Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Countess by Christmas (Harlequin Historical) by Annie Burrows

Book: A Countess by Christmas (Harlequin Historical) by Annie Burrows
Release date: 12/1/2010

The Earl of Bridgemere is happy to encourage his reputation as a curmudgeonly recluse if it repels the grasping females who usually attend his lavish Christmas parties.

Helen Forrest is like a breath of fresh air, uninterested in his wealth and not cowed by his temper.

Bridgemere's seasonal duty suddenly becomes a pleasure as he sets about making Helen his countess—by Christmas!

It's a review! Miraculous lately i know. I just been busy at work since half of the staff was gone for the holidays.

Anyways this is a little late for Christmas, but i've had it finished for a few days. I just haven't been able to sit down and type up the review. Anyways first thing first I was really really excited about the book. The blup on the back made the Earl of Bridgemere sounds like my type of tortured hero. May this be a lesson not to trust all of Harlequin's blurp. The earl was a cookie cut out tortured hero. Complete with dead wife dying with another man's baby. (I really wish i could type the earl's name here, but i can't remember it. He's that unrememberable. Plus looking through the book i can't even find it). Helen, the heroine, is not one to caw about either. If the earl was the cookie cutter than she was the cookie. Poor orphan girl was raised by woman distantly related to her and later has to take a future job as a governess because they lose all their money. She was in the words of Snoopy "Blahhhh". The ending was unremarkable and the the actually pacing of the story was confusing at times. The author would just suddenly change POV in the middle of a paragraph/chapter without any bridge between the pov changes. I sometimes wondered whose thoughts i was reading.

Anyways i got bored with this one and am feeling generous by giving it three bunnies here.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2011 Retold Fairy Tales and Enchanted Cousins Reading Challenge

2011 Retold Fairy Tales and Enchanted Cousins Reading Challenge


Challenge Objective:
To read stories that have taken classic fairy tales that we all know and love, and have woven them into a new alternative tale that mirrors the original.

Challenge Guidelines:

Challenge runs from January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011.

You can join along in the fun at anytime during the year.

Create a post with the graphic that links back to this post! Sign up using Mr. Linky.

You do not need to select your books ahead of time. Just make sure that you have a list of them at the end of the challenge.

You can review on your own blog, or have a little fun and compare and contrast the book you read with a classic fairy tale!

**However, Reviews are NOT necessary!!**

Cross-overs with other challenges are welcome.
Retold fairy tales can span across any genre and sub-genre -- including YA (there's some great ones out there!) -- can be any length, and in any format.
The book MUST be fiction, and be a retold fairy tale.
You can change your challenge level at any time.

Can Non-Bloggers Join Along?:
Absolutely!! Just leave a comment with your book information and what you thought about it!

What's An Enchanted Cousin?
Because there is a lot of debate amongst what constitutes as a fairy tale (especially between countries), the challenge will also include any "cousins" of fairy tales, but MUST include fairy tale elements that traditionally represent a fairy tale notion.
Could you imagine the literary debates we could get in to over this?!? Therefore, I am not policing this, just use your best judgment! And have FUN!!!! :)That's what this is all about!

Sign up here at among the muses

* No books added yet*

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday reading challenge entry #1: Snow Night with a Stranger anthology

All About {n}

I live to write another review. Even though it's been so long since i last wrote one. Mainly because i've been working odd and long hours at work. I then come home too exhausted to do anything. Anyways.....

A Holiday Gamble by Jane Feather.

This was my favorite story out of the anthology. It even beat out the tortured hero one. ^^ The story basically is that Ned Vasey is returning home from India for the first time in ten years. His brother unexpectedly died leaving without an heir making him Viscount Allenton. One the way to his former and new home he gets stuck in a blizzard and finds himself at Roger Selby's place. There he meets Lady Georgiana Carey and soon the story begins.

With all anthologies the author only has a limited amount of pages to tell the story so it's not uncommon for the hero and heroine to get together after only knowing each other for a few days. Therefore my usual nick pick of that had to be overlooked. Jane Feather did the best though. You could really feel the buzz between Ned and Georgiana. Neither were particularly looking for romance, but found it. In face Georgiana was on the way of helping herself. She had already devised a plan to escape her greedy cousin and her forced upon fiancée. Ned merely helped her along. So in a way they feel in love helping each other. The only thing i can complain about was that i wanted to here/see Georgiana's cousin and former fiancée reaction to their marriage. Other than that i give the story 5/5 stars.

