Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Top Ten Characters I'm Thankful For

Top Ten Characters I'm Thankful For

It's not always easy being an eccentric geek lady in the rural South. Books and awesome characters have often been my inspiration, role models, and friends. Here are a few characters that I'm thankful for (but reaaally quick cause I gotta clean house for Thanksgiving).

  1. Jo March - A writer with a short temper. Life imitates art or art imitates life? Also, you don't have to marry the boy next door, even if everyone wants you to do so.
  2. Anne of Green Gables - Keep the imagination going and roll with the mistakes.
  3. Princess Leia - She took charge of her own rescue. How cool is that?
  4. The Unicorn (The Last Unicorn) - There are others like you out there, you're just stuck in the forest.
  5. Princess Mia Thermopolis - Some have greatness thrust upon them, it's ok to need practice.
  6. Hermione - Representing smart girls everywhere who are not afraid to speak up and show it.
  7. Fiver - I would affectionately describe him as the panic attack rabbit. But somehow, he's always made me feel better. Like sometimes you worry and warn others for good reason.
  8. Mrs. Frisby - Mom power! A role model for balancing family and adventure.
  9. Marianne Dashwood - It's cool to be romantic, emotional, and sentimental. Just don't lose sense and sensibility over it.
  10. Atticus Finch - Above all, do what's right.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Top Ten Characters That Creep Us Out (Halloween freebie!)

Top Ten Characters That Creep Us Out 


Bellatrix Lestrange - Mainly cause she's unpredictable. You never know what this crazy woman is going to do!

Mysterious Stranger - Ok, I confess I've never read the short story, however, I once saw a claymation version of Mark Twain's work and it was seriously, very creepy.

President Snow - I love roses, President Snow, not so much.

Supreme Commander Paris Anderson - Ditto, what kind of guy treats his son(s) that way?!

Slappy the Dummy (Goosebumps) - Argh, the Goosebump dummy books were the worse creepy-wise.


Pennywise - He wouldn't see the remake with me. This character started a life-long hate of clowns.

The Pigs from Animal Farm - Control freaks!

The Red Death from the Masque of the Red Death - Classic creepy.

Yawgmoth from Magic the Gathering book - A mad scientist turned monster in a world of magic.

Gollum from Lord of the Rings - 'Cause he probably smells like fish and B.O., ew.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ten Books That Give Us That Fallish Feeling

Ten Books That Give Us That Fall-ish Feeling


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - My personal favorite in the series about everyone's favorite boy wizard. Expecto Patronum! Stag/deer also very fall-ish critter in the south.

The Watcher In The Woods - Ah, fall leaves, let's go view some in the woods, *plays song:* "I always feel like somebody's is watching me." No, seriously, nowadays the book has a very retro 70s feel, reminding me of simpler times and the fall season of my childhood.

Dracula - The vampire book that really started it all, other fun reads, my fav Halloween costume & decor. Oh, and arguably the best classic monster movie.

Hatchet - Book memories of reading this one fall for a middle school Lit class. The great and wild outdoors and the wilderness expert who lectured us on real life survival.

Sign of the Beaver - Ditto, for this middle school read. I'll always remember the main character describing his clothing as thin as a book page (and it was cold). There's a connection about the outdoors and fall in my mind.

New Moon - This one's mostly book memories of reading this in the fall. Also, the Northwest coast setting seems like it would be crisp and cool and perfect for a fall coat (so different from here!).

A New Coat for Anna - Winter's coming! Wait, wrong catch phrase. Anyways, this is an adorable picture book from my childhood, about acquiring a new coat.


October Country by Ray Bradbury - The title says it all, plus ghost stories!

Howl's Moving Castle - Another magical wizard read. Spells/curses and mentions of bacon.

Tenchi! Muyo! manga series - School memories and the use of bright fall colors.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Top Ten Book Boyfriends

Top Ten Book Boyfriends

Even though I'm an old, happily married woman, I occasionally get book crushes, fictional dudes who remind me a little of my hubby and have me cheering for their best interests and happily-ever-after.

Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice - Ok, that's pretty much a given. Best fictional introvert guy ever.

Atticus from To Kill A Mockingbird - There's something so sweet about a good dad. True hero who sticks up for what's right.

