Mini review of Zappos and Onlineshoes

Okay, so now I've ordered both from Zappos and from Onlineshoes.



1. I order shoes, shoes get to my house sometimes as early as the next day. That's with free shipping! I ordered once after 8 p.m. one night and had the shoes the next morning.

2. Return policy: You have an entire year to return shoes and there's no restocking fee. They also provide the postage to return it, you just drop off the box at UPS.

3. Returns are credited to your card in approx. a week.

Okay, their website could be a bit less busy, but it gets the job done.

Okay, now for Onlineshoes:

1. I order shoes, free shipping, but it takes close to a week for my shoes to get here. Very annoying, especially after being used to Zappos' speedy service.

2. Return policy: 90 days for returns, if you don't do an exchange, they charge you $6.99 for the return.

3. Okay, just sent back my exchange, so don't know when my account will be credited, but it's supposed to be on par with Zappos.

Onlineshoes does have a 110% price guarantee, but honestly, the service and speed of Zappos beats that for me. But the prices seem to be fairly competitive between the places. I did order from Onlineshoes this last time because they were having a sale and they also have a deal with Discover that gives me a percentage back (wouldn't mind that, Zappos). But having to wait so long for my shoes after the fast service at Zappos really didn't endear them to me. I want my shoes and I want them now! I have very wide, rather short feet (or as I call it, duck feet), so I really can't find shoes by just walking into a store. The quick service allows me to order a few different kinds of shoes at once and know that I will get them quickly and be able to easily return them or exchange them without the process taking weeks.

So Zappos gets my vote. I'm always recommending them to friends. There was once a woman in Penney's who was complaining to her friends that she was sick of seeing ugly shoes for the wide widths in the stores. So I kinda butted in and told her about Zappos. And showed her my super-cute size 6.5WW Naturalizers (I told you they were duck feet). Hope she took my advice.

Chalice by Robin McKinley

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As the newly appointed Chalice, Mirasol is the most important member of the Master’s Circle. It is her duty to bind the Circle, the land and its people together with their new Master. But the new Master of Willowlands is a Priest of Fire, only drawn back into the human world by the sudden death of his brother. No one knows if it is even possible for him to live amongst his people. Mirasol wants the Master to have his chance, but her only training is as a beekeeper. How can she help settle their demesne during these troubled times and bind it to a Priest of Fire, the touch of whose hand can burn human flesh to the bone?

I've always liked Robin McKinley's books, so when I saw that this one was available, I grabbed it. Unfortunately, it's not going to be a favorite. I enjoyed Mirasol quite a bit as she muddles through becoming the Chalice and trying to keep her land together.

One of the problems with Chalice is the writing style. It jumps back and forth in time and can honestly get quite confusing at times. And you never really get a feel for what the magic in the world really is and where this particular land and people fall in respect to the world as a whole. I also finished the book thinking, "this is it?". It's also an incredibly difficult book to sum up. Most of the action happens toward the end of the book and almost felt tacked on. It's like most of the book is slow and meandering and then rushes to end. Robin McKinley is a beautiful writer, but this is not the way to be introduced to her work. To be honest, I was disappointed. Not sorry I read the book as I did enjoy it, but it really didn't live up to my expectations.

Blogs I must visit every day

For lack of better things to say right now, here is a list of the blogs that I must visit every day. I have a ton of blogs on Sage, but these are the ones that always get clicked on.

In no particular order:
1. Karen Knows Best
2. Nice Mommy, Evil Editor
3. The Misadventures of Super Librarian
4. The Beauty Brains
5. The Whiny Librarian
6. Alison Kent
7. Lilith Saintcrow
8. HelenKay Dimon
9. Jill Shalvis
10. Megan Frampton
11. Meljean Brook
12. Dear Author
13. Smart Bitches
14. Moderncat

Bits and pieces and thoughts

Well, had to fast last night so I could get some blood drawn this morning. Ugh. But I did then remember that I needed a flu shot and they were nice enough to get me in right away for that. Except then that means I have to figure out how to work in an allergy shot around my schedule this week and I can't get that and any other injection on the same day. Hrm.

I did finally get a notebook mouse for this laptop. I don't really like to use the touchpad, but will if I have to. Got a bluetooth one this morning so I don't have to use up a usb port to connect it. It's so cute. Was a cinch to pair with my laptop. Also hit the UBS and scored some goodies. Got Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson that I'd special ordered and also scored Texas Splendor and Texas Glory by Lorraine Heath and The Famous Heroine by Mary Balogh.
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It might get up to 77 here in Cedar Rapids and for Iowa in November, that'll be a record.

Unrelated (this post title is "Bits and pieces and thoughts" after all), but I've noticed that it's always the people who seem less-than-well-off who will take a plastic bag to put that one itty bitty item that they've bought at work rather than do the green things and forgo.

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I've been reading the Blood Lite anthology and oh is it a different feel and experience than the previous anthology I read, which was Wolfsbane and Mistletoe. In W&M, I loved almost all the stories and liked the rest. Here, there are plenty of stories that I just plain didn't like and some I just skipped over. Although the Mr. Bear story has stayed with me, in a disturbing sort of way.

Book CoverI also read Jill Shalvis' Feb. 09 release, Instant Attraction, and loved it. Jill has such a way with humor and romance. And her characters always seem so real. Not to mention her blog is absolutely fabulous and I'm always calling Nick over to read one of her posts. She always makes me smile.

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I'm always starting and putting down books, so while waiting for my flu shot, I started Amorous Liaisons by Sarah Mayberry. I vaguely remembered someone mentioning liking her. Maybe Jane? Don't know if I'll get back to it right away, but we'll see.