Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No TBR Day

Yep, I won't be making the TBR challenge again this month. That's twice this year :( Boooo! But then, I noticed that not many made it this month, so it made me feel better :)

I'll try to have a review up sometimes later this week... For the meantime, lots of miscellaneous stuff. So bear with me :D

I found 5$ this morning, so that made my day LOL :) Then, it went downhill from there... It's been very busy at work lately. I mean, there's just me doing experiments and I'm making up for the days I missed. The worst is that one part of the experiment is no longer working. So we've been stalled and now have to work on troubleshooting the problem. I hate when something which was working stops working :( It's just incredibly annoying :( My boss keeps asking Why? Why? Why? and all I have to say is: I don't know. I thought maybe it was me - the results been different since I started doing it, but he said no. That's good in a way. I just hope he doesn't ask me in this week-end to work it out :( So I'm crossing my fingers.

Aside from books, one of my passions used to be TVB series. I've only started watching American series in the past few years... before, I used to watch tv exclusively in Vietnamese, devouring TVB series. TVB series are TV series made in Hong Kong. Those series are extremely popular with the Asian community, being dubbed in Viet, Cambodgian, Thai, etc. I used to go to the rental store every week to rent these series. Of course, nowadays, I just watch them online ^_^; I have to admit that my interest has waned a little bit in the past few years... in part because I've been reading a lot more, but also because TVB stopped making my favorite kind of series: kung fu series T_T I still enjoy watching family drama, cops series and etc., but they don't grab me the way kung fu series used to :(

October to December is TVB's anniversary period. They usually go all out during this period, broadcasting big budgets series. One of them has piqued my interest: Beyond the Realm of Conscience. You can watch the opening credit below:

What do you think? Looks great no? I mean, the costumes are soooo gorgeous. The color they used is so vibrant! I love the hair even though they're a bit exaggerated :D So happy the series takes place in the Tang dynasty and not the Manchurian period, that way we get much nice costumes :D Unfortunately, it's not a kung fu series, more like palace intrigues... So women fighting each other ^_^; Seriously, women can be soooo scary at time! Still, I'm looking forward to it and the series has a great cast :D Definitively looking forward to see Tavia Yeung's performance (she's the one with the scary eyes which I love by the way :P). The series has only started this week, but there's a lot of talks about Tavia's role being a breakthrough performance and seems like she has a real shot for the TVB awards. Charmaine Sheh is the other "lead" actress... Her role will be the usual goody-two-shoes, nothing special really... but at least, Charmaine usually delivers. Lots of good veterans as well in this series... the only disappointing factor in my opinion is not enough actors LOL :P Ah well. Now, I either have to wait for the version with English subtitles to come out or the Viet version. Sigh. The other TVB anniversary series is Born Rich, a family/business drama. Those are usually quite good and TVB learned from its mistake and the series is only 40 episodes long. Not 80 like Gem of Life ^_^; I'll probably end up watching this as well, because I don't have anything better to do LOL :) but also the series has a great cast, again lots of veterans, and I ended up enjoying the opening quite a lot as well :D