When Sparks Fly by Sabrina Jefferies

This was my least favorite of the anthology. Mainly because it was so expected of what you think a Christmas story would be. The maiden and her family gets stuck at the old Scrooge's house. She and the children start to bring joy to his life. Girl and Scrooge fall in love. Girl's father "saves" her from the man. The man whom has had a change of heart follows the girl. The funny thing about it is that the author even wrote Charles Dickens as a child in the story which upped the corny level. Definitely a disappointment. 3/5 stars

Snowy Night with a Highland by Julia London

This one was middle of the pack. Strange enough since it contained a tortured hero. One that i normally would have died over. The thing was that it felt like I was missing something. Like 100 pages out of a book. In face up to chapter 10 would have been a brilliant beginning of the book. I really adored reading it. It just felt extremely rushed after that. I almost wished that Julia had scrapped this one as a short story and moved it over to her "long story" pile. It would have been brilliant then. It had all the makings of a good long story. A girl who doesn't recognized the scared man as the one whom humiliated her earlier in life. A missing brother whose in trouble with the law. The girl has her own home in Scotland.... Oh there were so many possibilities.... In stead of the pitiful ending we got. 4/5 stars.

Final ratings: 4 1/2 Bunnies. I enjoyed the characters, plots were generally good, and the sex wasn't that risky.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Disney's Tangled Reviewed

I'm not dead! The holidays and craziness at work has just left me tired less posty.

       Anyways.. yesterday my sister and I went to go see the new Disney movie "Tangled". We both needed a break and i had gotten a free ticket when i bought "Beauty and the Beast" on blue ray. First thing first, i didn't go into this movie with very high expectations. Needless to say Disney hasn't been sending out a lot of movies i've liked in a while (Tinkerbell excluded). "The Princess and the Frog" went down as one of the worst Disney movies i've ever saw and lets not even go there on the live action.

    Therefore i was extremely and pleasantly surprised to say i came out of the theater exuberant.  I ADORED Tangled. It's now ranks up as one of my favorite movies of all time and ties with Beauty and the Beast as my favorite Disney movies. In fact i can venture to say i think all the adults in the theater throughly enjoyed it. If the face that 95% of the laughter was from we adults is any indication. ^^

The story mainly stars Rapunzel (obviously), Flynn, Mother Gothel, a chameleon named Pascal (does not talk, but extremely funny), and a horse named Maximus (again doesn't talk, but utterly hilarious). The story goes is that the sun let go of a spark and created a magical flower than can heal and restore to youth anyone or thing. Mother Gothel discovers this flower as an old woman and uses it for hundreds of years to keep herself young. When Repunzel's mother was pregnant with her she got extremely sick. All the people in the kingdom loved their king and queen and went on a search for the mystical flower. Now one evening in her haste to not be discovered Mother Gothel leaves the flower un-hidden one night when she hears the party of people searching. The people find and take the flower back to the palace which heals the queen. She then gives birth to Rapunzel. One night Mother Gothel breaks into the palace with the intent of taking some of Repunzel's hair which has the flower's magical properties. She discovers that once it's cute the magic goes away. So she kidnaps Rapunzel and locks her in a town so she may use her hair to keep herself alive forever. Thus the story starts. I don't want to spoil anymore, but the movie is wickedly funny and i actually enjoyed it more than the last Harry Potter Movie. So go see it!!!!!  Some pictures to leave you by...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 thoughts *spoilers*

I'm back. ^^ 

I have to admit i didn't have as much fun as last time. Mainly because it seemed like every obnxious teenager or college kid came out. And i mean OBNOXIOUS!! They were doing flips down the aisles, talking loudly before and during the movie, and basically just reminding myself why i have never fit in with those my age. Mainly because as people said i'm a bit more mature than many of my age. I was not the only one annoyed. A few other people i talked to were tired of the obnoxious behavior as well. I ended sitting by a friends/sister/brother unsure pair which was nice. They guy asked for my email address afterwards. Don't know if anything will come of that. 

Anyways..... Here is myself minus my Gryffindor scarf before i left for the premiere. My hair matches the curtains. lol 

Hmmm i never thought i'd day this, but for the first time i didn't not love love a Harry Potter movie. Sure i've had issues in the past. The thing is that not at this level. Something just felt really really off. I think it'll be easier to explain if i did things in bullet points.


* DOBBY. OMG he was so freaking cute. I loved every moment he was on screen. I loved him in his sneakers.  He had so many brilliant one liners this time around that i couldn't stop laughing. His death scene was heart breaking as well.

* The seven potters. Brilliant. Dan is such a good comedy actor. He nailed the scene completely.

* Luna. Luna Luna Luna can never fail.

* The whole Remus/Tonks storyline was left out. *YA!S for them cutting this part out. No nutty Remus and Tonks only graced my screen for a few moments.

* The Harry & Hermione dance scene. It was so sweet.

* The scenery. AMAZING BALLS.