Schmendrick and Prince Lir from The Last Unicorn - I dig the blundering magician and the Prince equally. Both are caring and sweet and patient with their ladies. 

Howl from Howl's Moving Castle - What's not to love about a posh magician that puts a lot of thought into his hair? Makes you feel young?

Aragorn/Strider from The Lord of the Rings - Sooo cool. Brave, righteous warrior. I secretly want to name a baby boy Strider.

Warner from Shatter Me - Argh, I rooted for something good to happen to him so desperately. He needed love!

Kylo Ren/Ben Solo from SW comics/books (novelization and brief mentions) - Ah, help me, I was in love with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo as a tween, now I've moved on to the dark nephew/son.

Westley the Princess Bride - Who doesn't want a man that says, "As You Wish?" Mask? Pirate? Yes!

Ren from Skip Beat - There's just something about dark haired Ren's, be it from Star Wars, or shojo manga. This one's a serious actor!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Review: Lucky In Love by Kasie West

Lucky In Love by Kasie West

Info: Published July 25th 2017, 337 pages, (ISBN13: 9781338058017)

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Vonze's Review: Another adorable YA read from Kasie West!

Ever daydream you've won the lottery? Yes? No?? Experience the ups and downs of striking it "lucky" with Maddie, a girl who splits her time studying and working at a zoo. After taking a chance on her birthday, she wins bigs. Suddenly her problems seem to vanish. No more worrying about college, her brother's degree, her family's money issues, parents fighting, etc. Until she realizes she's only replaced her old problems with new ones. Mainly who to trust? Can she depend on her old friends, family, her "sudden" new friends, distant relatives, or her co-worker "Zoo Seth" who she's been crushing on for a while?

For me, it was heavy on the be-careful-what-you-wish-for and seek-wise-counsel, and light on the romance. However, it has a perfectly sweet ending with Zoo Seth that is gush worthy.

Fav Quote: “Sometimes regardless of what we want, reality takes over.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ten Books That Feature Orphan Characters

Ten Books That Feature Orphan Characters

Years ago, I noticed a strange pattern. A whole lot of literature's greatest characters are orphans or only have one parent living. Is it a device to invoke instant sympathy? Does it make the character's struggle harder? Or is it an easy way to get parents and rules out the way of the plot? Today, I'm going to focus on listing lit's famous orphans.

Harry Potter - For our generation, he's number one. Although sad, the fact that his parents' deaths are apart of the overarching plot adds to the story. He's not just an orphan for the sake of pulling on our heartstrings.

Jane Eyre - This one does pull on my heartstrings. Instead of a wicked stepmother, poor Jane has a wicked aunt and cousins. She grows up fast and tries to support herself.

Oliver Twist - Oh, heartstrings, "Please, sir, I want some more!" Poor little kid. Pip - Another Dickens example. David Copperfield - I feel like Dickens is the king of orphan writing. I'm told he has others that I haven't read.

Tom Sawyer - I guess, maybe, being an orphan explains his bad behavior? To quote Aladdin, the town could sing, "I'd blame parents except he hasn't got 'em." Huck Finn - Wow, a ditto by the same author! (Expect I believe I remember his dad is kinda alive, then kinda not.)

Dorothy (Wizard of Oz) - I dunno, for me, her aunt and uncle might has well been her parents. Her being an orphan didn't really effect the plot very much. Just kinda makes you feel poor Dorothy.

Mary (The Secret Garden) - Ditto. She couldn't just visited her rich family in England for the year? Or to be educated? Maybe the author thought the plot needed her parents out of the way so she could be noisy and have secrets.

Heidi - This one is slightly more believable, I guess. Not many parents would send their child to their super grumpy hermit dad's house in the middle of nowhere for a visit. The plot is more about changing others for the better.

Frodo (Lord of the Rings)- Again, did he really have to be an orphan? He was Bilbo's heir, but that was more about Bilbo not having children. I guess maybe it suggests the reason why there was little to hold Frodo back in the Shire and stop him from going on a journey.

Pollyanna - The sugar sweet happy orphan. At least Disney improved her in the movie and made her a bit of an adventurous tomboy. I guess the author thought, hey, if an orphan can be happy and play the glad game, people with fewer problems can, too.

