Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true; she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.
All I can say is wow, wow I really enjoyed this book! And I NEED (hehe) to read the next one now! I really could not put this book down. It’s quirky and fresh, with just the right amount of romance. And it’s a nice quick read too, which is nice because sometimes that’s just what you need.
I love that Zara is obsessive about chanting phobias when she’s scared or stressed, she uses them as a way of feeling in control of a situation or as a way to understand the way she is feeling. It’s very character building and makes her interesting to follow through the story. She really is a great character, she strong and vulnerable at the same time as well as being realistic. She is a great role model; she is a keen Amnesty International member (something her dad got her into), and she loves to run. We constantly hear about her writing letters to try and get political prisoners freed. Zara is very unlike Bella from twilight whose character seems like such a boring person, I mean really what was she into? But don’t get me wrong, I love Twilight. All I am saying is Zara has way more of a personality than Bella. And yes this book does have a twilight feel about it.
She’s damaged goods when we first meet her. Her dad (stepfather) has just died and she has taken it really badly. She has become a hollow version of what she used to be, so her mother sends her off to stay with her grandmother so that she will hopefully recover from her zombie like state (or so she believes). We get little clues throughout the story which soon click into place about what’s going on. It’s a little bit of a mystery; Zara slowly learns who she really is and what others around her are…
I enjoyed that fact that Carrie really took her time to develop the relationship between Zara and Nick. She also managed to include the awkwardness of what the beginning of a real relationship is like. And she manages to develop Nick’s character so that he appears to be both sexy but not perfect. He has a bit of a temper but he is also just very protective of those he loves. Devyn was a great character too, he is disabled but he is also a strong person and attractive too. He is well integrated into the story as a shifter as well, but not your usual type.
And that’s what makes this story to fresh. Yes there are shifters in it, and yes it’s been done; but not like this. The shifters in this story are al sorts of animals, from tigers to bears, to wolfs and eagles. And what could be stranger than your own grandma shifting into a tiger? I can’t think of anything. And pixies.. Well I personally haven’t read a lot of books about pixies so this was great for me. I am hoping we hear a lot more about the pixies in the next books they seem like trouble, which I’m sure will make for great reading. Carrie Jones really did a great job with this book; she did a great job in pulling all of the different aspects of the story together seamlessly. She definitely got me hooked.
My partner Phil and I have been renovating our 1930’s bungalow house for near on two years now and man can I tell you I did not expect it to drag on quite this long. A little advice for any one out there who might be thinking of renovating some time in the future, plan, plan , plan before you start. And make sure you have more than enough money put aside to finish the renovation be fore you start. And trust me you will need more than you budget for, things will pop up that you just don’t count on and that’s not including the small to large disasters that can possibly happen, and set you way back.
So Phil is a builder, so we don’t have the added cost of paying for someone else to do all the work. Which is great! But, one thing we didn’t take into account when we first started was how long even a small job can take to do. And yes I am helping too, but there’s only so much someone unqualified in the process can do (Usually I end up on the end of a paint brush, much like I will be this weekend. But I have done my fair share of hard slog as well). So I would advise to put into your budget the odd helping hand, such as; you could employ a painter to do the first coat of paint on your house, which would free you up to do other tasks and trust me they will be a lot faster than you since they get lots of practise. Even better, budget for a painter to do the whole job and you get the added benefit of a great finish. And even more time for you to do other tasks. Cause seriously painting a house takes ages! And you don’t want to still be renovating two years later like we are, it becomes quite exhausting by this stage and we are both looking forward to a more normal life I can tell you. Or if you are really on a budget and cannot afford a professional painter try employing a few local teenagers who want a few extra dollars for there holidays, you may not get an amazing finish but it will save you time and won’t cost the earth.
I would also advise to do a lot of pre planning before you start as well. Look through lots of house and garden magazines and really get a good idea of the look you want. That way you can start trying to source items such as fixtures and fittings that will fit your look without wasting time and become disappointed when you can’t find what you’re looking for. Trust me sometimes it’s really hard to find the perfect door handle, as unbelievable as it sounds. You can try wandering around as many second hand shops and house wreckers’ yards to find unique pieces to fit in with your desired look. Phil came across a huge set of native timber doors which we have put at the end of our kitchen and open up onto our gable end deck, and they just make the room. And because they are native timber they match the rest of the house. I just love them.
Luckily for us we are coming to the end of the renovation, and are due for our final sign off in the next few weeks. I will be sure to put some pictures up of the finished product… as soon as it’s finished. Although a house is never quite finished is it…
Ok so Vampire Diaries Season 3 starts this Friday at 8:30pm, and I am freaking excited. It seems as though it’s been ages since last season, why do they make us wait so long? Anywho I am definitely looking forward to seeing some more of the luscious Damon, and secretly also Jeremy, Elena’s brother.
Stefan sadly just doesn’t do it for me. So a little advice to Elena from me, ditch Stefan and consol yourself in Damon’s arms, he is bound to give you more passion then boring old Stefan. Bad boys huh, there’s just something about them.
Ok so I’m off to buy my man a leather jacket… and possibly if I can find it a vial of bad-ass.
"Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight. When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another." ~ Helen Keller
If there was one thing my yoga teacher wanted to get through to me last night it was the importance of correct breathing in yoga. When you practise Vinyasa yoga you should be doing Ujjayi breathing, or as it is also called ocean breath or hissing breath. Vinyasa yoga is a breath-synchronized movement, which means with each movement a certain breath is attached be it and intake of air or and exhale. This conscious breathing gives you concentration, focus and control, and will empower your practise and build internal body heat.
Ujjayi breathing is a deep inhale and exhale through the nose with a focus at the back of the throat, which slightly constricts the passage of air. To try it; Inhale and then exhale mouth open, imagine that you are trying to fog up a pair of glasses. Now try this as an inhale as well, you should hear a sound or tone coming from your throat which sounds like the ocean, thus the name ocean breath. Now once you have this sound close your mouth and breath through the nose, make sure you are taking deep breaths. You should hear the same sound as when your mouth was open, and your breaths when practising should be 3 second inhales, and 3 second exhales. Beware you may sound like Darth Vader while trying this!
Now women do tend to find it more difficult then men for some reason, I have no idea why that is. But the thing I find hard is to make a loud sound, I can definitely make the sound and do the breathing properly but I can’t make it loud enough. Probably because I am focusing so hard on getting the pose correct! Any who, this is something I plan to work on over the next few weeks as it is an integral part of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga.
The other thing I struggle with sometimes is exhaling and inhaling at the correct times as each movement is attached to either in inhale or and exhale. My teacher told me last night that usually any movement that you are looking upwards or your chest is moving up and out you should inhale as this is giving you full use of your lungs. And any time you face downwards or turn inwards it is an exhale as you are constricting the lungs. I found this explanation quite useful. Has anyone else had trouble with correctly breathing during yoga?Any tips for me or anyone else reading my blog? I would love to hear your views.