What? What? What? NOOOOOOOO!

SPOILERS GALORE AS PER USUAL

p. 293 of Clockwork Prince:

Tessa and Will have another stake-out. This time, instead of a Vampire Ball, it’s a Demon’s Ball. Not as interesting, but hey, this is the ball at which beautiful Will Herondale keeps saying Tessa’s name, over and over, because “I love your name. I love the sound of it.” It also helps that she’s wearing a very tight corset because her dress belonged to Jessamine, that incorrigible, shameless, flirt, and a corset makes even the most flat-chested woman look curvaceous.

So they’re finally alone on a balcony, and —

“So there you two are,” comes a voice.

DRAAAAAT! That Warlock Magnus Bane has followed them!

The two whirl away from each other in abject shame (Well, this is Victorian England), and Magnus says, “Let me guess. You had the lemonade.”

!!!##@@!!!

The lemonade “had a bit of warlock powder mixed into it,” says Magnus. “The kind that lowers your inhibitions.”

Damn you, Magnus Bane! Damn you to Warlock Hell or wherever!

Stay tuned.

Enveloped 5: New Leaves and Smiles at The Banff Centre, Alberta

There’s a huge tree just outside self’s window that was just a skeleton of twiggy branches. Until three days ago, when leaves started to appear. Now, just look at it:

Spring arrives in Banff!

Spring arrives in Banff!

There’s a Writing Studio reading every Wednesday night. Last night’s reading was held at Wild Flour Artisan Bakery in downtown Banff. Greg Hollingshead, Director of the Writing Studio, was one of the readers.

A little about Greg: His collection, The Roaring Girl, won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. His novel Bedlam was a Globe and Mail 100 Best Books of the Year and a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice.

Greg Hollingshead, Director of the Banff Writing Studio, at Last Night's Reading in Wild Flour Artisan Bakery, Banff

Greg Hollingshead, Director of the Banff Writing Studio, at Last Night’s Reading in Wild Flour Artisan Bakery, Banff

It is truly amazing that everyone read so well, even though self calculated about a third of the readers, and probably half of the audience, were sick. Sick like self: stuffy nose, cough, no appetite, etc.

Self actually saw an in-house doctor at Lloyd Hall on Tuesday, who told self that she was suffering from a run-of-the-mill cold virus and didn’t need any prescription medication. The only good thing about having this cold is that everyone around her at the reading (including Greg Hollingshead) seemed to be suffering from the same thing. She could hear people trying to quell coughs all over the place. Dear blog readers, there is nothing worse than knowing you’re going to have to hawk a big one, something so explosive it will be heard all over the room, and despite your best efforts, it still comes. I kept chewing zinc lozenges but what can you do.

Freelance writer and editor Julia Phillips, who read excerpts from two of her short stories last night.

Freelance writer and editor Julia Phillips, who read excerpts from two of her short stories last night.

Anyhoo, the reading last night went on as planned. All the readers were fantastic. Julia Phillips (pictured above) has had work in the Crab Orchard Review (Woot Hoot! So has self!), Drunken Boat, The Rumpus, The Week, and The Moscow Times. She was a Pushcart Prize nominee and a finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers.

Self also began chatting with a woman sitting near her, who turned out to be author J. Jill Robinson. Here’s a link to a review of one of her books, More in Anger, in The Globe and Mail.

Canadian Fiction Writer J. Jill Robinson, at the Banff Writing Studio reading last night

Canadian Fiction Writer J. Jill Robinson, at the Banff Writing Studio reading last night

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Too Much! Cassandra Clare, You Are Simply Too Much!

Now, where were we? Oh yes, self caught about six hours, then woke up to resume reading Clockwork Prince.

As usual, SPOILERS!

In addition: Trigger Warning: Possible Incestuous Relationship

Tessa and Will are off to a masked ball, Tessa impersonating Jessamine while Jessamine is out cold, hit on the head with a mirror and tied to her bed by the very resourceful lady’s maid (the one with the big red scar right across her face). Author Cassandra Clare has found a good excuse for the pair not to have Jem along. (Thank goodness! After his make-out with Tessa the previous night, it’s got to be Will’s turn!)

