Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fantastic End-Of-The-Year Review for my story Twin Rivers!!

I just received one of the most wonderful reviews tonight, and it really capped off my year and brings me hope for the upcoming year!! Not only that, but this wonderful reviewer actually took the time to share on her blog, on Goodreads, on Smashwords, on Barnes & Noble, and also on her various personal networking accounts (like Twitter and Facebook).

What a wonderful gift! Please click on any of the links above to view her wonderful work, and if you make it to her blog please leave a comment letting her know how great her review is! :)

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's Up Wednesday - Last week of 2011

It's been a while since I've been able to traverse through the blogs that I follow and get updated on their comings and goings. So it was refreshing to kick back and read some great posts. Here's some noteworthy postings made in the last 24 hours:

- LitBotanica posted a big ol' After Christmas sale... not gonna lie, it's tempting me, even though I'm super broke right now lol...

- LivetoRead, BookedUp, BigAl's, TBR, Writetomakealiving, Phantomparagrapher, Intoxicatedbybooks, and Myneurtoicbookaffair all posted excellent book reviews on all types of books.

- Piecefrompieces hosted a little blog book tour.

- Phatfiber is giving away some yummy fiber again, which reminds me of how far behind I am on my spinning (yep, I spin yarn because I'm cool like that)...

- DamnFineHorror tells a tale of wisdom teeth extraction and horror (from what I remember from my wisdom teeth extraction, it WAS a horror).

- FairyTaleNerd talks about the book she is waiting on, which happens to be one I can't wait to get my hands on as well.

If any of these sound interesting, please go visit their blogs and say hi from AuthorJess! :)

Author Jess's Top 7 Books of 2011

As you can tell from my reading widget, I easily passed my goal of reading 111 books in 2011! While that certainly does not make me an expert, it does mean that I'm more qualified to talk about books than the average person. ;) Or something like that. I mean, let's say I averaged 120 books per year (which is very conservative). That means in my relatively short 29 years of life (ok, it will be 29 years in January, but since it's only a couple of weeks away I'm rounding up) I've read approximately 3,480 or more books!! So I probably know what I am talking about.

Since we are approaching the end of 2011, and I have a little extra time today, I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit the books I read this year and pick my top 7 recommended reads. I realize that there are still a few days left of 2011, but it is fairly unlikely that I will be able to finish any books by then that would make my top 7, so I'm forging ahead!

Though all of my recommended reads are worth checking out, these are the "must reads" that simply should not be overlooked! I've included their Goodreads descriptions below each title - and you can find a review for almost all of them here on my blog (a few were back before I starting writing reviews, but were still rated as 5 stars).

7) Twin Bred by Karen A. Wyle
Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb?
In Twin-Bred, the human colony on Tofarn and the indigenous Tofa have great difficulty communicating with and basically comprehending each other. Scientist Mara Cadell, who lost a fraternal twin in utero, proposes that host mothers of either or both species carry twins, one human and one Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara has secretly kept her own twin, Levi, alive in her mind as a companion and collaborator.
Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?...

6) Love Wins by Rob Bell
Millions of Christians have struggled with how to reconcile God's love and God's judgment: Has God created billions of people over thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell? Is this acceptable to God? How is this "good news"?
Troubling questions—so troubling that many have lost their faith because of them. Others only whisper the questions to themselves, fearing or being taught that they might lose their faith and their church if they ask them out loud.
But what if these questions trouble us for good reason? What if the story of heaven and hell we have been taught is not, in fact, what the Bible teaches? What if what Jesus meant by heaven, hell, and salvation are very different from how we have come to understand them?
What if it is God who wants us to face these questions?
Author, pastor, and innovative teacher Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance. The result is the discovery that the "good news" is much, much better than we ever imagined.
Love wins.

5) Soul Identity by Dennis Batchelder
What if you could bank your money for your next life? Smart-aleck and computer security expert Scott Waverly is skeptical of his new client's claim that they've been tracking souls for almost twenty-six hundred years. Is it a freaky cult, or a sophisticated con job? As Scott saves Soul Identity from an insider attack, he discovers the importance of the bridges connecting people's lives.

4) Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of Galileo's daughter, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has written a biography unlike any other of the man Albert Einstein called "the father of modern physics- indeed of modern science altogether." Galileo's Daughter also presents a stunning portrait of a person hitherto lost to history, described by her father as "a woman of exquisite mind, singular goodness, and most tenderly attached to me."
The son of a musician, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) tried at first to enter a monastery before engaging the skills that made him the foremost scientist of his day. Though he never left Italy, his inventions and discoveries were heralded around the world. Most sensationally, his telescopes allowed him to reveal a new reality in the heavens and to reinforce the astounding argument that the Earth moves around the Sun. For this belief, he was brought before the Holy Office of the Inquisition, accused of heresy, and forced to spend his last years under house arrest.
Of Galileo's three illegitimate children, the eldest best mirrored his own brilliance, industry, and sensibility, and by virtue of these qualities became his confidante. Born Virginia in 1600, she was thirteen when Galileo placed her in a convent near him in Florence, where she took the most appropriate name of Suor Maria Celeste. Her loving support, which Galileo repaid in kind, proved to be her father's greatest source of strength throughout his most productive and tumultuous years. Her presence, through letters which Sobel has translated from their original Italian and masterfully woven into the narrative, graces her father's life now as it did then.
Galileo's Daughter dramatically recolors the personality and accomplishment of a mythic figure whose seventeenth-century clash with Catholic doctrine continues to define the schism between science and religion. Moving between Galileo's grand public life and Maria Celeste's sequestered world, Sobel illuminates the Florence of the Medicis and the papal court in Rome during the pivotal era when humanity's perception of its place in the cosmos was about to be overturned. In that same time, while the bubonic plague wreaked its terrible devastation and the Thirty Years' War tipped fortunes across Europe, one man sought to reconcile the Heaven he revered as a good Catholic with the heavens he revealed through his telescope.
With all the human drama and scientific adventure that distinguished Dava Sobel's previous book Longitude, Galileo's Daughter is an unforgettable story

