Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review of The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff

Synopsis: from amazon "Phaedrus, an enslaved gladiator in northern Britain in the first century, earns his freedom by killing his best friend, a fellow gladiator, in a final fight to the death. Within days of leaving the arena he is recruited by leaders of a tribe from the far north to impersonate Prince Midir, who has been robbed of his right to kingship in a brutal attack by followers of the current ruler, Queen Liadhan. As Midir, Phaedrus is charged with reestablishing his kingship and the tribe's rule in the land. In this world of superstition and ancient ritual, of fierce loyalties and intertribal rivalry, Phaedrus finds companionship and love, and something more - a purpose and a meaning for his life as he comes to fully understand the significance of the Mark of the Horse Lord."

My Review: Well I really am not sure what to think about this book. After finishing it last night I spent nearly an hour just sitting there staring off into space trying to figure out exactly what to say. The story and concept behind the book is fantastic with a great main character and supporting characters, but for some reason it fell short for me. The writing style was difficult for me to get into and there seemed to be a lot of details and world building that wasn't quite necessary. The first half of the book didn't really read like a story but more of a history lesson with a flourish. With all the information about history, beliefs and rituals of the cultures involved you would have expected maybe a series where all that information could be put to use, but instead it is a stand alone novel. Perhaps due to the writing style and the information usage, I wasn't able to really get involved with the story or the characters. With all that said I did enjoy the book, Sutcliff threw some wild curve balls at me that caught me off guard and made me want to see how everything resolved itself. It may not be a book for everyone but it was a good one.

My Rating: This was such a hard one for me to review and rate, it left me more stumped and shocked than anything.  So I am going with a middle of the road rating this time with Two Paws and Stump Wag.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday Writing

So Wednesday is my official writing update day. I have so many story projects going on and I need a push to get some done. So I will be trying to post each Wednesday about how my writing adventures are going (and I may need a swift kick in the pants by you guys sometimes).

Current Active Project:

Princess Bs - 32,131 words
A story about a woman, recently divorced and returned to her home town to figure out what is next. She encounters an old friend and spends a weekend with him and his daughters. Feelings that are long since buried are rising up again, but are her recent loss and his current life going to stand in the way of their happily ever after?

Other Works in Progress:

The New Old Home - 17,193 words
Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, but what would you do with that money? That is the question presented to Natalie, when she is at the lowest point in her life, she is presented with an opportunity to make any normal person's dreams come true, but all those winnings can't give her what she wants most.

Tamlyn Marie's Grace - 12,072 words
Think Cinderella only with a matchmaker ;)
The Last Mountains - 15,352
A equine shapeshifting family is being hunted to near extinction and the young new leader must go against all her lessons and approach the elite council for aide. Will they help her? How will she keep her family's traditions and values alive, let alone her herd?

Night Rider - 17,229
Alice is a recent high school graduate who is a very accomplished competitive rider in Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, and Western/Rodeo. Her parents had arranged for her to attend a private college on the east coast geared specifically to equine professions. However, Alice wants to focus on her studies in English Literature. When she arrives at the college she hides her riding abilities, but can she keep her talent and love of horses hidden?

Other Ideas Plotting:

Bloodsoar's Story
A pegasus struggles through life, ejected from the herd, near capture by humans.

The Assassin's Assassin
A student learns what the school is really teaching and sets out to destroy those who support the program.
Angel Story
Angels battle out an age old feud in a parallel world
No new writing again this week but I did come across so many notebooks while packing up my shelves.
This is a pile of at least some of my stories, character descriptions, plot notes, etc. etc. 
I think it is time I finally get these organized and start finishing some of those random ideas jotted down everywhere!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

After Dark Review of Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton

 I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)

Synopsis: "I am Meredith, princess of faerie, wielder of the hands of Flesh and Blood, and at long last, I am with child–twins, fathered by my royal guard. Though my uncle, Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, claims that he is the true father since he abducted me from my home, betrayed, and defiled me. And now he has branded my guards as a threat to my unborn children.

Bearing an heir has placed me halfway to my aunt’s throne, that much closer to my reign over the Unseelie Court–and well ahead of her son, my cousin Cel, in this race. Now I must stay alive to see my children born and claim my place as queen.

