Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Review: Assassin's Apprentice

(Info and Pic taken from Amazon <-- Buy the book here)


Young Fitz is the bastard son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father's gruff stableman. He is treated like an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz's blood runs the magic Skill--and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom. 


I really enjoyed this book. I adore and sympathize with Fitz all the way. Which is surprising because in the past I don't do so well with a male first person POV. I have a harder time connecting. I think it worked this time because we start with him as a little boy at the age of 6. Overall, this is a sad story, Fitz goes through a lot of loss. But he keeps going and he keeps trying to find his place in the world. I like that about him.

There is a good deal of political intrigue, but I found it interesting and easy to follow. And I did not see the Big Bad Guy coming. At least I knew he was Bad, but not Big Bad.

This is the first in a series and I really want to read the rest, mostly just to see if Fitz does get some more happiness in the end.


Happy Friday and Happy Three Day Weekend to my American readers. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trolls, Unprofessional & Drama Llamas

So a while ago I mentioned some drama that was going on in the book community that was pitting reviewers against authors. This problem has not gone away. If anything it's gotten worse.

Now I'm not going to try and document this whole drama llama, but if you're interested, just Google "authors behaving badly" or "stop the goodreads bullies". Or, there is a great thread on Absolute Write that documents a lot of this. But I'll try to summarize it for you.

There are two major parties involved, the Author and the Reviewer. The Author writes a book, the Reviewer reads the book and then post a review of it somewhere on the great Internet. Pretty nice arrangement right? And if the Reviewer liked the book and does a positive review then all parties win. Author adds a good review to their resume and Reviewer read a good book and gets to recommend it to others.

Where this all starts getting ugly is when there is a Negative review. From this point on our two parties get separated into two smaller sections. There becomes Troll Reviewers and Honest Reviewers. And then there is your Professional and Unprofessional Authors. (I use Professional as in the way they act, it has nothing to do with how they were published).

First, let's talk about the Honest Reviewer. An Honest will read a book and if they didn't really like it, will give it a low rating and then explain why they gave it that rating. They will talk about the problems they had with the book and try to be fair with their critique. They are simply sharing their opinion.

On the other hand, a Troll will give a negative review whether or not they've read the book. Their review will be overly nasty and sometimes talk about the author personally. Trolls are all over the internet. They live to be mean and make people miserable. And sometimes, good normal people can act like trolls. Emotions, they make us crazy.

Now what Author does about the Negative review is what divides them into Professional and Unprofessional Authors. A Professional Author will do one of two things with a Negative review, no matter if it's Honest or a Troll. They will either not respond at all, or thank the Reviewer for taking the time to review their work. Minimal drama.

The Unprofessional will respond in anger, no matter if it's Honest or a Troll. They will tell Reviewer they are wrong for having an opinion and make all sorts of accusations. This is where the Crazy Drama Llama comes in and starts shitting on everything.

So what parties are in the wrong here? The Troll and Unprofessional. The Troll is of course wrong because they're just trying to hurt people and summon the Drama Llama. Trolls live for this stuff. And in the grand scheme of things they're just little people who have no control over anything and need to get laid more.

The Unprofessional Author is a whole other creature. They get angry about a Negative review (which they have a right too) and then take that anger out on other people. When they get angry at a Troll it's simply a waste of time. Most people who've been on the internet a while know that you Do Not Engage The Trolls. You're just giving them what they want.

And then the Drama Llama has a good ol' time when an Unprofessional acts out against an Honest Reviewer. The UnP will whine in the comments of a review and then go onto their own blog and talk bad about the Reviewer. This is where the UnP shows their true colors and their thin sensitive skin. And this is where the Internet steps in and starts making people look like fools, because the Internet is For-ev-er.

So, how do we keep the Drama Llama at bay? If you're a Reviewer, be fair and honest with your reviews. Don't attack the author, keep everything focused on the book and try to be objective. If you're an Author, your best bet is to not respond to bad reviews, even the Trolls. Having one or two bad reviews is a lot better than the career suicide you'd be committing by battling it out on the web.

