Monday, October 31, 2011

Reviewing, planning, and reminding

Well, I have finally finished Spider's Revenge and I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I felt like that book was a lot of character wrapping up. In reading the book, I felt like it was the end of the series only to find out at the end of the book there was a preview for the next book in the series. I love Jennifer Estep and I adore her books but I'm finding myself bored unable to really gather up the good parts of the book. The beginning of the book was a huge let down for me because it was pretty much the same world-building as in the first couple of books. I know that authors try to make it so people can read their books out of order but going too deep into details you've already outlined in the million four books ahead of this one. I don't mind a little reminder tidbit here and there but to basically summarize the series throughout this book was a bit nerve racking for me. I do like how it ended but it seemed like the author was trying to wrap a pretty little bow around the story while leading a little edge for the next book in the series. I'm not sure that I will won't go get and read the next book but I'll whine the whole time :)...

I believe the next book on my list of To-Reads is going to be Trance by Kelly Meding. She posted the first chapter of the book on her website to enlist interest in the new series and it kind of grabbed me. I'm interested to see where the story takes me after the first chapter. It's something about kids with super-abilities that are fighting other adults with super-abilities and somehow their magic goes away and comes back when they are adults...I dunno. It's weird but intriguing. I'm digging the concept but I worry that the story line will be played out. But here's hoping it's something fun!

If you've never read Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever, you are completely missing out. I love young adult books. I truly do. I don't believe they should be called young adult books for the sole reason that these books are written for everyone. Everyone has life lessons, everyone has those moments in life whether they are in high school, the summer of college or graduation that they sit back and think about what the reality. I know I do. The Truth About Forever is about a girl dealing with loss and finding herself and her way back into the life she once knew. The only way she can find this and herself is to let go and truly open herself up. She meets a guy and they end up playing Truth. Now, if you've never played Truth, it's a dangerous game. You have to be careful about who you're playing with and if they are truly worth your time. It's basically similar to 20 questions without a limitation on questions but you have to be completely honest. There's no win or lose because if you're a sociopath and lie all the time, well...this is fun for you and if you enjoy telling the truth and trust the other person, you get to learn a lot about the person and they life they lead. Anyway, I absolutely adore the concept of Truth in this book and the role it plays. It serves to draw the main character out of her shell while getting to really deal with her emotions through a less personal way. I'm sure I'm explaining this horribly but I urge anyone reading this to go pick up Sarah Dessen's book, The Truth About Forever. I'm not saying it'll change your life'll make you think. Well, it made me think anyway.

With that said...Happy Halloween!!

"What you have to decide is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you'd want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don't be afraid. Be alive."
The Truth About Forever - Sarah Dessen

Thursday, October 27, 2011

La-La Land?

So I got to thinking...maybe I should call this blog Lost in La-La Land vice Literature because I damn sure haven't written anything recently about books. I started this blog at a rough time anyway because of my school stuff (which includes two math classes) and because of this Light the Night Walk. A lot of priorities and not a lot of time. Yes, I'm still reading that Jennifer Estep book and haven't gotten any further than last post but I promise I will get to reading! Anyway, I thought tonight I would take a page out of my Lilylove's blog and write about food!

I baked tonight! Yup, I sure did! This is a rare and tremendous feat for me. We are doing a bake sale tomorrow and I decided to bake banana nut bread (the one thing I feel I can bake). Now, I've been playing with my recipe so it's kind of amusing that I baked two loaves today and they look completely different from one another! So without further ado, here's my foray into baking for the night!

This was the second loaf. I added more baking soda and less flour but more cinnamon and nutmeg.
This was the first loaf and I'm quite proud. Fluffy and moist and very tasty. I will not tell you the recipe as I believe this will be my secret :)
And this would be the two loaves together...the left one is the one with less flour and more baking soda & the right is the fluffy awesome one!
 Okay, so I'm done with the baking portion of the night! As you can tell, it's almost bed time! However, I am really looking forward to finishing this book in the Elemental Assassins series. This one doesn't seem to be grabbing me as much as the rest of the series has. I am anxious to read some of the other books that I have in my queue. Trance by Kelly Meding has really caught my eye...if I can't focus on Spider's Revenge, I might have to take a break and come back to it (though, I hate to do that!). Who knows?

Tonight I'll leave you with a quote from a great author, Veronica Roth from her book Divergent:
"There is power in controlling something that can do so much damage - in controlling something, period."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Flashy lights!

I don't have much to discuss in the way of books. I'm currently making my way through Spider's Revenge by Jennifer Estep. I've finished the Ilona Andrews series (so far) so I've moved on to continuing the Elemental Assassin books. By the by, Ilona Andrews is not one person. It's two! It's a husband/wife combo that writes books today. That just fascinates me!