Yesterday, I bought some books. Please explain this to me... So while I was in California, I forgot to buy Mischief in Mudbug by Jana DeLeon. I know, stupid, especially since I saw it everywhere!! For some reasons, I thought I bought it already ^_^; Now, if you've followed my blog or Kristie's, you'll know that Dorchester books are actually hard to find ^_^; I don't know what the problem is... I'm guessing it has something to do with Dorchester's distribution contract with Chapters/Indigo - Canada's biggest bookstore chain (think Barnes & Noble) or something. Chapters simply does not seem to stock a lot of the Dorchester books in-store. Oh, they're available to order online, but if you browse through the bookstores, not there. Or if they get it, it'll be 1 or 2 months after the release date! Sliding Home by Kate Angell came out in September 9 and I only saw them at the bookstore on October 2nd (of course, it had to be just after I ordered them online). The only book in the past couple of months from Dorchester that I've seen making it to the bookstore on time was The Fire King by Marjorie M. Liu. I mean, this is really annoying. So yeah, Mischief in Mudbug? Hasn't made it to the bookstore yet and I doubt it will... (I mean, Trouble in Mudbug hasn't). But surprise, surprise... guess where I found it? At the hospital gift shop. Now, that's just wrong. Chapters can't seem to stock it, but hospital gift shop does?!?! I know that Ames Wal-Mart does receive the Dorchester books, but hey, we're talking Wal-Mart here. They have everything nowadays... But the hospital gift shop?!?!? Seriously?!?! That's just weird and wrong. Of course, Mischief in Mudbug was not the only book I bought. I also stopped by Coles (also part of Chapters/Indigo) - you know, the bookstore that shelves the books as soon as they receive it :P How do I know they've received the books? Basically, I stalked their online indicator. As soon the website shows that they've got the books in store, I give them a call and ask the clerk to put a copy aside for me and go pick it up after work. Lately, I've been a good girl... Of course, it might be explained by my recent haul from the States... but really, I've been a good girl. Proof is, I've been lusting after Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole & Gena Showalter, but I didn't buy as soon as it came out. Instead, I waited till other new books were released so I could use my coupons :) I have 2 "5$ off if you buy 35$," 1 "10$ off i you buy 40$," and 2 "25% off on any item in-store" coupons that are all expiring in November ^_^; Deep Kiss of Winter is 27$, so I need at least 1 or 2 books in order to use one of the coupon. Finally, yesterday, the bookstore received the Mira/HQN releases and among them, one that I was waiting for: Hot on Her Heels by Susan Mallery. So what did I do? Pick up the phone and call the bookstore... Problem is, Coles is a very small bookstore and they have 4 employees... and lately, every time I've been calling, I get the same person: James ^_^; How do I know it's James? Well, it's the only guy that works there and he answers: "Coles des Cathédrales, bonjour. James à l'appareil." A couple of months ago, he suggested I leave a list of books I was expecting and they would put it aside automatically for me... but I haven't yet. One of the reasons is that Coles is very small and they don't get all the books. Also, I know they're the ones who gets Mira/HQN books first, but it's not the case for all publishers... Hey, I'm all about instant gratification - I'll go to the bookstore I know I can get the books the earliest... Okay, long story short, I didn't leave a list and as a result, I've been calling quite regularly and yes, lately, it's always James who answers ^_^; So yesterday, I got embarrassed ^_^; Cos I always call the day the books are unpacked. I mean, I know I'm obsessed, but it's another story when someone else knows. So instead of asking for Hot on Her Heels (to be sure that there were indeed out on the shelves and there were copies left - because others leave their list), I kind of panicked and asked for Deep Kiss of Winter which I knew they had. Anyway, he put it aside for me. My co-worker who has witnessed a lot of my calls asked me if the clerks at Coles recognize me. Quite frankly, I didn't know. Not everyone is good with faces, not everyone pays attention and not everyone cares... but after yesterday, I know. The answer: they do, or at least, James does. So I went to the bookstore, luckily found Hot on her Heels on the shelves (yay!)... Then, I cruised the aisles for another book. Finally, picked up Witches Incorporated by K.E. Mills. Wait at the cash to pay... James came, got Deep Kiss of Winter from the "put aside" pile without me asking and I haven't spoken yet, so he did not recognize my voice. Then he asked: "You were aware this was hardcover, right?" and I'm like "Yes." I can't remember if I said something else, but I must have because he then said: "Yeah, I was surprised you didn't call earlier for this book. It's been out a while and you usually call as soon as they come out." All I could answer was: "Oh, I was waiting for another release to use a coupon." "Yeah, this book just came out today," he answered, pointing Hot on Her Heels. So yeah. They know who I am now LOL :P I can't decide whether it's embarrassing or not LOL :P However, now, I'm really considering leaving a list with them, at least for the Mira/HQN books releases. Okay, this post is way longer than I expected ^_^; I'll just finish by posting pics of my Frostbitten gym bag :D

The t-shirt has the same logo than the gym bag... and if it looks used already, well it's because I used it as my carry-on for California :D


  1. Hi Nath
    Catching up on all your posts. Loved your blue dress, you looked like a movie star. I loved this Susan Mallery series. This one better be good cause I am so prepared to hate the hero.

  2. I hope you don't have to work this weekend. :(

    Beyond the Realm of Conscience - the costumes are beautiful and the hair - wow - I love the intricate hair styles, even on the men. Too bad I don't know what they're saying. :)

    Ok, I swear your book shopping wears me out just reading about it. LOL Glad you were able to find Mischief in Mudbug but the hospital gift shop? Weird.

    The Cole/Showalter is a library read for me - too $$. And I think it's cool that James knows who you are. So what's he like?

  3. I made the TBR challenge! I posted one hour before midnight. *g* Phew!

    Congrats on your new books. I love to read about your book shopping and your coupons. Your book shopping sounds...uhm complicated? :) but I'm rather sure I would be the same if I could get my books in brick-and-mortar shops here. Probably minus the calling (in case I would end up with someone like James ^_^). LOL about your recent encounter with him! Cute. :)

    I'm going to look at the videos later. Looks interesting.

    Nice post!

  4. I used to watch a lot of TVB series growing up but not so lately. I barely have time anymore to read much less watch tv or asian-dubbed movies. If I had to pick, I would read first! Lol.