Unlike the ball in Clockwork Angel, which was for vampires, where Will had to pretend to be Tessa’s subjugate, this one is given by Benedict Lightwood, who has a thing for demons — smelly things with multiple tongues, bug eyes, green skin, and so forth. Nothing compared to vampires, self thinks dear blog readers will agree.

Clare wickedly has Tessa pretend to be Jessamine, who is in love with Nate Grey (Tessa’s dastardly brother), so at the ball (which is masked, BTW), Tess has to subject herself to listening to sweet nothings from her own brother. Will she do it, self wonders? Will Clare actually have Nate kiss his own sister? Will Tessa have no choice but to submit, for the purposes of the investigation? Read on:

Nate’s hand slipped around the back of her neck. He was wearing gloves, but Tessa couldn’t rid herself of the feeling that something slimy was touching her skin. “My little Jessie,” he murmured. “You behave almost as if you’ve forgotten your own part in this. You did hide the Book of White in my sister’s room as we asked you to, did you not?”

“Of — of course I did. I was only joking, Nate.”

“That’s my good girl.” He was leaning closer. He was definitely going to kiss her.

Oh Heavens to Mergatroid!!!

And Heavens to Mergatroid again!!!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Plot Twists! Oh, the Plot Twists! CLOCKWORK PRINCE, p. 257

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER ad infinitum

Self still hasn’t quite gotten over her sense of pique at Tessa Gray for engaging in almost-consummated sex with picturesquely dying Jem Carstairs while Will Herondale, who Tessa and Jem have just fetched from an opium den, continues in abject misery because he has to keep concealing his love for Tessa because you know he is cursed by a Demon who was kept in a little box in Wales (The Pyxis?) — the curse being that EVERYONE WHO LOVES WILL HERONDALE WILL DIE. DIE DIE DIE!

Tessa makes up for her going-to-Jem-late-at-night-while-clad-only-in-dressing-gown which leads to of course that because the very next night, author Cassandra Clare comes up with a perfectly good excuse for Tessa to appear in front of Will Herondale also clad in just a dressing gown, but as SEEMS TO BE happening more and more in CLOCKWORK PRINCE (and well might self think: How very DEUS EX MACHINA! To have Tessa constantly prancing around in a dressing gown late at night), there is always a third person present or about-to-be-present when Tessa appears in deshabillé. So Will cannot, you know, act.

Lest you think that CLOCKWORK PRINCE is all about Tessa alternating appearances between Jem and Will while clad only in a dressing gown, self would like you to know that after that crazy make-out session with Jem, self would be VERY VERY VERY upset if Will didn’t get his chance as well.

If only Sophie would get out of the room.

Anyhoo, this chapter is mighty amusing (as opposed to the earlier chapter, the make-out one between Jem and Tessa, which was just — UNSPEAKABLE AND DISGUSTING!).

Sophie, who’s getting a little man action of her own (with Gideon Lightfoot — let me tell ya, these names are WAY WAY WAY better than the names in The Hunger Games), has hit Jessamine over the head with a mirror and knocked her out cold (This is self’s second-favorite hit-someone-over-the-head scene in a Cassandra Clare novel. CLOCKWORK ANGEL had Jessamine knocking out Nate Grey by hitting him on his head with a lamp) and in addition Sophie has taken the added precaution of tying Jessamine’s wrists to a bedpost.

Self is mighty pleased that the person Tessa chooses to consult with about the Jessamine dilemma is Will (It can’t be Jem because of some hoo-ha about Sophie being secretly in love with Jem and being too embarrassed to have Jem find out that she is the type of person who can hit someone over the head with a mirror), and she is also mightly pleased that Will declares they cannot disturb Jem because he is he is — DYING?

No, not exactly. How about CLOSE TO DYING. Blood coming out his mouth when he coughs and all that. (Self thinks: DIE already, Jem, DIE!) Excellent! Now Will has the chance to embark another adventure with just Tessa.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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