Anne of Green Gables - The better happy orphan, IMO. To deal with life, Anne develops an overactive imagination. For me, creative escapism seemed more realistic way to deal.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Info: Published October 20th 2015, 608 pages, (ISBN13: 9780553499117)

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Vonze's Review: Unforgettably different. I felt like I was reading the cut scenes of a video game. Both shocking and poetic at times. MTV meets Star Trek mixed with a dab of 2001 Space Odyssey and Aliens.

To begin with I found it frustrating. I connected with the human emotional element: the main characters', Kady and Ezra's, break up. Why did these kids break up? What happened?? Instead of answers about that specific element, we get a ton of briefing notes. That said, to enjoy this book you have to be open to a story told through many unique perspectives, such as briefings (as mentioned), interview records, memos, personal messages, AIM-type chats, surveillance footage summaries, thoughts of a computer program, etc. With so many switches, I found it daunting at times, especially when the characters seemed to be squalling about their problems, break up, etc, and I still didn't have the whole picture to understand them.

About 75% through the book there was, for me, an unforeseen twist and then, literally, I couldn't read fast enough. The nail-biting, how-they-going-to-get-out-of-this-one-alive? Ending is great. Happy, until next time.

Fav Quote: “When the light that kisses the back of her eyes was birthed, her ancestors were not yet born. How many human lives have ended in the time it took that light to reach her?

How many people have loved only to have lost? How countless, the hopes that have died?

But not this one.”

Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: Leia, Princess of Alderaan

Leia, Princess of Alderaan (Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi)Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Being a longtime Star Wars fangirl, for years, I've wanted more information on the young Princess Leia. Finally, we now have that book. And, wow, does it ever deliver the feels! By the end I was nearly overcome by bittersweet tears.

As the book opens, we follow Leia as she faces her Day of Demand, the biggest ceremony and day of her life thus far. In front of her adoptive parents, Bail and Queen Breha, and the people of Alderaan she declares the tasks she will complete for her challenges of mind, heart, and body. Tasks to prove her worth as future Queen.

Course our adventurous heroine doesn't stay on Alderaan the entire time. She journeys to many planets, both old and new to Star Wars fans. She makes new friends along the way. Falling significantly in love for the first time. As well as, making enemies who will eventually destroy her homeworld. Leia grows and accepts the challenges in front of her before the reader's very eyes. Personally, I felt like I was on a trip with a childhood friend.

In short, everything a Princess Leia fan could dream of!

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dragon*Con and Decatur Book Festival

Well, this year I got lucky (cue Daft Punk song) and had the opportunity to return to Dragon*Con and the Decatur Book Festival.

Although it's known for drawing big name movie and tv actors, Dragon*Con actually hosts a lot of great author panels as well. Browsing their tracks, you could spend the whole weekend partaking in topics related to fantasy literature, sci-fi literature, writer's track, or young adult literature.

For my first Writer's Track adventure, I saw Magical Maven of Fantasy/SF which included: Laurell K. Hamilton, Nancy Knight, Mercedes Lackey, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Jane Yolen, all speaking about the highs and lows, sad and humorous moments of their iconic careers. They were as fabulous as expected! Like listening to the godmother's of the writing craft.

Later that evening, I attended the Masculinity in Star Wars panel, a discussion of how our values have shaped how we view masculinity in our heroes. Speakers included: Matthew Rushing (Moderator), Kevin J. Anderson, Myke Cole, Claudia Gray, E.K. Johnston, Michael Stackpole, and Timothy Zahn. Of course, I was in awe of the SW authors who wrote the novels of my SW tween days, as well as, the now new SW canon. It was very interesting to hear the different prospectives of masculinity, especially relating to fatherhood, from each author. There was also a Feminism in Star Wars panel, but I was unable to attend that one. Maybe in the future, it'll return.

Immediately afterwards I returned for the Phasma & Leia Book Launch event. I have so much fangirl feels for the work of Delilah S. Dawson and Claudia Gray! Both have added and created shining examples of strong female characters for Star Wars readers everywhere. Although I was absolutely thrilled to be in the panel and hear them speak, anticipating the event for weeks, I unfortunately had to leave before the autograph session was over. After popping extra strength Tylenol, I still felt feverish with an extremely sore throat. Ultimately, it was best for me to go home and sleep, take more medicine, and spare everyone from contact.