3) The Little Universe by Jason Matthews
What if you could create a universe - a miniature self-enclosed universe? Imagine having probing cameras that could focus to any star or planet looking for life. And once you found life, what if you could accelerate time and watch it evolve? What might you find? Primordial soup. Strange beings. Alien societies. Profound wisdom. These are not the questions Jon Gruber ponders as he pedals to his next carpentry job. Over thirty and unmarried, he doesn't even own a car. But a new assignment challenges him to rethink his place in the world. Is he a loser? Or is he about to become a partner in an experiment of phenomenal discovery? Webster Adams, astronomer, inventor, and Jon's latest client, performs such an experiment. To Webster's amazement, he finds planets and cultures beyond his wildest dreams. His little universe turns into a discovery machine - an overnight goldmine. He and his crew observe societies that evolve so far past them on levels of technology and spirituality, that the world will be forever changed. Webster's lovely daughter, Whitney, also overwhelms Jon. She opens his eyes to the deeper meanings within the experiment - to the divine nature and connectedness of all life, by finding the most advanced beings within the project - the spirit guides from Theta 7. The Big Bang is a God-game at multiple levels. For Webster Adams, one question immediately comes to light. "If I can create a universe," he wonders, "then who created ours?" The debate between evolution and creation is the subtle undertone throughout Webster's story. Can it be proven that God exists? Or is life random and free-flowing without design or purpose? Along with Jon, you, the reader, will be presented a new perspective on life and your role in the great mystery of the universe.

2) What Would Satan Do? by Anthony Miller
Disgusted with God's plan for Judgment Day, Satan has quit his job and left Hell in favor of a quiet retirement in Washington, D.C. But life on Earth is tricky for an ex-angel with a short fuse and no impulse control. When a parking attendant mysteriously bursts into flames and a fat lady ends up in low-Earth orbit, Satan finds that he suddenly has a lot of friends at the FBI. Worse, there are signs that the governor of Texas has somehow gone ahead and started up the end of the world without him. The Prince of Darkness heads for the Lone Star State, where he tangles with a megalomaniacal televangelist, joins the Militant Arm of the American Geriatrics Association, and wields the Flaming Stick of Divine Justice at a Jesus impersonator called Festus. Through it all, one thing is clear: Someone has to put a stop to Judgment Day. Now, having spent millennia trying to wreck the place, the Devil may be the world's only hope.

1) Juliet by Anne Fortier
Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.
This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.
But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?
From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.

Now that I've shared all these great reads with you, get out there and check them out! :) Think I missed a great read? If it was included in my list of books read for 2011 (you can see my Goodreads link on the left side of this blog) and it's not listed here, tell me about why I should rethink my list and add it instead. Is it a book I haven't read? Let me know about it and I'll see if I can add it to my list of books to read for 2012!

Interesting new gig on Kickstarter

I was recommended to check out this new gig on Kickstarter, and found myself laughing and backing the project! It's a fun new political game where you try to become president, amidst mudslinging from other candidates and miscellaneous scandals that pop up along the way. It doesn't sound like it plays favorites - you can be a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or any third party and still have fun playing this political game!

Here's more information about the gig:

It would be really fun if they could reach some of their goals before the Iowa Caucus and add in some of the extras - come join me and see if we can make it a reality!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What to give the Book Lover in your life

While I know not everyone out there loves books as much as I do, you may find yourself wondering what to give the book lover in your life other than the obvious - a book and/or a gift card to a bookstore.

If you want something fun and creative, here are some great ideas (and these would work not just for holidays, but also birthdays and anniversaries):

1) A book safe. My brother actually got me this for Christmas this year, and I absolutely LOVE it! What a fun and interesting gift! Plus, it will come in handy when I get around to making my "secret room" in the basement (which of course will have a hidden door behind a bookshelf, like all secret rooms should!).

2) A personalized Nook/Kindle/eReader cover. If your book lover happens to have an eReader, a cover can help to keep it safe (and make it more stylish).

3) A book purse. It is cute, and the book lover can use it to carry around a book he/she is reading currently!

4) Book Art. There is a TON out there to choose from, so if you can narrow it down by your book lover's preference it would help.

5) Objects made out of books. This covers many areas, including book lamps, book art, and even book jewelry.

6) Awesome book marks. I'm talking beyond the normal thin paper ones.

7) Book storage. For example, a book rack or a floating book shelf.

8) Unique Book Ends. These go well with #7.

9) Vinyl wall decals with a book theme. They would look great next to a bookcase full of books!

10) A book binding kit. Because one of the only things better than reading books is making your own books!

11) A book charger for his or her phone. It's more attractive than a plain charger anyway.

12) A book pillow. Perfect for laying back and reading a good book.

13) Fun book shirts. This way, your book lover can show off his or her passion for books.

14) Fun book mugs. Let's face it, I had to include this particular mug because it made me laugh (and sing a little).

You will notice that most of these options come from Etsy. That's because I prefer to buy handmade whenever possible, plus you can usually get the most unique gifts there! :) Most of these you probably wouldn't be able to get by this Christmas, but it never hurts to start planning for next holiday season or to pick up a gift for an upcoming birthday!

Shameless Shit #10: Share your favorite car/shower song.

I don't consider myself a "Scrooge," but there is one thing about the holiday season that I really can't stand - holiday music! To me, it all sounds the same, and there are only so many times I can hear a song (no matter who is singing it) before I start to look for ways to get away from the music.

Really, I only like ONE holiday song... ok, maybe two. But the only one that really gets me singing is Last Christmas by Wham! Why? Because it's terrible in that 80's pop star kinda way that gets me grinning from ear to ear. When Glee covered it last year, I burst out laughing and merrily began dancing around in my living room to it (seriously). For those of you who don't know it, here it is:

So I'd have to say that this time of year, my favorite car song (a song that I would sing loudly in the car) would have to be Last Christmas. Hands down.

As I was browsing Facebook the other day, a friend of mine posted this video, and since it makes fun of holiday songs, I thought it might be appropriate to share here. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the festivities of making fun of holiday music...

First Reads Flop - Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream by Caddy Rowland

Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream (The Gastien Series)Gastien Part 1: The Cost of the Dream by Caddy Rowland

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was surprised to discover that this book was written by a woman, because it had a distinct feel of being written by a chauvinistic man! This book is filled with very adult content, the kind of stuff that would make you feel dirty if you were reading it in public (or in my case, at work).
There were a couple of minor errors, but overall it was sound editing.
I would have liked this book more if it had more storyline and less sex without romance. It had the feel of a porn, where it's all about the sex and not about a relationship between two people. I think if there were less sex and more emphasis on the story, it really wouldn't have been a bad read. But as it is, I wasn't a fan and wouldn't even consider reading the rest of the books in the series.

