Tag Archives: books

Double Whammy … uh, Triple.

After being an absolute hermit most of the month, I’m back with book reviews!

First off: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Yeah, I know it’s popular and YA Lit, but we decided to talk about the book/movie on the podcast I co-host, so there you have it. My podcast partner’s teen daughters read and loved the books. Us? Not so much. We are definitely not the target audience for the novels. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, but it wasn’t the best. At least for me. The beginning started off a little slow. The pace picked up considerably in the second half of the book, when the Hunger Games began. The heroine, Katniss, is the surliest heroine I’ve come across in a super long time, but I suppose that’s not a bad thing, considering the world in which she lives. At the end of the novel, my strongest feeling was that it was fine, which for me means I could take it or leave it. We will probably read the other two novels as the movies come out, for the podcast, but if I never found out what happened, I’d be peachy with that too.

Next off: Unjust Cause by Jacklyn A. Wilson.

This novel is available for in Kindle format through Amazon. It’s another fast read, but unlike The Hunger Games, it did keep my attention. This author has written several manuscripts, but this is her first published one. There are some grammatical issues and POV kinks the author needs to work out, but I believe as she continues to write and get more comfortable in the editing process, these will all work out wonderfully. The book is set in the 1980’s, with a woman named Emily travelling to Panama. She is going to stay with her best friend, Annie and her husband Dan. Emily and Annie are both nurses, and Emily takes a job with Annie at the military hospital.

The author was in the army and served in Panama during Operation Just Cause, and she was inspired by the nurses and doctors working there at that time. A few of the incidents in the novel are taken from true events, and I was left wondering which after reading the novel. Her characters are fleshed out nicely, and her use of description, especially during the scenes where the US is fighting Noriega and his forces, is really good.  All in all, I recommend the book. Someone used the phrase ‘beach novel’ to describe it, so maybe that helps as far as genre. 🙂

Third: (And don’t judge) Evelyn Lafont’s The Vampire Relationship Guide Vol. 1: Meeting & Mating, and Vol.2: Secrets & Trust.

Omg. The author writes, as described on her website, funny, unpredictable paranormal chick lit and explicit romance. Okay, so this is something I doubt I would have ever read, but as it happens, I did. I happened upon the first novel in a strange way. My husband bought himself a Kindle Fire last December, after I sort of (completely) took our HP Tablet for myself. Now, Tim finds a value in anything free. I mean anything. The free song of the week from iTunes, free book downloads, free pens or vendor swag from the vendors at his work, whatever. I’m of the opinion that because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s good. I was pursuing his Kindle a couple of months back and saw The Vampire Relationship Guide Volume 1 on his Kindle. I read the first few pages and said, “Honey, you know you have a chick lit book, right?” He said, “It was free.” I read the first couple of chapters while he grilled, and then put it away when dinner was ready. A few weeks ago, I decided to finish the e-book. I have to say, it was unexpectedly hilarious. It is actually a novella, as is volume 2. The author has four planned altogether for this series. I haven’t read any of her other works. When I finished Volume 1, I went in search of more the next day, as the novella ends abruptly, and I thought, that can’t be it!! Thankfully, I was right.

So my recommendations are: Read The Hunger Games only if you really have/want to. Read Unjust Cause by an emerging author and get a good story. Read The Vampire Relationship Guides (probably if you are a woman 🙂 ) for something quick, no-think, and fun entertainment.

Soon, I’ll have my review of Force of Habit by Marian Allen. A novel of intergalactic mistaken identity.


The Fighting Times!

My re-write of Chapter 14 is complete.  I realized while finishing it up this morning, it is a pivotal chapter in which I introduce the conflict of two main characters. Hindsight is amazing.  I always knew the conflict was there, but since I have not worked on that particular time in those characters lives in a while, it was interesting to return to the tension and distrust between them.  It was also a good opportunity to strengthen that conflict.  Since one is a man of authority who hates to be undermined, and the other a spoiled, over-indulged, young woman who hates to be told what to do, it’s good times, good times.  Not for them, but characters can’t have all the fun.

I also upped the conversation my two heroines have concerning romance.  It’s an uncomfortable (capital U, capital N, capital C, etc., etc.,) subject for one of them, and a side she prefers never to show, not even to her closest and oldest friend.  Don’t get her started on it though, because if you actually manage her to expression an opinion on love, she may never stop.  Sheesh.  She ran off on a tangent I didn’t know she had.

So back I go to book 1, for more editing and maybe a re-write here or there.  The motivation to cleanup the book has been wonderful, and I’m going to ride it as long as it lasts, and then, push through the pain. 🙂

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