Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My NaNoWriMo Idea

Title: Once Upon a Crime

Genre: fantasy

Protagonist: Maddox Snow, Ember Hood and Dorian Fa. The great-granddaughters of Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Fa Mulan respectively.

Other Main Characters: Chandler Grimm, disgraced godmother and proprietor of Grimm Detective Agency.

Antagonist: The Mirror Cabal, but more importantly Bobby Peoples. She is a shrew human trafficker of humans and Ever Afters alike.

Setting: Grimm, NC. It is a fictional city located in the mountains of NC. Right outside of Asheville on the fictional Highway 160. Grimm is the last Ever After enclave in the world. It started life as a small village and refuge for Ever Afters who couldn't blend into human society or who refused to mainstream.

Plot: In a world where fairy tales are real the Mirror Cabal runs vice in the city of Grimm. From human and Ever After trafficking to drug smuggling, racketeering, loan sharking, and money laundering they flood the city with crime, despair, and death. Madeline Hubbard or MaMa rules the cabal and the city with a ruby encrusted fist.

Chandler Grimm, of THOSE Grimms, a disgraced godmother looking to make a difference in the world she did all she could to destroy. She was drummed out of the Godmother Corp after a lifetime of corruption and decadent living. After her ousting she looked the other way while the Ever After enclave her ancestors helped build flushed itself down the toilet. After the murder of Theo Thumb she has had enough.

Chandler sets about righting the wrongs she let slide. Chandler recruits Dorian Fa, a burnt out lawyer slaving away at the Hall of Justice locking up every Shuffle gang member she can get her hands on. Ember Hood, the only reporter for the Grimm Tribune that will report on cabal activities despite the scare tactics. And Maddox Snow trophy wife looking for adventure with her vigilante night raids on rabbit hole processing centers. Together this motley crew will become Grimm's Angels and they will combat the spreading evil of the Mirror Cabal.

Their first target is Bobby Peoples, proprietor of the Ewe Group, and lowest totem on the Mirror Cabal. Bobby Peoples has lost a sheep and she will kill anyone to get her back. The bodies start to fall and its up to the Angels to put a stop to it and bring Bobby down.

Point of View: Its going to be third person but the focus is going to be on the Angels. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Babbling

Amulet of Elusion by Katie Lynn Johnson 

The Nitty Gritty: Alexa Costa is a girl stuck in her hometown till she is 18 but some silly little law. Orphaned at a young age she is raised by a needle wielding swordmaster by the name of Ivy.

She makes the grand mistake of falling in love with Caleb Whitman, a finder of lost objects and all things antique from the forbidden island of San Lucero.

Her 18th birthday is the catapult that hurls this sheltered girl out into the big bad world, and she is shocked at what she finds and who she encounters. With the love of her life at her side and a budding magical power in her back pocket Alexa is going to show the world what a girl determined to never sew another dress can do.

Amulets, sea men, and butterfly kisses oh my!

Opening Line: "The cottage sat on the very edge of the forest, on the outskirts of the vibrant city of San Lucero." 

This is the second ARC I was offered to read by the author for an honest review, and I have to say that I am so honored that writers are trusting me with their babies.

The Good: This is the sort of book you take on a beach vacation or just something to slip into a tub of steaming hot water with a great glass of wine.

Its a simple and quick read. Nothing life shattering or altering. Its easy to fall in step with this novel. Its light hearted even when the heart stopping action get rolling. Which I will admit takes a bit of time to get rolling. But it moves pretty fast once it does. The pacing falters slightly in the beginning as if Johnson is afraid of starting the action before she's gotten a chance to explain everything. I like info dumps as much as the next girl, but give me some action from the start. However once that last birthday candle is blown out we are in a Michael Bey film till the last page.

It does take a couple of chapters to finally get into the plot. Which is a tad annoying, but I know the author was trying to give us a better set up so she can use the rest of the book for the actual book. Which is fine because we don't have to stop in the middle of an action scene for a info dump just so we can keep up.

The Bad: You know how you read a book and all you get is the protagonists and antagonists thoughts and POV and you think to yourself 'gee I want to know what Character A is thinking right now'. Well this book is that thought. Every little errant thought that crosses through any characters head is written out. So this book is that cure all that you've been looking for. Some things don't need to be written out at the exact point. Instead of writing out that Sam was annoyed at something. Just say Sam rolled his eyes to the heavens. That conveys and gives us more than writing out his annoyance.

Sometimes less really is more.

Johnson switches between utter simplicity and overcompensating. Its like watching Forest Gump and that fat guy from Balls of Fury playing ping pong. Its fun for a few minutes, but after awhile you stumble away with a headache wondering if your sister suddenly became a twin.