View all my reviews

Recommended Read - 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money by Shay Olivarria

10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money by Shay Olivarria

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very short book with only a few small editing/spelling errors. It encompasses all areas of finance in a common sense way, and is just the right language and size for its intended audience. The only major fault I could find is that at one point the author uses a definition from Wikipedia, which to me isn't very professional (but that could just be my Master's degree professors ghosts whispering in my ears). It would make a good gift for a high school graduate!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

7 Worst Holiday Gifts

Every year, the holidays come along faster and faster (pretty sure I saw Christmas-themed items up already in October this year), and with that you would think that people plan ahead to come up with thoughtful gifts.

Unfortunately, not so much.

You can do a search and find literally hundreds of articles and blog posts about horrible presents - with everything from moldy fruit (I've sadly experienced that one) to maxi pads (can we say offensive?).

I thought I'd add my personal thoughts to the mix - and since I prefer doing lists of 7 (don't ask me why, it's not even a nice round number lol), here are what I would consider to be the 7 Worst Things to Give on a Holiday:

7) Fruit Cake. It's been a joke for years, but obviously there's something to it if it's still considered to be funny. I have never been a fan of it, even back before I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy - but now thankfully I can use that as an excuse not to eat it!

6) Donating to a charity in their honor. I'm not anti-charity - in fact, I highly recommended being a regular donor if you can - but don't donate in someone else's name unless you are 100% sure that they even agree with the charity you chose. For example, I'd be ok if you donated to the local Humane Society, but I'd be miserable to find out that you donated to the Phelps church down in KS (arguably the most hateful and crazy batch of so-called "Christians" I've ever heard of!)!!

5) The flu, the cold, or some other virus. I think that's actually why the rate of being sick is so high this time of year - people decide to visit with relatives even though it's obvious that they are not only sick but still contagious! If you don't feel well, don't hob nob with your relatives. Seriously. One year my husband and I both ended up catching the flu from relatives, and it was possibly the worst December/January of our lives!

4) Something that's obviously for you. For example, if you like to golf and you buy your friend who hates golf a set of golf clubs, in the hope that she will give them back to you later. That's just sad and lame! If you don't know what someone likes, don't just buy something that you would like and assume that it would be something they liked, too. That's what gift cards are for!

3) Personal clothing. Lingerie, undies, and other hidden clothes need to stay hidden and not be unpacked in front of family and friends.

2) A gift list that is unreasonable. Don't put things on there that obviously can't be filled, or that might put someone in an uncomfortable position. You want world peace? That's awesome, but it's obviously not something I can buy for you, so put something else down. Want a car? Buy it yourself, because you know I don't have that kind of money. Want cousins for your kid? Get them from the other side of the family, because my decision not to have children is personal and not something likely to be changed by your disguised attempt to belittle me (yeah, ok, this last one is a little personal...).

...and finally, my number one worst thing that you could give someone for the holidays:

1) An STD. Laugh now, but if you end up with sores in places that you desperately don't want to, or have itches that you can't scratch, you'll rethink the whole idea of unprotected sex! Don't cheat on your spouse, or if you're single and sleeping around, use protection. Pretty sure being given an STD would have to be the worst "gift" of all time!!

Remember, this is just my personal list - there are plenty of other gifts out there that might be horrible! Want more worst gifts? Check out Why Did You Buy Me That? and Really Bad Gift .

What's the worst gift you've ever received?

Recommended Read - What Would Satan Do? by Anthony Miller

What Would Satan Do?What Would Satan Do? by Anthony Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has perhaps a more dark and sinister title than it deserves - do not let the title deter you from reading this book! It explores what happens when Satan decided to leave his day job in hell to pursue the life of a college professor, and the calamity that ensues when someone else decides to start the apocalypse without him!

Rip-roaringly funny from start to finish, this book has some of the best quotes of the year and will keep you laughing every moment that you are reading! The characters are delightful, the setting is very American, and the writing style will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

This is easily one of the top ten books I have read this year, and I loved it so much that I had to pass it around to my coworkers and friends!

View all my reviews

Sorta Recommended Read - Demon Days: Angel of Light by Richard Finney

Demon Days: Angel of LightDemon Days: Angel of Light by Richard Finney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book takes a long time to build up so it feels pretty slow and scattered at the beginning, and then sadly doesn't seem to pick up the pace much more throughout. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, and it can be hard to tell the substantial characters from the background characters. The overall plot has the potential to be great once the text is gleaned down a bit with only the interesting parts remaining.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Recommended eBook of the Week, in honor of Skyrim!

I'm a huge nerd when it comes to three things: Books, TV shows, and video games in the Elder Scrolls series! When Skyrim came out in November, I had already had it pre-ordered for over a year, and made it there on day one to get it (I'm not quite crazy enough to be one of the people who showed up at midnight).

Since then, I've already completed the main quest and most of the side/misc quests, and have had Skyrim - and dragons- on the brain! As such, I knew immediately that this weeks' book would need to have something to do with dragons.

Behold, I give you The Weight of Swords:
"The dragons attacked fifteen years ago. Since that time, the Sword Bearers have protected Hellveti from their onslaught. Now, two of their elite members have been kidnapped by unknown forces.

One is doomed to die quickly under mysterious and cryptic circumstances, the other will be forced to fight for his life in a sadistic contest with only one possible end.

As he struggles to survive the arena, the Sword Bearer makes horrifying discoveries about the true nature of the dragons, and the true intentions of these new enemies.

Driven by a blood-soaked history now long-forgotten by the Sword Bearers, the enemy king has plans to right a wrong from centuries in the past. Nothing short of complete vengeance on Hellveti will satisfy his blood lust.

Once free of the arena, the Sword Bearer must work to slow the invasion of the Dragon Masters and an army so vast and terrible that it threatens to trample his people out of existence.

Behind it all, driven by a love for one lost to him, is the enemy general. One who seems to be both friend and enemy to the Sword Bearers.

Only one nation can win this contest. Hellveti has been caught by surprise and is weakened by fifteen years of attacks. The invading army is well trained and led by a legion of war dragons and riders.

Thundering battles, deception, intrigue, unfailing devotion, all-important honor, and ultimate sacrifice lead to the inevitable climax.

