Thursday, October 31, 2013

Random Rant Thursday: NaNoWriMo is about to begin and 99 cent books

Halloween is upon us, which means today is October 31, and subsequently (or rather, obviously) tomorrow is November 1, the day where Ender's Game is coming out (Which I'm going to go see tonight in an early showing) and the day that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) officially begins.

For those of you who dont know what NaNoWriMo is, its basically a project the whole month of November that a bunch of writers/wannabe writers set aside to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Technically you win if you reach the goal, so there are tons of winners at the end of the month, but realistically you win if you write anything at all during that month since those words are words that would probably not have been written otherwise.

Last year, I got a friend of mine involved, username: La'Mar Nelson, and he only made it to 18,724 words, but in my opinion, those are words that would never have been written otherwise. He's going to try again this year and try to actually win. I've also talked little sis, and my cousin into doing it. I'll add their usernames once they actually make an account.

The more I look at lasy year's novel, the more I dislike where it went. I started it before NaNoWriMo began, and only counted the words written during the month, but still, I had no idea where I wanted the novel to go, and as a result, I have a feeling the book goes almost nowhere. I havent given up on it, but I've decided to take a big break from it. This year, I'm taking a different approach. I've followed some of the tims for what to do the month before NaNoWriMo begins and outlined my story, and some main things I want to happen, and I'm going to follow that as much as possible. Perhaps that will help me, only time will tell.

This year, I think I'm more excited than I was last year. This is a new story I get to jump into and create; new characters to meet, and its all really exciting. It's going to be rough, as it always is, and I'm going to want to quit, as I did last year, but eventually I'll get through it, and I'll have something to show for myself, after all, how much can one really go through in just 30 days.

If you want to add me as a buddy on NaNoWriMo, my username is Beckoned By Books. If you can't find me that way feel free to use my email address to add me smleach540 at yahoo dot com.

I'll see you on the otherside (or rather, I'll see you on Monday....when my next review goes live.)

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? What's your username? Are you excited?

[edit] Oh and I have a random announcement that's completely unrelated to anything else in this post....I've just checked out one of Karina Halle's blog posts and it says that for the month of November, all her Experiment in Terror books are only 99 Cents.  Karina is one of my favorite authors, so this is the perfect opportunity for you to find out exactly why I love her so much.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Devis Reprise and The Murder Complex

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's picks are:

Book: The Devil's Reprise
By: Karina Halle
Published: October 29, 2013
Published By: Diversion Books

Description: Given a second chance, music journalist Dawn Emerson and guitarist Sage Knightly are reunited, only to have their lives threatened again by a demonic bargain. The sequel to THE DEVIL’S METAL, from USA Today bestselling author Karina Halle.

When Dawn Emerson got the chance to go on tour with her favorite metal band, Hybrid, she thought she landed the writing gig of the century. But what started off as a dream for the budding music journalist quickly turned into a nightmare that she and guitarist Sage Knightly barely escaped alive.

Now, months after they went their separate ways, Sage invites Dawn to accompany him on his first solo tour across Europe and write about it for Creem Magazine. But like the last tour, nothing is as easy as it seems. Sage is a broken man on the path to self-destruction and Dawn isn’t sure if she’s the right person to save him. And aside from having to pick up the pieces of their burgeoning relationship, they have to negotiate the mysterious new photographer assigned to Dawn’s story, as well as vindictive promoters and demonic groupies they thought they’d never see again.

Because this time, it’s Dawn who made a deal with the devil and the only thing worse than having to uphold a bargain with the prince of darkness is not remembering how you’re supposed to pay it back.

It may be with their souls.

My Thoughts: Yes, Yes, Yes. I know this book came out yesterday. I realize that WoW is for books that havent come out yet, but I just couldnt not feature this one, and since I'm participating in a self imposed book buying ban, (and somewhat failing...I just HAD to buy Allegiant) I'm forcing myself to wait until at least December, after NaNoWriMo to buy it.

So that's why I'm waiting....but since this is technically against the rules, I have another one for you all:

Book: The Murder Complex
By: Lindsay Cummings
Published: June 10, 2014
Published by: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Description: Your mind is not your own...
20-year-old Lindsay Cummings' debut novel, THE MURDER COMPLEX, is described as an action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic thriller set in the futuristic Florida Everglades, where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate, and follows Meadow Woodson, a 15-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, kill, and to survive in any situation, and Zephyr James, the orphaned boy she falls in love with, whose sole purpose is to keep her from discovering the haunting truth about her family, even if it puts them both in mortal danger.

My Thoughts: This is right up my alley, and reminds me a lot of the book I'm planning to write for NaNoWriMo, only in that both our MC's are trained by their father to fight, kill, and survive in any situation. I'm curious to see how this one turns out.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

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!

This week's teaser is from:

"'Naturally,' he went on, leaning forward and peering into my eyes, 'you have a right to be so. Eden White was far too trusting.' My head lolled back onto the seat."

OMG, so I've only gotten like 5% into this book but already I love it just as much as I loved the last one. I can't wait to see what happens. I'm so behind with this series. The third book has already been released and I'm only on the second.

What are your teasers this month?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

Book: The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns #3)
By: Rae Carson
Published: August 27th 2013
Published By: Greenwillow Books

Description: The epic conclusion to Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns trilogy. The seventeen-year-old sorcerer-queen will travel into the unknown realm of the enemy to win back her true love, save her country, and uncover the final secrets of her destiny.

Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.

My Thoughts: OMG. I’ve talked about this series time and time again. It’s amazing and I absolutely love it. This final installment into the series is no different. I don't even have a lot to say about it so this will be brief.

The Bitter Kingdom picks up where The Crown of Embers left off. Elisa is headed to rescue her love Hector from her enemies who have captured him to lure her into their lands and use her for unknown evils. Still, Elisa has a plan, and she is more powerful than her enemies know.
I enjoyed seeing the power and strength Elisa possessed. She has come a long way from the little girl we met in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. She became a true ruler here and worthy of her followers. We also learn more of the history behind the ongoing war in this novel.
I enjoyed this conclusion to the series immensely. I would suggest this book to those who enjoy fantasy and strong women. I give it 5 stars.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: The Bone Bearer by Lani Wendt Young

Book: The Bone Bearer (Telesa #3) 
By: Lani Wendt Young
Published: June 27th 2013
Published By: Self Published

Description: The thrilling, breathlessly anticipated conclusion to The Telesa Series.
Leila's selfless act at the closing of 'When Water Burns,' unleashed the demonic fury of Pele the Fire Goddess and now Daniel must fight an epic battle to free the one he loves. Unlikely allies come to his aid as a group of troubled elementals try to overcome their differences and work as a team to save their friend. But Pele's awakening has caused cataclysmic fear throughout the Telesa guardians of the Pacific and they are gathering their forces, preparing to defend the Blue Continent from the devastating threat of the Fire Goddess. Only one thing can destroy her - the Tangaloa Bone. The race is on to recover the three pieces of this ancient weapon and the question remains: who will wield the power of the Bone Bearer? And can Leila survive its apocalyptic fury?

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved the first and second books in the Telesa Trilogy, so when this one came out, I absolutely HAD to have it (nevermind the new covers that caused me to up and re-buy all the printed books, just because). I went into this one expecting much the same of what I got in the other two, but though I still loved it, it was completely different than anything I had imagined.

Before the primary story we read the story of Pele, daughter of The Covenant Keeper for the Telesa back in the day. Unfortunately, she was ungifted. Her mother loved her though, so she decided not to give her away, as was custom. Later, Pele became distraught about the fact that she was ungifted, and her mother sought to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, as we all know, power is not meant for everyone, and with just a taste, Pele became a bit of a (excuse the term) “power whore.” Later she went mad, and soon her body could no longer hold all the elemental power she owned so she was consumed by the earth, but not before she killed the only two people who cared for her.

We are then tossed into the story with the aftermath of the ending of When Water Burns. If you remember, Leila is in the hospital with Daniel, and Pele is lingering somewhere under the surface. At the beginning of this story however, things switch, and we lose all contact with Leila, and gain Pele instead. Pele is taking things over (literally) and no one can control her.

Feeling the change in the elements, many other Telesa from other Pacific Islands swarm to Samoa in order to destroy Pele. Meanwhile, Daniel, Simone, Keahi, and some other wonderful characters must band together to defeat Pele and save Leila.

This story has a lot more drama, a lot more characters, and a lot more myth. I loved reading every word of it. Unfortunately, Leila wasn’t much present, and that disappointed me, but there were plenty of the other characters we loved. Daniel is pretty much pathetic most of the beginning of the book, but things got better for him and I wasn’t as disappointed in him. As for my new love Keahi, I loved him even more in this one.

There was only one thing I didn’t like. Pele was a bit dense in my opinion. You’d think that for a woman as old as she is, she’d know when she was being betrayed, but she was a bit na├»ve. Then again, she never actually had friends, so I guess she wouldn’t know the difference. Also, there were a lot of characters, and sometimes it was kind of hard to keep up.

I don’t want to give too much away for the ending of this series, but I absolutely loved it. Though this story was much different than the others, I still enjoyed reading it. Lani Wendt Young is an amazing writer, and I can’t wait to read everything else she writes.
I give this one 4 stars.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Book: The Calling (Darkness Rising #2)
By: Kelley Armstrong
Published: April 10th 2012
Published By: Harper

Description: Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is -a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

In THE CALLING, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of THE GATHERING clamoring for more.

My Thoughts: I didn’t much like the first book in this series, but I tried my absolute best to give this series another chance, hoping that by the second book, I may be more invested in the series, and like it a bit more. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

The book starts off right where the last ends, with all the kids stuck in a helicopter after almost being kidnapped once before. Things happen, the plane crashes, and the kids are once again on the run in the woods.

My problem with this series is not that it’s bad. It doesn’t necessarily suck, though it is a bit predictable and anticlimactic. Still, it doesn’t suck. My problem is that I don’t see the real reason for it to be a series. What I feel so far is that this story is one large story that the author decided to make into three for no real reason. I feel like not much happened in the first or second books by themselves, but, if put together, the two may make me feel the same was I would feel were I 2/3 of the way through one book. (Does this make sense?) I just don’t get it, nor do I really like it. . There wasn’t enough that happened in each book to warrant the feeling of completion or wholeness I should normally get at the end of a book, even a series. It just bored me to death.

Unfortunately, I have to give this series 2 stars. I will not be reading anything else in this series.