* The Doe scene. ^^

* Malfory Manor. Emma was brilliant in the torture scene. All of it went rather well.


* The Ministry scenes. I didn't love love them, but i still liked them. ^^ Ron was whom really made them.

* X. Lovegood. Good scenes, but not one i'd watch again and again.

* The Tale of the Three Brothers. The animation was nice and unexpected. The thing is i don't like skeletons and it's hard for me to love love anything that features one.

*The wedding scenes.


*Where the frick was Dean, the invisibility cloak, and Charlie weasley?

* No mention of Dumbledoors less than savory past. I really think this should have been included. It shows how Dumbledore could have gone the path Voldemort and the Ministry is going, but changed. It made him a more rounded character in the book and shows that people are possible of changing and the people aren't just good or bad. That many are in a gray area.

*Why no mention of Ariana?

*Poor poor Regulus Black. I really wish his tale would have been mentioned. It would have again shown that people are possible of changing.

*No Lily letter. How hard would have been to put it in for  a second.

*Grindlewald should have been explored more. Specially Albus and his relationship/friendship.

*Dobbys burial. That scene was so freaking moving in the book. I was teary. It wasn't nearly as dramatized as it needed to be in the movie.

*Wormtail lives??? He was supposed to repent.

can't say on the soundtrack though. As i said earlier I seemed to have gotten the theater with the most obnoxious high schoolers and college kids possible (says the 24 year old). Many talked through the movie. So i had trouble hearing it. Already ordered it though. 

All in all i have to see the movie again to get a full feel of it. I should be doing that next weekend or the week after. 


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tonight is the NIGHT!!!!!!!!! Harry Potter & Deathly Hallows

                  TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!!!!!

            Tonight at 9pm i shall be decked out in my Gryffindor tie,scarf, and make                                                   shift uniform for the midnight premier. I'll be by myself, but it's the experience 
                       and memories that matter. ^^ Have a Happy Harry Potter Premier everyone!!!!!  

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #3

                                                             Teaser Tuesday 
                                                                 *I remembered this week ^^*

*Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

*Just do the following:

*Grab your current read

*Open to a random page

*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Hosted by should be reading

"I thought it was You-Know-Who we were supposed to be fighting?" Hermione retorted, and Harry gave up on her. "*book flipped and lost the page, but it's Harry any page is good. ^^*

Less than two days till release

                 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Countdown

                                                 Less than two days, 14 hours, and 11 minutes.  

   More than 300 pages to go in the book though. Tomorrow i'm going to have to read to no end.  


Friday, November 12, 2010

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows P1 less than a week away.

Got your ticket yet? Fandango is saying theaters are 80% sold out for midnight showing. ^^ I've had my ticket for the midnight release for the last two weeks. ^^

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holiday Reading Challenge 2011

All About {n}

Challenge Requirements:

1- Challenge will start Monday, November 15 and will end Friday, December 31.

2- You can read anywhere from 1 to 5 books for the challenge and, of course, if you're like me, you are more than welcome to surpass that number.

3- And now, here's the clincher... they must be holiday related books. That's right, the holiday doesn't really matter, but it would be more "jolly" if your choices were Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.

4- The size of the book does not matter, nor does the genre. It is also okay for the book to overlap with other challenges. The only thing I ask is that they are not children's books. YA is okay. And so are re-reads. I for one tend to read the same books every Christmas - they are tradition.

5- To sign up - leave a link back to your challenge post. There will also be a post for review links as well as one for challenge wrap-ups.

6- And.... there will be goodies. That's right, we'll call them presents. At the end of every week that the challenge is running I will choose one winner from the review links. Meaning the more books you read, review and link up, the more chances you have at winning a "present".

If you'd like to join the fun of the Holiday Reading Challenge 2010, please visit All About (n)'s blog to sign up.

My books i plan on reading:

Snowy Night with a Stranger

Home for the Holidays

The Heart of Christmas

A Regency Christmas

Mistletoe Magic

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1) by John Flanagan Review

Book: The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1) by John Flanagan
Release Date:  June 8, 2006

He had always wanted to be a warrior. The Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways, made him nervous. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now fifteen year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't realize yet is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied . 

WOW! I was a bit doubtful about this book, but WOW. I jadored it! The idea for the ranger apprentice series isn't all that original and it's certainly not without its problems. Still it left me wanting more. More likely i think because it brought a sense of wistfulness back to me. Mainly because it reminded me of the Jedi Apprentice series by Jude Watson. In fact i'm quite curious if the JA series did inspired John a bit. I know he said he wrote this book for his son, but it so reminded me of Jude Watson's work. 