Where did the dragons come from, and why do these strangers know so much..."

Sounds really good, right? And totally relates to my current Skyrim/dragons obsession. If it sounds like something you'd like to read, just click the link on the left side of my blog, or click here.


Shameless Shit #3: Eat, whatever you feel like eating.

As I mentioned once before, this month saw the first vacation my husband and I have went on in several years! And I mean "VACATION", not just visiting relatives (though we did do a little of that on the side).

I did meticulous planning beforehand by looking up all the gluten-free places I could find, so we never had to really stress about finding a place for me to eat. It worked out really well except for one thing - I had hoped we would eat out less and eat in the room more, but it just didn't happen! Instead, we ate what we wanted when we wanted, and if we thought a place was too pricey we just split a gluten-free meal (much to the chagrin of my non-Celiac husband).

However, one place ruled supreme - Tommy Bahama, which offered a gluten free Pineapple Upside-Down Cheesecake! True, we really couldn't afford to eat a meal there, but we did grab dessert there twice, and it was sooooooooo incredible!

It felt nice not watching every single thing I was eating, carefully trying not to gain weight. True, my waistline paid a small price for it, but it was worth it!

Recommended Read - $everance by Richard Kaempfer

$everance$everance by Richard Kaempfer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From start to finish, this hilarious romp through the media business will have you chuckling and all-out laughing! There are so many great jokes as you follow an average guy who just wants one thing - to be fired so he can get his severance package - who ends up finding out that life doesn't always work that way, even when you try hard! With plenty of laughs and irony, the action moves from political mumbo jumbo to Ben Hur to ants drowning in organic kool-aid which will keep you on your toes! This is a highly recommended read for any adult who understands the complexity that arises from a focus on profits, or who has a job they desperately want to escape.

View all my reviews

Sorta Recommended Read - Lucky Break by Esther Freud

Lucky BreakLucky Break by Esther Freud

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you took the show "Fame" and combined it with a setting in England, you'd basically have the backbone of this book. Sadly, it didn't live up to expectations, and jumped around too much to really have a solid character build-up or flow. I didn't get into it as much as I wanted to, but it was a solid enough read without any glaring grammatical errors.

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First Reads Flop - Scars on the Face of God by C.G. Bauer

Scars on the Face of God: The Devil's BibleScars on the Face of God: The Devil's Bible by C.G. Bauer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Every town has its secrets, and Schuetten, PA (later renamed Three Bridges) is no different. From infanticide to all out war between the forces of good and evil, this book explores the darkness that is residing over this small town.

While the end of the book was good, I was completely lost and confused for the entire first half of the book. The story jumped from topic to topic, and I almost gave up on the book completely because it just didn't make sense. Even when some of it started to click, other parts never really got explained and just seemed to be there for no good reason. Because of that, I wasn't a huge fan of this book. There's just too much jumbled nonsense to really get into the book, and the ending was just so-so which hardly made it worth it. However, the concept was interesting enough to warrant two stars - I think if it were written better, the concept could really be used to turn this story into a 5 star story.

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Sorta Recommended Read - Water by Terra Harmony

Water (The Akasha Series)Water by Terra Harmony

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn't happy that there was a love at first sight, rush into sex scenario already by the 5th chapter of this book - it just has that rushed, forced, unnatural feel to it. It just comes off as too unrealistic! Also, the heroine was a little too sadistic in her sex, always talking about him having all the power. There's a couple of spots when the beginning of a sentence isn't capitalized, and a few other minor editing errors (missed words, incomplete quotation marks). I did like all the eco-friendly tips and facts interwoven into the story, though!

Overall, I sorta liked this, but I don't think I liked it enough to read any more of this particular series.

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Food Flop - The Metabolism Miracle Cookbook by Diane Kress

Sorta Recommended Read - The Metabolism Miracle by Diane Kress

The Metabolism MiracleThe Metabolism Miracle by Diane Kress

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a very good read, but I found it to be lacking in studies that backed up the data. As someone who has struggled with losing weight, I thought this might work for me - but it didn't. It also didn't work for my husband, who is a different body type than I am. However, it worked for a friend of ours, so it might still be worth it to try if you are interested. I wasn't floored by anything in this book, but it was a decent read.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

iCoupon Online

iCoupon Online

I was working out this morning, and Jill's Steals and Deals came up, and I almost passed out when I heard this deal!! Our recent trip to Florida easily cost 3 times this amount! So of course I ran to my computer and immediately purchased it for my husband and I, which means next year we will be going on a cruise! :) I had to share because I am so excited!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fiverr Updated to Sorta Recommended Read - Lust Takes the White House by Benson Grayson

Lust Takes The White HouseLust Takes The White House by Benson Grayson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**Updated: The author took my words to heart and had many of the errors corrected, so it is a better read now! It makes it much easier to follow the plot, and makes the story more interesting.**


I just couldn't see past the plethora of spelling, grammatical and editing errors to truly enjoy this book!! On the 5th page, "Pergamon" is spelled "Pergamum" AND "Pergamom", and it took me until the third or so chapter before I could safely identify that it was indeed supposed to be spelled "Pergamon." There was also "Back" instead of "Buck"; "There" instead of "Their"; and at one point, the use of Pergamon's name instead of Tammy's when referring to Tammy! It had the overall effect of making me feel like I was reading a very very rough draft, and all of the errors detracted from the story. Several sentences also seemed to be repeated throughout, as if they were only put in there as filler rather than substance. This book just doesn't feel professional, and I was wholeheartedly disappointed with it. If the entire book were completely cleaned up, there is a decent plot idea hidden here, but it REALLY needs some cleaning!!!!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Help teach the world about Bi-Polar and Asperger's

I was approached regarding this really great Kickstarter project, and just had to share it with all of you! A young boy named Donovan has Bi-Polar, Asperger's, and ADHD - which he refers to as his "dark side" due to his love of Star Wars. He wants to write a book, with the help of some trusted adults, that explains these disorders from the child's side of things. When you back this project, you can help bring a new perspective to these disorders!

To read more and to become a contributor, please visit:

I am a $1 backer, because every little bit helps! What can you contribute?