There's my two copper colored round metal objects worth. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: Heir to Sevenwaters

(Picture and Info taken from Amazon)


The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest and a new heir has been born. But the family's joy turns to despair when the baby is taken, and something unnatural is left in his place. To reclaim her newborn brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there.


So this book is number 4 in a series. I own the first three and thought that was it for a long time, but just a few months ago I learned there are two more books already out and a third due in Nov. So I'm very excited to have new Sevenwaters adventures.

For those of you new to this series I strongly suggest you start with the first one Daughter of the Forest. Unfortunately, Heir to Sevenwaters is not a stand alone book. This series revolves around a family in medieval Ireland and the family connections of who married whom and what kids they have start to get complicated by the 2nd and 3rd books. But it is all very worth the read.

I'd given the first 3 of this series 5 stars and the only reason I gave Heir 4 stars was that it became apparent to me that Marillier uses a formula for these books. It's a good formula and I enjoy it because the characters are still original and the stories interesting, but sometimes you want a little variety.

One thing I love about these books is the love stories. They always tug at me and make me all warm and fuzzy inside. And the love story in Heir was very well done and at the very beginning the relationship between Clodagh and Cathal made me think of the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Which works well for me. :)

So overall, I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. And again, if you're interested in this book, you really should start at the beginning of the series.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mommy Confessions: Cleaning

When I was growing up, I hated cleaning. I mean, what kid/teenager didn't? My room was always a mess. And I (as well as my siblings) put up such a fuss when it came time to do the dishes. It's funny to think back on.

But now that I'm all grown up (riiiight) I find that cleaning isn't such a big deal. In fact, I get more annoyed by messes than anything. It does get old washing the same dishes every day and folding the same clothes every week (or more) but I come away feeling very satisfied with my self. There's no better feeling sometimes then marking something off on that mile long To Do List.

Besides, if I get the cleaning done early then I don't feel guilty for sitting around and reading/writing all day. ;)


Thanks for reading! I know I've been spamming y'all with a million book reviews and I promise that is slowing down now that I've caught up. 

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review: Trance

(Info & Pic taken from Amazon)


Kelly Meding’s war-ravaged Los Angeles is ground zero for the ultimate Meta human showdown in this sexy, action-packed new series.

Fifteen years ago, Teresa “Trance” West was a skilled telepath and a proud member of the Ranger Corps. But ever since the Rangers were inexplicably rendered powerless at the climax of the devastating Meta War, she’s bounced from one dead-end job to another. Now her powers have reappeared just as mysteriously as they vanished— only they’re completely transformed and more potent than ever. And they’re threatening to destroy her.

Trance heads to Los Angeles to track down the surviving Rangers and discover who restored her powers—and why—but a phantom enemy is determined to kill them before they can reassemble. As they dodge his deadly attacks and come to terms with their new role as heroes, Trance and the rest of the team set out to annihilate the sinister madman . . . only to discover their own powers are his greatest weapons.


I really loved this book, thus the 5 stars. I'm a pretty big fan of superheros. I never got into the comics but I love most of these movies that have been coming out the last couple decades. I'm especially a fan of X-Men. And this book is a lot like X-Men because of the ensemble cast, all with very different powers.

I fell in love with Trance from page one. She's an extremely likable character and Meding did a great job of making her come to life. I believed Trance and her decisions and rationale every step of the way.

And the world Meding created is so real and gritty. An alternate reality to our own that honestly explores what the world would be like if people had super powers. It's not a pretty one.

There is a love story intertwined in all this and it was very convincing. Gage is a real person with real problems, just like Trance. And Meding took "steamy" to a whole new level. ;)

The ending is wonderful. It looks like there is no hope of the good guys winning and that the bad guy (who I didn't see coming) will have his twisted way, and then, well, I won't spoil it. :)

So overall, 5 out of 5 stars. I got this from the library but I do plan on buying it and the next one in the series, Changeling.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Book Review: The Gift of Fear

My sister Michelle suggested I read this, so I did. :)

(Info & Pic taken from Amazon)


True fear is a gift. Unwarranted fear is a curse. Learn how to tell the difference.

