Monday, May 31, 2010

LOST - Final Finale

I've always been Team Jack, although I love the fact that Sawyer is into books!


C is for Charlie, courageously drowned
The Gashlycrumb Losties by Jason Henninger
celebrating the many and varied deaths of LOST
go check out the whole A to Z's created


What did I think of the final finale?

I liked that some questions were answered.

I LOVED the reunion flashes. The show could have stopped after those. I really didn't need to see anything else - it's the sentimenal and romantic in me.

But, mostly it still left me with, HUH?

But that is what I love about LOST -- leaves you lost.



* image source Team Jack

Steampunk Weekly - 5.31.10

Jane and Jade settled themselves on Professor McGregor's settee with steaming cups of Earl Grey. After the formalities of getting comfortable, concern over the increase in MAPS members, local gossip and excitement over vvb's latest transmission, Eva quieted the room.

I have here, delivered by Ms de Borde, Cartier's pocket watch.

The watch? You are in possession of THE watch? Jane asked in delight.

Yes, just now. I have not had a chance to inspect it properly. As I was in company of some ladies from the Society and have had no time for myself.

Eva turned the watch over several times and then removed a hairpin from her updo. She then unlatched a tiny clasp on the side of the pocket watch that loosened the backing. Eva slid the back cover to reveal a secret compartment with a folded note.

When Eva unfolded the note, it is blank. Eva walked over to the side table and lit a candle. When she lifted the piece of parchment in front of the flame, the heat revealed a message.



See you all on the Devonian Express
for SteamPink week


story flash back -~- flash forward


Dreaming steampunk:

YA steampunk novel in the works
by Mystery Robin


What's MAPS backwards?

In the world of high-tech messages, you no doubt know what spam is; but how about spim and spit?

answer: Spim is spam received via instant messaging; spit is spam received via internet telephone.

This bit of trivia is from my 365 day trivia calendar.
Thanks EvL!


* last chance to get your tickets to catch the Devonian Express for SteamPink week
Redeem your ticket during SteamPink week and be eligible to win a steampunk book ;-D

* image source Victorian hairstyles

* part of Jane and Jade Escapades, my steampunk story in which commenters may be incorporated into the story and have guest appearances the following week.

* my weekly post on things steampunk (Victorian sci-fi/fantasy)

* totally inspired by steampunk posts written by Celia of adventures of cecelia bedelia

Sunday, May 30, 2010

In My Mailbox - 5.30.10

Starts FRIDAY!

SteamPink week, June 4-12, 2010

SteamPink (my definition) = female heroine stories with romance, adventure or mystery in a steampunk world

Get your ticket to ride.

Redeem your ticket during SteamPink week and be eligible to win a steampunk book ;-D

Open to all.


Click here to sign up and more info.

For review and future giveaways:

Tangled in Time
by Pauline B. Jones
ARC with plentyyyyyy of bookmarks
courtesy of author
Thanks Pauline!


Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure
Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country
by Allan Richard Shickman
courtesy of Earthshaker Books
Thanks Bonnie!


Won from contest:

Shambling Man
zombie art
created by Zombie Girrrl
of Crackin' Spines & Takin' Names
Thanks ZG!


* per usual, check out the sidebar for my current giveaways to you

* image from Leafcutter Designs - world's smallest postal service

* In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. A post where we share books acquired via mailbox, library, store, etc.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

PeekAbook: Black Jack Derringer

One of many to be featured during SteamPink week, June 4-12, 2010.

Black Jack Derringer
Book 1: The Ace of Spades
by K.H. Koehler

Friday, May 28, 2010

Armchair BEA: Book Blogger Convention

New this year to BEA is the BBC - Book Blogger Convention.

The Armchair BEA is holding a virtual Convention Round Table.

To post
or not to post

is the topic table I would visit. I would love to hear the pros and cons of daily posting and of other frequencies.

I wonder if my followers like daily postings in general?


Armchair BEA
Book Expo America
May 25-27, 2010
a virtual event
(for those of us who could not make the trip to New York)


* image source Shakespeare blogger

-o- vvb's Armchair BEA schedule -o-

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Armchair BEA: Author - Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Mark Twain

My pick for today's BEA topic: Blast from the Past
- During this time, a lot of new releases are going to be the focus. What if we also remembered some great books released in past years or even classics as an option? Tell us a little bit about books you've cherished, old or new.