The story takes place in the kingdom of Aruluen. The make believe place is your typical action adventure kingdom with Knights, lords and ladies, and in addition "Rangers". Rangers are sort of like the Navy Seals/cost guard mixed with a bit of special forces/Jedi. So far it seems like they're a boys only club (No female has been mention as of late. Neither in the Knights or Rangers). Now Baron Arald, Lord of the Redmont Fief, has a special soft spot for orphans and takes them into his care. He then helps them get apprenticeships with the various tradesman, governmental offices, Knights, or sent to become farmers. Now Will has always been a bit "special" and after being tricked into committing a break in to see his skills he gets chosen as Ranger Halt's apprentice. So the story begins..... 

Now as i said earlier the book isn't without its failing. Most of the failings fall from the fact it should have been longer. John spent such a long time setting up the story and characters that the main plot felt rushed. Not that i'm complaining really since i love the setting up of characters and stories, but i really wished it could have been longer. In face i don't really understand the title at all. It really should have been called "The KalKara Beasts" since the ruins were barely present. All in all very solid writing with a very solid characters. Made me really really want to read more. ^^ 

Rating: 5 Bunnies. Brilliant. Well done characters, made me want to read more, and good series set up.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

                  Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Halloween. ^^ 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Review" The Lost Hero" by RicK Riordan

Book: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Release Date: October 12, 2010

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper and a best friend named Leo. They're all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly? 
Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn't recognize her. When a freak storm hits, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out. 
Leo has a way with tools. When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. 
Join new and old friends from Camp Half-Blood in this thrilling first audio book in The Heroes of Olympus series. 

So i finally got to read this one! I pre-ordered it, but amazon took a week to ship it. It then took a few more days to get to me. So in the end i was left staring at my sister reading her copy she bought at wallmart wondering why i didn't do the same. 

The wait was well worth it. Not only was the book extraordinarily good, but i do say Riordan seems to be getting better and better each story he puts out. When i heard that Riordan was making a sequel to the Percy Jackson series i was a bit weary. I wasn't sure how well it could be pulled off or how he would do it. It was sheer genius though the way he did. I thought he was going to make the Roman Gods/goddess different entities. Instead he made them the same "being", but with multiple personalities disorders. 

We pick up in the stories a few months/year ( i forget) after "The Last Olympian" takes place. Jason wakes up on a bus not knowing who he is, where he is, or who this girl and boy sitting with him are. Not long he finds himself being attacked by Venti, finding out his couch is a fawn/satyr,he can apparently fly, and he's a demi-god. Jupiter/Zeus's son in fact. Jason gets called on by Hera/Juno to come save her and along with Piper and Leo he's off for the adventure. 

As I said earlier this book was amazing and that Riordan's writing keeps getting better in better. In the Percy Jackson books i couldn't stand Annabeth. Still can't. I was so extremely glad that Piper isn't like her. Piper really reminds me a lot of Sailor Venus (cookies if you know who i'm talking about) minus the occasional ditziness that Minako had. She is strong, smart, and can pull her own weight. And she does so in a way that is not obnoxious like Annabeth. She has her failings, but she pulls through. She makes you really want to root for her. The thing is that i think she is going to become a new "Helen of Troy" because Riordan seems to be hinting at it. I think she would do good with Leo though. There is some subtle hints that them getting together might lead to something bigger. Plus Jason has a possible "Reyna". 

Speaking of Jason; he's no Percy. I'm quite glad for it. I find it amazing how Riordan made him distantly roman compared to Percy's distinct Greekness. I quite liked his character and might even like him more than Percy. I think the best thing about Jason is that he never gets up. He knows something bad is going to happen, but he pulls through as well. Plus i think there is more to him than meets the eye. I'm a thinking that Hera might have given him more than just her sponsorship.

Leo, now this is how you write a third wheel in to the equation. He wasn't the stupid sidekick that Grover was. He was an equal. He had his own powers, abilities, and he was actually funny. Thing with him i think his wanting his mother back might tip him over to Gae's side. He's definitely the character you pay the most attention to his actions. Mainly because he is the one that is most able to be influences. Something I think Piper is going to have a major role in keeping him on the good side. 

Side note..... Thaila is back and looks to become a bigger character! No Nico though. *sad face*. Also with the ending.....WHAT KIND OF ENDING IS THAT!!! I Have to wait a whole freaking year to read what happens! DAME YOU RIC RIORDAN!!! I haven't wanted to read the next book in a series so bad since Harry Potter. *Pouts* The new Kane Chronicles book better come out in the spring....

Final Rating: 5 Bunnies plus gold glitter, band stand, and fireworks. I loved everything. ^^

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Intrigue at Highbury (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries #5) by Carrie Bebris

Book: The Intrigue at Highbury (Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries #5) by Carrie Bebris
Release Date: Feb 27,2010

  Mr. and Mrs. Darcy are looking forward to a relaxing stay with dear friends when their carriage is hailed by a damsel-in-distress outside of the village of Highbury. Little do the Darcy's realize that gypsies roam these woods, or that both their possessions and the woman are about to vanish into the night. 