I went out of town this weekend and ended up with some badass light-up gloves and a light-up mohawk. Yes, that's right. A mohawk!

 Jenn had a purple mohawk, and I bought a green one!
It's hard to tell that the finger tips glow but they are awesome!
 This was a haunted castle walkthrough in Sandusky, Ohio. We didn't go but I think Jenn's gonna con me next year into going!

This gargoyle is just plain badassery!
So that was my fun little adventure this weekend. I was able to spend some time with my family, see my adorable little nephew and hang out with Jenn. The only downside is that it's an 11hour drive and it's very difficult to make.

I don't have much to say in the way of books since I didn't get a lot of reading done this weekend but I am excited that I've got Jenn reading! I'll be sure to get a better update when I finish Spider's Revenge.

"The two men stared at each other. Assumptions were made, judgments rendered, dicks measured." - Jennifer Estep

Monday, October 17, 2011


If there is one thing that truly drives me insane in the literary world, it's when authors decide that they don't need to develop a relationship and it's okay to just throw two characters together and say they are in love. That was an issue that I had with Twilight. It drove me nuts to see these two characters that seemed to just randomly fall for one another in a day or when their eyes met. While I get the whole "love at first sight" phenomena, I don't think that excuses an author from developing their relationship and why they love each other. Don't get me wrong, I do like the Twilight books. I like the idea of love conquering all and family and all that but in the same sense, don't write down to me. Make me read up to you, as an author.

I am the first to admit that I almost didn't give Ilona Andrews the time of day because for some reason it took me over half the first books in her series to actually pay attention to what was going on. Once I was about halfway through, I started seeing promise in the premise of the story and started connecting with the characters. I loved that in the first book, she didn't automatically set up Kate and Curran or Kate and Crest. I liked that she held to the fact that Kate was a loner and she was terrible at starting any kind of relationships. Once I finished that story though, I absolutely had to start the next. That's how I mark a great series in my head. When I finish the first book in the series and I'm excited to get the next book to see how things progress. Each of the books has been like this for me, including the first one. 

Magic Bites was an interesting read for me. I don't mind urban fantasy and I've read a couple of shape-shifting and magical novels but Ilona Andrews really came up with a unique premise in her story. The way magic and technology don't do well side by side in her series gave me pause but really outlined how much her story tended to be different from the rest. It gave a lot of back story (which I tend to get impatient with) since I'm of the mind of show me, don't tell me. I don't need a bunch of lines about the bookshelves in the library that are full of books, I need something that tells me why that's significant and how it affects the character. Maybe that's just me...However, I do like some history with the story that helps to explain just what I'm reading and why it's a big deal that Kate's got someone chasing her for a relationship in which she's running for her life from. Both of those sentences probably contradict each other but oh well to each their own.

Magic Burns was a lot easier for me to read. I think it might have something to do with in my head, I already had the world built from the first book. What fascinated me what how strongly Kate ended up feeling about the people around her. Throughout this particular book, it was clear that Kate was growing as she progressed. Fighting the villain, crying when certain people died (even though she'd only known them a short while), her ability to actually feel was aptly present in this book. Bringing Julie into the picture really outlined what kind of character Kate was. She picked up a stray girl similiar to herself when she was young and became the crazy aunt. That's the kind of person I want to read about. Yes, she's tough and hard and fights like an insane wombat woman but she also has a heart and doesn't forget where she came from. Now, where she came from was really starting to piss me off because I just couldn't figure out the dynamic. I got that Roland was important but I didn't understand why. This book and the next one fixed that issue for me. Curran also became a bigger role in this book as well. This was where you really got to see his interest in Kate but it didn't turn Kate into a sniveling twit Barbie that needed a man in her life. She railed against anymore closeness. I loved every second of it while I also hated that Curran wasn't in it more (mmmm, Lions!)

Magic Strikes quickly became my favorite of the series so far. The gladiator ring concept might have been played out except for the way it was set up and the idea of the team. Curran was at first absent throughout this story but, in the end, played a  huge role in the story. You could tell the minute he fell in love with Kate. Derek also was a huge role in this story but I liked that the side characters are getting depth too and a little more of the Pack's politics show up in this one. Now, back to Curran...the hot tub scene was just...yum. Seriously, there was so much sexual tension in that I refused to do the whole spoiler thing but for me the end was what tied the story together. It didn't end with a neat little package, but it did really outline that there could be something there with Kate and Curran. Kate still had her issues to work out but there was a definite shift in the relationship. I really like how Roland is ever so slowly becoming a larger presence in each book. I thought having the main villain dragged out through the entire series would get a bit tiresome but Ilona Andrews does an magnificent job of keeping me entertained. 