I decided to do a twist on this topic and focus on an Author of the past with an autobiography that is about to be released.

Mark Twain had left strict instructions that his uncensored autobiography remain unpublished until 100 years after his death.

The time has come.

Nearly 5000 pages of Mark unedited.

Scholars are divided as to why Twain wanted the first-hand account of his life kept under wraps for so long. Some believe it was because he wanted to talk freely about issues such as religion and politics. Others argue that the time lag prevented him from having to worry about offending friends. (Adams, 2010)

Publisher: University of California Press, Berkeley
Volume I: 743 pages
Release date: November 2010

Volume II and III: within five years

According to Twain, the simple premise behind the free-ranging autobiography was to “talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment.” It's not in chronological order because that's not what he wanted. (Galehouse, 2010)

Mark Twain is most noted for American classics:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Prince and the Pauper

He even inspired a monster mashup:

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim:
Mark Twain's Classic with Crazy Zombie Goodness

by Mark Twain and W. Bill Czolgosz

Description from the amazon:
Free at last! Free at last! This ain't your grandfather's Huckleberry Finn. It's nineteenth century America and a mutant strain of tuberculosis is bringing its victims back from the dead. Sometimes they come back docile, and other times vicious. The vicious ones are sent back to Hell, but the docile ones are put to work as servants and laborers.

With so many zombies on the market, the slave trade is nonexistant. The black man is at liberty, and human bondage is no more. Young Huckleberry Finn has grown up in a world that shuns the N-word, with its scornful eye set on a new class of shambling, putrid sub-humans: The Baggers. When his abusive father comes back into his life, Huck flees down the river with Bagger Jim, seeking a life of perfect freedom.

When the pox mutates once again, causing even the tamest of baggers to become bloodthirsty monsters, the boy Finn is forced to question his relationship with his dearest, deadest friend.

In this revised take on history and classic literature, the modern age is ending before it ever begins. Huckleberry Finn will inherit a world of horror and death, and he knows the mighty Mississippi might be the only way out...


* image source Mark Twain from Appleton's Journal July 4, 1874, Wikimedia Commons

* read this article for more: After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all
The great American writer left instructions not to publish his autobiography until 100 years after his death, which is now
By Guy Adams in Los Angeles

* source 100 years after his death, Mark Twain gets the final say
By Maggie Galehouse, Houston Chronicle

Armchair BEA
Book Expo America
May 25-27, 2010
a virtual event
(for those of us who could not make the trip to New York)

-o- vvb's Armchair BEA schedule -o-

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Armchair BEA: Book Blogger Interview

Guest Blogger Interviewee: Sullivan McPig

I'm part of a large family of pigs.
We all live with my owner in Groningen, the Netherlands.
I travel a lot with my owner and I post stories and pictures of my life and travels on my blog - The Life and Travels of Sullivan McPig.
I also have a blog where I post reviews of books and movies - Pearls Cast Before a McPig.


Words from the McPig:

1. Who would be in your BEA Dream Panel?

I'd love a panel of:
Kelley Armstrong
Carolyn Crane
Christopher Golden
Gini Koch

and they would have to be discussing zombies!

extra useless fact: Did you know Carolyn Crane once made a guest post at Fantasy Dreamers Ramblings where she made up a list of books she supposedly had written and which had been rejected, including lots of zombie books of which my favourite was 'Road Trip of the Amish Living Dead'? I so hope she decides to write that one for real some day as it sounds really cool!

2. What was your first zombie book read?

Oh, now that's a difficult question to answer. If I go really far back it was a Donald Duck story in which his uncle angered some voodoo priest when he was young and the priest sends a zombie after him, but as the zombie takes a very long time to find uncle Scrooge he goes after Donald instead.

Walt Disney's Donald Duck Adventures Voodoo Hoodoo
(Gladstone Comic Album Series No. 16)
by Carl Barks

As for novels the first zombie I encountered was in Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett.

But those stories aside I think the first book I read with a real zombie - meaning returned from the grave and decaying (and hungry for brains/flesh is always good too) - in it was American Gods by Neil Gaiman, but however great that book is (if you haven't read it yet, you should it's awesome) it's not a zombie book, it just has a zombie in it.