The Darcy's seek out the parish magistrate, who is having a difficult evening of his own. Mr. Knightley and his new wife, the former Miss Emma Woodhouse (the heroine of Jane Austen's Emma are hosting a party to celebrate the marriage of their friends, Mr. Frank Churchill and Miss Jane Fairfax. During dinner, Mr. Edgar Churchill, uncle and adoptive father of the groom, falls suddenly ill and dies. The cause of death: poison. 

When the  Darcy's and the Knightley's join forces to investigate the crimes, they discover that the robbery and Edgar Churchill's death may be connected. Together they must work to quickly locate the source of the poison and the murderer's motive--before the killer can strike again.

This book surprised me. I was expecting this to be a good read, but i didn't expect an excellent read. The author, Carrie Berbris, explains on the cover that her premisis for the Mr & Mrs. Darcy mysteries is the "Thin Man" movies. I had to tell her, but Lizzie and Darcy are no Nick and Nora. Despite that Ms. Berbris seems to capture the Austen characters in a way i haven't read in awhile. 

In this particular mystery we see Mr and Mrs. Darcy in Highbury after getting robbed on the road. There they find themselves entangled in a possible murder mystery. They of course they meet Emma and Mr. Knightly. I was quite surprised at how well the author managed to keep the "Emma" characters true to form. None of them acted out of character. Even Mr. Woodhouse, Miss. Bates, and the Eltons were in character. Something i highly applaud the author and made the story highly enjoyable. 

The mystery of the story was quite well done. You knew at once "Miss. Jones" was involved in the robbing somehow, but it was quite a surprise she was involved in the murder as well. Add along some new characters and you have a really good book. I applaud the author as well for taking a side storyline that could have been soap operaish and turning it into a nice add one. I'm not going to spoil it, but it involves a "long lost family member". Whom that person is i shall leave a secret. 

Final rating: 5 Bunnies. Great story, staying true to most of the original Jane Austen characters, and for adding in some truly humorous parts. A "must buy" as well. 


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Website Spotlight: Reasoning with Vampires

                     WEBSITE SPOTLIGHT
                   "Reasoning with Vampires"

I came across this website from a post from live journal. Basically the premise of the site is to correct Stephine Meyer's work. Going through the site i was struck at how in the world did Meyer ever get published with so many grammar mistakes. What self respecting editor would let it through. The author apparently thought the same thing. In her explanation of his/her site he/she states:

Though I would not typically describe myself as a nihilist, I have given up all hope that any rule of writing has emerged unscathed from the clumsy hands of Meyer. It is unseemly how some run-on sentences are brimming with words, yet so many sentence fragments starve for a complete idea. She abuses and misuses punctuation. Simple thoughts are interrupted with peripheral observations. Meyer’s novels are engorged with maudlin adjective after maudlin adjective. Her vocabulary is both pompous and unwieldy as she has little grasp how to use words with the appropriate tone/connotation for the idea she’s thrashing on the page.   

The Twilight Saga wasn’t enriched by sentences that make seventh grade English teachers cry. When Stephenie Meyer uses the wrong word, it’s not innovative like Picasso painting an eye where a mouth should be. It’s wrong. It’s a sloppy mess.
Some passages are faint embers of “I wrote it this way because that’s how I talk/or how a teenager thinks” but those burn out before I can feel any warmth towards the story. I don’t care if that’s representative of Bella’s stream of conscious or Meyer’s thought process. The written word has the advantage of thoughtful communication. We are limited by the tips of our tongues when we speak. Our minds get clouded by anger and love, too much to drink, not enough sleep, and feeling every feeling all at once. 

The page is still. The page waits for you to calm down. The page holds that blurry thought while you squint at the edges, holds it until you know just how to laminate that event/emotion/entity with words and punctuation. The page can wait for hundreds of years to be read, so it’s not too much to ask that an author takes the time to write it right, instead of just right now.
Stephenie Meyer has written big, unintentionally-destructive, curiously-strong, retarded apes of books. 

 Some examples of the site owners lovely work.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Finishable and unfinishable books: A debate

Books we are unable to finish. We all have them. But what makes a book unfinished compared to the ones that are. Is it a reflection upon the author or the reader? I think it can be a bit of both.

An unfinished book to me is one that is horrible bad and boring, horrible boring in itself, or just plain bad. Most of the time a book becomes unfinished because i lost interest or because i don't like a theme an author used.  After going through years of college reading books i hate i feel the right to not finish a book. Why should I be bored out of my mind to merely finish... Another thing is that i have certain taboos. I don't tolerate rape, pedophilia, incest, or relationship abusive behavior in a book. If a book contains those things then i won't read them.