Magic Bleeds is next on my list. By far, this is my favorite. I still have one more to go but this one stands out from the rest and I think a lot of it has to do with the depth of the characters and their relationships. Yes, there was a villain but you got to see a lot more of Curran, Kate, and Andrea. I loved Andrea and she's a hell of a best friend. She's not perfect, nor does she claim to be but she keeps Kate in check. Curran and Kate together in this one made me actually laugh out loud a couple of times. This isn't usually good for me because mah babeh tends to make fun of me when I try to explain why I'm laughing. He usually doesn't get it. The glue in the seat, the workout bench and catnip. I loved it. I like that Kate really put herself out there for Curran. The beginning did piss me off though. I was probably about as mad as Kate herself! Seriously?! Who does that?! UGH! All is well in the world of Kate Daniels now. Though, I absolutely love the addition of Grendel too! The end about made me cry and that's not a common thing for me. I understand why it happened but I'm so glad about the way it ended. This series does a great job of relationship building and character building. It gives me hope that authors aren't just getting lazy and saying "And so the lion fell in love with the lamp lamb" (Though I quite like the lamp mistake).

Tonight, I will most likely begin reading Magic Slays and I'm quite looking forward to it. I'll be the first to admit that I'm pleasantly surprised by this series and I will probably pick up another of Ilona Andrews' series after I've read some of my To-Reads. I was able to get in some good reading time this weekend where I knocked back Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, and Magic Bleeds and I'm quite pleased at my progress. This blog is pretty good for me in that sense because I kept thinking about what I would write here when I was done with the books. Not necessarily book reviews but at least if I liked them and my favorite parts.

"Just wait until he figures out I shut him out of his slut hut." - Kate Daniels
Magic Bleeds, Ilona Andrews

Friday, October 14, 2011

Here's a twist...

I've practically spent that last two posts whining about how difficult it was to get into Magic Bites and how I probably wouldn't continue reading the series. You know that list I had on the last post? Yea, that's kaput too! Apparently, my brain was pleased with the ending of Magic Bites and won't let me do anything but read the next book in the series. I still had a hard time reading the world building part but I do love the characters. The heroine is a chippy bitch which, of course, makes me like her. I must know what happens with Curran and the next job! Oiy vey, see this is what happens. Lost in literature was a good title for my blog because I damn sure don't know what I'm doing next other than reading Magic Burns.

I'm thinking this is going to be an outlet of sorts for me but not only for books and my writing. I think I'll throw out some life thoughts and see what comes of it. I had a thought earlier today and it's kind of stuck in my brain to be kicked around while I'm working. 

So let me ask you guys my 2 readers...are you where you thought you'd be in 10 years? When you're in high school, teachers always ask you: Where do you want to be in 10 years? We always answer with our dreams like being a writer, astronaut, auto mechanic doctor; but do we ever reach those goals in 10 years? Not likely. I used to say that I hoped to be a writer in 10 years, I hoped to have a couple books published and maybe even work in the publishing world while I was writing. Then...I went to college. I had a plan. I was going to major in English so all I would have to do is read all day for homework, then I was going to write at night because how hard can an English major be? Then I started thinking about the what if? reality of life. English majors make little to no money. Writers are often similar to the starving artists. Bills needed to be paid. So, I got a job. I started working in an office environment because I was skilled with computers and desktop publishing kind of work. When I left my first job and started working as a government contractor, those dreams of being a writer were long gone. I changed my college degree to Business. I started running out of time. I stopped writing but I never stopped reading though. I think on some level, my dream was always about books. I'm not sure it was about me writing books. Maybe it was about me reading. It's crazy. One minute you have your whole life planned out and the next...some random thought pops in your head and life changes right before your eyes without even realizing it. 

Ten years ago I wanted to be a writer and have my work read and loved around the world. Now? I'm a government contractor looking for a career in technical writing or something of the sort. I guess in a way, I'm still trying to become a writer but in other ways that dream has transformed into a simpler one. I will still go to school. I will still work full time doing what I know how to do. But now I simply dream of being happy, healthy and contributing to society. I dream of continuing to make time to do what I love, reading.

What's your dream?

"There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise, you'll never understand what it's saying." 
Sarah Dessen

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Oh you irk me!

