Simple Smile Saturday (Dec-3)

First of all, I had a birthday! It was two days ago, and I had a wonderful time with family and friends. I’ve since passed the quarter-century mark and am a mere year from the big 3-0. The goal is to travel to the British Isles before then, so *fingers crossed* I can save up enough money!

What is helping me earn money for said trip is my day job and my freelance work for Musa Publishing. The more people who buy the books I’ve worked on, the more I get paid, so I happy to announce I had another ebook come out just yesterday.

It is part of a serial called “Sorrow”. I wasn’t expecting to like this series so much, but find myself always wanting to know what happens next! I would suggest reading the novellas in order, but they are only 99 cents each so it won’t break the bank. Check out the latest one below…

Sorrow Part 4: The Gelded Wolf by David Pilling & Martin Bolton
Musa Publishing -> Dec 21 2012

sorrowpart4“The power struggle becomes ever more vicious, and the wolves smell blood.”

An uneasy peace has descended over the World Apparent. The Winter Realm and the Old Kingdom are recovering from the cataclysmic events of the Twelfth Reconquest, while in the south, the Djanki and the Sharib retreat to lick their wounds from the battle at Temple Rock. To the east, the divided Empire of Temeria is nearing the end of a long civil war, in which rival Generals have fought like mad dogs to seize the long-vacant Imperial Throne.
As the Winter Realm slides into chaos, Felipe De Gascur and his fellow knights don’t get far before they are forced to fight for their lives.

Far away in Temeria, Sorrow and Bail must learn to trust each other if they are to survive the barren wastes.

The evil Raven Queen charges Colken with an errand, but his heart is not in it…

You can get see the other books I’ve edited here with buy links, or see an excerpt here of this particular book!

Book Review: The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

grimmlegacy.pollyshulmanSynopsis:  When Elizabeth gets an afterschool job at the New York Circulating Material Repository, it isn’t quite what she was expecting. Rather than books, it lends out anything from fondue fountains to Marie Antoinette’s wig and, more importantly, items from the Grimm Collection. But when powerful items start loosing their magic or go missing, Elizabeth and her new friends need to discover who the thief is before someone gets hurt.

Cover: The artwork has a mystical element to it that is easily missed at first glance due to the darkened colour palette. Once you examine the illustration a bit more closely, you can see various intriguing aspects that mimic the aesthetic of the story.

Product: This hardcover novel has titled chapters that include pictures at the top of the page with corresponding call numbers of where the item would be held in the Repository. Some of them are particularly interesting; such as chapter twenty on page 232.

Writing Style: The word selection is on par for teenagers, but still enjoyable for those who are in an older age bracket. There is also a wonderfully dry sense of humour from some of the characters that will make you pause or even laugh to yourself.

Pacing: The story had moments of the ordinary that, while did not drag, did not seem terribly exciting either. Nevertheless, everything that seemed irrelevant at the time would later be a more important aspect that moved the plot forward.

Plot: This book came to my attention because I was editing a story by the same name and made me a bit prejudiced towards the novel as I thought it would mimic The Brothers Grimm in some way like the manuscript. I was wrong, but, nevertheless, happily surprised. While the tale includes objects from the Grimm Collection, it has its own storyline that makes it unique and interesting.

Character: Elizabeth is the primary character whose life is a bit like Cinderella –she has a stepmother and two stepsisters, an absentminded father, plus has to do a lot of chores at home. But where Cinderella is stuck at home with only mice and her imagination for company, Elizabeth goes out to find friends and adventure by getting a job. In the end they both end up with a boyfriend, so perhaps Elizabeth is Cinderella of the 21st century…

Point of Interest: If my job interviews were as interesting as the one for the Repository, they might not freak me out so much.  Sorting buttons and taking multiple-choice tests that don’t have a black and white answer is right up my ally. If I’m ever in a position to hire anyone, this seems like a pretty good way to go about it.

Romance: The four main characters are all teenagers, namely Elizabeth, Anjali, Marc, and Aaron.  Aaron has a crush on Anjali who is interested in Marc who may or may not be interested back, and though Elizabeth is attracted to Marc it is Aaron who makes her stomach feel fluttery.

Unfulfilled Promise: Elizabeth’s new boss gives her a button for her coat to replace the one she’s lost and, while it does play a role in the book, it isn’t fully explained. There just seems like there should be more to it, a reason why it does what it does and a more clear definition of its purpose.

