NaNoWriMo ~ NaNoReadMo Wrap Up

Do you know what day it is? It's November 30th.

That means your nanowrimo novels are almost due. Hopefully, you accomplished your writing goals. This is also the cut off for nanoreadmo. Did you participate? How'd your read challenge list go?

Personally, I achieved my goal.........just barely! Thanks to the wonderful brain candy Sookie Stackhouse novels. Without them I wouldn't have made it. But I'll take them. I set my goal at 5 and I made 5.5!

1/2. Finished second half of Intertwined
1. Dead if I Do
2. Queene of Light
3. Dead Until Dark
4. Club Dead
5. Dead to the World


Also, if you're interested in what happens after NaNoWriMo, here is a list of nano novels that have been published. Now would be a great time to check out some of these authors!

Sookie Stackhouse or Southern Vampires or Brain Candy

I mentioned earlier (see last post) that I'd found a new form of brain candy. I had taken an obsessive jump into the Sookie Stackhouse series. I should have posted this right after that, but Thanksgiving and family took over, so book reviews were slid onto the back burner for  a bit.

Title: Living Dead in Dallas ~ Book 1 of the Southern Vampire series

I read this one quite a while ago. Had a great time with it, loved the light and fluffy tone it had, but couldn't get the others from the was too popular and the wait line was so long I forgot for a while that I wanted them. Book one introduces us to Sookie and her world...the small southern town of Bon Temps. This town is chalk full of interesting characters, some of whom are also paranormals - vampires and shapeshifters. Sookie herself is an outcast for her special mind reading abilities.

Title: Dead Until Dark ~ Book 2 of the Southern Vampire series

This one was a bit different. I had read this one previously, but decided to reread as a review and to get my brain back into thinking about the series as books. You see, somewhere between the time I first read books one and two, I watched the first couple seasons of True Blood. Love it! But wow, talk about chopping up story lines and combining them in new and interesting ways. I spent most of my review time making mental comparisons between the books and the tv series. Book two leads into the key set-up for most of these books. Every story line is going to have a twist. There will be some huge thing that needs to be overcome, and in the process it may twist Sookie's world into a knot. Honestly, I don't remember if the Manead is in this one or if this is the book where Sookie faces off against the Fellowship of the Sun. One and two went so fast they have sort of mushed together in my brain to make one continual story. I still had fun reading it and it definitely got me back into the right mind set for the other books.

Title: Club Dead ~ Book 3 of the Southern Vampire series

Book three leads us into a place we haven't been before with Sookie. Willing romance with a shape shifter. Bill and Sookie are on the outs and through a series of events and requirements a la the vamps Sookie teams up with a werewolf Alcide. He's awesome! Romantic, sweet, honorable, and reliable. I love Alcide! Normally, I'm all for the vampires, but in this one it's Alcide all the way! I really hope there is a way for Alcide to play a large part in the tv series too!

Title: Dead to the World ~ Book 4 of the Southern Vampire series

I'm having a love / hate feeling about this novel. On the love side, this one is all about Eric. He is the vampire, in this series, that does it for me. So much more than Bill. Bill is too broody and posessive.  On the hate side, even though this novel is about Eric it isn't the true Eric. He's under a spell which is causing amnesia. This Eric is sweet and caring, but not the playboy that Eric traditionally is. I'm happy to have an Eric novel, but dislike that it has to happen by amnesia.  Amnesia always just feels like a cop-out to me. It leads to all sorts of dilemmas and arguements along the lines of "Is this Eric's true nature?" or "Does he remember anything that has happened?" and "Will he ever let on if he does?" In all it is frustrating and either a really good way to keep them entangled or it's a really bad way to get them together temporarily.

Overall:  Love this series! There is really no way to compare the book series to the tv series. They are two parts of the same whole...the characters you know and love from the books in a new and wonderful way.  These are quick reads full of fun, paranormals, and just a touch of intrigue. Yummy!

*All novels are by Charlaine Harris, of the paranormal romance genre, and were checked out from the library.*

** I read all four as part of the Sookie Stackhouse challenge.**

Brain Candy!