I hate the song, but I wanted Alexa and Caleb to get us some Blurred Lines. Quibble over doing the right thing just once. Make the worst decision in the history of making decisions. I like squeaky clean characters in my Disney movies, not in my fantasy novels. Both of them are great characters don't misunderstand but they are too great. Sure Alexa is unsure of herself in the beginning, but that should carry over into her life choices and actions. I want some indecision, some clouded judgement on her and Caleb's part. I the two of them together in a scene is sweeter than a slice of pecan pie.

Final Thoughts: Light and easy read that helps chase away those lonely birds when you have an empty house and awaiting the start of The Walking Dead and you've ran out of ice cream.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Book Babblings

Possession by J.R. Ward 

The Nitty Gritty: We are back folks for another round of Heaven vs. Hell. The angles had suffered some major losses, and Jim is tired of it. So he sets out to snatch something back from the jaws of hell itself.

Jim Heron had just given Devina a deal of a lifetime. Sissy Barten's soul for a flag. Those flags that represent the wins for each side.

Cait Douglass is a woman on a mission. With a new body, new hair style and new attitude she is crawling herself out of her comfort zone and she starts with the sexy songbird at the Black Crow. G.B could sing the stars out of the sky with his sultry voice and heartfelt words. Cait is instantly attracted. As she goes to meet him for a date a mysterious man pulls her attention

Duke Phillips is a black cloud looking for a landing strip. Being a bouncer at the Iron Mask affords him the fight club he needs to keep himself on an even till. Until a blond bombshell rocks his solitary life to its foundation.  

Opening Line: "Okay...where am I? Where am I...where-"

The Good: The sex is of course always good. Better than most erotic writers out there. Its almost more than a pleasure to get to those nuggets of sex slide in between the pages.

The plot twists in Possession were really good. Unexpected really. It gave the series something it had been lacking since the beginning. Surprise.

I have to admit that I feared Sissy would be a pain in the butt, annoying to the point of frustration. She wasn't. There were times where I wanted to slap her silly, but they were fleeting and few in number. Sissy put on her big girl panties and stepped up to the plate. I got a little pissy with her towards the end, but I can see how Ward is going to write out the ending for her and Heron so I can wait that out. I just hope Sissy is going to do what I think she is going to do in the next two books.

Devina. I've got to say that I am digging this "character." Here is a demon with a severe ODC problem, not to mention a delusional sense of love for the enemy.  I don't mean like the fat nerd in English thinking the high school quarter back is going to ask them to the prom. I mean the when Heaven loses Jim will stand with me as the world burns then we will screw till the end of time delusion. Devina honestly believes she is in love with Jim and the he loves her in return. If only the war for the souls of mankind weren't in the way. Then they could be together. This is an illusion of epic proportions. Right up there with me believing Jay Baruchel is going to propose to me. Don't rain on my parade about that please. Have to love a woman committed to her delusions.

The Bad: I had to say that I think Ward is a bit sexiest. Not in the sense that the women don't play central roles, but they are playing THE central roles. None of the souls that have been in play are women. Even the demon Devina isn't a "real" woman. The demon is just wearing a flesh suit with a great rack. I want one of the souls to be a woman. Give us some variety. I am sure there are plenty of women out there with dark and cloudy pasts that she could give us.

The characters are just starting to be interchangeable. I mean you can line them all up in a line and they all look, and sound the same. Nothing is special or different about any of them. All the woman are small, shockingly white, delicate, blond or brunette. I mean Caldwell is maybe an hour from New York. You can't tell me that there aren't black, Hispanic, Jewish, Cuban, Middle Eastern men and women in Caldwell that Ward can give us. Its all just starting to be blah for me. The men are all too huge to be believable with dark sordid pasts that would make Ted Bundy blush. I'm just looking for some variety. Something different. I mean its getting to the point where I can tell you what's going to happen before I read the book and I really hate that because then I don't have to read the books.  I guess its silly to want a white author to give me characters of color, but I don't think thats so far off the mark. Isn't not like we live in a homogenous society. Even Cheerios got with the program and gave us an interracial couple and child.

Get with the program Ward. Give us a sistah, or a chica, damn even the stylist could have been Korean or Samoan. Hell I will take an Italian Jersey Shore style at this point.

I think its beyond silly that the souls of these men all depend on the women in their lives. And its always the women trying to point them in the right direction. As if all women are virtuous. I know it might sound crazy that as a woman I am advocating for a "bad" girl but I am starved for variety here. All around variety. I guess. I want her to play with some different character archetypes and plot devices. Sure you can go with the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it,' or you can take what works and make it better.  

My Hope for the Series: I just want Ward to get back to the basics. We have two more books to go before the end. Let Sissy get into the game and take Eddie's place or give us back Eddie. I hate that the guardians of the Manse of Souls is splintered. I liked them and I want them ALL back in the game. The book was entertaining, but it wasn't her best.