As you can probably guess from the title of this post, I have been trying and trying to fix the comment code on this blog to make it so the lines aren't bunched up. I have yet to figure out how to fix this issue but dammit I'll keep trying. If anyone has any tips or tricks, I welcome them!
I've decided to also use this blog to show some of my poetry work, or at least link back to it. I'm in the process of setting up a new deviantArt account with all my poetry from the last couple of years. Who knows, maybe I'll start writing again too! Go figure! Books, blogs, and blah poetry (I was hoping for a B word that went along with poetry). So check back on my link in the navigation bar for my work as I slowly whip it into shape!
Oh and one last thing before the actual reason for my post...I start two new classes this week so I'll be up to three classes this semester. I'm thinking that means that I'll be reading less more (I'll be wanting to avoid homework). 

Onward to books!
I'm still reading that damn Ilona Andrews book. At this point, it's not really about getting into it anymore. I'm really just trying to finish it so I can move on to another book that catches my interests. I always hate when a series I think I might like falls short of what I was expecting. That's not to say that Magic Bites is a bad book (I don't believe in bad books), I just think it's not my cup of tea. Now, a good Jeaniene Frost book? :shudder: I can't wait for the next one! Actually, I have a couple of options as to which book I'll be reading next. Here are my options:
Spider's Revenge (Elemental Assassin #5) - Jennifer Estep
Unforsaken (Banished #2) - Sophie Littlefield
Trance - Kelly Meding
Reckoning (Strange Angels #5) - Lili St. Crow
Hellbent (Chesire Red Reports #2) - Cherie Priest
Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid #6) - Richelle Mead
A Touch of Frost (Mythos) - Jennifer Estep

I'm leaning heavily towards reading this list as written but it doesn't help that some of those books come out in two weeks. That's also one of the major things I love about GoodReads. It helps me track the books I've been wanting to read and how many books I've read and all that fun stuff! There's a link above on my navigation bar to my GoodReads account too so enjoy!

As I've decided is customary, I believe I'll end this wonderful little blog with a favorite quote:

"Life is an awful, ugly place not to have a best friend." - Sarah Dessen

This always makes me think of my Lilylove :) So in my head, I mesh that quote with Grey's Anatomy so that life's an awful place not to have a person! <3 

Until next time I finish Magic Bites...

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another day...

Still reading Magic Bites and it's still giving me some hassle as to keeping my attention. I've caught myself a couple of times skipping bits and pieces because I want to get to the heart of the nitty gritty. It has taken me a lot longer to read this book than most of my recent books. My GoodReads To-Read list is down to 63 books which makes me happy but most likely by the end of the week there will be a ton more books added to it.

As for everything else? Well, I'm doing a walk in memory of my cousin Brian Pritchard. He married into the family and truly became part of all of us. I was never given the chance to meet Brian but I followed his blog. He had a motto that I've kind of adopted myself, Just Try and Ruin My Day. Take a second to check out the blog that my cousin Stacey is keeping up about life after the unthinkable, and go back into the archives to see what Brian used to write. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society does a Light the Night walk every year in our area. I'm the team captain of a team this year because I really wanted to do something in memory of Brian. He truly inspired me. I'm trying to raise my goal of $1K before our walk so we can all be champions for a cure. Every little bit counts. Will you be a champion?

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I'll leave you with this quote that I really like by Sarah Dessen from The Truth About Forever:
"It's just that...I think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It's the universe's way of providing contract, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It's how life is."

What a way to explain the imperfections of life and reality.

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's good to have goals....


Well, in January, I made a goal for myself to read 100 books in 2011. Luckily, GoodReads has this nifty little book tracker that tells me what books I've read so far this year and how many I need to read to keep pace with achieving my goal. Right now, I'm at 66 books and I need to read 11 books fast to get back on track. I've hit a bit of a lull on reading so that worries me a bit. 

So, right now since I had 45 minutes some time waiting for the doctor I'm getting back into reading with Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. I started this awhile back but couldn't get into but now I'm forcing myself because I just hate having unread books on my nook and I hate not finishing a book no matter how inattentive I am. Fortunately, it appears to be picking up so I read a good amount today. 

I've read some really killer books this year including the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (though, to be honest, it took me awhile to get into the first book), more books in the Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost (I genuinely think this might be my favorite series), and Divergent by Veronica Roth. I was blown away by Divergent and found myself incredibly sad to learn that the next one is still in the works and won't be out for awhile. I've started really enjoying dystopian type books...but I still adore Sarah Dessen (young adult novels)...It's crazy! 

But for now, I leave you with this quote from Magic Bites:
"What kind of woman greets the Beast Lord with 'here, kitty, kitty'?"

I've got to say...that's my kind of lead heroine!

I doubt that this will turn into a book review kind of blog but I do intend to use this blog as a platform to suggest some really great books in my opinion. Here's hoping it doesn't go awry!