I'm a wee bit obsessed. Just a tad....and I blame the brain candy.  No, I haven't gone on a candy-eating-sugar-high binge...though, doesn't this candy bouquet look just plain ole delicious? I'm talking about those books that are like candy for your, fulfilling, a few juicy bits, and not a lot of work. These are the books you turn to when you need a break. This isn't "I have to" is "I want to " reading.

I recently discovered that the Sookie Stackhouse novels are great for this. They are my brain candy! I've been devouring them. I spent the weekend rereading book two and smashing my way through book three. Two books in two days and I was hard pressed to be torn away from them. In fact, I was excited when my husband's nap carried over into bed-time because I could read uninterrupted and be a good wife....what with the being quiet and letting him sleep 'n all.

I love books like this. Brain candy novels are the reason I started feeding my romance addiction in the first place. Romance novels (and later paranormal romances) got me through some of the hardest times in my life. They also kept me sane during the busiest times. They are always available and safe. I know what I'm getting each time I pick up one, but knowing doesn't make it boring. It is very much like a comfort food or favorite movie.....exactly perfect whenever you want it.

I haven't quiet figured out all the ins and outs of the Sookie novels, but that's just fine. They are a new juicy flavor and I'm craving them!

What's your flavor of brain candy?

BWB Review - Queene of Light

Title: Queene of Light (A Lightworld / Darkworld Novel)
Author: Jennifer Armintrout
Genre: Sci-Fi (according to library classification), Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Source: Library

This is not your run-of-the-mill fairy story. Lately, there has been a plethora of novels where the fae are coming to or intermixing with the human world. This story is set in a much darker time and place where humans and fae, of all kinds, have separated and taken to different areas...including underground.  This setting takes the reader out of a well-known and comfortable world and smacks them immediately into an experience where they are unknowing and on edge. I loved it immediately!

What I liked:

1. The setting. The immediate plunge into a world underground where the traditional rules I know don't apply set me immediately on edge. Normally, this would be considered a bad thing, except in this case it made it easier for me to identify with the characters. Malachi is confused and lost in a world not his own, and Ayla (for some reason I have flashes of Clan of the Cavebear when I hear this name...but that's a different thing) is out-of-place and not truely comfortable in her own skin and world. Being on edge is the way to be.

2. Malachi's love and trust of /for Ayla. He has every right to not trust her. His quick change of heart could be seen as too simple or naive, but to me it's sweet. He does struggle for a bit deciding whether to kill her or kiss her, but luckily love wins out.

3. Maab. She is portrayed as self-ish and cruel, but also intelligent. She is the perfect foil for actions in this world and her court.

What I didn't like:

1. Not much is given as to the whys of the world splitting and changing the way that it did. I'm sure that it is just a weighty story in it's own right....and that's not this story, but I'd like to have a bit more of it.

Overall: I'm in love with the story! I'm excited to get my hands on the next two books in the series: Child of Darkness and Veil of Shadows.  If you have any interest in fairy politics....and a good love story...this is one for you.

Discussion Questions And Possible Spoilers 
(Don't continue reading if you don't want things ruined for you.)

#1 Did you have an understanding of the world created by this novel, or did you find the complexity too much? It seemed like a lot of the world was based on well established information we already have about the Fairy Court, Queen Maab, and such. However, I do wish we (readers) had been given more information concerning what happened to the world previously to get us to where we currently are.

#2 In a book that it appears many have trouble liking, what is one thing that you like about this book? I liked quite a bit about this book actually. One of the most interesting things is something I didn't speak about in my review (not wanting to give spoilers and all that). I find it very interesting that Ayla, a being that is half-fairy and half-human, is the catalyst for the changes to come between the worlds. Her coupling with Malachi, a Darkworlder a.k.a. different race, will produce the ruler that unites the worlds......or so I think. Plus, that fits perfectly into the mythology in the book about who will unite the races.

