Thursday, December 23, 2010

Review: Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I'm always a fan of faerie books, so Iron King was right up my alley. 

The story line is pretty good. On her 16th birthday, Meghan Chase discovers she is not only half human, half fae, but that her father is famous, dangerous, and royalty. He is King Oberon, and that makes Meghan a fae princess. She travels with her best friend Puck to the Nevernever (the faerie world) to save her little brother, Ethan, who was kidnapped and replaced by a changeling.

Along the way Meghan stumbles through Fae life making deadly mistakes, interesting friends, and many enemies. One of those enemies is Ash, the prince of her father's rival court. Meghan and Ash soon fall in love though it's a death sentence for both of them.

I enjoyed the Iron King, but I was a little put off by the graphic imagery in some parts. It's not that bad and there is little to no swearing. I just don't enjoy scenes with people being in so much pain it brings "ecstasy" and so forth.

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No thanks.

As most of you know, I am a writer. A lot of you got to read the first 17 pages of my book The Gifted when they were featured on Since that time I have had a lot of questions about when it will be published. Even a very good friend of my family's joked he wanted to open a publishing house just so he could print my book and read the rest of it. That makes a person feel good.

Since last July I have been sending it to agencies and publishers trying to get someone to love it as much as I do. Last week I got yet another rejection letter. Honestly, I haven't gotten that many because I have not sent it to that many agencies or publishes, but it's enough to be a little discouraged.

I have decided to publish The Gifted myself. I'll be going through CreateSpace, which means The Gifted will be available for sale directly on I had pretty much decided to do this a few months ago, but my dad told me to give this last agency one more shot. I did and they shot me down. Oh well. You have to have a tough skin. The only thing this really means is that I won't become rich and famous. But hey, at least my book will be published and anyone who is interested can read it.

Are you excited? I am. But there's one more thing. I won't even be able to start working on The Gifted until February. Until then I'll be busy in a series of edits for manuscripts to enter into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. I'm entering the book I wrote in November, but as it is no one would take a second glance at it. It needs lots of work.

So, at the beginning of February I'll pick up The Gifted and work it into a polished state worthy of the printing press. Until then, you'll just have to find something else to read. Pin It

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner

I have been wanting to read this book for a while, so I was very excited to finally get the chance.

Nobody's Princess is the coming of age story of Helen of Sparta, later known as Helen of Troy. Helen is a sassy stubborn thing with lots of spunk and will power. She hates doing the mundane tasks women of her society endure and convinces her brothers' teacher to tutor her in the arts of sword fighting and spear throwing. She journey's with her brothers to distant lands, and the ending leaves us hanging on saying, "What? That's the end?" Luckily there is a sequel (which I have yet to read).

Throughout this book, there are many examples of the author's knowledge of the time period. There are small details in the book that the author explains perfectly without making it seem like I'm reading a text book. For example the tradition of sharing bread and salt with guests is mentioned, and Helen, the narrator, explains this is a sacred trust between guest and host.

I was impressed by the writing and enjoyed the story. My only complaint is that through Friesner's story telling, I grew to love Helen, Polydueces and Castor. If you do a little bit of research on them, you'll find they are not as wonderful and honorable as Nobody's Princess makes them out to be, and that is a hard pill to swallow sometimes. 

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

A new Mr. Darcy?

I love me some Pride and Prejudice. Seriously. I think it's the ultimate sick day movie. Really, any version of the movie is the best, and I've seen a lot of them. I don't know what it is about the story that I love, I just love it. And of course, who doesn't love Mr. Darcy? In the end, anyway.

The other day I was flipping through the catalogue online at our local library and came across Masterpiece Theatre Jane Eyre. I saw the play in college because my roommate was in the orchestra. The only thing I remember was there was a lunatic hidden in the attic and something about fire... I thought I might give the movie a shot. I liked the play (at least I think I did) so I would probably enjoy the movie.

Let me just say this. The movie is 4 hours long, and I have somehow managed to watch it twice, yes twice, in the last three days. I guess that's what happens when your husband is working late hours. That's beside the point. The fact that I stayed up late and got up early to watch it tells you how much I loved it. Well, that and I skipped over the parts with Mrs. Reed being Mrs. Reed and Bertha haunting the halls. Seen it once, didn't need to see it twice. But the rest of the movie, I loved.

I especially loved Mr. Rochester. Good heavens, the actor is brilliant. He's rough around the edges, beastly and mean at first. Ok, that's a lie, he's rough around the edges, beastly and mean through most of the movie, but for Jane he changes. For Jane he is a completely different animal. He really made me believe that he was in love with her.

I do a pretty good job of keeping one foot in reality at all times when I watch a movie. Books are different - I like to lose my mind in a book. But with movies I always point out, "That actor also played in..." or "Yeah, like that would happen in real life." I like to remember that life is not a movie and this didn't really happen.

But with Jane Eyre, I think I lost my focus and had both eyes trained on the imagination of Charlotte Bronte. Is Mr. Rochester real? As real as Edward and Bella, or Harry, or even Mickey Mouse. But for those few hours I forgot the word "fiction" and thought how lucky Jane was to have someone like Mr. Rochester. Well, lucky until she met Bertha.

So, if you're sick or snowed in or just in the mood for some good tv...and you've got 4 hours to spare I'd recommend Jane Eyre. I haven't seen any other versions yet, just the BBC Masterpiece Theatre one. Sadly, that's the only one our local library has, so I don't think I'll be watching any other versions. A new one is coming out staring Mia Wasikowska, but after watching the previews, I'm still partial to the BBC version.

If you do check out this movie, here are three things of note:

1. Jane's profile takes some getting used to, but push passed that and you'll see she really can be very pretty.
2. The young Jane Eyre is played by Georgie Henley. (Aka Lucy Pevensie)
3. If you speak Spanish, cover your ears when Jane meets Bertha.

Please enjoy:)

PS. If you enjoy Pride and Prejudice, you will probably enjoy this book by Shannon Hale:

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