 (AJC crossword)

After rest and Mucinex, I felt well enough to attend the Decatur Book Festival on Sunday. I was very, very interested in the Creating Jane Austen and Austen's Creations and Love Long Ago: Historical Romance but wasn't able to make it Saturday.

Although I'm not a GA football fan, I have read A Civil War Courtship: The Letters of Edwin Weller from Antietam to Atlanta (Yankee solider's letters to his crush back in New York), so I knew I'd probably enjoy Civil War Love Letters featuring Stephen Berry, Samuel Thomas, and Vince Dooley (football coach). Stephen Berry provided some very eloquent examples of how couples wrote to each other way back in the way back.

Afterwards, as a huge cat person, I was curious about Adventure Cats featuring Laura J. Moss (AdventureCats.org—the first and only online resource for information on safely exploring the great outdoors with your feline friend), Catlanta (aka artist Rory Hawkins) & Taylor Bennington (manager at Java Cats Cafe). Each had very unique and fun ideas about cats. If you love the furry lil babies as much as I do, I recommend visiting their individual sites.

After some t-shirt and book shopping, we popped in to the Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America featuring Michael Ruhlman tent. A subject that, as a former farmgirl, is dear to my heart, is constantly in the news, and everyone can relate. Having personally lost over 100 pounds, I went on a journey of being more mindful about what I eat, where it comes from, and what it consists of. During the Q&A, one festival goer made a very good point: home ec and nutrition classes should really return to school programs. My high school health class was mostly about psychology. While that subject was helpful, I would have also benefitted from more nutrition lessons. Mind and body.

Next we had intended to see Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America with Jack Barsky, however, the panel was full by the time we got there. First time we ever experienced that situation at the DBF. I really hope next year the festival does a better job anticipating the crowd. I dunno if it was the nice weather or logistics. Maybe have an online poll asking which event people are most excited about and place those panels in a bigger space? We might have missed Civil War Love Letters, too, if it hadn't been moved from the Decatur First Baptist Carreker Hall to the chapel. We live about an hour away from Decatur and can't afford to give up our time and gas if it becomes a big issue at future DB festivals.

However, luckily, I always have a backup plan, I make my personal DBF schedule out with alternatives we'll enjoy. So, we made the long trek to see To Boldly Go with author Jonathan Maberry. Although I read a lot of YA, this year, with neuroma scar tissue from foot surgery, I was originally put off attending events way off in the Decatur gym. But, after we made it, Maberry's talk as a scif/horror author was inspiring and insightful. I have swiftly added his new novel, Mars One, Mars Oneto my TBR pile.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Top Books We Struggled With

Ten Books We Struggled With

Dark Tower - I've enjoyed other work by Stephen King and I greatly respect his career, however, try as I might, this book just wasn't for me. I tried reading it and listening to the audio book, just couldn't do it.

The Book Thief - Well written, creative, and covers an important historical topic... just too dark for me. Each time I read it, I felt very depressed and had to set it aside.

Breakfast At Tiffany's - The movie is a wonderful classic, but the book had a lot of racial and gender slurs. I tried to remember the timeframe it was published...but still shocking and disrespectful.

Wicked - I love the old school fantasy glam of 'The Wizard of Oz' movie. The original book is a cute, classic read. I normally like parodies, but I just couldn't get into this, even though I have family members who loved it. I'll just watch the play someday instead.

Artemis Fowl - Ditto, I know people who very, very much enjoyed the entire series.

Gregor the Overlander - I was super excited to read more work by Suzanne Collins, author of my beloved Hunger Games, but it didn't capture my imagination quite the same.


Gravity's Rainbow - This came highly recommended by his alumni association, but it's a tome that takes some work getting through.

She's Come Undone - Required reading in one of Oshie's college classes. Not typical subjects every teen guy can relate with.

War & Peace - If I had a dime for every time he complains about Nikolai's character...

The Great Gatsby - Oshie and I disagree on this one...goes to show that one reader's struggle is another reader's thought provoking entertainment.