#3 Did you agree with the author’s decision to make Ayla a fierce assassin in battle and a weakling in her emotions? For example her obvious contempt for Garret but yet her willingness to be his mate and subject herself to his demeaning manor?   I'm torn here. It seems perfectly reasonable to me that someone so highly trained in battle and killing would either be able to close emotions off or not have a good grasp of their actual emotions. However, I don't like her interactions with Garret. It reads too much like a domestic violence situation....which I think it was supposed to

#4 What do you think the significance of the the baby Ayla carries is/will be? That baby is the savior of the races. She is the Fae with mixed blood that will unite them all.

#5 What do you think of Ayla's ascension to the throne? Do you believe she accepted her own destiny too easily?  I believe that she often did what she thought was expected of her. She wanted to be part of this society so she did what she needed to belong, which includes being an appropriate consort to the Queen's brother, and accepting the crown when it is thrust upon her.  I don't think it is necessarily easy
for her, but that she goes along be that's what she is expected to do.

Tha holidays are a comin'!

It's getting to be about that time of year. The Christmas music has started...and I've started avoiding stores. Not because I hate Christmas, but because I love it. I also have strong feelings about anything Christmas-y showing up before the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. That's the first social visit Santa makes and there shouldn't be any of this merchandizing the holiday until after his debut!


What was I saying? Oh, yeah. I love Christmas! The lights, the sounds, the smells, the general good moods, and the giving. I giving presents. I wish I had enough money that I could just give presents to people randomly, all the time. 

In this spirit of giving, I've joined two different Secret Santa / gift exchange thingys. I've made a wish list and am more than willing to open my book shelves to others.  (Open until 11/12 for joining.)

(Open until 11/15 for joining.)

There is still some time available. Dust off your Santa hat and get ready to share those lovely books!

Dead If I Do

Title: Dead If I Do
Author: Tate Hallaway
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Library

I had the strangest feeling while reading this book. I was positive that I knew these characters from somewhere, but as far as I could remember I'd never read any of these books. But then my memory is sometimes made of swiss cheese. About half way through this entertaining read I realized what was going on. Several years ago I'd read and owned one of the early books in the series. I loaned it to a friend and well it has never made it's way back to me. Not really a big deal, but not having the book nearby makes it easier to forget I've read it. Ya know what suddenly reminded me? Parrish. The main characters ex-boyfriend, Daniel Parrish. His name was memorable.

What I liked:

1. Things aren't so easily happy even if you happen to have magic and other paranormal goodies on your side. In this story life in the real world is just as easily swayed and changed as life among the paranormal.

2. Even though there are paranormal beings, and magic actually does exist in this world, it isn't everywhere. Most characters in this story don't know that vampires exist or that a Goddess can easily take shelter in someone's body.

3. The Wiccan rituals and discussions that occur are an interesting mix between very realistic and complete fantasy. It is easy to believe that the author may be writing Wicca because she knows it.

What I didn't like:

1. At times the paranormal community is too small - i.e. there are only two vampires in the whole area. While at other times it is crazy large - seriously the Vatican is sending witch hunters after you? There doesn't seem to be any easy middle.

2. The cover art just doesn't work for me. I understand it's highly stylized, but the rail thin, angular girl just doesn't mesh with the image of the character presented in the books. But then this is just a peeve of mine.

Overall, it was a fun read. I'm glad I gave this series another chance.

**Part of my Fall Into Reading challenge and NaNoReadMo challenge**


Title: Intertwined
Author: Gena Showalter
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: I won this book several months ago in give away.

I'm bad at scheduling my reading. Just so you know. What does this have to do with the novel? Well, you see it sat on my shelves for months waiting to hop out of the to-be-read pile. Then I was supposed to read it as part of the Blogs With Bite book review, but I didn't start reading until the day the reviews were due. I had other books I wanted to finish. Plus with Halloween, and school, and yeah....busy. But finish it I did! Once I had time I was able to finish it easily. The story's title is a great description for how the various plot parts and character relationships connect. It was a fun and easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Things I liked:

1. The main character, Aden,  has learned to cope with the literal voices in his head. He's seen as crazy or a bad kid because of his strange abilities, but really....what teen ager doesn't feel that way sometimes?

2. I like that the main character is trying to be good. So often we are given "bad kid" books that paint the teen in a negative, never wanting to be or do better light. Not so with this one.

