Month: January 2014

How do you like to read on trips?

How do you like to read on trips?

Right now, I am in Texas for a work trip – slogging away my days in a conference center, and spending much of my evening reading in my room (I don’t enjoy being around drunk co-workers, even if I don’t actually know most of them). I was in the middle of a couple of physical books at home, but not wanting to increase the weight of my purse, I decided to take my Kindle with me instead. I usually switch between the two mediums at home, reading some library books for a while and then switching to whatever I’ve downloaded for cheap on my Kindle. Now that I think about it, since I got my Kindle (best gift ever, btw) I can’t remember a time that I actually brought a physical book with me on vacation or for business trips. But being the obsessive reader that I am, I feel… Read more »

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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters we don’t want to trade places with

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters we don’t want to trade places with

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where people who love lists and books can share their favorites based on a certain topic each week. This week’s topic is on the characters we’re not willing to trade places with. 1. Katniss in The Hunger Games This was the first character that came to mind, and I’m sure will appear on quite a few lists this week. Katniss has been dealt a raw hand. Over the course of three books she is put through hell and back, and at the end suffers from PTSD. Her sister (more on that later from the lovely Ashely), Katniss’ entire motivation from the get-go, dies an entirely pointless death, in which I mean it achieved nothing good and could have been avoided. At the end Katniss is a shell of a person, whose sole consolation from the ordeal is… Read more »

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Review: The Dancing Master

Review: The Dancing Master

Julie Klassen has proven once again that she is a master story-teller. But she doesn’t stop at just the glamour of balls, gowns and men in breeches. In each and every novel, Klassen finds a unique and sometimes taboo subject to write about. The Dancing Master is no exception and centers around the issues of family reputation and adoption during the regency era. “But I don’t think any parent can expect to escape this life without disappointing his child at some point. And the same could be said the other way around. We all of us fall short now and again, and disappoint someone dear to us, or ourselves. Thankfully, my parents have always been the forgiving sort.” Meet Julia Midwinter, a young woman of means, set to inherit the title of Lady Midwinter and Buckleigh Manor upon her marriage. Julia is befitted with every luxury in the world: horses, close… Read more »

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Review: Winds of Salem

Review: Winds of Salem

I read through Winds of Salem fairly quickly, mainly because I was interested to see how the Beauchamp family planned to alter the events of the Salem Witch Trials. At the conclusion of Serpent’s Kiss Freya is pulled back into time, right in the middle of the trials with no memory of her family or her powers. Killian, still believed to be the destroyer of the bofrir, is kidnapped by the valkyries and is also placed in 1692 with no memory of his previous lives and love for Freya. Freddie and Gerd are on their own and are living in a small cramped apartment with the pixies, as Gerd is trying to finish her degree. As usual, the pixies are loud, mischievous and dirty. While we read a few romps between the newlyweds, it isn’t necessarily surprising to learn they are having marital problems. After a night of passion, Gerd… Read more »

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The connection between writing and music

The connection between writing and music

The other night I was in the car, driving home, and I heard Christina Perri’s song Human for the first time. I loved the song, especially when we get to the bridge and Perri gets a little Björk-esque, but what made me connect to it so immediately was the way it captured the emotions and concepts of the novel I’m working on. That got me thinking about the connection between writing and music. Songs are a form of storytelling — even without vocals. Think about it. I enjoy listening to electronica, especially when writing. Right now I’m listening to some trance that just so happens to forgo a vocal track. If I concentrate on the music for a moment instead of writing, I can picture a scene and action, there is a build, a climax and a resolution. Music is also purposefully constructed in such a way to bring out… Read more »

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Review: The Ghost Bride

Review: The Ghost Bride

If you are looking for luscious writing and a captivating setting, look no further than The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. Going in, I knew absolutely nothing about the beliefs and customs inherit to turn-of-the-century Malaya (what is now Malaysia), and perhaps my ignorance is exactly what drew me into this novel so deeply. I was romanced by the setting. Without it, The Ghost Bride wouldn’t have received such high regard from me. Li Lan is beautiful, but overlooked. Her father is an opium-addict who continues to fail to raise them out of bankruptcy. Li Lan has no advantageous marriage prospects until one day she receives a proposal to become a ghost bride. The union would mean she would be provided for, but also married to a restless spirit, the recently deceased son of the wealthy Lim family. Li Lan turns down the proposal but continues to be visited by the spirit… Read more »

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Review: Longbourn

Review: Longbourn

I’ve said before that I’m an Austenite. So when I came across Jo Baker’s Longbourn on Goodreads,  I jumped a bit in my chair. This was my first spin-off of P&P. I’m usually a bit leery of those types of books, the ones that are positioned as the original characters’ diaries or books that set free Darcy & Lizzie archetypes in today’s world. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying those types of stories, I understand the desire to keep the world going, but I don’t need to hear Darcy’s third cousin’s side of things or watch two modern-day people muck up their relationships. I’m content to read P&P again, or put in one of the P&P movies or mini-series (2005’s P&P with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen is my favorite). But Longbourn was different. Here was a book that promised a behind-the-scenes look at life in the Bennet household – utilizing the… Read more »

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Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 debuts we are excited for

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 debuts we are excited for

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where people who love lists and books can share their favorites based on a certain topic each week. This week’s topic is on the 2014 debuts we are most excited about. As usual, Ashley and I split the list down the middle: 1. Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen When the description starts like this: For those who loved Seraphina… you know I’m hooked. This book has dark magic and trolls and political intrigue. Get me a copy! 2. Half Bad by Sally Green This book is a modern-day witch story with witches divided in the good versus bad camps and centers around a 15-year-old guy who is separated from his father – the biggest bad witch. I’m really intrigued to see how the witches fit in the every day world. 3. The Falconer by Elizabeth May… Read more »

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Review: Golden

Review: Golden

I start with a disclaimer: I really wanted to like Golden by Jessi Kirby. I was drawn to it because of so many reviews saying how beautiful the writing was. But while the writing itself was fine, my problems with the book are related to its characters and core philosophy: You aren’t really living life unless you are taking chances/straying from the beaten path. I’m not knocking anyone who enjoyed this book, I can see there is some goodness to it and understand why you might love it. I just can’t The story is about a quintessential good girl named Parker Frost who is a high school senior and one of the finalists for a scholarship that will completely cover her tuition to Stanford. She finds the journal of Julia Farnetti, a tragic town celebrity and the namesake of Parker ‘s scholarship. Julia and her boyfriend Shane disappeared ten years… Read more »

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Review: Serpent’s Kiss

Review: Serpent’s Kiss

The Beauchamp family returns in the second “Witches of East End” series in Serpent’s Kiss. At the very end of Witches of East End, we learn that the Beauchamp family are actually Gods and Goddesses from Asgard, trapped in Midgard (our world), after the destruction of the Bofrir (a magical bridge connecting Asgard to the mortal realms). The novel starts with Freddie’s miraculous return. He reaches out to his twin sister, Freya, but drops a bomb when he accuses her lover, Killian, of framing him for the collapse of the Bofrir. Freya is torn between her duty to her family and her trust in her lover. Ingrid and Matthew Noble’s relationship continues to be awkward and full of misunderstandings; however, there are plenty of steamy scenes which make up for this! One night Ingrid is kidnapped by a group of Pixies, confused about who they are or where they’ve come… Read more »

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