Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The sun is out today - thank goodness! We had a day of down pours yesterday. The canal behind the house had risen up into the neighbor's yard and onto the golf course. Water got into our garage, but not from the canal. The water has pretty much receded and the pond on the golf course green is gone. I should be out doing some stretches in the pool but the rain water really cools it off so I'll wait until the sun has warmed it up a bit.

I have a week to figure out how to play bunko/bunco without making a fool of myself! I was all prepared to go in blind last night so I'm glad I had the week wrong. I need to find 3 dice in one of our board games to play with Steve to figure it out. I'm not great with numbers. Use to love to play Yahtzee as kid so I think I'll enjoy this. Will also get me out of the house and meet a few people who live in the neighborhood.

Back to my early reading time with Sophie. I get glimpses of the canal from the double patio-type doors in the bedroom so it is a delightful way to start the day for someone who is not a morning person.

Just finished Laini Taylor's Lips Touch Three Times which also has incredibly detailed drawings by her husband Jim Di Bartolo. The three fantasy tales can stand on their own but the illustrations help bring them to life. The intriguing cover art of a dark haired female with light blue eyes and lush red lips gets the reader to pick up the book and a quick flip through the pages and you're hooked by the illustrations of forbidden goblin fruit, a woman in a long dress descending the steps into Hell, and a red-headed girl trapped in a cage swinging above an abyss. The visual introductions to the stories pique one's attention before a word is read. Taylor then weaves tales of such supernatural allure, revolving around the consequences of a kiss, that there is no way to pull free from the web she's woven without reading all three tales.

In the first story "Goblin Fruit" Kizzy has been brought up on her grandmother's old country tales of goblins, keeping her razor sharp knife at her side right into the coffin. So Kizzy knows the out of season fruit the luscious Jack Husk is offering her is indeed forbidden. The nectar of the peach beckons to her and she lost when he takes the peach from her hand and bites into it, nectar sweet on his lips - lips she cannot resist. Kizzy knows "a goblin had her soul on the end of his fishing line, ready to real it in. She knew.... but "the knowing was as insubstantial as words written on water" and she let herself get lost in the need to "taste and be tasted". Sensual and downright scary!

"Spicy Little Curse Such as These" is set in Imperial India when British girls were riding elephants and playing the piano for appreciative audiences in their parents' parlors. But Estella is not a pampered British girl - she descends into Hell each day to barter with a demon to save the souls of children. It has been 40 long years since Yama, the Lord of Hell, appointed her the Ambassador to Hell. To entertain himself, Vasudev, the demon would offer more children's lives in earthquakes and other disasters, but he liked to add curses to the deal. Estella cannot refuse to allow all the children of a recent earthquake live and she has plenty of evil souls to trade for their innocent ones. But to curse the newborn daughter of the Political Agent's with "the most beautiful voice to slip from human lips" to seal the deal? Doesn't sound much like a curse does it? With a kiss Estella on the infant's mouth, she sealed the little one's fate to keep silent or her voice will kill anyone who hears it. Will her desire to speak be too much for both the beautiful Anamique and the soldier who has fallen in love with her? Taylor weaves this tale so beautifully you can smell the sulphur of Hell and the incense of the India.

In the "Hatchling" 14-year-old Esme has no clue what horrors will come when her left eye turns from its natural brown to blue. She woke up to the howling of wolves and sees her blue eye in the mirror, but that is not all she sees. There was a glimpse of a ghost and peering at her altered reflection in the mirror, she knew it was familiar but the memories that crept into her mind were not her own. Mab, Esme's mother, knows the Druj hunters, the wolves, had found them and they try to escape. No wonder they try so desperately - the Druj are demons of a sort who can take human form and steal your soul through your eyes, or climb into you through your eyes, taking over your soul. For me this was the creepiest of the three tales. The Druj queen's room of stolen eyeballs was enough to give me nightmares!

Although there are three tales in Lips Touch Three Times they are distinctly different in nature. "Goblin Fruit" is not very long but the other two stories are close to being novellas and keep you reading on with a morbid fascination.

Oh my goodness! A knock on the door. We have the welcoming committee visiting us next Tuesday. That means we have to at least get the dining room area picked up a bit. This place looks like 10 tornadoes went through it but no one but us to put all this stuff away. I have a feeling Steve will be carrying a lot of boxes into the extra bedrooms this weekend!

That's it for today. I feel like I blogged about 3 books instead of one, but what a great set of supernatural tales.