But not all in faerie are pleased with the news, and conspirators from every court in the realm plot against me and mine. They seek to strip my guards, my lovers, from me by poisoned word or cold steel. But I still have supporters, and even friends, among the goblins and the sluagh, who will stand by me.

I am Meredith Nic Essus, and those who would defy and destroy me are destined to pay a terrible price–for I am truly my father’s daughter. To protect what is mine, I will sacrifice anything–even if it means waging a great battle against my darkest enemies and making the most momentous decision ever made as princess of faerie."

My Review: Wow! Quite possibly the best book of the series! This one was so fast paced with so much excitement. NOTE: If you haven't read the rest of the series stop reading now! Possible spoilers for series! . . . . . okay I am assuming that you are ready to read on ;) So this was so exciting, I was proud of Merry for stepping up and getting tough.  Finally Merry has stepped up to the plate to become the Princess/ Queen we have all been waiting for her to become.  She finally realized that not everything can be solved with love and sex, that sometimes people are just too evil for mercy. It may be a little morbid but I liked seeing her following through with her call for kin slayer. She also continued her political thinking and games of the courts. And finally we have Merry & Cel come head to head, its about time that we have this ultimate climax to the series. The result of this book could have easily been the conclusion of the whole series, but Hamilton decided to continue it (not that I am complaining, just noting this could have ended the series perfectly fine).  As another note, there was next to no sex involved in this book, the action wasn't all in the bedroom.

My Rating: How could I not give Swallowing Darkness a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag?! I couldn't put it down and read it in nearly a day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Custom Pony was Custom of the Week!

I am very excited to announce that a custom I made a few years ago has been featured as custom of the week on Rebecca Enzor's Blog!  Each week Rebecca picks a Custom My Little Pony to feature.

So this week she featured my custom pony Ralph.

I made this pony after seeing the Simpson's episode featuring the clip below and couldn't resist making this pony!

So thank you so much Rebecca for picking Ralph to be featured!!

Monday Reading List & New Meme Meet Me on Monday

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

What I Read Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett
A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton (After Dark Review)
Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton (After Dark Review Coming soon)

Currently Reading:

Frost Kisses by Kailin Gow - pb - on page 45 of 284
Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff - Nook - on page 55 of 230
Divine Disdemeanors by Laurell K. Hamilton - pb - on page 51 of 371

Next Books to be Read:

Catundra by Stephen Cosgrove - Childrens/Bedtime stories
A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin - Fantasy
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - April Book Club
Liberty: A Lake Wobegon Novel by Garrison Keller- Mount TBR Challenge
 So I found this fun little meme I thought would be great to add so people get to know me a little better (and discover my strange little quirks).  Meet Me On Monday is hosted by Acting Balanced where 5 questions are posted each week for us to answer about ourselves and share with all of our readers.

Acting Balanced

Here are today's Questions:

1. How do you like your eggs? I Love eggs, pretty much any way except sunny side up.  Breakfast is my favorite meal and often times I will have it for breakfast and again for dinner!

2. Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone? I wish I could say someone fun like a friend or family member but nope, just another mortgage broker for work.

3. Do you have a place you keep 'junk' in your home? Um we have several places to stash junk, some drawers, boxes and just plain piles on the dressers. I have been trying to cut back on the junk though, but its a process.

4. What is on your 'spring cleaning' list? Oh lordy, its more of a "spring repair list". We have started working on the last of the electrical work (we have had to re-wire our entire house and are down to the last three rooms), then we have to strip walls and paint 2 rooms, we also have to get the chimney cleaned, AC serviced and replace the duct work, replace our ancient and failing heating system and finally replace the gutters.  So that is just the major list and doesn't include all the piddly little stuff.

5. What blog post have you written recently that you'd like more people to know about? (don't forget to link it up) Um I'm not really sure, I have not posted much of anything other than reviews.  I am not so great at putting together fun discussion articles *shrugs*
Well I just realized that the next season of Game of Thrones starts on April 1st and I have less than 2 weeks to read the second book in the series YIKES! So as soon as I finish the books I am currently reading I will be focusing on A Clash of Kings and the Count of Monte Cristo.
I have been working hard on getting all my collections packed up in my library/pony room.  I have one more box of ponies to pack up and have started moving the books off the shelves. The problem with moving all my books and alphabetizing them as I go, I come across books that I want to read again!!