Those who know me might say how did you get through the Twilight series. It's well known that i loath that series with a passion and think it's destroying the minds and values of the young. The series really contains every one of my taboos (except rape, but if you really want to go there...) and try to disguise it as "love".  The thing is that though the series was so utterly horrible and poorly written i knew i needed to finish it in order to have a clear right to express my opinion. Sometimes the need to be-able to articulate and say why you didn't like something can be the push to finish a book. Plus then the crazies can't say " How can you say that? Have you never read the books?" I can now say i have and i want those hours of my life back.

Another thing that can drive a badly or horribly written book to be finished is that it's so bad you can't put it down. You just have to keep on watching the train wreak. That train wreak sometimes because so bad that it's fun to make fun of. I believe everyone has read those books where you can't help but laugh at how bad they are. I know i can name a few off the top of my head where i've crack up about them afterwards.

So what makes a book finish-able. The most common answer for me is that it keeps my interest or leaves me wanting more. There has only been a few books i can successfully say i "couldn't put it down".  The Harry potter, Percy Jackson, and a few other choice books can be name off the top of my head. Funnily the first book i read round the clock wasn't a Harry Potter book. I've finished those in a day or two, but never read them over night. I wanted to read what happened next, but i also wanted to savor the books longer. No it was the first Percy Jackson book that i read from 4pm straight on to 2.20am. The series was a breath of fresh air after not having any series keep my interest after HP finish.

Yet not every book can be one of the "specials". Most are just normal books. These books usually contain a mixture of elements that make them finish-able and unfinished. I know most authors want to be one of the "Golden"; and though Stephine Meyer proved that even a brainless rock can get published,  most authors create books that leave it to the reader whether to finish or not. It's up to them to create elements in a book that makes the reader want to turn the page. Some of these elements may be genre related, character driven, twist of a plot, or just an new or genius idea. Give me a tortured hero and you guarantee that i will keep reading the pages till the last. Obi-Wan Kenobi is in the book i'm there till i drop. A Bunny is main character or a new and interesting plot; are you writing a sequel? Each reader has their own "things" that makes them want to turn the pages. It's these things that can make a book finish-able or one to be quickly put down as it was put up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gryffindor Tie and Scarf from Tragic Mountain

I'm planning on going as a gryffindor student to the Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part 1 and i'm in the middle of getting my outfit together.

I got a great deal from Tragic Mountain  on a Gryffindor Tie and scarf combo.The two were just $27.99 together. The tie is made of silk and fits all adults. And even those of us who are vertically challenged. It was brand new and still in the original HP merchandise packaging.  The scarf is wool and is about the size of a regular scarf. I've worn it around some and it's nice and warm. My only concern is that the Gryffindor patch doesn't seem to be all that secured on it.

Product Rating:

* Ignore the jacket. I've had that for awhile.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday #2

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of
Should Be Reading

. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read

1) Open to a random page

2)Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

3) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

My current book:


" Who cares?" He strode quickly past her. "It probably sensed the Key" Pg 222 of " Incareron".

"The Familiars Review"

Book: The Familiars (Book 1) by  Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Release Date: Sept 7, 2010

  After three young wizard apprentices are kidnapped by the evil queen of a distant land, it is up to their familiars, their magical animal companions -- a street smart alley cat, a precocious blue jay, and a bumbling tree frog -- to save them.

Hmmm I hate starting reviews. I always have trouble on what to say. I will say this "HOLY FREAKING FAMILIAR BATMAT THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING!!". 

I know it took me awhile to read this book, but it was not from lack of interest. It was merely because my work schedule and training kept my occupied. Seriously i cannot emphasize how good this book was. 

First thing first: This book is directed towards the kid/YA crowd. The writing is simple and sometimes just silly at some points. Some adults may not like its. Seeing that i'm secretly a child inside i rather enjoyed it.Don't let that keep you from reading the book though. It does contain elements such as death and attempted murder. 

The Familiars tackles themes such as believing in yourself, friendship. honesty, and hard work. Aldwyn started out as an ally cat and only got picked up as Jack's familiar by mistake. Soon after he is taken the grand Kalstaff's house three shooting stars fall indicating a new prophecy. Kalstaff like the queen believes that the stars indicated that Jack, Dalton, and Marianne are the new heroes. The difference being is that the queen comes and tries to kill the trio. She is prevented from doing so when Kalstaff uses the last of his life force to put a protective spell over the trio. It becomes up to the three familiars to save their masters. 