Moby Dick - Argh, great theme, but slow pace. Is it any wonder our English teachers played the audiobook during class?

Ulysses - Stream of consciousness...not always easy to follow.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In My Mailbox: July/August 2017

In My Mailbox: July/August 2017

Are the dog days over yet?? After moving, I don't feel like I have much to complain about. Here, it's been a fairly mild summer. Between gardening and writing I've been assembling bookcases. And, you know, reading and collecting!

New-ish Releases

I love Kasie West's work, it's so sweet!

So far, one of the funniest romance novels I've read all year.

Very cool scifi/fantasy graphic novel.



I feel like it's been two years since I began this series...I remembered it being very comical, so I decided to go ahead and get the whole series used via eBay. One to cross off my manga bucketlist.


Doing a spot of research pre-NaNoWriMo ;)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top Ten Fav Authors from my School Days

Meg Cabot - A staple of my high school days. I eagerly awaited each of her new releases, rushing to the bookstore (Borders...alas, poor Borders). She was my first author signing, way before book blogging existed.

Stephen King - His work came highly recommended by friends. I remember toting "Carrie" and "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" in my backpack.

Shakespeare - I tried to read some of his work in middle school, but some of it was over my head. When it was required reading in high school and I finally got it, I grew to love it completely.

Louisa May Alcott- I connected with Jo's character almost instantly. Her fiery temperament and imagination greatly inspired me.

Bill Watterson -  Now that I think about it, I believe his work was my gateway into reading graphic novels. His work brought a lot of joy to my life after my father's passing.

Anne Rice - Back in the day, I couldn't get enough of her beautiful but dark descriptions and characters.

Richard Adams - Reading "Watership Down" in my school's library was a wonderful escape. Every time I see a rabbit, I recall memories of his novel.

Harper Lee- Classic southern writer who captured small town Southern life perfectly.

Peter S. Beagle- Loving the movie, discovering the novel of "The Last Unicorn" was even better. Extended scenes, events left out of the movie, character feelings, every fan girl's dream.

Erich Seagle - I honestly read "Love Story" one of the only romance novels my mom owned over and over each summer, sitting in the yard, trying to get a tan. Ah, memories.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ten book recommendations for Star Wars fangirls

Ten book recommendations for Star Wars fangirls

I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with Star Wars, especially TFA, these days. Here's some books to tide us over until The Last Jedi!

Queen Emeraldas - Super wow. Mysterious space pirate chick tough as Captain Phasma but gentle as Padme? I was hooked. The illustrations of this graphic novel are beautiful.

Shatter Me Trilogy - An abandoned young girl with special powers, a new military order complete with a Supreme Leader, and soldiers who love her? Remind you of anything? So good, so thrilling. I couldn't read fast enough.

Shattered Warrior - (no relation to the series above) The.best.graphic.novel.I've.read.in.a.long.time! After her planet's invaded, Colleen works in the alien factory as a means of survival. With the aid of a rival warrior, her and friends start a makeshift resistance. Brief, but revealing, love scenes.

The Giver - If you're into a spiritual master teaching a young person lessons, i.e. Obi-wan/Yoda and Luke, this book was a page-turner for me. The novel is much better than the movie (although the movie wasn't bad, just different), IMO.

Ender's Game - If you're a fan of X-Wings vs. TIE Fighters, this book is all about YA military training and action against an alien race. A scifi classic that doesn't disappoint.

Dune - Hands down, the influence of Dune is clear in Star Wars. Sand. Prophecies. Powers. Strong female characters. A must read. The sleeper must awaken!

Lord of the Rings - Truly paved the way for other "golden fleece" stories like Star Wars. In my mind, droids are a little like hobbits. Now if only Strider had a lightsaber...

The Last DragonWhen Tansy's father goes missing, her town will need a hero and a leader to save them. A young woman destined to follow in her healer father's footsteps.

The Splintered series - A girl goes down the rabbit hole, literally, when she learns she's heir to a mysterious power and magical world. Adventure and romance generations in the making.