So my first zombie book would be Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yes, this means I only really started reading zombie books last year, but that's because English books and therefore also zombie books are sometimes difficult to get here in the Netherlands - online bookstores rule! I must say I'm very glad with the vampire/UF craze as it really increased the availability of zombie books, before that I had to feed my love for zombies with just movies.

3. What are your top 3 favorite zombie books?

Not counting the aforementioned American Gods:

Soulless by Christopher Golden - It's got lots of Zombie Mayhem and a really suspenseful story.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest - Zombies and Steampunk! Can it get any better than this?

Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter - A meeting of the members of parliament where half of them are zombies and are getting a bit peckish equals Zombie Mayhem galore!

Honourable mention should go to 'Family Business' by Jonathan Maberry, a short story in Zombie, an Anthology of the Undead. I'm really looking forward to his Rot and Ruin, a continuation of that story.

4. What is your favorite zombie book-related site/blog?

Sadly enough I haven't managed to find many zombie book realted sites so far.

But here are some:
Undead in the Head - 3 guesses who pointed me towards this treasure chest of zombie books ;-)

Fishmuffins of Doom - Titania is a fellow zombie enthusiast and thanks to her blog I was pointed towards Soulless!

And last but not least I should mention your blog of course as you keep drawing my attention to cool zombie stuff!

5. Have your ever encountered zombies in Groningen?

Not counting my owner Carien when she's just out of bed...

I haven't encountered any real zombies in Groningen, but there's lots of 'zombies' to be found here, not only in Groningen, but in other parts of the Netherlands too, who don't think for themselves but let other people do their thinking for them and I can tell you I find those a lot scarier than the brain and flesh eating zombies in books and movies.

Wow, that does sound political, which I try to avoid usually.

So let me end this interview on a more fun note with trying to get you all to watch some cool zombie movies:

Shaun of the Dead - a zombie parody which has cool zombie mayhem and the best use ever of the Queen song 'Don't stop me now'.

Planet Terror - another quite hilarious zombie movie

28 Days Later - Well, it has zombies, but I think it's more of a psychological movie than a zombie movie, but still really cool.


Sullivan's Zombie book reviews:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Soulless by Christopher Golden

Zombie, an Anthology of the Undead - part 1

Zombie, an Anthology of the Undead - part 2

Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter by A.E. Moorat

Zombie Raccoons & Killer Bunnies Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes

hmmmmmmmm, wonder if i should send Sullivan one of these...

because we wouldn't want these running around rampant...


Happy Zombies in MAY!


* image source zombie pig created by Feelingless Pencil

* Thanks to Sullivan McPig for sending me your zombie-licious-ness. Please note: he also does non-zombie book and movie reviews.

* Visit Armchair BEA for more Book Blogger interviews.

Armchair BEA
Book Expo America
May 25-27, 2010
a virtual event
(for those of us who could not make the trip to New York)

-o- vvb's Armchair BEA schedule -o-

SteamPink: Lovelace Device

Lovelace Device
If you're reading this, then you have one ;-D


Incoming transmission...

TO: Attendees of SteamPink Week

FROM: Professor Eva McGregor

SUBJECT: World's Fair - vvb's book exhibit table

vvb has just released more titles of the books to be featured during SteamPink week...

SteamPink week
June 4-12, 2010
a virtual event

SteamPink (my definition) = female heroine stories with romance, adventure or mystery in a steampunk world

Get your tickets here or just hop on the train as it passes by that week.

If you redeem your ticket during SteamPink Week, you will be eligible to win a steampunk book.

Courtesy book giveaways from authors:

Cold Magic
by Kate Elliott

New Blood
by Gail Dayton
ARC copy

Tangled in Time
by Pauline B. Jones

Courtesy book giveaway from publisher - Quirk:

Android Karenina
by Leo Tolstoy
and Ben H. Winters

others still yet to be revealed...


* check out the first list of steampunk books featured here

* image source of Lovelace
fyi: Ada Lovelace day - March 24
She's famous for being the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, for being the first computer programmer, and for being the Queen of Steampunk.
-per Mystery Robin of Murder on a Moonlit Sea

* image source pda

Monday, May 24, 2010

Armchair BEA: Dream Panel

Armchair BEA
Book Expo America
May 25-27, 2010
a virtual event
(for those of us who could not make the trip to New York)

My pick for today's topic: Name Your Dream Panel
- BEA is full of discussion panels where between 3 to 5 authors/publishers discuss various topics. If you could put together your own panel who (authors/publishers only) would be on it and what would they be discussing? Need some inspiration?

