Saturday, April 20, 2013

Waiting, and Anticipating

Here I am going to share the books that I am positively panting to get my hands on.

This installment is featuring Fyre by Angie Sage

Synopsis: Now that Septimus, Jenna, and Beetle are fourteen years old, they have assumed larger roles in their Magykal world. Beetle has become the Chief Hermetic Scribe of the Manuscriptorium and Jenna is waiting to be crowned Queen, but Septimus is still battling the remnants of the Dark Domaine, which will remain until the power of the evil Two-Faced Ring is destroyed forever. To accomplish that, the ancient Alchemie Fyre must be relit—a task that sends Septimus to the very origins of Magyk and Physik, testing both his skills, and his loyalties to ExtraOrdinary Wizard, Marcia Overstrand, and Alchemist Marcellus Pye.

In a journey that encapsulates the entire Septimus Heap series, Septimus will continue to discover the truth of who he is and expand upon his Magykal power and skills. Septimus Heap, Book Seven: Fyre weaves together every singular character from the entire series and incorporates many of the Magykal places from each book. Written with Angie Sage’s distinctive humor and heart, Fyre is the grand finale that celebrates the greatest Magyk of all: When the Fyre inside is kindled and when the Time is Right, anything is possible.

My Thoughts

I've been waiting two years for this book. Which isn't that long seeing how long I waited for each Harry Potter book lol. I've been a fan of this series since the beginning. I found Septimus while lurking int he children's section of Barnes and Nobel. It has since become my favorite section to hang out in. They had bean bags and puppets!

Anyhoo Ms. Sage created a truly delightful place filled with talking messenger rats and Wizard Towers with stairs that rotate on their own! I am in love with Septimus and Marcie and its going to be hard to say goodbye to them but I am excited to read about their final adventure and see Septimus come into his own. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Camp NaNoWriMo Pep Talk

So my intrepid WriMoers you have sailed through the first two weeks of this journey. The brights lights of NaNoland are on the horizon. You can smell the fried twinkies on the air and you can just imagine how soft the beds are at the inn. And of the feast they are preparing in honor of your win is going to be just as delicious as it is magnificent. Who can blame you? We had a long and hard journey. That tar pit was not fun at all believe you mean. We had a good time as well. We toasted marshmallows around the camp fire and we sang that sill Spongebob campfire song, song. That was actually a fair amount of fun. We lost some members of our marry band of campers. *sniffle* They will be missed. Never fear we will see them again. I promise.

So you are hitting your daily word count and you and your story are getting along like a house fire. Its happening to me too. This is by far the best time I've had with a story in a good while. The words are flowing and your story is pure literary magic. I mean like Harry Potter magic.

Then WHAM!

All of a sudden your fingers won't move. Your palms get sweaty and your vision blurs. That blinking cursor is taunting you. Every blink is a dagger through the heart. That empty page is texting all of its buddies to come over and dance around your writing space because you can't write. Bards are now as I type this singing ballads about you epic writer's block.

You poured your heart and soul into the first two weeks and now your muse is dog tired. She is sprawled across the couch in a drunken stupor with her lipstick smudge across her cheek and up into her hair, and you are sure when she left the house last she had on two shoes. The poor dear can't even rouse herself for 300 words here, 750 words there. Some days your can't even get her to give you a smile.

Maybe you've ran into a major plot hole and you haven't been abel to write yourself out of it. Well my lovely this is the week, right here, right now that will separate the writers from the mice.

Mice scurry away at the first sign of trouble. Loud noises, sudden movement, Scary Movie 5 are all enough to send a mouse running for the hole in the wall. Nice run for the hills at the first plot hole. They balk when their perfectly planned character turns out to be a man that likes to sleep in women's underwear. They quit at the first sign of trouble.