The Hunger Games series - Yeah, by now, you've probably already read this one. But with a girl trying to survive against a powerful dictator, its fun to imagine what if this was Rey vs. Snoke.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier

The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas FrontierThe Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier by Scott Zesch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book, at its heart, is about the author's step relative who was abducted as a child. From family legends, the author knew that his relative, once returned to his family, had a difficult readjustment to the 'white' society he was born. He never lost the lessons and ways of his one-time native family. Through his research, author Zesch found many examples of other children who felt the same way. They never blamed or hated their adopted families.

Zesch does his best to show both sides of the story. Although, at times, segments were difficult to read. Contains graphic violence against women and infants. One capture and escape in particular seemed like a tall-tale: pregnant woman scalped, shot by arrows, walks miles in the snow at night to her neighbors who tell her BTW not to bled over everything as the flee without her, and she survives (and has the baby if I remember correctly). I smell an old-timey newspaperman who wanted to sell papers over heresay and terror.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

My Most Anticipated Books For the Second Half of 2017

My Most Anticipated Books For the Second Half of 2017

Oh my goodness, this year is flying by! I’m currently knee deep in boxes for my move, lamenting most of my books are packed, but here are the books I’m most looking forward to for the second half of 2017. Wow, I might need a new bookshelf in my office.

Vonze's Picks:

Ah! Only a few more days to wait!

Meg Cabot + Star Wars?? Now I'm intrigued!

I really enjoyed West's "By Your Side" and I'm looking forward to this one!

Ah, I love the Manga Classics! Poe will be perfect for Halloween.

I love Hauck's work, so I'm very interested in this novel, part contemporary, part historical.

OMG, Luke...what have you been up to and why is your character so grumpy now?

Gray writes Leia's character so well, can't wait to read more.

'Cause I need relaxation unicorns in my life right now, HA!

I love these silly novels.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi novelization - Whenever it's announced...

Oshie's Picks:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Books I Want To Read This Summer

Top Ten Books I Want To Read This Summer

Ah, summer. It's hot, hot, humid in the South, zaps your energy and makes you want to kick it back with a book and a nice bottle of sparkling Voss water.

Here are the Top Ten Books I Want to read this summer. *Fingers crossed* cause I've been super busy. This year has been packed. Literally, 90% of my books are packed right now. :)

The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband - Love the fake marriage trope. Love, love Julia Quinn's work. Never fails to be funny.

Battlefront II: Inferno Squad (Star Wars) - I was lucky enough to meet the author at Star Wars Celebration! This lady is great at action adventure!

The Last Unicorn & Two Hearts - Somehow I was lucky enough to find a rare hardcopy of this book. I've been waiting to re-read it and the short story Two Hearts. I think it's time.

Poison Study - Ditto for this one! I've been on a fantasy romance kick and this was my intro into the genre. Time to revisit.

Graceling - I've heard nothing but praise for it for years. Found it on the shelf while packing.

East - Ditto. I need to read all these fantasy titles I own!

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children - Everyone I know loves the movie. I feel like reading the book first.

The Dark Angel -
 I feel like I should have read this back during the Twilight craze. Anyhow, again, I found it while packing and it sounds haunting good.

The Hero With A Thousand Faces - It seems to be a writing and research staple. It's past time for me to make time for it. Although it's hardly a breezy summer read!

Ronin by Frank Miller - I've heard it's a must for graphic novel fans. Now that Oshie's done, it's my turn.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My Top Ten Books For The Star Wars Fandom (Old Canon and New!)

My Top Ten Books For The Star Wars Fandom (Old Canon and New!)

Well, it's no secret I've been a Star Wars geek for a long time. Super excited about Star Wars Celebration this month and the next movie in December!

Meanwhile, here are my favorite Star Wars books from the old and new canon. You don't even need to be a major Star Wars fan to enjoy some of them. As long as you're cool with scifi, you'll "get" them.

Lost Stars - When I read this, I wondered, "Wow, why wasn't this around for me like fifteen years ago????" A great, action-packed YA with a dab of romance for fans and non-fans alike. If you like scifi fantasy, you'll enjoy it!

The Force Awakens Novelization - I know people who read the book before even seeing the movie! Extremely well-done. Adds a little more character development to the mysterious scenes. Also scenes cut from the film!

Shadows Of The Empire - Goodness, the memories I have of this one! Read it all summer long at my grandparents' farm. Arguably the best Star Wars novel, taking place between 'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi.' A page-turning action-adventure.