Fiverr Flop - Lust Takes the White House by Benson Grayson

Lust Takes The White HouseLust Takes The White House by Benson Grayson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just couldn't see past the plethora of spelling, grammatical and editing errors to truly enjoy this book!! On the 5th page, "Pergamon" is spelled "Pergamum" AND "Pergamom", and it took me until the third or so chapter before I could safely identify that it was indeed supposed to be spelled "Pergamon." There was also "Back" instead of "Buck"; "There" instead of "Their"; and at one point, the use of Pergamon's name instead of Tammy's when referring to Tammy! It had the overall effect of making me feel like I was reading a very very rough draft, and all of the errors detracted from the story. Several sentences also seemed to be repeated throughout, as if they were only put in there as filler rather than substance. This book just doesn't feel professional, and I was wholeheartedly disappointed with it. If the entire book were completely cleaned up, there is a decent plot idea hidden here, but it REALLY needs some cleaning!!!!

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Recommended Read - Flush This Book by S. Jane Gari

Flush This Book: True Tales of Bodily MalfunctionsFlush This Book: True Tales of Bodily Malfunctions by S. Jane Gari

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is chock-full of hilarious facts and anecdotes about a function we all inevitably do - poop. You're guaranteed to laugh out loud at least once throughout this book!! My stomach started to hurt in sympathy, or perhaps just because I was laughing so hard. Impressively gag-worthy yet totally hilarious, these are great stories to keep handy in your own bathroom. Not only that, but purchasing this book donates to the World Toilet Organization, a nonprofit that provides toilets to places that don't have them!

For the e-book version that I read, some of the font is a little off - even after adjusting it on my Nook, there was some font so small that it was almost impossible to read. But overall this was a great read and I highly recommend it!! Crap-tastic!! ;)

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I'm Back!

Friday night, my husband and I got back from our first major vacation in almost 6 years... we went to Florida!! Woot! It was absolutely beautiful, and we got to visit family and explore some of Orlando and Miami. Of course, it was a terrible shock to go from lovely 70-80 degree weather to 10-20 degree weather with snow here in Nebraska, but whatever.

Anyway, so sorry I haven't posted, but I wanted to soak up as much sun as I could while I was away! :) I've got a pretty big stack of books to catch up on, but hopefully I'll get some more books up here soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Recommended eBook of the Week

Since the title seemed so interesting, I couldn't help making this my new recommended ebook of the week! :) The Death of a Disco Dancer has the following description:

One night, eleven-year-old Todd Whitman receives a terrifying but hilarious midnight visitor: his cockatoo-plumed, dementia-stricken, John Travolta-smitten Grandma Carter. In constant nocturnal search of the mysterious "Dancer," Grandma clutches her absurdly precious Saturday Night Fever album cover and giggles her way through the dance steps of her youth.

When forty-something Todd returns home to help his dying mother, he reflects on that pivotal summer of 1981: the unique relationship he developed with his grandmother, the chaos of finding his place in a large Mormon family, the near misses of impressing the one-and-only Jenny Gillette, and the utter social catastrophe of junior high.

Ultimately, despite the ups and downs of life, Todd finds peace and strength through the selfless and dedicated lives of his grandmother and mother. "

Sounds good, right? :) So click here or click the link on the left side of my blog to buy it from Smashwords!

Shameless Shit #28 - Discuss a failure.

As I embark upon yet another semester of my Master's degree in Business, I am once again struggling to deal with one of my more recent failures - namely, of having to shut down my t-shirt printing business. Sure, I had been unhappy in the business for a few months for various reasons (including a particularly venemous customer who seemed hellbent on making my life miserable for something that wasn't even my fault), and I had only started the t-shirt business to one day move on to something bigger and better like owning a brick & mortar retail store or a bed and breakfast. I also had a major surgery coming up that I needed money for, and the only reasonable source seemed to be to sell my business equipment (my medical insurance pretty much bites the big one, with a deductible of $2,500 that has to be covered before anything gets paid for).

But the fact is, I'm not a quitter, and it really hurt my pride to admit that it was better for me to begin working for someone else for a while. It also hurt to realize that in the time I had run the business I hadn't been able to learn graphic design like I was hoping - I had needed to rely on my husband for that, which was something else that hurt the business since he was busy enough working his job and going to school full time.

So as I sit here reading about how to set up a business for financial success, there's a little voice in my head that is taunting me, calling me a quitter and a failure. Thankfully, there's a stronger voice in my head that reminds me that it was a wonderful learning experience that helped me to learn more about myself and my future goals for running a business.

As Winston Churchill would say: "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. "

And I still have enthusiasm! :)

Recommended Read - Orcs: Forged for War by Stan Nicholls

Orcs: Forged for WarOrcs: Forged for War by Stan Nicholls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had never read a graphic novel before picking up this book, but I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this! It had a lot of action and the illustrations were fantastic. The author really made the orcs sympathetic heroes which was refreshing. My only complaint was that the font used for the narration was difficult to read. I also wished there was more story text - but then again, I'm used to reading "regular" books and not graphic novels, so I'm not holding that against this book because I'm sure it had plenty of story text for this type of book. :)

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Recommended Read - Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face by Paul Acampora

Recommende Read - Ivy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore

Ivy's Ever AfterIvy's Ever After by Dawn Lairamore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a great fairy tale! It's a refreshing twist on the classics and contains a loveable heroine with fantastic companions who go on a unique adventure to save the kingdom and discontinue an unnecessary tradition. There's plenty of action to keep the reader turning the pages, and a good splash of feminism to the plot that a woman like myself can fully appreciate. It also contains a great lesson about looking beyond appearances to the person within. An overall entertaining read!

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Recommended Read - Chance in Hell by Patrick Kampman

Chance in HellChance in Hell by Patrick Kampman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved how this book starts out in the thick of the action and then keeps up that same pace throughout - there's never a dull moment! Great characters and a new and interesting plot kept me interested and turning the next page the whole time, and I was glad that the story left room for more books to follow either before the timeline in this book or after it - I would definitely read them! There were a couple of small spelling errors ("bye" instead of "by") and a couple of editing errors involving quotation marks, but they didn't retract from the story too much.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recommended Read - Beyond Broccoli by Susan Schenck

Beyond Broccoli, Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn't WorkBeyond Broccoli, Creating a Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn't Work by Susan Schenck LAc

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beyond Broccoli explores the nutritional side of diets, especially vegan and vegetarian diets. I enjoyed that the author was very straightforward about how she doesn't have all the answers and that not every diet is right for every person. Vegan, vegetarian and raw diets have become more and more popular and have been interesting to me, and I like how the author explained both their benefits an their drawbacks. I appreciate that she differentiated between men and women when it comes to health, because our systems don't always respond the same to different diets. The author is brave to stand up against the popular vegan/vegetarian myths. I also like that she touches on the problem with our ever-growing population and what it is doing to our food sources.

