Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Thursday, February 28, 2008

When You Can't Say Much of Anything Nice...

The first half of Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith is good; I was grooving along to the story of a teen in love with a werewolf, helping to revitalize her family's restaurant by developing a vampire theme, enjoying myself. If it wasn't as good as some of the other books I've read in the vampire genre, it was still pretty good. And took a major turn wherein people we thought we knew not only acted improbably, they changed personalities, going from benign to evil in the flick of an unbelievable eye. From that point on, I just didn't like nor care for anyone. And story holes? I could drive my car through 'em! I wish the story had maintained its early momentum and come to a satisfying, believable conclusion. But even fantasy has its limits, and I reached mine when the uncle lost any concern for the well-being of his niece. I like Ms. Smith and I think she's a fine writer usually, but this one just seems as though she wasn't sure where to go with the story. Disappointing.

Amazon review found at


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Paranormal Historical Romance (yep, you read that right)

I received Theft of Shadows by Naomi Bellis as a review novel for the Historical Novel Society, and just finished it today. The fact that it's a historical romance made me intrigued, and the fact that it's a paranormal historical romance really had me interested. While it turned out to be all right, I can't say I just loved it. It's definitely well-written, and I did enjoy the characters, though they were a bit on the cliched side. I did like the fact that it took a period in history (regency) and gave it a new spin by throwing in a paranormal aspect. Ms. Bellis certainly has talent as a romance writer; despite the occasional cringe-worthy phrase--"especially not a woman who kissed like the perfect mating of an angel and a tavern wench"--she also had range in the words she used and humor in the way she used them. While Theft of Shadows is out of my comfort zone in some ways--you KNOW I love paranormal, and you KNOW I love historical--I can say that I did enjoy it overall. I just didn't *love* it.
Here's the link to my amazon review: My review for the Historical Novel Society will be found in the pages of their periodical.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Winter Rose

I finished The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly last night. What a wonderful journey it was! 723 pages strong, I just found myself turning the pages in order to find out what was going to happen. I invested myself in these characters and their trials, and I am bereft that I'm leaving them (at least until the third book makes its debut). I can't recommend this one highly enough--set around the turn of the twentieth century, it follows the Bristows, Joe and Fiona; Fiona's brother Sid, who has turned to a life of crime; India Selwyn Jones, a titled young woman recently graduated from medical school; and the villainous Freddie Lytton, only out for himself. If I were to have a gift of writing, I would wish to write just like Ms. Donnelly. She's got a terrific turn of phrase and a way of making you lose yourself in the pages.
My amazon review can be found at I can't say enough good things about this one, and I don't know why I waited so long to pick it up.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Why I Love Moonlight

Among the many reasons I love the tv show Moonlight (Alex O'Laughlin being the #1, of course), is the fun acting that makes me smile. Here's a prime example. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The House at Riverton Review

I received The House at Riverton by Kate Morton from the Amazon Vine program for review. I requested it based only on the description I'd read in the newsletter: set around World War I, it was a family saga rich in secrets. Having just finished it, I can soundly endorse it as one of the best reads I've had in a long time. Being Morton's debut novel, I'm amazed at the wonderful turn of phrase and the realistic characterizations. I was enthralled up to the last page (which kept me up late reading, btw). I gave it a glowing review at amazon at and I can heartily recommend it to all lovers of historical fiction and just plain good literature. Get this one. You won't regret it!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Eva's Excellent Book Meme

Eva's Excellent Book Meme

Teddy tagged me for this meme, an invention of Eva (A Striped Armchair).

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
The Kite Runner. For some reason I just feel it would be too gut-wrenching for me.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
Jamie Frasier from Outlander, Edward Cullen from Twilight, and John Marshal from A Place Beyond Courage. What can I say? I like the boys.

Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Hmmmm....A Tale of Two Cities? Not a Dickens fan.

Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
Can't think of one....

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?
It may be Murder on the Orient Express, which my Sunday School class (a literature class) is currently reading. I'd thought I'd read it, but if I did, I can't remember much.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why?
Probably To Kill a Mockingbird.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
French. I've always felt I'm missing something by not being able to read French.

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread one a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Probably Outlander.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
The reviewing community. I've really expanded my reviewing skills through reading others' reviews/blogs.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather-bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.
The physicality of the books wouldn't matter so much, just that there are plenty of them and all my favorites are there. I'd need a very comfortable chaise lounge with lots of pillows, a fireplace, and a small refrigerator for goodies.

And the final portion of this assignment is to tag four others: Bookfoolery, Jeanette's Reading Blog, For the Good Times, and NutmegAkitas.

And, for extra credit, if you leave a comment letting Eva know you've done the meme with a link to the post, she will give you some link love via a big list of who's participated. Additionally, if you link back to her original post, she will enter you in a drawing to win The House at Riverton. If you're an American, this is especially exciting since it isn't going to published until April. ;) To be in the drawing, you must have posted the meme (and commented) by February 5th, which is when she is holding the drawing.