I can almost say that I admired Cassie and her approach to her studying wolf packs and her work.  But then she runs into an alpha wolf, Leidolf, and her whole personality changes!  Okay, yeah, she's in total lust with this guy, but all of the sudden she almost turned into a ditz.  Yeah, I'm being mean here, but if anyone else read this book, please feel free to prove me wrong.

Then you have Leidolf, former loner wolf that all of the sudden finds himself the leader of a wolf pack and finds himself in total lust with Cassie.  His character was not all that strong to begin with - and I'm talking about him being kind of wishy washy - so I can see where a strong, no-b.s. personality like Cassie's could change him.  His changes I can see happening... having a soft spine to being almost a jerk for wanting to be protective over his new mate.  But it was done in such a cheesy way that it got on my nerves.

Okay, I need to change my approach here because I don't like concentrate on negatives here.  I do want to mention again that the first half of this book was awesome.  I liked how the writer developed the story and characters and gave me a good sense to who they were.  I think I'd go looking for more books by this writer is the book was written like the first half.  I also think that this author has way more potential if she stuck to pure fantasy fiction.  Sure, it is possible to still have fantasy fiction and romance in the same book without all of the descriptive sex.  Look at Patricia Briggs and her Mercy Thompson series.  I can see this writer going to that level and I'm sure that her books would do really well.  Take a strong character like Cassie, put her in similar situations like in this book (without the whole Leidolf part) and you'd have a new series to enjoy.  Cassie knows how to kick butt and is very passionate about her work.  She does whatever it takes to accomplish her goals even if it means stealing a car and running around in the woods with an injured arm.  But the writer will need to be careful to not change Cassie too much (or a Cassie equivalent) like she did in this book because by the end I kind of lost interest in her.  Her personality changed too much once she became Leidolf's mate.  If I were to compare Mercy Thompson, she didn't really change too much after she married her mate, Adam.  Now, it has been a while since I've read the Mercy Thompson books so I could be wrong here... so please let me know if you think I am.  I'd love to compare notes.  :-)

If you've had the opportunity to read anything else by this writer, I'd love to hear what you think.  As I feel right now, I don't think I will look for anything else by this writer.  I'm kind of tired of the whole love-sick, give everything up for the guy type of romance novels right now.  I think that is why I've taken a liking to my new favorite character, Riley Jensen.  :-)  :-)  Well, I just downloaded four new free books from Amazon that I'd like to eventually read, but it's not going to happen if I spend too much time on this computer.  :-)  :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Riley Jensen Series

I've listened to the first two books in this series and am hooked.  I think the best way to describe the main character of this series, Riley Jensen, as the Australian Anita Blake.  :-)  :-)  The two books are called Full Moon Rising and Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur.  Riley has the same qualities that Anita has... she can kick butt and take care of herself in a scary world, but she is beautiful and desirable.  Yes, like the Anita Blake books written by Laurel K. Hamilton, there are pretty explicit love scenes in these books.  But if this doesn't bother you, you'll love the rest of the story.  :-)

I can't wait to get the third book of this series because the second book really built up the story.  Like the first book helped build up the characters, the second book is the stepping stone to what I hope will be an awesome series.  :-)

Riley is kind of a freak of nature - going back to Anita being a necromancer, Riley and her twin brother, Rhoan, are part werewolf and part vampire.  You have your mix of characters that are really adorable - Riley's brother - and some that are just annoying.  I don't have a favorite character quite yet, but I'm leaning towards Rhoan's lover who is an ex-military but current make up magician.  :-)  I'll have to see what else this very minor character will have up his sleeves later on in the series.

I like the fact that the writer does not use too many super generic and now getting boring names.  Riley is not a name that I hear very often, neither is Rhoan.  Their vampire friend is called Quinn, which is also a name that I do not personally hear very often either, so it's quite refreshing to have some new names to put to new characters.  I also like the fact that the story takes place in a country that I'm personally not all that familiar with.  I have a few friends from Australia, and I'm sorry to say that I haven't taken the time to even read about the country or even look at a map.  So, this book got my curiosity going a bit and I at least had to see where some of the main cities are located.  :-)

I'm not going to really get into the story much because of two reasons - my brain is pretty tired right now so it's hard to think, plus my arm has been killing me for the past few days so I didn't retain as much as I would have liked.  So, it's a bit difficult to regurgitate some of the story for you.  I can remember, but don't know how to put that in words right now.  I'm sure that I'll be writing more about this series as I finish the next few books, so hopefully I can talk a little more about it then....  :-)

The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser

Wow, I thought this day would never come... being pain free enough (well, almost pain free) to finally write about some of the books I just finished reading!  :-)  This blog is about The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser.  I believe I downloaded this as a free book through, but I'm not completely sure.  I've looked up the second book for this series and it's way beyond what I can currently pay for in an ebook, so unfortunately I don't think I'll be reading that book anytime soon.