Their adventure is filled with challenges that leads them to discovering more about their world and themselves. Aldywn even discovers that he has magical powers. 

The twist for the villain is simply brilliant!! I loved it completely. I'm only going to leave a picture at the end of the post as its hint. 

The Familiars is really a new Harry Potter for a new generation. That is if Harry Potter stared Crookshanks, Hedwig, and the other animals. I'm highly looking forward to the next installment. ^^ 

Rating: 5 Bunnies. Perfectly brilliant. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Be kind to your pharmacy technicians a plea from one

Please be kind to your Pharmacy Technicians.

We have no control over the price of your prescriptions or if your insurance will cover it or not. We try our best to get everything filled as fast as we can, but delays can happen. Believe it or not we cannot snap our fingers and your prescription is done. We have to wait for the computer to bring it over to the production station, find it in the shelves, and then count every pill. Twice if it's a controlled substance. There is also the sheer volume of prescriptions we get a day. A hundred or more and that takes time. I cannot help if the computer placed your prescription at number 30. I have 29 more to fill before yours. If you want it quicker come inside to wait.

Problems do happen. We do not carry an never ending stock. Our computers do go down (like yesterday) and in the 21st century our work is connected to the PC. We can do nothing about it till tech fixes it. That means that will be overloaded with work when work comes back and you'll just have to wait a bit longer. Somethings your prescription can be misplaced in the bins. We are only human after all. Note that we also work long hours standing and only get one break. The pharmacist works from opening to closing without a break.

So please don't yell, get snappy, or be generally mean to us. We don't go looking for trouble.So remember...

Be kind to your Pharmacy Technician.

* This note is brought to you from a Pharmacy Technician and is no way associated with others. Though it probably does apply to all of us.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Teaster Tuesday (1)

I've decided to do this now for my blog... I'm expanding. ^^

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  
Should Be Reading 

  • . Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
     Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
    Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
My current book:

 " I'm sorry, I never meant to betray you," the assassin said. "It was the voices." from "The Familiars" page 227.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Give me a Texas Ranger Anthology review

Book: Give me a Texas Ranger Anthology
Author(s): Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phylliss Miranda, & DeWanna Pace
Release date:  July 1, 2010

(Back Excerpt) Born to protect and serve, these rugged lawmen are the stuff of Texas Legend. New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas teams up with Linda Broday, Phylliss Miranda, and DeWanna Pace to bring you four red-blooded Rangers and the women who tamed their hearts…..

“The Ranger’s Angel” by Jodi Thomas

         Outlaws, stagecoach chases, and Texas rangers, oh my! This pretty much sums up Annalane Barkley’s day. One moment she was on her way to Camp Supply to meet her brother. and the next she’s holed up inside a stag coach station with outlaws ready to pick her off if she steps outside. It doesn’t help that every man inside the station keeps giving her unnerving glances. Therefore, when Texas Ranger Wynn McCord offers her the chance to get out and away, Annalane hardly even thinks of saying no. Little does Annalane know that she may be in just as much danger with this ranger as she was with the outlaws.
Wynn McCord has a mission. He is to deliver a highly important letter to the Quaker who serves as the Indian agent in the area. This letter may stop the fighting between the Indians and the settlers, so Wynn refuses to fail. He just didn’t plan on thestage coach getting chased by outlaws or on meeting the enchanting Annalane Barkley. Quick decision-making leads Wynn to asking Annalane to escape with him and to his pleasure, she agrees. Now the two of them just have to make it to Camp Supply before the outlaws or something else catches up with them.

          I’m going to state it up front I loved the heroine but disliked the hero. Wynn comes across as an ass. During a scene when Annalane is passed out and asleep Wynn decides to take certain liberties by kissing her and feeling her up. A little while later while Annalane is sleeping again he contemplates having sex with her passed out form. He later decides against it because he shouldn’t force himself sexually upon her when she is exhausted and sleeping “the first time”. Insinuating that perhaps after they’ve had sex once it would be alright to have sex with her against her wishes while she is passed out or sleeping. After reading his sentence I wanted to see him get shot by the outlaws, or possibly by Annalane herself. I loved Annalane because she knew Wynn had wronged her and was contemplating how to kill him. Her dialogue is so brilliant when she’s thinking of everything she’d like to do to him for forcing himself upon her. Needless to say, Wynn doesn’t change much in the story. I really don’t see how Annalane and Wynn got together and stayed together. It was one of those instances when I read the romance but didn’t feel it.

Final Rating: 2 bunnies

Undertaking Texas by Linda Broday

       Texanna Wilder needs a hero and she doesn’t care who it is. Marcus LaRoach has been after her and her property ever since her husband, Sam, was killed. Now LaRoach has it in his head that he can just hog-tie her all the way to the church. When it appears that no one around town cares enough to save her, out steps Texas Ranger Stoney Burke.