    OMG, I can't believe you pay $27 for Deep Kiss of Winter. I can't afford to spend that much on one book or I'll never be able to buy new releases. I could've ordered from Amazon for you, have them ship to me since I can get free shipping, and then re-ship over to you! It would only cost $12+ for the book. Of course, you would have to wait a bit longer for the book but it'll still be somewhat cheaper even including shipping to you!

    Hmm, do let me know if Hot on Her Heels is good. The last book I read was Lip Service and I didn't really enjoy it.

    Oh yeah, ditto to what Leslie said -- reading about your shopping experience wear me out too, lol !

  5. Nath - LOL, I know it's not funny but it is sort of funny that you are so worked up about calling too much and James recognizing you! You have nothing to be embarrassed about!! You are a fabulous customer for them and they are LUCKY to have you. I am sure they appreciate your business and want to do everything they can to help you have a pleasant shopping experience. If they don't then they are fools. I think you should just become best friends with James since he is the one who always seems to answer the phone when you call.

  6. Mary G - Hey you! Where have you been lately? Haven't seen you around :( See, that's why you need a blog :D

    LOL, I did not look like a movie star :P but thanks for the compliment :D

    Just finished Hot on Her Heels :D Really enjoyed it. It's definitively one of her best book in a while! Hope you enjoy it :D

    Leslie - I hope so too ^_^;

    I love the hair as well. That's one of the great thing about ancient period tv drama - costumes and hairs :D Quite frankly, I don't know what they're saying either LOL :P I need the dubbed version or the english subs.

    I know, really weird about Mischief in Mudbug! Ah well. I have it, that's the most important right :D

    And LOL, it tires me when I type it up :D but it's all worth it :D

    Well books is really my only expenses, so I spoil myself :D I should cut back though, but ^_^;

    James is okay. Intimidating. Caucasian, tall, brown/reddish hair. Used to have dreadlocks, but he cut it... Still he looks a bit unkempt ^_^; Nicer than he looks LOL :P

    Taja - Lucky you! :D

    I decide not to put any pressure on myself this month. As long as I'm reading, I'm happy :D

    LOL, it is a bit complicated... a lot more than it used to be and could be. That what happens when you run after new releases :D

    Tabitha - I always feel a bit sad when I stop doing something I used to do a lot. Have to admit, I was really sad when I stopped going to the rental store ^_^; Loved the people there - they've seen me grown.

    Your job is way too much time consuming, Tabz! I still watch tvb series from time to time... mostly oldies though. Is it me or the new series just aren't as good? Oh and you know what I have a problem with? The dubbing. The new generation of dubbers suck T_T

    Well no, I did not pay 27$. It was 27$ - 10% = 24.30$ - 10$ coupon = 14.30$ That's why I bought it in-store, because I use the coupon. Otherwise, I would have ordered it online... but that's what I've been doing lately. I just save up coupons to buy HC... So in the end, it comes up almost the same price as it would be if you bought it for me (conversion in $CDN and minus shipping).

    I really liked Hot on Her Heels :D

    Jill - It is kind of funny, I know ^_^; I'm just the kind of person that is very self-conscious. That's why I got embarrassed. I mean, they probably don't care at all LOL :P

  7. Ah, I misread. I thought your $ coupon was applied to total purchase not per item. $14 and change isn't so bad then because that's how much I usually pay when I order through my bookclub!

    You watch TVB movies with dubbing? As for our dubbing, they certainly have changed. The new voices are horrible and some of the interpretations are translated pretty crudely (no offensive, swear words but they're not polite translations if that make sense, lol).

    Yep, I re-watch the older series. The ones from early 90s (and a few 80s) are pretty good.

    Alright, I'm going to take your word and check out Hot on her Heels. Will let you know how I like it.

    Where do you store your books? I am seriously running out of spaces even though right now they are in boxes. In fact, it's because the books are in big boxes that I'm running out of spaces. I kind of want to give up some of the books/series since I haven't read them and it's been years...except I always have this thought in the back of my mind that I would one day want to read them. lol.

  8. Nath,

    Hi! I couldn't resist posting a comment when I happened upon your blog. I am thrilled by your enthusiasm to get HOT ON HER HEELS. What fun! And you made me laugh, too, with your reluctance to let the bookstore clerk know about your obsession. I'd love to meet you someday. If you ever come to one of my signings, be sure to let me know that you were the reader who posted this wonderful blog. Hope you love the book!

    I'm going to post a link to your blog on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I'm always looking for fun websites to share with my fans.

    By the way, if you want to be notified when I have a new book coming out, you can join the Members Only area of my website,

    Susan Mallery

  9. Beyond the Realm of Conscience is good, but I don't like some of the older actresses in the show. Charmine Sheh is doing really well. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Born Rich, its really good. I finally got to episode 5 today :)

    Great book selections btw.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

  10. Okay, nath you slay me, lol! Now if you could ONLY get James to call you when the books get there... you almost have him trained already! Muahahaha!

