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A California Girl's Place for all things Geek Chic

Top Ten Most Haunting Book Covers October 29, 2013

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 8:20 pm



A book cover isn’t just advertising to get you to pick up a book. It’s art, a good book cover can set the tone for the whole book. In the spirit of Halloween, here are my Top Ten Most Haunting Book Covers



The Ocean at the End of the Lane



The River of No Return



Ghost Planet



The Native Star (Veneficas Americana, #1)



The Lace Reader



Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters



Snow Falling on Cedars






Interpreter of Maladies



Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)



Book Review: The Rathbones October 25, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — dianatierney3 @ 12:34 pm
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The Rathbones


From Goodreads:

Moses, the revered patriarch of the Rathbone family, possessed an otherworldly instinct for spotting the whale. But years of bad decisions by the heirs to his fortune have whittled his formerly robust family down to just one surviving member: a young girl, left to live in the broken-down ancestral mansion that at one time had glowed golden with the spoils of the hunt.

Mercy, fifteen years old, is the diminutive scion of the Rathbone clan. Her father, the last in the dynasty of New England whalers, has been lost at sea for seven years-ever since the last sperm whale was seen off the coast of Naiwayonk, Connecticut. Mercy’s memories of her father and of the time before he left grow dimmer each day, and she spends most of her time in the attic hideaway of her reclusive Uncle Mordecai, who teaches her the secrets of Greek history and navigation through his collection of moldering books. But when a strange, violent visitor turns up one night on the widow’s walk, Mercy and Mordecai are forced to flee the house and set sail on a journey that will bring them deep into the haunted history of the Rathbone family.

Inspired by The Odyssey and infused with beautifully detailed descriptions of the realities of coastal and ship life reminiscent of Moby Dick, Janice Clark’s magnificent debut is a spellbinding literary adventure

My take:

This is a hauntingly  gothic story about family, loss and finding one’s self.   The book reminded me of the movie “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.”  I could just see each chapter changing like sets on a stage.

Mercy is such a strong female lead that is well developed as a character. Likewise, each character is odd and creative. The mystery of the Rathbone family was definite page turner that got deeper and deeper.

The only issue I had with the book was the disturbing treatment of women in some parts. (and this is coming from an Outlander fan). After I read the book to try to find some historical basis however, my search couldn’t find any. For example, I couldn’t find anything about women being shanghai’d.


Sunday Post #4 October 20, 2013

Filed under: Sunday Post — dianatierney3 @ 10:29 am


This week has been filled with some extreme lows and some comforting highs. As many of you may know, I had two dachshunds Bocce and Bella. Bocce a few months ago was diagnosed with a disease called Lymphangiectasia. She couldn’t fight it anymore and Thursday we were left with no choice but humanely euthanize her.

Bella and Bocce were litter mates, Bella having never been alone made it pretty clear she was going to need a new companion. So yesterday I went and picked up a 10 week old long haired piebald dachshund puppy we named Fizzgig (name inspiration comes from Dark Crystal). She has so far proven to be an adorable little furry band aid. Bocce was very much my dog following me from room to room and snuggling with me as I read. Fizzgig has started following me around and making me laugh with all her silly puppy antics. On the flip side Bella is adjusting to the puppy as best she can, though she has not taken to kindly to being pounced on when she sleeps or the fact that fizzgig lays in wait for her to walk by a corner before she ambushes her out of nowhere. Typical little sister vs. big sister stuff.


It has been nearly 9 years since I have had to care for a puppy so my primary book of the week is Cesar Milan’s  How to Raise the Perfect Dog through Puppyhood and Beyond just to refresh my memory on all things puppyness. I have also started reading The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen which has proven to be a magical book.

So between puppy training, book reading and continuing to work on my knitting projects I will have a pretty full week ahead of me. Though I will be getting some book reviews out since I am pretty backed up on those.


Why I Food Swap October 13, 2013

Filed under: Adventures in Diana's Kitchen — dianatierney3 @ 3:54 pm


Today was another wonderful food swap in central Orange County. One of the attendees mentioned that after watching the Walking Dead, this is the way of the future.  As I sit and enjoy some of my well traded for goodies while watching the AMC Walking Dead marathon ahead of the season premiere, I can’t help but think the same thing.

There doesn’t necessarily need to be a Zombie Apocalypse to realize how very essential this is to the future of our food culture.  It’s no great secret that we are losing our food culture to the likes of the fast food giants and prepackaged goods found in the sterile grocery stores. But have we thought about our food community??

That’s what makes these so special is that there is this wonderful community that has built up around the swaps. I’ve gotten to make friends with some wonderful people whom I wouldn’t have met if it weren’t otherwise for these swaps.