Writers, however, stay the course. We writers are a tough breed. Like the saying goes we are capable of taking caffeine and turning it into the nest great American novel. Or the lastest craze at Comic Con. Take your pick. That's the one I'm shooting for. Writers sit down and write regardless of the vacation time of their muse. She's a flighty bird anyways.

Writers write regardless of how they feel or where their muse is. Mice run away when their story gets hard. They give up when the words aren't flowing like melted butter. So you have to ask yourself, are you going to be a writer or are you going to be a mouse. If you need inspiration or a swift kick in the pants join us on twitter @NaNoSprints or @NaNoWriMo for zany prompts and word sprints. I promise inspiration will strike.

This is going to be the toughest week yet. Wou will be present with all the reasons to quit and give up. The intoxicating smell of lake water and stadium hot dogs on the grill is an evil temptress that will drag you down into the depths of Tartarus before you realize it. Do not go gently into that good night.

Stand and fight! We will prevail I promise you that. You just have to make up in your mind that you are not going to quit. You have to tell yourself that you are going to reach NaNoLand and then park your tush in that chair and write! Write when you don't feel like it. Write when your muse is out all night partying her skirt off. Write when that cursor is taunting you. All it takes is one word and you are further along in your story than you were yesterday.


And as always happy noveling my lovelies!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Babblings

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

The Nitty Gritty: Elizabeth Rew is a modern day Cinderalla. Well without the wealthy father, but she does have a bossy stepmother and vain stepsisters. She is the new kid in school and after a hasty rescue mission for a bullied girl she finds herself shunned from the 'It' crowd. After a school assignment on the Grimm fairy tales she is offered a job at the New-York Circulating Material Repository hoping to make a new friend or at least some money to buy a new pair of sneakers.

Liz is surprised by the nature of the Repository and delighted to find that they have a Grimm Collection, but all is not well at her new place of employment. Missing pages, mysterious giant birds and missing articles have Elizabeth questioning everyone and everything.

Opening Line: Snow fell hard: big, sticky flakes that got under my coat collar where the top button was missing.

What's the 411: It seems like the only way to get my fairy tale kick is to troll the children's and teen section of the library. Lately I've been trying to elevate my pallet and stick with the YA section. So the title of this book is what jumped out at me. Hell anything with the word Grimm in it is enough for me. I had this book for a while in my room and finally I got around to reading it. It was a fast and easy read for sure.

It was sort of like eating a bowl of whipped cream. It gave you a sugar rush for sure but in the end you felt like you swallowed a bunch of air and you need to go and get a proper meal. It was just a cute story. A naked baby in a bathtub with a joyous grin on there face. You can see the potential on their face, but they are still a baby and nothing more.

The Good: Well this is a good twist on the idea of the library. Instead of patrons taking out books they come to the Repository to check out items. Like a Table-Be-Set. You can get the German or French version. Personally I would take the German version.

Elizabeth wasn't as annoying as some of the YA female leads that I've read. Though she did spend more time comparing herself to Anjali than I would have liked. That is just something that irks me to no end.

The Bad: This is a YA book not a children's book and this book is extremely simplistic in its plot. Shulman set herself up for something really good and darkly sinister with the theft of Grimm artifacts, but she didn't take it that step further. I mean we are dealing with people bold enough to steal artifacts that people borrow while leaving their first born children behind as collateral. I mean we should be dealing with wicked people trying to take over the world with Pinkie and the Brain or something like that. But all we get is a cartoonish villain and a siller denouement to all the terrific build. Its a huge let down when you finally get the end of the book. Well except for the conclusion of the relationship between Liz and one of the male characters.

there is a tricky balance to be kept between going too far with YA books and not going far enough for YA books. I mean we want teenagers to skip through the roses and color rainbows, but these are budding adults and in this day and age they do deal with tougher and more adult issues and for the most part many YA books are a tad more advance, but they do reflect real life more than this kiddie book. It would have made more sense as a middle grade or even a children's story.