3. Loved his female counterpart! Mary Ann negates his powers, brings him peace, and just by being friendlly attracts the protection and romantic thoughts of a werewolf.  Her story is actually much more interesting to me, even though I know that it is only this way when connected to the rest of the story. I really do hope we get to see more of her and her wolf in the next one.

4. Dracula! Ok, so the Grand Sire of Vamps doesn't actually make an appearance in this one, he is scheduled to. When the girl Aden lusts after is Dracula's daughter....well yeah, that should be a fun meet the family scene.

What I didn't like:

1. Some of the fights our hero goes through with other members of the group home are too easily resolved. They seem to be thrown in just to give the character something other than paranormal stuff to worry about and are treated as such. There doesn't seem to be any lingering conflicts or consequences to any of them.

2. The relationship Aden holds with vamp girl just creeps me out. He doesn't seem to actually do things of his own will when around her. While she says repeatedly she's not doing that, it just seem that way. But maybe things will get better when he's himself.

3. Speaking of becoming himself, one of the key plot points is getting the voices in Aden's head out and into their own bodies if possible. This is interesting, but the end result that I'm fearful of is that Aden won't have any powers or anything to make him interesting if the voices (and thereby all their abilities) are gone. I'm not saying this will happen; it's just what my brain seems to think is a possible end result. Please Ms. Showalter don't let this be so!

Overall:  Loved it! I was instantly drawn into the story and it never disappointed. This is one of those novels that is hard to put down and now I'm impatient to read the next.

** This book is also part of my Fall Into Reading challenge list and I'm counting it - sort of- in my NaNoReadMo list.  Only sort of due to reading half of it before November 1st.**

Would-Be Witch

Title: Would-Be Witch (Book 1 of the Southern Witch series)
Author: Kimberly Frost
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Library

I originally picked this book off the shelves because of the series title - the Southern Witches. I'm going to admit to being easily amused here, but it made me happy to think we've had Southern Vampires and now we're onto Southern Witches. Also, will you look at the kitty on the cover. Who could resist having a wild cat (an ocelot to be exact) as their pet/familiar?

Things I liked:

1. The cat is awesome. Seriously. He kicks werewolf and redneck ass a couple different times throughout the story. Plus, I just have a thing for big cats. I'd love to have an ocelot of my own.

2. Tammy Jo has no idea what she is. She's really not interested in least until she has to. But, it doesn't throw her off to learn of witches, ghosts, werewolves, vampires, etc.

3. The developing romance between Tammy Jo and Bryn Lyons. Although, he comes off as a snobby ass a couple of times, they have great chemistry. I really want to see where this is going and find out why the Lyons name is on the don't mess with list.

What I didn't like:

1. The down home, southern, red neck, good ole boy attitude most of the characters seem to have. Specifically, Tammy Jo's on again off again ex-husband, Zach. The I'm the male so therefore I know what you need lil lady attitude just rubs me the wrong way. He doesn't want to listen to her or believe her, but she damn well better do as he says. *grumble*

2. Apparently, (at least according to novels) all fabulous drag queens in the south are also African-American vampires. I don't really have a problem with this, but with the way the characters and dialogue treat this. Tammy lets a couple homophobic comments slip. I get the feeling it was meant to be comedic but just knocks my opinion of her down a few rungs. She can easily accept werewolves and magic, but has issues with people being gay?

3. Tammy Jo is constantly breaking the law......and it is alright. She breaks into houses, steals cars, and generally causes chaos. Luckily, she is sort of dating her ex-husband who also happens to be a cop. No charges are ever pressed. He threatens to throw her in jail a couple of times, but never fact he usually helps her do whatever her next illegal act is going to be. I understand her situation is desperate, but baking a cake doesn't actually make up for stealing a car.


Even with the story elements that bothered me, I devoured this novel. It was so much fun! I was a bit disappointed when it came to a close. It must be a sign I need to get a hold of book two.

**I read this as part of the Fall Into Reading challenge**
I read books they way other people eat, sleep, or watch movies....voraciously, obsessively, and as often as possible. The reviews, random commentary, and snark in this blog are mine alone. Don't take my the book.
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