     The last thing Texas Ranger Stoney Burke expected to see when he approached the mob was a woman being dragged like an animal down the street. He certainly didn’t expect the woman to be his best friend’s widow. Texanna has always been the girl for Stoney, but he lost her when he wouldn’t leave the Texas Rangers and settle down. Now it appears that Texanna has reared herself right back into his life, and she’s taking his heart hostage yet again.

       I really liked this short story. Linda Broday brings together two former flames in an event that probably did happen in the Old West. This event, of course, is someone trying to steal a widow’s livelihood. In Texanna’s case, this is a barbershop and undertaking business. Texanna, her son Josh, and Stoney were very endearing characters and for such a short story surprisingly well-rounded. I enjoyed reading Texanna’s and Stoney’s relationship and was glad things worked out well in the end for all. My only complaint was that the story was too short. I really wish Linda had made it into a full novel instead of a short story. I think then things that were rushed could have been paced out better. All in all it was rather good and one of my favorite short western romances I’ve read in awhile.

Rating: 4

One Woman, One Ranger by Phyliss Miranda

Ella Stevenson refuses to be forced into marrying someone she doesn’t want to. Therefore, as proprietress of the “Molly Lou’s,” she feels it’s her duty to protect her girls from being forced into a marriage they don’t want. And that’s a possibility, because the justice of peace has decided he’d like to earn a buck by forcing everyone in town who isn’t legally married in the state of Texas to marry. Unfortunately a spat with the local sheriff has led Ella down the very road she’s been protesting. She either marries her so-called “husband,” Ranger Hayden McGraw, or she’ll be sent to the gallows. Right now, Ella isn’t sure what would be worse.
The only thing Hayden McGraw was planning to do in Buffalo Springs, Texas was get the new “warrant to arrest” papers that were being sent to “Molly Lou’s.” He didn’t expect to get hog-tied into a spat between the sheriff and pretty Ella Stevenson. He especially didn’t plan on having to marry her to save her from the gallows. Unfortunately, that’s what he gets.

I’m afraid this story bored me. It wasn’t bad, per se, but it wasn’t good, either. The whole story just fell flat. Hayden and Ella were both cookie-cutter characters, Mary Sue and Gary Stu respectively. They said nothing and did nothing interesting. During the scene where the sheriff is trying to arrest Ellie she starts making some protests that doesn’t even make sense. She goes on saying her place isn’t tardy, that nothing illegal goes down, and that there is no reason for her to girls to be married. This left me confuses since the sheriff didn’t mention any of those things. He was arresting her for hitting him and causing a public scene. It had nothing to do with her establishment. There was also the puzzle of why the sheriff was threatening her so much. It didn’t make sense at the time. Later we find out the sheriff was only threatening to her so he could arrest her and search her premises for her barkeeper’s moonshining factory, something that was right under her nose. The fact that she didn’t see it made her seem a bit slow. I have no comment on the relationship except that it was a typical Mary Sue/Gary Stu one. The end.

Rating: 3 bunnies

The Perfect Match by DeWanna Pace.

   Ding Ding Ding. The match between Laney O’Grady and Texas Ranger Thomas Longbow has begun. In her corner, Laney O’Grady is battling to earn money to adopt her stepson back from his menacing uncle. She’s also working to prove to the court that she would be a suitable parent and can provide for the boy. The possible weakness in her strategy is the particularly handsome Texas Ranger who has taken her heart.
In his corner, Thomas Longbow is attempting to stop an illegal boxing match between Irishman Pete Meher and his rival Bob Fitzsimmons. This is easier said than done since it appears that everyone, other than the politician’s who hired him, is doing everything in their power to keep this fight on; everyone including the widowed Laney O’Grady. Some type of transaction has transpired between Laney and Me, Meher, and Thomas is determined to find out what it was. That is if Laney doesn’t deliver any knockouts to his heart and soul in the process.

   If “Undertaking Texas” was the best of the anthology, then this one came in second. It was also be the cutest. I found Thomas and Laney’s relationship to be charming, although we really didn’t get a lot of them to expand on something that could have been better. This is another instance where I wish the author had made the short story into a full length novel. There were so many new and interesting ideas being brought up due to the fact that the story is set four years before the turn of the century. Things such as “nickelodeons” and early cinemas and the reaction to trains making travel by horse travel becoming obsolete were just some of the developments the author brought up in the story. It made me want to read more about the reactions of those who lived at the turn of the century. That nitpick aside, Thomas and Laney’s story was an interesting one filled with some mystery and intrigue that left me quite satisfied when I finished the story.

Rating: 3 1/2 Bunnies