Well, let's get back to the book... now this is what I like in mystery type of books.  This book was awesome.  If you look up this book it will probably fall under religious fiction, but that was just a small part of the story for me.  It was not a murder mystery, but a mystery still - and a very good one!  The main character, Mary Swan, is a 16 year old high school junior that was chosen to solve a very important puzzle for her school.  It would have been just a regular fun challenge if it did not relate to her recently deceased mother.

So, this is where the mystery part starts in the book... Mary Swan gets her riddle that she has 8 months to solve, she finds out that her mom has died in a horrible plane crash.  The riddle is about 3 paintings that were supposed to be donated to a local museum and one was a painting from her mother... but just before the paintings were to be taken to the museum, they disappeared.  So part of Mary Swan's healing and dealing with her mother's death is to try to find out what happened to these paintings.

During the time that she tries to find some kind of hint as to what happened to the paintings, Mary Swan finds out that her mother had some dark secrets.  Not only does this eventually help her understand her own mother and the relationship that she had with her father, but it helps her find her own passion in painting.  Plus, while she's on the hunt for more clues about these paintings, Mary Swan finds out how precious her friends are with their support.

So the mystery may have only been a minor part of the book, it was still really good.  The other sub plots to do with Mary Swan finding a relationship with God, the civil rights movement in Atlanta (the book takes place in 1962 and 1963), and of course, boys.  Mary Swan had a huge crush on a boy named Carl but because having a relationship with him would not be considered socially acceptable, they couldn't take their relationship any farther than friendship.  But Mary Swan did go out with a boy that was socially acceptable - coming from a fine Atlanta family - but she only liked him as a friend and didn't want to take it any farther.

It was fun reading this story.  I really liked Mary Swan and she is pretty naive about religion and race... and this is what made her so lovable.  She's young, but what was so endearing about her is that she was pretty color blind and didn't understand why it was necessary to have segregation.  She also didn't understand why so many people didn't think her best friend was good enough because she was Jewish. I'm sure that for 1962 Atlanta that Mary Swan was very unique her way of thinking... but I see it as something that he parents were doing right - they were not influencing their kids to think like they did... just because it was the way that they grew up. 

There was just one little tid bit that I wish the writer would have done - and it's more of a problem with me because I get myself so involved with the characters.... I didn't feel any closure with what happened between Mary Swan and Carl or Robbie.  What happened to Rachel?  The story just sort of stopped, then the next thing I knew I turned the page and saw the epilogue.  Maybe all of this is explained in the sequel, but I don't know and I may never find out.  Oh well...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ex-Boyfriends Handbook

So this was a book that I finished reading last week.  But it is still worth writing about.  :-)  This book was so funny that I had to sober up and read a more serious natured book before writing about this one.  I would have told you the whole story if I didn't distance myself a bit.  :-)  :-)  :-)

So this book is called The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook: Eddie will do whatever it takes to become her Mr. Right by Matt Dunn.  The title pretty much says it all - Eddie will do whatever it takes to get his girlfriend back - and he does!  But the journey to becoming Mr. Right is so funny!  The writer must have really vivid memories of starting an exercises routine and what it feels like from getting sick to his stomach to the soreness the next morning.  :-)  I remember when I was in my mid 20's and tried to take an advance ballet class (after all, I had only taken a 3 year break) for the first time.  Everything that Eddie went through on his first day of working out happened to me during that dance class - yes, even getting sick to my stomach.  I laughed because I could relate to that pain - especially the soreness the day after - where it even hurts to blink your eyes!  Yes, I've been there.  But then I've also been there when it all starts to get a bit easier and Matt Dunn makes that funny as well.

So not only does our out-of-shape, abandoned by his girlfriend of 10 years, friend Eddie start to get back into shape, he gets new furniture, a new car, gets rid of the glasses and gets his teeth fixed.  Oh yeah, he also spends a small fortune on a new wardrobe as well.  He does it all for his ex-girlfriend and hopes that she will go back to him.

Well, it may have been sweet that he went through so much in order to get his girlfriend back, but as he starts to transform himself, he starts realizing other bits about himself.  Like - is this ex really worth it?  Did she really love him to begin with?  If she did, it shouldn't have mattered that he gained a bit of weight and didn't care what he dressed in, did it?  All of the usual questions that you'd expect to come from a transformation like this comes out - but the writer did such an awesome job at making it funny.  I have to admit that I found myself laughing out loud - a lot! - while reading this book.

Now, on about some of the other stuff that I like to mention after reading a book - the story itself and the flow of the writing.  Yes, all of that was good... the story itself was a bit predictable, but the writing made it worth sticking to it and getting to the end.  The story flow was nice and smooth and at least I don't remember anything that got on my nerves.  I was so curious to see if what I guessed was going to happen at the end that it didn't make a difference if it was choppy.  Now that says something to me... if I didn't notice, the writing and story have to be good.  I don't read funny stories like this very often so it was a lot of fun and I didn't pay much attention to much other than the characters and what antics they were up to.