Quote:You know when you were a little kid reading fairy tales, you always dreamed that the magic was true? Why are we the ones who get to find out it is?”

The Verdict: I thought this book had a similar aesthetic as the Percy Jackson series;  an epic tale filled with magic and the mystic that leads a group of teenagers on an adventure to save someone and save the day. I got this book out from the library, but I fully intend to buy it as it is one I would read again and again… and hope there will be a sequel!

W.W.W. Wednesday (Dec-3)

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  All you have to do is answer these 3 questions: 

1. What did you recently finish reading?

2. What are you currently reading?

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

To do something a little different with this, I thought I’d find out what my friends are reading and post that whenever I can get answers out of them!

Sonya is finished reading “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett
Sonya is reading “Under the Dome” by Stephen King
Sonya is next reading “The Creative Life” by Julia Cameron

Teaser Tuesday (Dec-3)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

He’s No Prince Charming by LuAnn McLane

Dakota quickly removed her flip-flop and held it up over her head as if it were a samurai sword. “I know karate,” she bluffed.

“If your brain were made of dirt, you wouldn’t have enough for a garden.”

Book Review: Welcome Home, Daddy by Carrie Weaver

welcomehomedaddy.carrieweaverSynopsis: Annie’s best friend set her up on a blind date with Drew Vincent, a reservist being shipped out the next day, and shortly thereafter Annie found herself a single-mother. Two years later, Annie receives the shock of her life when the man who was presumed dead in Iraq is standing on her doorstep and about to discover himself a father. But Annie isn’t sure she has the faith and courage to let the man who risks his life every day into their life.

Cover: I was reading this on my kobo, so the cover isn’t all that eye-catching. I did however look it up online, and cannot say the colour version is much more spectacular. There is nothing original or overly interesting about the artwork, thought the toddler’s expression is adorable.

Writing Style: Carrie Weaver has an excellent style of writing that kept me enthralled in the store from beginning to (near) end. She had a great sense of pace, kept the plot moving (for the most part), and only faltered a bit towards the end.

Plot: The main storyline of this book is quite plausible, and has probably happened on more than one occasion. An ordinary girl and a member of the armed forces fall in love, and try to figure out if living with the fear and distance are worth the risk of making their relationship work. This tale, however, had the added obstacle of the pair already having a child together due to a one-night-stand years prior.

Character: Micah is the nearly two-year-old son of Annie and Drew. I cannot say I know all that much about children, but having been around them growing up I am quite surprised at how advanced this boy is depicted. If I had to guess, I would have thought Micah to be closer to the age of four based on his level of speech and attention span.

Character Development: Annie is a keep-it-safe type of personality, eschewing anything that might be considered dangerous or risky. This behaviour is evident up until around the last ten pages of the book when suddenly she has a change of heart. The arc Annie’s character goes on is missing; there is no depiction of her coming to the realization that some things are worth the risk, just suddenly arriving there.

Relationship: The growing love between Annie and Drew felt a little bit same-old along the lines of any other romance, but Drew building a bond with his son is incredibly sweet and also humerous due to the man having no idea what he is doing with a toddler.

DiY: This is something to keep in mind for those of you with children. When throwing a birthday party for your little tot, only invite as many children as years your child is turning. If your kid is two, invite two other children to help celebrate as any more than that can lead to one big nightmare.

Quote: “It may sound old-fashioned, but I don’t want to dishonour you. I want to make sure we’re both committed heart and soul… And I can look you and Micah in the eye tomorrow, not to mention myself in the mirror. [I want to] set an example of what it means to be a man of honour.“

The Verdict: I rather liked this book, and wish it was one that I owned. As I previously mentioned, the ending did leave a bit to be desired –which could have been corrected by adding a scene of the heroine ruminating over her options and having a light bulb moment –yet the novel was still an enjoyable read. Admittedly, I am going through a phase where anything with a military man in it tends to interest me, but I found this story to be both real and an escape from reality.

W.W.W. Wednesday (Dec-2)

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  All you have to do is answer these 3 questions: 

1. What did you recently finish reading?

2. What are you currently reading?

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

To do something a little different with this, I thought I’d find out what my friends are reading and post that whenever I can get answers out of them!

Darin is finished reading “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett
Darin is reading “Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin
Darin is next reading “Clash of Kings” by George R. R. Martin