    I've been going back and forth on this Mallery series, nath. I've had it on my TBB list since the beginning of the year. I can't wait to read your review. :)

  11. I love your book adventures because we are definitely book shopping twins - but I'll pay full price if I'm desperate. And it's always a shock when you discover the people who take your order, or are the book seller, or the petshop owner know who you are.

    Coles used to be the 'it' place for me and they knew me well. Would order up books for me and would stop talking to whoever was lingering to ring up my book purchases quick. I miss those days ;)


  12. Forgot to mention that my local pharmacy store can get books before the big store and also has different books. It's odd and yet, it makes me happy to look at the little rack and see books I didn't know were out.


  13. Tabitha - You didn't misread, it is applied to total purchase... but that's how I justify buying hardcovers in-store... so I apply the whole discount to the HC or trade-size that I buy ^_^;

    Most of the time, yeah, I watch TVB series in viet. I agree with you, some of the new voices are just bad!!! You know what I hate though? When in the original series, they speak mandarin... but in viet, it'll still be viet with a stupid, horrible accent. Anyway, the US vietnamese dubbing is still better than the one done in Vietnam.

    I'm just sad they stopped doing kung fu series ;( but yeah, the ones in the early 90s were great! and some of the 80s too (but it really depends... some of the costumes @_@). At least, they still produce some good modern series. Family dramas as well LOL :P

    Did you buy Hot on her Heels yet? I liked it a lot more than her previous releases :D I think I'll review it soon :D

    Oh, and to my parents dismay, I store my books in my room. I'm running out of space ^_^; I have big boxes, and shelves... but right now, a lot of my new books are just on the floor ^_^; I'm a rat pack... I don't like parting with my books at all... so I need to find a solution...

    Susan Mallery - Thanks for stopping by, Susan :) It's always fun to have authors comment on readers' blogs! :) I've really been looking forward to see how Dana and Garth would get together and I really enjoyed Hot on Her Heels!

    Cindy - I Heart Book Gossip - My only problem with Charmaine's role is that it's nothing new. But oh well. I think that both series have a great cast... I was able to watch the first two episodes of Beyond the Realm of Conscience with English subs. Good beginning. No sign of Born Rich yet though...

    Hilcia - LOL :)Well I guess if I give him my list, then they'll call me... I just like getting my books on my own and I don't like to be tied down to one bookstore LOL :P

    Hmmm, if you want, I can send you book 1 and 3 in this series. I didn't buy book 2... So let me know :D

    Cindy - LOL, we are shopping twins :D I'm getting there, the paying full price... ^_^; I try not to, but yeah... I'm not really the patient kind :P

    The only problem with pharmacy stores and in this case, hospital gift shop is that there are no discount :( But yeah, sometimes, it's worth to give them a try :D

  14. What a fun post, nath! :D

    I haven't watched any of the Asian dramas, although my husband's cousin is constantly imploring me to watch her favorites on YouTube. She wrote them down for me the last time I saw her, but I lost the paper. I do love epic Asian films, though. Like House of Flying Daggers, Hero and the like. I love the gorgeous cinematography and the tragic, epic stories. And the fighting scenes, too!

    Also, I get such a kick from reading your tales of book shopping. I know you often get frustrated, but it's so much fun to read about from my armchair. LOL!

    So I finished the first Spellman Files novel, so we need to talk. Can you email me? I have an email addy on my blogspot profile. Thanks! :)

  15. No, I have not bought Hot on her Heels yet. I'm compiling a list of books to buy -- Borders has B4G1F so I need 5 books!

    I just checked out some excerpts on Susan Mallery's site and I'm thinking I want to buy Izzy's book too. lol. So that's two books!

    I'm trying to hold off til next week and also buy Ain't Too Proud to Beg by Susan Donovan and Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh. But wait, I'm still one book short and I think the sale is over in a few days. Huy...

  16. Christine - Thanks Christine :D Glad you enjoyed it :D

    LOL, you should try one of them, Christine :D Seriously :D I like them because there's an end, unlike American TV series which last for years. I also think that culturally, they fit me better :D

    Seriously, if you like House of Flying Daggers and Hero, you MUST watch a kung fu tv series!! Those are way better in my opinion because they have more time to develop!! Legend of the Condor Heroes, Return of the Condor Heroes, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils - any versions of these are great.

    LOL, I'm glad I entertain people :D That's why I share my shopping adventures with all :D

    Tabitha - Ohhh, nice promotion... It's always hard though for me, because I run after new releases like mad LOL :) Us, it's usually B3G1F, so it's not as bad :D

    I hope you'll be able to buy the books you want!