This is going on my "must read again" list - and out of the hundreds of books that I read each year, not very many get on that list - but I know that I'll need some inspiration when I get this 40 year old fat body back at the gym to get back into some kind of shape that hopefully will not resemble a beached whale.  :-)  :-)

Solitary: A Novel by Travis Thrasher

Okay, so I've been a little lazy about writing about the books I've been reading or listening to lately... but then, a couple of the many books that I''ve finished reading the past week have been... oh, how can I say this nicely... well, not worth mentioning.  :-)  One was called The Journey by Wanda E. Brunstetter.  The next one was The Cat Who Killed Lilian Jackson Braun: A Parody by Robert Kaplow.  If you've read either one of these and would like to talk about it, please email me!  :-)  I'm not going to say more about these books other than that I've read them to completion.

Okay, on to the good stuff.  I finished reading Solitary: A Novel by Travis Thrasher this morning.  The past couple of nights have been bad ones for my arm and the pain has been keeping me up - so it was a good excuse to spend a couple sleepless nights reading this book.  :-) 

What can I say about this book other than it was such a breath of fresh air to some of the teenage angst books that are so popular today!  Yes, you may already have guessed that I'm am in no way a fan of the Twilight series - as a matter of fact, those books are an insult to anyone with average intelligence... okay, maybe I shouldn't be that nasty about those stories, but I really didn't care for them personally.  But then, I'm no one important, so my opinion doesn't matter anyway.  :-)  :-)

This story on the other hand... yeah, it still has some of that typical teenage angst - that moodiness that some teenagers reek of because of their insecurity and confusion.  But this also has something that I haven't seen very much in a teen type book - a type of innocence that I haven't really seen much currently or in past books that so many modern-day teens have at one point.  But the main character, Chris, shows so much of this.  Maybe because the book is written in the first person, maybe because Chris is a bit more honest than some other stories I've read, but at 16 years old, he still has such an innocent view on life.  Okay, I'm not doing a very good job here at describing Chris at the beginning of this book, but he doesn't have that conceit that know-it-all attitude that so many teenagers have at this age.  Is there a single word that can describe that?  When teenagers suddenly think they their parents are stupid and they have all the answers?  Oh, my brain has too much Tylenol in it to think straight... but let's move on.

Okay, I know I'm not making sense here... so here is an example.  Chris and his mother move to his mom's former home town and move into his uncle's cabin.  Chris is not totally naive about the world, he has to take care of him mom when she has her nightmares or is passed out drunk, but he still thinks that he can get answers to his questions just by asking "Why?".  My own 7 year old still thinks he can get any answer he wants with that simple question and I get pelted with that one word a few hundred times a day!  :-)  Chris still hasn't figured out that sometimes you just can't keep asking so many questions.  So, in his curiosity, he starts to stir up a bit of trouble.

I was quite impressed with the ability of this writer to dive into memory (or maybe he has teens of his own to be inspired by) and really be able to write from a teenager's viewpoint.  It's been a while since I was a teenager, but having my niece move in with us when she was 15 years old certainly brought back so many of those memories.  So I was able to relate to what Chris was going through - his confused thoughts, his reckless decisions, his desire to be secretive... heck, even as an adult, if I were to find out that some of the stuff he discovers was going on in my town, I'd be secretive, confused and reckless to an extent too!  But the point I'm trying to make here is that I can see that in his innocence of asking why, he starts to uncover what is so strange in this town and uncover some of their secrets.  He also has to find a way to protect the girl that he's so enamored with - Joscelyn.

The story may have started a little slow, but I'm glad that it did.  It gave me a good sense of the characters and the town before all of the action starts.  But once Chris starts getting some of his answers, this is when the books really starts to pick up.  Even the few hours of sleep that I was able to get, I found myself dreaming how this book was going to end.  I was glad that it didn't have a fairly tale ending, but it does leave a pretty good cliff hanger (which I personally don't like - but that's because I'm not the most patient type of readers...). 

There is a second book to this series available on for the Kindle... but it's at a price level that I can't afford... so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that I'll be able to find the book at my local library.  I will have to look for more titles by this author because I really liked the way he writes... the flow is just right and the story is nice and smooth from the start.  If you've read any of my previous thoughts of books, you'll know that I really dislike what I call choppy stories.  This is why I like reading over watching movies... movies are hacked and chopped into bits of story here and there and doesn't have the flow in story like books do.  So, this author is definitely worth my time to read more of.  I'll be really sad if my library doesn't have any of his titles though... but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.  :-)  No, I'm not a patient person at all.....