My Final Say: I think she should rethink her career as a YA author and try her hand in the children's section.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Babblings *spoilers*

Lover at Last by J.R. Ward

***Contains Spoilers***

The Nitty Gritty

J.R. Ward gives good tease in Lover at Last.

Qhuinn the blue-greened eyed sex machine (not that impressive in the Black Dagger Brotherhood) has hung up his swinging saddle and tried to find peace in his world of torment.

He has been disowned by his family and seems to just go around crashing through life waiting for the perfect landing pad. He has screwed things up so bad with Blaylock that he is just praying the male remembers his name. If that weren't enough to deal with he has a pregnant Chosen to take care of. If Phury doesn't take care of him first.

The battle for the vampire throne is still raging. Between Xcor and his Band of Bastards and the Lesser Society the king has a huge target on his back. And that's just how he likes it.

Opening Line

"Qhuinn, son of Lohstrong, entered his family's home through its grand front door." 

What's the 411

If male on male vampire love is what you seek then you have found the right place to quench your thirst. Oh yeah there will be a love of vampire quips thrown around. Sue me

I haven't been a Black Dagger Brotherhood fan since the beginning. Like my love affair with Harry Potter I sort of jump in several books into the series. I think Lover Reborn was due to be released when I finally read Dark Lover. I was hooked at first bite.

Yeah its a cheesy pun but it still works.

I've fallen in love with all the brothers since Dark Lover, though Vishous is the only one I would want to bond with. I love a man that can speak geek.

Back to Lover at Last.

I know I wasn't the only Quay fan that has been positively buzzing in anticipation of Lover at Lost. I jumped on my copy of Lover at Last like a thirsty man would a babbling brook in a desert. I got the book at 6 p.m. and it took my till 8 a.m. to finish. And that is with a two hour downtime for Bible study at 7 p.m.

I was finally able to snuggle into my favorite chair, grab a bowl of ice cream and turn on the TV for some background noise and dive into my book.

Thank the Virgin Scribe the sweat agony has come to an end and we get to see Blay and Qhuinn come together. 200 pages in... And then it takes the entire book for us to get from the first sex scene to mating ceremony. Literally the entire, damn, book.

That was beyond frustrating and I woke up the entire house several times with my screams as I turned the page for a new chapter and we were off worrying about Trez and his panty problems. Like I care about hims sleeping with crackwhores and real estate agents. I frankly care more about what's going on with the Scribe Virgin at this point and I really hate her.

Lover at Last promised so much and gave us so little in return. We have invested in the back and forth between Blay and Qhuinn. My heart broke when Qhuinn was going to walk out on Blay and John in Lover Enshrined and it shattered when Blay and Saxton started hooking up in Lover Unleashed.

The Good

The sex, the unbelievable toe curling male on male sex. JR should call up E.L James and school that woman on how you write a compelling and orgasm inducing sex scene into a novel. Reading through Qhuinn and Blay's first time I could have melted the ice cream I was eating I got so hot under the collar. JR had never shied away from the sex in this series and we all salute her for it, but in the earlier books she never went into detail about Saxton and Blay. Sure none of us wanted to see them together, but they weren't up in that room sewing bowties for each other. As much as it pained me for them to be together I wanted to see some action and we never got that. The fear that gripped me as I tore into the book wasn't abated for nearly 200 pages. Sitting in my chair in the semi-darkness I was teased and taunted for 200 long drawn out pages. I have to say that it was for me the best foreplay I've ever had. Which is telling on so many levels.

I honestly believe that JR is a reincarnated burlesque dancer. The woman knows how to tease. Tease her readers and tease her characters. I was absolutely groaning and thrashing in my chair the more I read. The sex scenes left me limp as a wrung sponge.

Though I was dumbstruck as to why we needed to read about Assail and Sola at least she gave good tease.