My favorite quote from the book was where the author states " amount of philosophy is going to change the body's nutritional requirements."

Some of the language in the book is pretty difficult and scientific, but it shows that the author has done her research and isn't just sharing opinion. It can also make the book a little more boring for some people. Also, during the testimonials it switched back and forth between first and third person, which was pretty annoying - perhaps if there had been quotation marks used for the first person portions, it would flow a little better.

Overall, this book is crammed with a whole lot of information on how to create a better-balanced diet that increases brain and body health. It's a very long read that forces the reader to think, so if you are looking for one of those "fast read fad" diet books, you'll have to look somewhere else.

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Sorta Recommended Read - Five Reasons to Leave a Lover by Carolyn Moncel

5 Reasons to Leave a Lover - A Novella and Other Short Stories5 Reasons to Leave a Lover - A Novella and Other Short Stories by Carolyn Moncel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won this book through Firstreads, which rocked my world! :) This book examines love, or rather, losing love. There were a few editing mistakes involving quotation marks, but otherwise no large errors. However, the book just wasn't as interesting as I was hoping it would be. The story bounced around a bit and just felt a little too mundane and everyday, without any lessons. The short stories included at the end of the book were a little better as they examined love from other angles. Overall, I feel like this book is only ok.

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Recommended Read - Conversion by S. C. Stephens

Conversion (Conversion #1)Conversion by S.C. Stephens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wished it didn't have a summary at the beginning of the book - I like getting into the story as soon as I can without having to read "extra" stuff in the beginning.
There were a couple of minor grammatical errors - "startled" instead of "started," "teethed" instead of "toothed," but they didn't take away too much from the story (I just happen to notice those things and then have the intense urge to get out a red ink pen and correct them!). The extra space between the paragraphs did bother me, though - it felt like hiccups or pauses that shouldn't be there and that interrupted the story flow.
I really enjoyed the overall romantic story, especially the humor and the interesting characters. I think the best part about the characters in this vampire novel is that they are ADULTS, not lovesick teens who "live happily ever after"!! I'm sure there are plenty of readers out there who can agree with that assessment.
There's a great unpredictable twist closer towards the end, but then the final ending was just a little too predictable and disappointing for me. However, I liked the characters enough that I'm considering reading any sequels, etc.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cool New Gig on Kickstarter!

As an author, I love it when I find unique projects that would benefit others. I found a GREAT project on Kickstarter today: . The project will be a book of games and facts about the Statue of Liberty, enough to keep any child captivated while learning more about the iconic symbol of our country!

I just had to back this project, because I could imagine taking my niece and nephews out there and using that book to help them learn while being entertained. You can back the project with as little as $1! Come join me in backing this project. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recommended Read - Charlie's Haunting by Mary Nicholson

Recommended Read - The Taker by Alma Katsu

The TakerThe Taker by Alma Katsu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story is a hauntingly new take on immortality with complex characters and a richness of emotions that I haven't found in any other novel. While there were some shockingly graphic adult scenes, they added to the overall theme of the book and created a dark yet realistic world and a mix of the past and present. With several interwoven characters, a story is created that is both dark and a deep reflection on what the definition of humanity really is. This book wouldn't be suitable for anyone under the age of 18, but is a well-recommended adult read!

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Recommended Read - Into Thin Eyr by Michael Horton

Into Thin EyrInto Thin Eyr by Michael Horton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story has a decidedly "Wizard of Oz" feel as the main character moves from land to land, each filled with remarkable people and creatures. It also reminded me of "Alice in Wonderland" as it contained amazing adventures for a young girl to have. It has an interesting story resolution, but it felt a little too abrupt and contrived/forced to me - I would have liked to have it drawn out more and be a little more natural. I would have also liked to learn more about the chameleons that were so prevalent throughout the story - they felt like they weren't developed enough as to the why/how aspect, which was sad since they were some of my favorite characters! This is a good overall read.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recommended Read - Twin-Bred by Karen A. Wyle

Twin-BredTwin-Bred by Karen A. Wyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is an interesting new concept all revolving around the idea of twins and the unique connection that they seem to share. A science experiment involving the lives of both human and Tofa weaves a story of hope and determination in the face of severe discrimination. The story jumps around a bit at first so it's hard to keep everything straight. I wished that there were lines or symbols that distinguished between scenes - but that could have been because I was reading an electronic copy rather than a hard copy. There are a lot of names to keep track of, but there is a helpful names list at the end of the book if you need it and you're reading a hard copy rather than the electronic copy (because on eBook readers, jumping around like that is a bit too much work, you can't just "flip to the back" like with a "real" book). This was a wonderful read that encourages the reader to explore what the definition of humanity really is.

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Recommended Read - Ivy and the Meanstalk by Dawn Lairamore

Ivy and the MeanstalkIvy and the Meanstalk by Dawn Lairamore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this delightful spin on Jack and the Beanstalk and the new, interesting characters that were introduced! It explores the familiar story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but with a twist - what if Jack was a megalomaniac and what if the giant's wife is unable to cope with the loss of her beloved husband and harp? I love following Princess Ivy, and I look forward to any future books that star this smart and interesting character!

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First Reads Flop - Worm: The Story of the First Digital World War by Mark Bowden

Worm: The Story of the First Digital World WarWorm: The Story of the First Digital World War by Mark Bowden

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I couldn't finish the book - it just wasn't for me! The language was difficult and very techno-babble, while the plot just didn't pull me in. When I found myself having to re-read each page of the first chapter to try to get it, I decided this was not a book I wanted to spend my time on. However, if you like technology and can wade through the techno-babble, it might be the right book for you!

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Recommended Read - Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

Start Something That MattersStart Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An incredible read for anyone who has any entrepreneurial aspirations, or who already owns a business! Blake is an excellent example of creating a company that cares about more than just profits, and this book is his story as well as some helpful advice on creating a company with a purpose. I liked it so much that I read it twice!! This is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to be a great business owner.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Shameless Shit #18: Brag

Amidst the craziness that is running errands on a Monday, I had something magical and wonderful happen today. Something that any woman could appreciate. Something that made me smile and blush and feel all sorts of wonderful, despite the fact that my most recent attempts at dieting have gotten me absolutely nowhere and I've been wallowing in blobtastic self-pity lately.