As it stands, at least in the state of California, a private person can’t sell their goods unless they have a commercial kitchen and licenses etc etc etc. The problem is that the average person can’t afford this. I can take my creations to a place to swap for things I don’t make or can’t make myself. Today’s swap includes the following: laundry detergent, salsa, cookies, honey butter, marinated tomatoes, gumbo, pickled garlic and beets and a crazy load of persimmons . (the Dalek is just for decoration)


Food loot


Every time I come home from a food swap I feel a rush of positive creative energy and a general good mood high. I’ve already been researching some persimmon jam recipes along with planning my next jams to bring with me to the next swap I attend.

With the world being what it is; poor economy, big scary GMOs and food recalls every other month. It’s a good to see people coming together to share their goods in exchange for others.  It allows people to be more independent of the current commercial food system so that if the unthinkable does happen they can stand on their own….or just have a fun Sunday afternoon.

If you are interested in joining the food swap community check out the food swap network. Food swaps have been an exciting international trend.


Book Review: The Madman’s Daughter October 10, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — dianatierney3 @ 9:18 pm

The Madman's daughter



From Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect

My thoughts:
I was actually surprised that I liked this book. I have been very anti young adult for a while but this one had a main character that I really could get behind. Juliet, is smart, proactive teen doing what she can to survive after her family’s shame. I just adore Montgomery, Dr. Moreau’s assistant. He is a classic hero that doesn’t over shadow our heroine Juliet.
One of the other things that I love about the book is that even though it’s the first in a series, it has conclusive enough ending to make it a stand alone. (though I do plan on reading the second book just because I liked the first so much)
The story holds its own while still giving a nod to the classic story that is its basis, making it a fun Gothic thriller perfect for the Halloween season.


An Interview with Robin Burks, Author of Zues Inc. October 3, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — dianatierney3 @ 11:47 pm

Zeus, Inc.

About Zeus, Inc.

(Biting Dog Publications) -50 years ago, mysterious Zeus, Inc. CEO Joseph Brentwood saved the world from a major energy crisis by discovering a new unlimited energy resource. Now, in 2069, Mr. Brentwood has gone missing and private eye Alex Grosjean has been hired to find him. Alex’s search leads her through her own murky past and into the fantastical depths of Hell itself, where she discovers that no one is who or what they seem to be.

After reading this fun little book I got talk with with author Robin and ask her some questions about the book.

Being a fan of Greek mythology myself, I was impressed by how spot on you were with your mythology. How much research did you put into it?

Robin: I ended up doing a lot of research. I spent a great deal of time online at a website called – it’s one of the most comprehensive resources I’ve ever seen on Greek mythology. I also used a book called Crowell’s Handbook of Classical Mythology. For everything I wrote about the gods, I double-checked my sources because I wanted my story to be as close to the mythology as possible. I obviously took a few liberties here and there, but accuracy was very important to me.

I love how gods fit so well into the modern world, did anything inspire that?

Robin: I had a dream about the gods in the modern world and that’s really how this story started. I’m also fascinated with how science sometimes feels like magic and vice versa, and the two seem to work well together.

There is a bit of a blade runner noir feel to the story. Did the old PI mysteries from the 1930’s play a roll in shaping the book? (I know in my head I am picturing a blade runner esque world)

Robin: I had a dream about the gods in the modern world and that’s really how this story started. I’m also fascinated with how science sometimes feels like magic and vice versa, and the two seem to work well together.

Ok, so if you could be any one of the Gods in the pantheon which would you be?

Robin: I would have to go with Athena, especially the way I wrote her. She seems to be the wisest and least petty of the gods, and the others look up to her

In 6 words only describe your book

Robin: Supernatural futuristic crime drama fantasy.

In conjunction with the Zues Inc. book tour and Something Wicked This Way Comes check out below for your chance to win!

You could win ebook copies of Zeus Inc. , along with a $25 Amazon gift card. Even better? Winning is easy: see details on how to enter below.

To be entered to win:

  1. Pick up a copy of Zeus, Inc. for $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo or anywhere else ebooks are sold.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest below.

Robin Burks is not only a journalist for and, but also for her own site  Robin has just published her first novel: Zeus, Inc. with Biting Dog Publications and is working on its sequel The Curse of Hekate. A science fiction trilogy, The Book of Revelations, is also currently in the works. An internet addict, she can often be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  She also loves to read , act, sing, play video games and travel. Robin currently lives in Missouri with her four cats. She also occasionally speaks French and loves Doctor Who. Visit Robin on her  website, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or GoodReads.


Enter here:  Rafflecopter giveaway

Rainy Day Ramblings