The handling of the gay issue with the Brothers almost brought me to tears. Here you have seven of the deadliest men on the planet. Buff beyond human comprehension. The ultimate protectors of that race. Breed to be the sword and the shield for vampires. We would expect them to pull some macho male crap about wanting to be bent over  fancy French piece of furniture by a gay out of the question. I mean we wouldn't have been surprised if Vishous had a special pair of daggers for just the occasion.

However the Brother with open arms welcome the gay couple into their lives. No whispering or elbow jabbing to be had. In fact they were waiting in Qhuinn to give the green light on the mating ceremony. They even help him get dressed and they prepare the ceremony site. Blay's parents have nothing but love for their gay son and his mate. His mother even cries as she holds "her two sons." I loved it.

The Bad

For me this is the first book in the series that I'm having a love/hate relationship with. On one hand I love that Blay and Qhuinn finally get there happily ever after...for now and then on the other hand I am beyond frustrated that it took 574 pages to get there.

Now I know JR has a habit of setting up in next book pretty heavily in the preceding book, but the side stories in LaL overshadowed the main story. I mean us Quay fans have been panting since Lover Enshrined basically waiting for some Blay and Qhuinn action and when it finally comes (no pun intended I swear) we get a silly 4 page epilogue.

During their first sex scene Qhuinn marks Blay and  NO ONE NOTICES! In every other book when a bonding scent was present everyone in the house knew. Even Butch before he was turned could smell a bonding scent and everyone could smell his and marking someone was a big deal, but in this book its just a throw away sentence that we didn't hear anything about. I feel like their relationship got cheated.

We are 11 books into this series which doesn't seem to have an end and I'm fine as long as the books are good, but JR is starting to believe her own hype. Now don't get me wrong. She deserves it. She's a great author but its getting to head a little bit. She is forgetting some of the basic rules of story telling. The continuity of her series has taken a hit with this book. All of the brothers are starting to sound exactly the same. Even Vishous in this novel has lost his trademark "True," at the end of every other sentence. Even Layla flows in and out of the old speech pattern every other page. Not sure if she was trying to show us how Layla is battling between what she was and what she is going to become or of it was an oversight on her part. Since we didn't get any Layla POV outside of her pregnancy its up for me to infere that it was oversight.

I feel cheated out of seeing Qhuinn going to Blay's parents and asking for his hand in marriage. I mean this is a big deal made bigger by the fact that this is a gay couple and one of the men is a Brother. We didn't get to see that and I don't like it. She has never dialed down a bonding ceremony to an epilogue and she did with one of the most anticipated couples in her series. Epic fail J.R.

The Blay/Saxton breakup occurred on page 96 and it isn't reveled until page 574. I think it was a weak plot point to keep that relationship alive between Blay and Saxton. It something she might haven gotten away with in Dark Lover or even Lover Eternal, but certainly not after Lover Awakened. She is a better author than that.

I don't know this book felt like it was a "shut the hell up already," to Quay fans. Don't misunderstand me I know its not easy to sit down and write 586 pages. Its hard work. I know this, but still it feels like she sent this in by messenger pigeon just to get us off her back. There just wasn't any relationship building in this book. the relationship didn't start till 6 pages from the end! In every other book the Brother and his shellan were the stars of the show.

Their bonding, their mating and their love making was front and center.

Everyone eles was just a backup dancer. In this book Qhuinn and Blay took a backseat to Layla's babbling, Xcor whining, Assail and Sola (still trying to figure out why we care) Trez who up until this book had been mentioned a grand total of 10 times in 10 books ( we didn't even know his name until Lover Enshrined!). Why he had to be a main character in Quay's book I don't understand.

Wrath was shot in the next in Lover Reborn and very good shot by Xcor and bad for Wrath as he almost died and yet we don't get one jot or tittle about it in Lover at Last. The one and only shot expert we get for Wrath he is worried about not getting Beth pregnant. Wait, what?!I mean come this is Wrath we are talking about. I know he has a lot of choice words to say about that. I miss Wrath. We haven't seen him really since the early books to be honest. Hell I miss hearing all the brothers. Frankly I don't care Trez or Selena or Assail or Sola. When they get their own book I will care, but not right now. I needed Quay and I got the non-alcoholic version.

