Saturday, March 17, 2012

After Dark Review of A Lick of Frost 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 Gentry, princess and heir apparent to the throne in the realm of faerie, onetime private investigator in the mortal world. To be crowned queen, I must first continue the royal bloodline and give birth to an heir of my own. If I fail, my aunt, Queen Andais, will be free to do what she most desires: install her twisted son, Cel, as monarch . . . and kill me.

My royal guards surround me, and my best loved–my Darkness and my Killing Frost–are always beside me, sworn to protect and make love to me. But still the threat grows greater. For despite all my carnal efforts, I remain childless, while the machinations of my sinister, sadistic Queen and her confederates remain tireless. So my bodyguards and I have slipped back into Los Angeles, hoping to outrun the gathering shadows of court intrigue. But even exile isn’t enough to escape the grasp of those with dark designs.

Now King Taranis, powerful and vainglorious ruler of faerie’s Seelie Court, has leveled accusations against my noble guards of a heinous crime–and has gone so far as to ask the mortal authorities to prosecute. If he succeeds, my men face extradition to faerie and the hideous penalties that await them there. But I know that Taranis’s charges are baseless, and I sense that his true target is me. He tried to kill me when I was a child. Now I fear his intentions are far more terrifying."

My Review: It is amazing how each one of the books in the Merry Gentry series is so different. While this one toned down the sex factor slightly from the last book, the court intrigue went through the roof and the story line took some very unexpected twists and turns. I don't think Lick of Frost ranked all that high in my list of favorites in this series but it was definitely a shock effect book. I did however really enjoy getting to know a little more about Frost and what makes him tick. It is difficult to discuss the book without giving away any spoilers, but I will say that once you finish, you can't wait to pick up the next book (which I did immediately even though I have read them before).

My Rating: While this one wasn't my favorite of the series it still sucked you in and made you turn the pages.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and Stump Wag.

Book Club Review of Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Synposis: "In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love."

My Review: Well I read The Hunger Games again for March book club and for a little refresher before the movie comes out. Honestly, it was just as exciting the second time around, even though I knew what was going to happen. Another book blogger I follow, Sunny Reads, mentioned the first person narration and not normally liking it but not minding it. I tried to pay attention to that this time and really I don't think I noticed it the first time and completely forgot about it this time around too because the story was just so good! I can't urge people enough, if you haven't read the book yet, please do so!! Now just to see the movie, which I am hoping they don't ruin the pictures I have in my head, but the music that I have heard so far sounds very promising!!

My Rating: As with the first time I read the Hunger Games it was fantastic and I have to give it a Four Paws and Stump Wag rating.

Rhodie Reader Thoughts:  Thankfully it was a month when on regular book club member and a new member were able to come.  Everyone loved the book! The new member was worried at the beginning of the week when she hadn't started it that she wouldn't be done in time, but she made it with time to spare.  We discussed the fact that it was in first person narration and though none of us are a fans of it, we didn't mind it in this book. Of course we all loved Katniss and her will for survival, it was a toss up though for Peeta and Gail.  We also went on to discuss the movie trailers, we noted that it seemed like in some of them Katniss' hair doesn't seem quite right, but such a minor detail.  We are all eager to see the movie next weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 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

So no new writing this week since the last idea struck me.  My fingers and mind are itching to let some of this creative energy out but I have been swamped with work, taxes (yuck) and packing up the room which holds all my library and pony collections.
I am hoping once the packing and taxes are done in the next week or so I will have nothing left to do but get some pony projects done and some writing! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review of Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett

Synopsis: "Jen's life of partying and sneaking out has grown stale. So on a whim, Jen makes a bet to turn Trevor, a goody-two-shoes geek, into a "bad boy." As she hangs out with Trevor, however, she finds it's actually kinda fun being a geek. But when Trevor finds out about the bet, Jen must fight for the things she's discovered matter most: friendship, family, and, above all, love."

My Review: Love, Love, Love this book! This is definitely a read in one day kind of book! You can't think about anything else. While it might follow the typical dramatic plot line of nearly all YA romances, there are a lot fun little side points. I love the geekiness of the book (I was definitely a geek and still am). There are also so many underlying themes within Geek Girl about love, loss, personal strength and the power of friends. Not only is the story well developed but so are the characters, even sub characters, you can't help but root for everyone involved. You can't help but laugh and cry with Jen and Trevor. Then you add in Todd, Mrs. Green, Jane, Brian and Pat and you have a great cast of characters everyone can relate to and love. Even first person narration couldn't take away your attention to the book and story.

My Rating: I couldn't give this one any less than Four Paws and Stump Wag. Geek Girl was brought to my attention by my dear friend Jessica over at Thoughts at One in the Morning and it is entirely her fault I didn't get any chores done all night, but so glad she put this book on my radar!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review of Golden Surrender by Heather Graham (link to a giveaway)

Synopsis: "PRINCE OLAF OF NORWAY—Lord of the Wolves, the golden Viking warrior who came in his dragon ship to forge a great kingdom in the Emerald Isle.

PRINCESS ERIN—Daughter of the Irish High King, the ebony-haired beauty who swore bitter vengeance on the legendary Norseman who had brought death and destruction to her beloved homeland.

Yet, in the great Norse and Irish alliance against the invading Danes, it was her own father who gave her in marriage to her most hated enemy. Bewitched by Olaf's massive strength, seduced by his power, still Erin vowed that neither the wrath of his sword nor the fire of his kiss would sway the allegiance of her proud and passionate heart."

My Review: I love any books featuring Vikings! This one was pretty fun to read and get to know the characters, you really can't beat a stubborn viking and the temper of an irish together! While the main plot line really followed just about every other historical romance I have read, it still had some fun and interesting twists involved. The characters were fantastic, all of them, even the sub characters and those with only a few brief moments in the book. A note to some readers, there were a few sex scenes but they didn't over run the book and are easily skimmed if you prefer not to read them. So all in all it was a good fun read, though predictable ending, the characters really brought out the best in Golden Surrender.

My Rating: The predictability of this one brought the rating down slightly but the characters were fantastic in my opinion.  I give it a rating of  Three Paws and  Stump Wag!

Golden Surrender was suggested to me by Holjo of Pedantic Phooka Blog and is running a giveaway for Golden Surrender on her blog until 3/13 - so hurry over to enter to win your own copy!!Giveaway Link

Monday Reading List

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

North of Need by Laura Kaye (after dark review)
Golden Surrender by Heather Graham (review coming soon)

Currently Reading:

Frost Kisses by Kailin Gow - pb - on page 45 of 284

Next Books to be Read:

Catundra by Stephen Cosgrove - Childrens/Bedtime stories
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - April Book Club
Liberty: A Lake Wobegon Novel by Garrison Keller- Mount TBR Challenge
Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton - Fantasy Romance

Hurray for more reading!!  I think once I finish Frost Kisses I need a little break from the YA, I have noticed the last several of the reviews I have given on them have been quite negative.  I am hoping it is just because I have little patience for them right now.  I am really really looking forward to The Count of Monte Cristo, though the rest of the book club is giving mixed reviews and many are planning on not even attempting to read it.
I am also planning on getting moving on the Bedtime Stories too.  I have been watching my stats carefully and tracking the most read posts and the Bedtime Stories have an overwhelming lead! Even though I haven't done them in several months they are still topping the most read posts every week.
So that is it for the week for now.  I am attempting to get caught up on my goodreads challenge, only 4 books behind!