Today, while at the gas station, the clerk (a young and attractive teen/early 20-something) told me how much she loved my outfit and how she just had to tell me how great I looked!

Of course, I reacted with the usual clumsiness that is my slightly shy manner when it comes to this sort of thing - I smiled and mumbled a thank you and then tried to joke about how pretty much my entire outfit came from the JCPenny's clearance rack... and then she told me that it means my outfit was cute and smart!

I left with a big smile on my face. For someone who has grown up wearing Goodwill clothes (and now basically only clearance clothes), I have never really been known for fashion sense. But today I felt like a million bucks, and I just had to brag about this to all of you! :)

Recommended Read - The Myth of Nullus by Peter Rehard

The Myth of NullusThe Myth of Nullus by Peter Rehard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The start of the story is boring, but if you can make it past the story is new and different than most stories out there. It is a good overall allegorical tale, even despite its slow parts. It contains a few editing errors ("your" instead of "you," "my" instead of "by", etc.) and a couple of spelling errors that made me think that perhaps this story was translated into English from another language. Overall, this was a different and interesting story.

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Recommended Read - The Boy Who Hated Flowers by Michael Wenberg

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Reached My Goal of 111 Books in 2011!!

Yep I reached my goal!! :) Technically, I reached it several weeks ago, I'm just behind on getting my reviews up on Goodreads and here on the bloggity-blog. I kind of wish the tracker showed just how far I have trumped that goal - my guess is that I'll be about 50 books ahead by the end of the year.

I haven't decided yet how many to set a goal for next year... but it should probably be over 200! ;)

Recommended Read - Very Dead Dolls by Ian Woodhead

Fiverr Sorta Recommended Read - Launch Out Into the Deep by Acacia L. Slaton

Launch Out Into The Deep!Launch Out Into The Deep! by Acacia L. Slaton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Launch Out Into the Deep is a religious novel that intends to inspire hope and answer difficult faith questions. It touches on the hypocrisy and pain spread by some who call themselves Christians, and overcoming those obstacles without hatred. The language used in the writing is very poetic, and there are poems included throughout. In fact, there are a TON of poems in this book, so you really have to enjoy reading poetry to get into the book (sadly, I'm of the personal opinion that poetry is great for writing but not for reading). It has group discussion questions for each chapter and would be a great church group reading. There was a part of the book that talked about the author's personal experiences with converting someone and with having a vision, and I think that while it worked for this book it is important to remember that not everyone has those nor are they needed in order to find faith. This book is a little too fundamentalist for my particular faith beliefs, but I think more conservative faith audiences will get a lot out of it. Any person of faith can benefit from exploring their faith and the faith of those around them and asking questions!

From a formatting standpoint, the original font of this eBook was way too tiny, so I ended up resizing it to Extra Extra Large just to be able to read it. Otherwise, I didn't find any glaring errors.

Overall, this is a solid read, but reads similar to a diary, which isn't really my style. However, if you like reading first-person experiences with faith, this book will be great for you!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Marketing Your Blog - 7 tips to Increase Readership

I originally wrote this as a guest post for Bloggers Network, but thought it would be good to share here! Enjoy!

These days, blogging has become a common form of communication and social networking. However, like New Year's resolutions, blogs often become obsolete as the owners find themselves distracted by life and/or disappointed by low readership.

While there's not much you can do about life except make a commitment to blog regularly, there is something you can do about low readership - you can market your blog! Just like you have to prove yourself in a job interview or work hard to accomplish a specific goal, you need to work hard to create a popular, well-followed blog.

Here's some tips to market your blog and boost your fan base:
1) Have a target audience. Sure, you could just use your blog as a journal of your everyday life, but let's be honest - most people could care less. Instead, try picking something you are passionate about, and then keep that as the theme of your blog to attract a specific audience. Unless it's something completely obscure, you should be able to find several loyal followers.

2) Be a guest blogger. With the world working longer days and weeks, it's no surprise that even the best bloggers are often too busy to post very often. By offering to do a guest post on someone elses blog, you help them to share new content while you get your own name out there (and they usually allow you to share a link back to your blog, too!).

3) Comment on other similar blogs. If you blog about books (like I do), then find some other book bloggers and comment on a few of their posts. Keep the comments relevant, and the blog authors will often come back and follow you, or even recommend your blog to their current readers.

4) Create a good first impression. If the first thing a potential follower sees on your blog is a blatant ad, or a bunch of offensive language, there's a strong possibility that you won't see that reader again. Keep your blog simple and streamlined, yet interesting, with only a few relevant ads (if any at all). You need to focus on your readers more than how to create a few extra pennies by putting ads all over the place - and perhaps in the future your readers will thank you by purchasing something you are selling through the blog!

5) Keep it interactional. Once again, if all you do is talk about yourself, you probably won't get more than your family to follow you. However, if you encourage debate and discussion, and express interesting new ideas, you encourage readers to come back often and check the progress of the discussion as well as your latest posts.

6) Use Social Media. If you're already on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. take advantage of that by using them to promote your blog each time you write a new post. This will get your blog out there to people you already interact with, and who are more likely to follow you. In turn, they may share your blog with their friends, which can greatly help increase awareness and readership.

7) Add subscription options. Make sure that you include RSS feeds if possible, along with receiving the latest posts by email, etc. This allows current followers to have access whenever you update, and then to forward or share the post if they so desire. Your best friend Sarah may not be interested in the latest post, but she might have a cousin who has a friend whose mom might enjoy it.

Recommended Read - Writing Critique by Rebecca M. Senese

Writing Critique: A Horror Short StoryWriting Critique: A Horror Short Story by Rebecca M. Senese

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was annoyed that the first few pages of the eBook were filled with a whole bunch of copyright information. As an author, I know it's important to protect one's work, but the excessive copyright stuff was a bit much and could be cut down.

The story itself is less of a horror story and more a really great glimpse at how deep the writing experience is for an author, and how difficult it can be to take criticism on your work. Your writing can truly feel like a child to you, and it's hard to hear suggestions on how to improve or change it! I thought it was a good story for any author to read and appreciate.