Where the holy hell was John in all of this! Those three were as tight as the Brothers and they even formed their own merry little band. They witnessed John's potential rape by Lash. They held the guy up when Xhax was kidnapped. When he bonded with her, when they crashed and burned and found each other again. Quay was there every step of the way. Now that we get to the Quay part of our tour John is AWOL.

Hell Qhuinn shanked his own cousin to protect John and now in the book with the biggest impact on Blay and Qhuinn we get two scenes with John. Are you fricking kidding me? Where was John's support when Luchas was found? I mean John was in the house for pete's sake and we didn't get his POV on the situation. Where was John when Qhuinn decided he could fly? Where was John when Layla was carried from the house in a haze of blood? Where was John when the Payne helped Qhuinn and Layla keep the baby? All these benchmarks in Qhuinn and Blay's life and she cut John out of them.

I hate that.

I feel like she clubbed me over the head and rummaged through my pockets to rob me of all the things I love about the series and she is leaving me unconscious in the street with a lesser closing in on me.

My Hope for the Series

I want to see Layla and Qhuinn's young come to term and pop out nice and healthy. At this point I could take or leave Layla to be honest. I want to see the complete defeat of the lessers. I'm still stinging about Wellsie thank you very much. I want Wrath's throne secured. I want to see John's induction into the Brotherhood and I really want to see him come into the realization that he is Darius son of Markon. I am holding out that like whoa lol.

My Final Say

I hate this but I got to give this

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pitching My Tent

I know its been awhile since you have heard from me and I want to offer my apologies. I've been on my way to Camp and the going was a bit rough in the beginning. So we are moving into the second week of Camp NanoWriMo and I am ahead of the curve ball. I am sitting pretty at 20,012 words. So I am one happy camper.

I am a night owl so I like to write when the iron is hot and for me that is during the night. No wait I like to do everything at night. I guess that's why I love vampires so much. Well certain vamps like the Harris or Ward vamps. I wouldn't want to be a Dracula vampire.

After that happy little tidbit, I got a late start to camp on account of my friend Umar's wedding. The wedding was a lot of fun I have to say. I got to look at gorgeous Desi guys and eat great Desi food so it was camp time well spent.

So it is known far and wide that I am a fantasy writer. Always have been and always well be. I don't know how to write anything else. And I've tried to. I really have. My second NaNo endeavor was a mystery. I did hit 50k but the story was a complete diaster of Twilight proportions.

That is not an exaggeration. Oh how I wish it was. I mean I could barely go back and try to breath new life into by editing it. It was so bad I had to bury it in the backyard while Taps played softly on my ipod.

I guess my brain just doesn't work that way. Though I do love a good mystery tv show or a movie. I learned my lesson then and there. I stuck to fantasy and the ride has been great. Well my current novel is wholly fantasy, but there are murders that have to be solved and I am having the damnest time getting started on the investigations. My mind is fighting me as my fingers hover over my keyboard. It refuses to compete the elements of a mystery.

Which is supremely frustrating because I've read mountains of mystery novels. Hell James Patterson is about to get my kicked out of my home if I can't find a place to put him. So I should know how to do this. I did my outline, worked on all of my scenes and still its like wading through cold molasses. I might take a day to sit down and work through my murders and the investigations. I mean I've got all the Castle DVDs and CSI and Law & Order are always on reruns so I should be able to gleam something that will aid my in my journey to NaNoLand.

That sounds like a great idea. I need to do something otherwise my story is going to stall out and that just doesn't work with me. I will finish this book. I just need to batten the hatches and do the legwork and the research.

Maybe I will get lucky and my muse will have mercy on me.