A date won't take "no" for an answer. The new nanny gives a mother an uneasy feeling. A stranger in a deserted parking lot offers unsolicited help. The threat of violence surrounds us every day. But we can protect ourselves, by learning to trust—and act on—our gut instincts.

In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the nation's leading expert on violent behavior, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger—before it's too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, to act when approached by a stranger...when you should fear someone close to you...what to do if you are being to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls...the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person...and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life. 


I learned so much from reading this book. I learned about how intuition works and how to make it work in my favor to help protect me and my family.

This book is geared towards women, mostly, but I strongly suggest everyone read it. It teaches you what to be afraid of and what not to be afraid of. And how to deal with threatening people and/or situations.

Sometimes, it seems a little scary to read when de Becker recounts stories of people being hurt by others. But there is so much to learn from other's experiences. This book will change the way you think, I promise that.

4 out of 5 stars for being incredibly enlightening and informative.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Facebook is Silly

Has anyone noticed this trend on Facebook?

It's kind of ridiculous isn't it? I mean, the ones about family/friends are OK I guess. It's cute to those of your family/friends who are on Facebook. But the ones that bother me are the Jesus ones. Like this:

I mean really? So by scrolling past this picture, because, frankly it's ugly, I am now a Satan lover? I'm pretty sure Christ doesn't care one tiny bit if you hit that stupid like button for a picture of Him. Trust me when I say that is not how you're going to get into heaven.

And I don't mean to be insulting to those of you who do hit that "Like" button. But wouldn't it be better to show you love for Jesus by, say, following his commandments, doing service for those in need and just being Christ-like in general? Wouldn't that mean more in the long run than the .002 seconds it took you to hit "Like"?

Yeah... Just a thought.


Thanks for reading! Don't forget to comment! 

Have you noticed I'm posting regularly? If I keep this up you'll see book reviews every Monday & Friday and then something like what you just read on Wednesdays. :)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review: Bound

(Info and Pic taken from Amazon)


When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira's life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she's falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive. BOUND is a heroic tale of true friendship, infinite sacrifice and untamed love. 


I got this book for free off my Kindle. The description there sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a shot. It was way better than I expected.

The character's felt real to me and I really sympathized with Kira. This book took me a lot of different places that I wasn't expecting and the world Bryant created felt totally original to me.

I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because I was not expecting a free Kindle book to be this good. This is another world that I will be revisiting in Bryant's next installment Broken.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Review: Banshee Charmer

This book is written by a friend of mine from Absolute Write, Tiffany Allee.

(Info and Pic taken from Amazon)


When she’s sent to a crime scene and finds her second dead woman in as many weeks, half-banshee detective Kiera “Mac” McLoughlin is convinced a serial killer is on the loose. Incubi are extinct, her boss insists. But what else can kill a woman in the throes of pleasure? When her partner is murdered after using witchcraft to locate the killer and Mac is thrown off the case, her frustration turns to desperation.

Certain the killer is an incubus, Mac works behind her department’s back to chase down slim, sometimes perilous leads. While the killer eludes her, she does discover handsome Aidan Byrne, an investigative counterpart from the enigmatic Otherworld Enforcement Agency. Mac typically runs her investigations fast and hard, but with Aidan at her side, she’s running this one “hot” as well. But Aiden knows more than he’s letting on—something that could shatter their blazing romance and add Mac to the killer’s growing body count… 


I really enjoyed this book. It's not normally the genre I read, being that it's part paranormal romance and part murder mystery, but I was very entertained. I do watch a lot of crime TV, my two favorite TV shows being Bones and Castle, so I really enjoyed the "who-done-it" aspect of this.

The characters were well done. I liked the air of mystery around Aidan. As you read, you know he's somehow involved in the murders but the way in which he is I did not expect. And of course, this is a romance, so the steamy bits were steamy. ;)

Overall, 4 out of 5 stars. A fun read and a world that I plan on revisiting with Allee's next book Succubus Lost.