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Freebie Flop - Life Lessons From a Cat by Kate Everson

Life Lessons from a CatLife Lessons from a Cat by Kate Everson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This short story is good, but not very interesting. It was kind of like reading a poet's diary, complete with lots of words used to describe one simple concept. Nothing really grabbed my attention, but nothing was particularly horrible and there weren't any big grammatical errors.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Recommended eBook of the Week

In honor of Breaking Dawn Part I coming out this week, I couldn't resist posting a vampire novel as my recommended eBook of the week! The book is called Octavian the Vampire, and here's the description:
"Octavian is a descendant of a rare breed of vampire from the Balkans and Eastern Europe that not only subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person, but also on the essence of terror inflicted by violent sexual acts—primarily rape.
Blinded by his rage and hunger, he attacks the wrong victim, his human counterpart--his mate.
After the violent attack, several things happened at once, the woman screams, Octavian comes too and notices the blood running from her vaginal opening. That’s when he realizes that the woman was a virgin. It all downs on him and he knew what had been bothering him from the moment he lay eyes on her. The woman he had just terrorized and raped was his mate.
Twins ensue from the violent attack, Octavian goes on a long quest to regain her trust and make amends—An unlikely love grows and a strange family is formed. "

Click here to learn more about how to download the book!

NaNoWriMo - Are you participating?

Two years ago, I partook upon the craziness that is NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It runs the entire month of November, and the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Sounds fun, right? ;) It was fun, but I kept hitting writing blocks and eventually ended up never finishing that novel. Instead, I tweaked it and rewrote it into my short story titled Twin Rivers (available here for only $0.99!!).

Last year, there was no way I wanted to participate again because I was overwhelmed working on my Master's degree.

This year, I'm sorta undecided. On one hand, I'm still working on my Master's degree and am very busy. On the other hand, I've got about 8 stories currently in the percolator just waiting for me to write them (and then get around to publishing them). In order to write the 50,000 word goal, I'd have to be able to average about 1,667 words per day, which is no small feat! Especially since I work two part time jobs and am working on my Master's. Then again, it would really help me to get one of these stories out of my head, so I have more room for "smart" stuff like school! ;)

How do all of you feel about NaNoWriMo? Are you participating?

Recommended Read - The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne

The Red House Mystery (Dover Mystery Classics)The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I think of A.A. Milne, I think of Winnie the Pooh - but this book is so much better than that! I never knew he had written something outside of children's books until I found this book, and I was pleased with what it had to offer. The book reads like watching a British sitcom mixed with the movie Clue and the Sherlock Holmes books, all wrapped into one. There are several parts that are a bit boring and/or dry, but overall the story is good and it's a solid mystery.

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Recommended Read - Bitten by R.L. Stine

Bitten (Dangerous Girls, #1-2)Bitten by R.L. Stine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I grew up reading R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series, so when I saw his name on a Vampire book I just had to stop and pick it up! This book encompasses two books: Dangerous Girls and Taste of Night. The characters in this anthology are fun and the plot is a new spin on becoming a vampire. It contains the same thrilling amounts of twists and turns that you would expect from R.L.Stine, with an appeal to a teen and adult audience. These stories were fast reads, and I highly recommend them!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What's Up Wednesday - A Recap

It feels like I am hitting that time of year again where time seems to whir by because of the outrageous amounts of things I am expected to conquer over the next few months - and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels that way over the October-February months! ;)

So I am pretty far behind on the blogs I follow, but to my relief it looks like they haven't been posting as much either (at least, not all of them). Here's a recap of some of the interesting things discussed by my fellow bloggers in the last 24 hours:

1) Twilight clip - I had to laugh that one of my fellow bloggers was making fun of the next Twilight movie, even though I know I'll be one of the crazies who ends up seeing it during its first week in theaters. I won't lie though - I loved the books, and I want to see how they do this whole "having sex and getting preggers right away with an incredibly fast-growing mixedbreed" thing...
2) Big Ol' List of Giveaways - I'm not sure I actually have time to try to win any of them, but it's always fun to try and participate.
3) A Book Review - Yeah ok, so probably the majority of the blogs I follow review books because I'm a book-a-holic, but this was a particularly nice review.
4) Discussion about the eBook market - This is interesting and worthwhile if you are also an author like me.
5) Personal advice - Written in the style of "Ask Ann" or any other advice column, but in a much better and more detailed form.
6) Super Awesome Sock Yarn Giveaway - Which reminds me, I need to finish a baby blanket for a friend before November 10th when she is induced...
7) Darndest Things That Kids Say - I had a good laugh, and I don't even have kids!
8) A Droolworthy Fake Boyfriend - You'll get this once you read the post.

As for a recap of anything I've done in the last week or so... mostly homework, work, read a few books, and oh yeah - started up a campaign to raise money to purchase CARHENGE! :) Please come check it out - I have donation amounts starting as low as $1 and could really use some help promoting it!! Here's the linkity link.

Recommended Read - How to Write Short Story Reviews by Graham Murray

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shameless Shit #5 - Declare your love for an uncool movie.

I usually prefer books over movies, which drives my husband kind of batty since he doesn't like to read and would prefer watching movies. However, I still partake in cinema entertainment on occasion, especially if the movie is based off a book that I liked.

Which is why I'm practically panting for the new Twilight movie coming out.

That's right - I watch the Twilight series. I'm not some drooling 13 year old girl in love with the actors, but I won't lie and say that I haven't been excited about the next installment. The movies aren't really that great - the effects are fairly cheesy and terrible, and they skip some of my favorite things about the books - but for some reason I just have to watch them. Maybe it's like when you pass by an accident and you can't help but look, even though you know it isn't going to be pretty.

So, as uncool as it is, I'm probably going to see Breaking Dawn: Part 1 in theaters within the first week it comes out. No matter how uncool that makes me. ;)

Recommended Read - Bloodmaiden by Christine Schulze

BloodmaidenBloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book will sweep you away into a very colorful and vibrant fantasy world! The writing is poetic yet easy to read, and I appreciated that there weren't any obvious errors. My only issue was just that the phrase "roll(ed) her eyes" was used way too often which kind of ruins the poetic nature of the writing. The characters were interesting, and the situations were different from anything I had read in a fantasy novel before. There was nothing truly wrong with this story, I just didn't connect with it as much as I wanted to. But it was an overall good read that I think any fantasy fan would enjoy!

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