Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review for Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

4.5 Stars. Well Paced and Exciting.

The funny moments give this book bit of a chick-lit feel, but the vampires are real vampires, and written in a way that you can believe they exist in our world. I liked the level of believability Charlaine Harris achieved.

Though at first I hated her name, I liked Sookie’s personality. She was straightforward and honest. I enjoyed seeing her being both a strong female lead as well as being protected by the vampire Bill. It felt like there was a good balance between making her a strong woman and keeping her soft. She felt like a real woman. Sometimes, however, her blunt questions and the dialogue that followed felt a bit like an info-dump. In fact the dialogue in general is where this book lost me a little. The author certainly captured the feel of southern speech, but sometimes the dialogue felt strange. It didn’t always sound natural to me. The kids however did sound like kids, and I really appreciated that. Children’s dialogue can be hard to write and too often they end up sounding either like babies or full grown adults. The author did a good job of giving them believable and age appropriate voices.

As for the other characters, I found them deep and interesting, many of them colorful as well, including the vampires. The vampires in this book were not thinly drawn monsters. They were people, fully fleshed out people with problems and issues and personalities. I think that really added to the believability of the story.

This book also had some nice descriptions making it easy to visualize Sookie’s world. Overall I enjoyed this story, and will continue with the series.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

If they Re-Vamped Buffy...

I'm currently working on a story involving vampires (more info coming soon!), and of course I've been doing some vampy research, wanting to know what's been done, or what's been popular, so I can work my own original twist into the genre. I really want to get away from the Twilight-style story that has overpopulated the YA genre. I will not be writing a sappy insta-love, good-vampires, fluff piece. I want to write a story that looks at the harsh realities of what being a vampire means and relate that to real life issues. So, in my quest to read and watch everything vampire related I've been re-watching some of my favorite episodes of Buffy.

After getting sucked back into the magic of this series I found myself wishing it had never ended, and wondering what the show would be like if they re-booted it. (Rumors of which have been circulating for some time.)

How could they do it? Now the storyteller in me comes out, and since this is the Buffyverse we're talking about, anything is possible. The easiest way to go about it would just be a simple reboot. But, I think it would be more fun to connect it to the original series (kind of like what they did with the Star Trek movies). And how would they do that with Buffy, you ask? It's simple (once again, anything is possible in the Buffyverse) have someone make a wish, boom instant parallel universe where new writers can send Buffy down whatever path they want and have no requirements to staying true to the shows original cannon. All it would take would be any one of the original cast members to appear in the first episode for all of thirty seconds, insert vengeance demon, and a wish that "such and such" had never happened. Then they can start the reboot where ever they wanted and make what ever changes they wanted, after all it would be a new wish dimension.

For this to work though, we would still need a cast of talented actors who would truly look the parts. These would be my picks.

Buffy - Ashley Benson - Have you seen her on Pretty Little Liars? She totally has the acting ability to be the quick witted Buffy we all know.

Xander - Josh Peck - There are a few actors out there who I think could pull off Xander in the looks department, but I think Josh Peck would be best to capture Xander's humor, and the resemblance isn't far off.

Willow - Morgan Smith Goodwin - Yes, the girl from the Wendy's commercials. Every time I watch those I can just picture her saying a Willow line. "A doodle, I do doodle, you too, you do doodle too."

Angel - Paul Wesley -  Let's be serious he's pretty much playing this character already on The Vampire Diaries. Check out The Vampire Diaries just like Buffy.

Faith - Ellen Page - How much does she look like Eliza Dusku in this photo, it's crazy, and I think she could really pull off Faith.

Spike - Kyle Schmid - I don't know if anyone could ever play Spike the way James Marsters did, and I don't think anyone could pull off bleached hair quite the same. But, after watching Kyle Schmid on Being Human, and with those blue eyes and cheekbones, I think he'd be a great Spike.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review for Adam’s List by Jennifer Ann (aka: Jen Naumann)

5 Stars.
Hot and Heartfelt. I don’t read too many contemporary novels, but I’ve been intrigued by the NA POV and have enjoyed Naumann’s writing in the past. I was able to receive a free copy of Adam’s List from the author, so I thought, why not, and I loved it.

This book was Hot. There’s lots of steamy romance in this novel. Personally I don’t read a lot of heavy romance novels and I stay clear of erotica. I love romance, but don’t want to read really graphic romance. What I loved about this book was that it was loaded with romance, but it didn’t feel vulgar. It was sexy.

As for the plot, we get to see a number of fun places. Adam and Jewels go on a trip that I think every college-age person plans at some point in time, but that most don’t actually get to do. Throughout the novel there is this bittersweet tug and pull between living life to the fullest and being responsible, which is exactly what becoming an adult is all about.

The story progressed at a natural rate, and the characters felt real. Jewels is a character with layers, she can be bubbly and bright, but she has things she struggles with as well. She felt very real to me, and I loved her. Her relationship with Adam was a rollercoaster ride of emotions and I completely understood how she was feeling every step of the way. He pulls her life back into perspective and she does the same for him. They make each other better. The surrounding characters were fun as well and they each had their own unique personalities. All together these characters take you on a journey that will tug at your heartstrings.

Overall, if you’re a fan of romance, I highly recommend this one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

8 Places to Promote your Book Blog

Bloglovin - "Follow your favorite blogs and discover new ones." Bloglovin is a social networking site specifically for blogs. Join the site and add your blog, new posts will automatically be added to your feed. Bloggers can follow you and you can follow them just like Facebook.

Stumbleupon - "Explore more." Stumbleupon randomly takes you from one site to another, choosing the sites they think you'll like based on your interests. It's a great way to discover some new pages, and something to do if you're bored. Create an account and you can suggest your own blog posts, adding them to their database. You do have to manually add each one, but it does help your posts get more hits.

Paperblog - This is another site specific to blogging. It's easy to navigate and once you join and add your blog your posts will automatically upload to the site. They also have nice stats to let you know how many views you get via their site and via your own blog

Phantom Owl Press - Do you write book reviews of indie books? Then you can link up to your review on Phantom Owl's site. At the end of each month they take all the links they get and put a blog post together to share with their readers.

Carole's Chatter - This blog covers a wide variety of topics, but they have a linky, just like Phantom Owl Press, where you can link up to your book reviews to share with their followers. Every month gets it's own page.

Ink Pageant - "A parade of blog posts for writers." This site is for finding posts specifically related to books and writing. If you're a writer and have advice to share with other writers, blog about it and share your posts here.

Goodreads - Goodreads is a great place to connect with other writers and readers in a variety of ways. First, you can add your blog feed to your profile page, allowing easy access to your blogposts. Second, if you look through the groups you'll find some dedicated to bloggers where you can share your posts.

Yahoo Answers and Quora -Using Yahoo Answers and Quora sometimes feel to me like being a door to door salesman. You can search through the questions people post, and sometimes you're lucky enough to be able to plug one of your posts in your answer. It's probably not the best way to drum up new readership, but it does occasionally work.

What sites do you find most helpful, any that should be added to the list?