Splinter of the Mind's Eye graphic novel - I was so excited to find this 'lost' Star Wars what-if. It's based off a novel that was nearly turned into a movie before 'Empire Strikes Back'. Interesting to see what "nearly" happened.

Aftermath: Empire's End - A page-turner with great tidbits of new canon! Leia gives birth! Father-son moments with Han! Bittersweet moments for new characters. Fights, near-death, death, escapes, it all leads to setting the stage for TFA. Something for everyone.

Heir To The Empire - Like a trip back-to-the-past! Dark Jedi instead of Sith. Jedi twins. Emperor is nameless. Also fun moments: Luke drinking hot chocolate, getting poison ivy. Thrawn, very smart villain.

Bloodline - If you thought everyone was chill about Leia being Vader's daughter, think again. Finally, a novel that solely focuses on our fav SW career lady, former princess, Senator, and soon-to-be General. Years overdue.

The Lost City of the Jedi - At the time, I really identified with Ken's character. Finally, a kid in Star Wars! Going on an adventure with Luke! I also thought Trioculus was a good villain.

Star Wars: ABC-3PO - A picture book that's too precious! If you're familiar with the characters, the humor is spot on!

The Paradise Snare (Star Wars: The Han Solo Trilogy, #1) - Oh for the love of Han Solo! A great, old canon back story for our fav smuggler. I was actually nagged for reading this 'boy's book' at school...even though it had romance. Found out years later that the author is a lady!!

I WISH MORE LADY SCIFI FANTASY AUTHORS STOP USING INITIALS TO HIDE THE FACT THEY ARE LADIES. What about all the 'lil fangirls who look up to you? Ok, rant over. :-D

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review: Star Wars: Aftermath: Empire's End by Chuck Wendig

Aftermath: Empire's End (Star Wars: Aftermath, #3)Aftermath: Empire's End by Chuck Wendig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, let's imagine you're at a baby shower...we'll say it's Leia's baby shower, cause she's expecting 'lil Ben Solo (future Kylo Ren) and all.

They have a small box of cupcakes. They are awesome cupcakes. You know good and well the baker has a whole store somewhere. But the baker, to keep you guessing, doesn't want to give their address out yet.

That's what this book is like. Oh, btw, the baker is Disney. The store and cupcakes are the answers to your burning New Canon Star Wars questions.

But a small box of cupcakes is better than no cupcakes.

All and all, a fitting, page-turning, conclusion to the Aftermath series!

Precious, tender moments with Han & Leia and 'the baby'! Background info for General Hux. A reunion for Chewie. A new career for JarJar. A close call for Mothma. Lando goes baby gift shopping. Rae Sloane's revenge. Sadness for Norra. Poor noble Bones. The end for Rax (or is it??)

Only time will tell if we get more tidbits of info. Or if we've correctly interpreted these tidbits!

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: The Devil In Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3)Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I heard of the book's predecessor 'Devil In Winter' (story of hero's parents) long ago, but I've never read it. I'm sure for long-time fans of Kleypas' work, this a wonderful continuation of a story from 10+ years ago. All and all, I might bump 'Devil In Winter' a little higher on the historical romance TBR pile, solely based on enjoying this book.

Secondly, LOVED the heroine Pandora! An eccentric, trouble-making wallflower?? One who doesn't want to marry and wants to start her own business? YAY! Great, funny, and relatable heroine. Probably going to add her to my 'best heroines' list. I was so happy when she back talked the hero, I laughed out loud. I'll never forget Pandora's character.

The hero, the new Lord St. Vincent, was pretty typical of this genre. Of course, he's an affluent rake (personally I'm getting burnt out on rakes...maybe it's why I liked Marrying Winterborne better). But his real saving grace, with me anyways, was his careful observation of Pandora's difficulties and his dedication to helping her overcome them. Once he set his cap for her, he didn't stop.

The dramatic ending felt a little, surprisingly, over-the-top for me...maybe some hints about it should have been weaved into the beginning.

Overall, enjoyable, laugh-out-loud (thanks, Pandora!) historical romance. Looking forward to Kleypas' next story in the series.

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