Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review: Elphame's Choice

Elphame's Choice (Partholon, #4)Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. It was sent to me in a book club and I cancelled my membership. This is a book in the middle of a series and the ending felt just a little forced, but it was an enjoyable read for me. Elphame didn't fall to the typical "woman" trope of so many books. She had uncertainty and moments of weakness, but she was a strong woman who did what was right. The only thing that really bothered me was the literal Hand of God, so to speak, that is through the book. Epona has a literal hand in everything and crafts their world. As a silver lining to this, however, it is a well done Dues ex Machina. I can't wait to see what happens to Cu in the next book!

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Book Review: Death by Chocolate

Death by Chocolate (Killer Confections, #1)Death by Chocolate by Julie Anne Lindsey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ruby Russel is a modern day June Cleaver with twist. When she finds her husband's little treasure box filled with pictures of a sexy young girl, she whips up a viagra-infused chocolate mousse as an embarrassing payback. And the story only gets crazier from there.

Once her husband is gone, Ruby gets herself into all sorts of trouble with her neighbors, a nosy reporter, a too-do-gooder preacher and a suspicious therapist. With her best friend at her side, Ruby tries to set the record straight with unfortunate results.

Death by Chocolate is a dark comedy likened to if Arsenic and Old Lace met I Love Lucy met Thelma and Louise. The plot unfolds, revealing more and more information to make you suspect that things aren't always what they seem.

(view spoiler)

If you are a fan of dark comedies, you will definitely enjoy this book. Well written with subtle social commentary, Julie Lindsey hits the mark.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Babbling About Myself

I began writing when I was in the third grade. We were given a prompt to write about a person who was living inside a world that had been overrun by trash. I wrote about a girl who had to crawl through tunnels of trash to get anywhere she needed to go. Her shoelace caught on some of the trash and she accidentally collapsed one of the tunnels. My assignment was chosen by my teacher for a competition. Since the paper had already been sent home, I had to go home and ask my mother for it. She had thrown it away. I tried desperately to recreate it, but the zen was gone and the redone story never won any awards.
Other stories crept out through my pencil through the years and I found a love of romance novels from my grandmother who kept a box of them under her bed. The new genre won me over with dashing heroes and lovely heroines and my writing took a turn for the same. When I was sixteen, I called a local publishing company and asked them what it would take for me to become a writer. They politely patted me on the head and told me I had to have a story worth publishing first and they would have to read over a manuscript. I set to work that very Monday, hand writing out what would have been a novel length romance. I still have those neatly hand-written pages stored in my Important Papers cabinet. My chapters were scenes and it was horribly cliche, but it would have worked as a young adult romance. One of these days I might actually finish it just to say I can.

Writing fell to the wayside for me through the ups and downs of trying to figure myself out in my late teens and early twenties, but  I could never quite drop the writing bug entirely. Sometimes it chewed so hard on my ear I couldn't stand it. The only way to stop it from boring through my brain was to sit down and put words to page. Writing became my release and therapy and I cannot imagine a life without it. I couldn't imagine my head space without it.

Now that I've gotten into my career, I've taken up the craft of storytelling once again and, amongst my various fan fiction ventures, role playing and NaNoWriMo, I believe I am finally ready to put words to the page and make them final. The stories that has been with me for so many years can finally be told.

Outside of writing, I have a serious love of video games. My favorite game is Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. I have a special soft spot in my heart for Final Fantasy games. Seven was the first game I actually sat down to play on my own without hating my life. Well, until I got to the final battle against Sephiroth. I want to start playing the Persona games and people have been telling me to play Silent Hill. I admit I want to play after two friends of mine were screaming like little girls while they were playing. I kinda want to know if I'll have the same reaction. I'm not sure if World of Warcraft and City of Heroes count as video games since they're PC, but I play a little too much WoW and really need to get back into CoH again. I could probably get all of my achievements in Warcraft done a little easier if I would stop RPing and start raiding.

I began roleplaying with Dungeons and Dragons when I was twelve, but I didn't quite understand the point of the game. When I hit sixteen, I found Vampire the Masquerade and was hooked. I moved into a little bit of Rifts and we'd just picked up a game that used a literal bowl full of dice at the point we lost our RP group. I have more Magic the Gathering cards than I care to admit, even though I don't play as much as I used to. Finding time and players is sometimes a challenge. I'm to the point where I RP with friends over instant messenger. I even RP my MMORPGs.

I'm an anime fan. I used to watch the "Japanamation hour" with my grandfather some nights. I can remember watching Vampire Hunter D and caught part of Grave of the Fireflies. Since then I've picked up anime at conventions while staffing the video rooms. I'm a cosplayer. My first two cosplays were Ceres Victoria from Hellsing and Reno from Final Fantasy VII. Since then I've done Lucretia from Dirge of Cerberus. I'd like to get back into it again, but doing a costume RIGHT takes time and money.

I've recently gotten into ball joint dolls thanks to a friend of mine. Of course I want to mod the dolls to look like my original characters. I found a decent match for Makiros. I have a potential body for Baby, but he's going to take a LOT of modding. We'll see what happens with him. It's an expensive hobby, so a little saving is in order. I find it difficult to trash something I've paid a couple hundred dollars for, so I may never get the balls to do anything with Baby's demon form. I spend a lot of time reading up on the hobby on the Den of Angels forum. I figure the more I learn from what others have done before me, the better I'll be when I get started.

I'm a reader. I LOVE books and since I've gotten my Nook I spend way more than I should reading new things. I'm in love with urban fantasy and paranormal romance. I'll read anything at least once. I do book reviews here on the blog of what I've written. I am hopelessly addicted to GoodReads. I still have a place in my heart for Anne Rice. Interview with the Vampire was one of my favorite books for a long time. I have an appreciation for the Ender Trilogy (that is four books) by Orson Scott Card. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my favorites for evoking emotion. I'm hopelessly addicted to the Wren and Sergei books by Laura Ann Gilman. I've recently stumbled upon Lori Green and C.L. Macullough through Lyrical Press and Julie Lindsay is a treat.

I'm a twitter addict. I keep more blogs than is probably healthy. I love to cook and I love trying new recipes. I'm not a thick-skinned as I hoped I was. I'm also really glad you're here reading through all of this.

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Never really gets easier

Story time since it's on my mind and I wanted to share and ask a little extra patience.  May 20th. Mary and I are at a local garden shop...