Being that I'm in the steampunk mode due to my upcoming SteamPink week, June 4-12, my Dream Panel would consist of YA steampunk authors and publishers.

Cassandra Clare of Clockwork
Kate Elliott of Cold Magic
Cherie Priest of Boneshaker
Nick Valentino of Thomas Riley
Scott Westerfeld of Leviathan

Print Publishers:
Tachyon Publications

Steampunk Tales

updated: 6.4.10
Check out a real steampunk panel at BEA
with Scott Westerfeld, sf author/blogger/activist Cory Doctorow, steampunk author Cherie Priest, and New York Public Library Manager Karen Grenke.

vvb's Armchair BEA schedule:
Dream Panel
Book Blogger Interview: Sullivan McPig
Author: Mark Twain
Book Blogger Convention: To Post or Not to Post

Steampunk Weekly - 5.24.10

Eva closed DOCUMENT #090 on her Lovelace device.

The ladies considered the implications of the letter as they sipped their tea.

Shall we dispatch someone to investigate this matter asked Amanda Leigh. I think Marjorie would be the right person for the job.

Freda nodded slightly.

Posh! I think this Miss Madelinemaya Zamaba is an impostor. A red herring of the MAPS members' creation exclaimed Mary Ann.

Freda nodded in agreement to this as well.

In any case, I shall run this document through my program to determine its veracity stated Eva.

The ladies prepared to depart. Good-byes went all around with excited chatter of the upcoming steam train ride to the World's Fair, June 4-12, 2010 (it's a virtual event).

Get your tickets here

or just hop on the train as it passes by that week.

Note: If you redeem your ticket during SteamPink Week,
you will be eligible to win a steampunk book.


As the tea service was being cleared away, Eva retrieved her Lovelace device to read the three messages on the shiny from Stella, Titania and Marjorie.

Stella: The book table for vvb's World's Fair exhibit will include these steampunk books. vvb is working on securing a few more. She will send us an update later. Those who can help with the setup of the exhibit should arrive a day early. The Devonian Express tickets issued is in sync with this timing. -end-

Titania: After the World's Fair, I shall be spending holiday at Mansfield Park from June 24-27. Edmund's dinner party on the 25th will include a rehearsal performance of Lovers' Vows. Edmund would like the pleasure of your company. His brother, Tom, is eager to show off his acting skills to you in particular. Please RSVP directly. -end-

Marjorie: Special author appearances will appear on the Devonian Express train ride. I will make sure security is in check, but will need another Society member to help. Please advise. -end-

And one more message was on the shiny...

Marlene: Blogosphere giveaway for steampunk jewelry at Catherinette Rings. -end-

Jane and Jade greeted Carien, Sullivan McPig's owner, and Celia on the path towards the McGregor castle.

Good day, ladies. On your way to see the Prof? asked Jane.

Indeed. And you? Carien responded.

Yes, we're just back from our latest tour and in time for the World's Fair. The Prof has details about that event, Jade answered.

How grand! I wish I could go to the Fair, exclaimed Celia.

I am confident the Prof can arrange something for you, Celia, Jane mentioned.

Grand! just grand! exclaimed Celia again.


Sullivan McPig picked himself up from his collision into Miss Buddyt and Miss Elizabeth and continued on his way. He was determined to find his owner, Carien to tell her about Undead in the Head Lyle and Rot and Ruin. He neglected to see that he had jostled a book from Miss Buddyt's basket that would have been of interest to him.

The Dead-Tossed Waves
by Carrie Ryan
Released: March 2010

The book now lay on the ground in Sullivan's wake...

story flash back -~- flash forward


Dreaming steampunk:

by Calista Taylor
Release date: in the works - coming soon


* image source castle

* part of Jane and Jade Escapades, my steampunk story in which commenters may be incorporated into the story and have guest appearances the following week.

* my weekly post on things steampunk (Victorian sci-fi/fantasy)

* totally inspired by steampunk posts written by Celia of adventures of cecelia bedelia

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu