Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Think Out Loud [18] Killer Spirit

I rowed crew in college. I loved my girls, didn't give a shit about the boys. I loved the sound of oars cutting through glass, the shouting commands of ten more strokes on top of the twenty we just finished. I loved how the coaches yelled at you from their power boat and then when you shot them an incredulous look they punished the whole team with twenty-five push-ups. I loved seeing who could spit the farthest. I was so bad at that. We once rowed on a river against the current. I hated that day on the water. We fought for our seats. I was happy where I was, but I raced and won. At the following regatta and the only race that counted, we lost by a fraction of a second. The "A" boat had the killer spirit, a "destroy them!" kind of racing mentality. I was more like, "What a pretty sunrise."

I wonder about that day and my thinking. The killer drive, the take no prisoners mentality. As an author, I feel like I'm still looking at sunrises and smiling. I love my books, creating the characters, laughing with them, even crying. I love my blog. But I feel like I'm supposed to be hardcore, gung-ho, industrious. . . different than I am. 

Join Think Out Loud. No rules, just you and what's on your mind.





Sunday, July 28, 2013

Marathon Review Time! Thank you Katie McGarry, Bear Grylls, & Bruce Willis for an entertaining week!

Since I'm a book girl who loves her TV shows and her movies, I thought I'd branch out with my review marathon.

5 STARS!! Crossing the Line by Katie McGarry is a wonderful novella in the Pushing the Limit Series. Can a friendship truly evolve into something more through the simple act of writing letters back and forth? What if one person is scared of her own shadow and the other person would rather skip out on the real world than feel pain? Echo's best friend Lila barely left an impression on me in book one of the series. And I'm not sure Lincoln was ever mentioned. Now I want more of both of them. I love novellas that explore side characters in a series I'm following, but few authors can turn a short story into a favorite read. McGarry has now joined the ranks of Rachel Caine, Nalini Singh, and Patricia Briggs for this particular talent. I can't wait for more!

5 STARS!! Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls is the latest reality TV show on NBC and I love it! We're three episodes in, but this is a show you can pick up at any point. The premise is wonderful; teams of two work together and with the other teams to get out of extreme wilderness situations alive. The last team standing wins $500k. Wow. There is no voting, no tribal council, no finish line. Bear watches, aids when necessary, councils, and decides who wouldn't make it on their own. He's looking for spirit and strength of character. He's looking for smarts and ingenuity. The message behind the show makes it great for the whole family and Bear makes it great for me because I love him. I would like to thank Jaclyn from JC's Book Haven for telling me about the show. She loves Bear too. It's not just me.

3 STARS! I didn't love A Good Day to Die Hard, but that's okay. It was nice spending time with John McClane and company. We meet his (pissy) son in this installment. There are so many special effects, I wondered if they just said, "have at it, guys" and let the two main characters make up their lines as they went along. John's always been a gutsy guy with more survival instinct than brains, but this time it seemed like he was going out of his way to appear dumb. I didn't like that. I also didn't like how pissed off his kid was with him, but I was fine with his daughter hating his guts in Die Hard 4 (Live Free or Die Hard). I'm not sure why the double standard there. Jai Courtney is awesome and I can't wait for more from him, but he came off as bratty to me and I do not find bratty men (or women) entertaining. There was one funny moment and it earned the movie 3 stars. I'm that easy. If there's another installment, I want to laugh. I want my heart pounding. I want there to be dialogue.






Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sidekick Saturday [24] COWBOY!!

Sidekick Showcase, previously known as Sidekick Saturday, is a weekly bookish meme, hosted here by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! I will post my Sidekicks on Saturday, then whichever day during the week that you would like to post yours, you can put your link in on my page. Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fit's in the week's topic
• Share a picture (if you can) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• The day of your post, put your link in below and grab the code for your post so you can see the others that post their's throughout the week as well
This week's sidekick challenge is COWBOY! 
Jaclyn chose Warren from the Mercy Thompson series and honored him with a fabulous drawing of him. I have to say I've been spinning around on this one. So I have my mom and sister's contribution to this fun meme first because they fired off with their picks, no fuss, no muss. My mom said, "That's easy. Cowboy." Cowboy is the only name I've given so far for a certain vamp in Soul Bender. He wears jeans so tight you really can't see how any movement is possible. He's cute, hungry, and has hat hair. Shannon chose Roman from Richelle Mead's Succubus series. Oh, Roman. He's more of a yippee-ki-yay M-F-rrrr kind of cowboy. Tall, gorgeous, good-maybe not, seductive, vengeful, hot.

Now for me...I choose Jack Devaux from Poison Princess by Kresley Cole. Jack is a wild thing. The rumors floating around school paint the picture of a total bad ass bad boy. And for once they're spot on. He takes what he wants, leaves the rest behind. He's a scrapper. He hates much easier than he loves and they both come out looking the same. And I'm not sure there is a more loyal man you could have at your side when civilization turns to ash. I found this awesome post. Jack Devaux's Top 10 Tips to Win Over a Girl!

“The corners of his lips curled. “You and your secrets. Ah, peek├┤n, just when I think I’ve solved one mystery about you, up comes another one. I will figure you out one day. En garde, cher. Consider yourself warned.”
Kresley Cole, Poison Princess

“If you touch me like that again, Evangeline,” he began in a husky tone, dropping to his seat once more, “in the space of a heartbeat, I will have you off this bike and onto the closest horizontal surface. And I woan be picky, no.”
Kresley Cole, Poison Princess

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Think Out Loud [17] My Recent Family Adventures!

I'm under the weather right now and I have a dang jammed pinky finger, so I thought I'd dive into some fun times I've had in the last few months.

The boys at the Sea-Tac Airport in Washington state on our way to visit my dad in Colorado during spring break. This was John pretty much the whole trip. Poor guy just came off pneumonia, double ear infections, and then a fever that came with a full body rash that I only discovered five minutes after this photo. 
My dad and his fedora.
The view any place you looked.
Family visits (my stepsister made the very best BBQ turkey burgers ever)

My skiing debut. Snow boots suck balls. I'm telling you I hated walking in those shoes so much, but not as much as John who dropped his skis in protest and refused to take another step. 



Oregon Zoo with my mom, sister, and the boys. They said it was going to be 72 degrees. It was 89. Oops. Every chance Will got, he slipped into the shade.
Look at those bats! Amazing. My favorite part of this zoo trip.




Iowa was as hot as I remembered and just as wonderful, though we painfully missed a certain little old lady. Day two we hit Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa. It was in the nineties with scattered thunderstorms out and about and I loved it! 

The ostriches were my favorite animals to get to see. The black one followed me around the fence.

My Aunt Sherry is one of my superheroes. This trip she helped me grieve at my grandma's grave and another time told me it was time to find a man. How can you not love someone who says what they want to say?
Sisters who live too far apart!

Cousins and more cousins. I adore them!


Thick as thieves we were, driving my grandma crazy, chasing each other in the town pool, talking, talking, talking until we fell asleep. We grew up together every summer. Then we grew up.

Check out all our kids!

What happens when a bunch of wild girls turn into bossy women? They organize a picture like this one. I'm up in the top right window with the boys, but I started out on the grass below. I was inching away from all the orders, deciding to let everyone else run the show when my sister, my freaking sister shouted, "Where do you think you're going, Missy? Get your ass up here." So there I am smiling.


Summer of firsts for the boys. John's first ice cream cone ever and it's at McDonald's.
John just learned to kick in the water. This is his swimming face.
Will's first time in a pool. 


Painful goodbyes. At least the flight was delayed and we got the chance to visit a little bit longer. That's how a trip should be I think.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sidekick Showcase [23] Mentor


Sidekick Showcase, previously known as Sidekick Saturday, is a weekly bookish meme, hosted here by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! I will post my Sidekicks on Saturday, then whichever day during the week that you would like to post yours, you can put your link in on my page. Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fit's in the week's topic
• Share a picture (if you can) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• The day of your post, put your link in below and grab the code for your post so you can see the others that post their's throughout the week as well

Today's sidekick challenge is MENTOR! I love this one just so you know.
My first thought was Zee from the Mercy Thompson series. He's fae, eternally grumpy, supposedly retired, and taught Mercy everything he knows about cars that can be taught. From there my mind went to Asil from Patricia Briggs' Alpha&Omega series. Asil is one of my favorite characters and I really think he should have his own spin off. He helps Anna sort through what it means to be an Omega. He's patient and flirty and has an amazing hot house for his roses. I admit the list for this week's challenge goes on and on, but the moment my mind went to Dimitri from the Vampire Academy series, I was done for. I'm in love with Dimitri and only if I get to be Rose. He's funny, beautiful, loves his westerns, fights to the death to protect those in his charge, fights to the death to protect everyone else too. He has the most amazing family and a patience threshold that soundly put Rose on her butt on a regular basis. I love him! Check out who they chose to play Dimitri in the movie Blood Sisters (2/14), Danila Kozlovsky.


Danila Kozlovsky Odessa
Dimitri: "Why did you come here?"

Rose: "Because you hit me on the head and dragged me here.” 

― Richelle MeadBlood Promise

“The only thing better than imagining Dimitri carrying me in his arms was imagining him shirtless while carrying me in his arms.” 
― Richelle MeadVampire Academy












Okay, I started reading the quotes and forgot all about the post, so I only made it out with those two. My sister hit up Myrnin from The Morganville series. She chose him last week, but I only just remembered. I'll harass her about it later. My mom chose Mr. Lee from my Touched Girl series. Mr. Lee helps Anna sort through a limitation like no other. He'd rather take his students on field trips than stand in front of the chalk board talking out of a text book. He's a neat guy.

There you have it. Who would you pick for Mentor?


(http://oiff.com.ua/en/index.htm [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Think Out Loud [16] Dreamer Girl


"I'm the asking-est Pigeon in town." (Mo Willems The Duckling Gets a Cookie

I used to be a dreamer. All I did was dream and plan. Each little idea, a request not to The Universe or God, but to me, the one who loves lists and thrills and challenges. I wanted to have a way to talk to my dad when I was in high school, so I joined the basketball team. Sure on the first day, Coach Rita said, "Everyone line up for layups." I raised my hand. "What's a layup?" But I made it all the way to varsity (the very worst varsity player, but I loved my team and loved my court chats with my dad even more). 

When I decided go to school in Hawaii, I was determined to canoe and surf like in the movies! So when my sister's college held a canoe race, I pretended to go to her school. I won a school T-shirt! Which helped me pretend to go to her school when I signed up for surf class. I was terrible and not sexy at all on that long board, but I did it!

I tackled every dream this way. Imagination, excitement, celebration. Some dreams turned out to be mismatches. Like my idea to be like Georgia O'Keeffe and live in the desert with my canvases and oils and hot artist boyfriend (that I'd acquire in the desert). So I can't stand dry heat. I growl at it. Had to let that one go. Skydiving went the same way. I do not like to fall. Duh. I like almost falling. 

When did I stop dreaming? I used to be like the Pigeon in my son's favorite books. I was the asking-est girl in town. Big dreams, little dreams, stupid dangerous ones, silly sweet ones. Somewhere in the midst of survival mode I let go of the one thing that truly allows the soul to survive. Time for me to start asking again. 

So here are a few things I've come up with:
Trips with my boys to U.S. National Parks
Walk the Skywalk Glass Bridge at the Grand Canyon.
Snowshoe and/or cross country ski.
Windsurf.
"Bestseller" printed on my books.
Zip line
Write for the rest of my life.

Think Out Loud is an anything you want it to be meme. No rules, just us cool people. Come on, play with us.

Update: I've decided to make this post my dream billboard, so when dreams come to me, I'm adding them here...
S'mores (since I've yet to try them) 7/21/13
Meeting as many of my blogosphere friends as I can! 7/21/13
Moving to a new town 7/21/13
 
Writer convention (and I just signed up for one) 7/30/13
 
Indoor Skydiving (there's no jumping out of an airplane) 8/4/13

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Matinee at the Movies! robgirlbooks' experience watching Despicable Me 2 with her two boys. Goodness!

Do not sit near me at the movies, my only advice if you see me with my two boys partaking in an afternoon animated feature. Even if you have kids of your own and you tell yourself, "Mine can't sit still either," keep your distance, because I would if I could. I will confess this, I have turned into the single mother in all TV sitcoms. The mom on the phone with the kid wrapped around her leg as he barks. The mom rubbing her forehead as her kid pretend shoots people with the 64 oz bottle of apple juice at the grocery store. The mom who thinks she can sit through a movie with two hyper boys with only a contraband plastic baggie of Skittles to settle her nerves. I am her.

So we make it through the loud previews. Eleven year old Will covers his ears and keeps letting the folding seat fold him. Four year old John loves the previews and won't stop talking. I've learned not to tell him to whisper. I have no idea how he can whisper so loud, but he manages it. A Lego preview comes on, enthralling all of us into perfect moviegoers. I think maybe I will survive this experience after all. Will goes back to folding. John chatters away. Then the movie starts along with the music. I had no idea there would be so much music. I sneak a peek at Will to see how he's doing because he has a hard time with music he's never heard before. He's covering his ears. "Mom, I think I will be going home now." That's at the five minute mark. I look at John and he's waving his dang contraband baggie of Goldfish crackers around. I turn back to the screen, might as well enjoy as much of the movie as I can before we're kicked out.

The little yellow minions rock. The boys laugh in delight every scene they're in, especially when they destroy stuff. But then the music follows the scenes and the scary parts are even scarier for the boys because they're not desensitized in the least. At one point, little monster creatures are running around everywhere. "Okay, that's scary," Will says loudly when the theater is absolutely quiet. I'm covering John's eyes and holding Will's hand. I reassure them that the ending will be good because they love good endings. And suddenly we're at the end. I breathe a sigh of relief. We made it, but then the minions start singing. I mean really singing, some boy band song but with a Spanish accent, maybe it was a Spanish song. I have no idea. Will throws his hands back over his ears. John starts bouncing around and talking, all the while the song goes on until I can't take it anymore. I burst out laughing, tears streaming down my face kind of wondrous laughing. I can't stop.

So go see Despicable Me 2. I loved it. Really. The boys both told me to go pick it up at the library. I give it 5 STARS. And it's highly unlikely you'll run into me or the boys, so you might give it 5 STARS too!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sidekick Saturday [22] STRANGE!

Sidekick Saturday
Sidekick Saturday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted here by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in this week's type
• Share a picture (if possible) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• Put your link in the Linky thing and comment

This week's Sidekick challenge is STRANGE! My first thought was Bran from Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series. Bran looks like a bored All-American teenager when he's really the supreme Alpha werewolf. The men and women under him believe he can read minds. Mercy thinks she's always been a chore to him, but the old dog loves her like she was his own. There was a scene in Moon Called when he was sitting in Mercy's motel room balancing on a dining room chair like no human could. Mercy told him humans wouldn't do that and he set the chair down on the spot. 

“Bran was always a deceptive bastard, gentle and mild right up until he ripped your throat out. He had many other fine qualities as well” Patricia Briggs Cry Wolf

“I don't like lies,' said Bran, and I knew I'd failed to keep the pain of his revelation from my face. 'Not even lies of omission. Hard truths can be dealt with, triumphed over, but lies will destroy your soul.” Patricia Briggs Moon Called

If I were to cast Bran in a movie, I'd choose Josh Hutcherson.
Josh Hutcherson 3
(Debbie Cerda of Slackerwood.com [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Now for my own sidekicks' picks. My mom chose Trent from Soul Bender. I never quite saw him as strange, but that may be because I know what lies beneath. You will too in the third book. Trent is total eye candy and has a tendency to insult Anna every chance he gets. My sister jumped in with Myrnin from Rachel Caine's Morganville series. I love Myrnin. He's part sociopath, part clumsy genius, part sweet/damaged soul. Then Shannon had that look in her eyes again, the one that says she's about to reach into golden ticket material...Harry Potter. She chose Dobby. Myrnin and Dobby. But Bran could eat both of them so there.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Feature & Follow [14] Photobomb!

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read.

Here are the general rules to Follow Friday:
1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts and any one else you want to follow on the list
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - This week's feature is: Kelly Walker and Girl in the Woods.
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
8. If your new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

This week is: Activity! PHOTOBOMB!!!! Photobomb a picture with your favorite book. Share it of course.




I couldn't do it, select just one book, or even one genre. I LOVE Moon Called, Perfect Chemistry, Vampire Academy, Glass Houses and so many more, but my son was getting a little click happy with my camera. I also had to include children's books. The two in the picture are Skippyjon Jones and My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood.

Update: John woke up this morning asking me about the favorite book picture. When I said I could take his picture too he hopped over to the book closet. I told him to choose one and, like me, he refused. I told Will he could pick more than one because John and I had. He told me the rules said choose only one book. (Note John's stuffed animal-my childhood tiger stuffed animal I gave to him when he was a baby. He went on to pluck out all the fur...pluck, snuggle, pluck, snuggle. We call it Cat.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Think Out Loud [15] Standing Up For What's Right

I used to stay for the first forty-five minutes or so of class when my oldest son was in first grade. He had a hard time staying in his chair while the teacher dealt with those first few tasks of the day, so I read books with him until I saw an opening to slip out. In those days, Will came home smelling like perfume because everyone from the principal to the lunch lady hugged him, he was that cute. He had only been talking for about a year and a half and his autism was still a mighty obstacle, but each day he was more and more aware of the world around him. 

After school one day, his wonderful para-educator (special needs aide) told me about my brave boy. His teacher had lost perspective in a fit of frustration and yelled at one of the students. She was already a yeller, just one of those women who project like hell. Will was sitting across from the kid who was in trouble. "Mrs. V, you leave him alone! Being mean is not okay." The teacher stepped back in shock. Will was red-faced and standing with his arm raised and his finger pointing. With his mission accomplished, Will sat back down in his seat as if he hadn't just shamed a grown up into thinking about her actions. I tell my kids we all have moments of behaving badly and grand moments of acting heroic, and for John, the 4 yr old, I add, "And we all fart too." He falls back on the bed in full belly laughs every time. He's so easy.

Think Out Loud is a meme with no rules, a safe little place in the middle of your blogging world where you can let go about anything on your mind, a picture that delighted you, a poem, song, gripe that won't die until you vent it into cyberspace. Come and join us 'cause we're cool.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Crazy Girls, Demons, and Time Travel! robgirlbooks' Marathon Reviews of Dare You To, The Good, the Bad, and the Undead, & Switching

I had so much fun writing speedy reviews with my first review marathon, I decided to do it again!

4.5 STARS! Dare You To by Katie McGarry is a roller coaster ride of emotions. Beth is a true survivalist, so much so, she can't see a life outside the horrors she lives day in and day out. Ryan is a true competitor. He sees his world as a series of wins on his way to the ultimate win, being a pro baseball player. The two have nothing in common other than their knack for tunnel vision. Beth has to save her mother. Ryan has to win any challenge thrown at him. The two meet. She swears at him. He remains polite, but annoyed. Life comes crumbling down for Beth. Life has been secretly crumbling to pieces for Ryan. Will these two polar opposites meet in the middle of all the carnage? Can crazy Beth see past her zero self-esteem? Can Ryan step outside of his father's perfect son role and risk losing?

I love Katie McGarry's style and quickly remembered just how much when I started reading Dare You To. I also love starting over stories. This one falls into that category with Beth going from the slums to slick hickville. Oh, and I love sports stories. Ryan takes us into the mindset of a pitcher, captain, and teammate. My main gripe has to be the adults in the book. I needed an anchor, and none of the teenage supporting cast filled that role. Logan was strong and stable, same with Lacy, but they weren't enough. Ryan's parents upset me so much I didn't care if they did a turnabout or not. I decided to hold a grudge and I'm still holding it. Forget about how I feel about Beth's mother. The best part of Dare You To has to be watching two souls crashing into each other over and over until they finally find how they fit just right. The love story is beautiful.


4 STARS! The Good, the Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison is the second book in The Hollows Series. Rachel can't move on from her time with Trent. She's determined to nail him to the wall. This time she believes he's savagely murdering witches. To be fair, she has witnessed him murder before. She's been tortured by him, held captive, and offered a job more times than I remember. Trent is an oddball, for sure. Then there's Nick. Oh, freaking Nick who stresses me out because of his ridiculous lack of self-preservation. He's a bad influence on Rachel. I sound old saying that, but I want to pull him by his shirt collar and toss him out the church doors. Jenks wasn't such a great influence this book either and Rachel with her poor decision making skills needs smart people around her. Who does she have though? Ivy, a hungry, hungry living vamp who is beyond moody and stressed most of this book. We have flittering and petulant Jenks who loves to stir the pot. There was a point in the book when Rachel itched to play with her magic. I wanted to put her in a time out, but Jenks goaded and taunted, even invited his kids into the play.

I'm so glad Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven recommended this series to me. Kim Harrison is a fantastic storyteller and the world she created with such delicious supernatural characters and closed-minded humans is addictive. I'll be hitting book 3 real soon!


4 STARS! Switching by Jody Kihara pulls you into the life of a girl who's lost everything, possibly even her mind. She can't remember her former life. She can't see the faces of her parents when she closes her eyes. She can't find her way home, not just because she's forgotten her address and her name, but because she can't get back to her timeline. With absolutely nothing, she has only her genuine soul and gritty determination to survive. Is that enough to finally land herself in the correct year and find her way home?

After reading a wonderful review by Lexxie at Un[Conventional] Book Views, I commented that I was going to request my library to purchase this book. Jody Kihara contacted me and sent me the book. How awesome is that? Super awesome. And even better than that, I love Switching. The MC named herself Terry because it had a nice ring to it. Plus how can anyone truly exist without a name? From page one I was hooked. I felt Terry's fear, her good heart, her exhaustion, all in the first few minutes. My first time travel book and I loved it. This isn't a futuristic story or some historical romance in disguise. We stick to the chunk of time between the awful clothes of the 70's and now. We meet characters I craved to have more story time with. My mind shot in all directions with speculations. I figured time travel, anything is possible. Yeah, none of my guesses were right. For many other readers, this wonderful book would be 5 STARS, it's that good. But in the worst way, I wanted more at the end. Switching is YA sci-fi I consider a great read for all ages with its brave female lead and engaging story. Terry's painful wish to get home becomes your wish for her too.




Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sidekick Saturday [21] Soldier!!

Sidekick Saturday
Sidekick Saturday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted here by Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven. There are many secondary characters that are as great as the primaries. In some cases, the sidekicks actually steal the show and you like them better than the heroine or hero. Maybe they didn't have enough page time for how great they were. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Choose a sidekick *or someone other than the hero or heroine* that you would like to put in the spotlight that fits in this week's type
• Share a picture (if possible) and information about the character
• Give the title and author of a book the character can be found in
• Please don't include too many spoilers when describing why the character is such a great sidekick
• Put your link in the Linky thing and comment
This week's sidekick challenge is SOLDIER. 
My first thought flew to Stefan, Mercy's Scooby-Doo loving vampire in Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson Series. Then I went to Goodreads to find a quote and Adam quotes fired off at me until I remembered he was a soldier too! But still, Stefan owns this title for me, especially since I have a feeling his mellow, almost stoner Scooby Doo vibe is all but gone for the time being. His Mistress did a number on him and he's still pissed. A pissed off vamp in Mercy's world is a violent one. A finger licking, throat ripping out mean guy, and then add that he spent however long with the title Soldier. Dang.

So like always, I posed this question to my mom and sister. If I forget, they prompt me. My mom gave me a look like I just hit her with a book. These themes kill her, but she always has my books to fall back on. She chose Lance from The Touched Girl series. In my world of vamps there are two types, sires and soldiers. Sires are all drama and arrogance. They are the only ones who can make another vampire. They drink slower and have more magic. Soldiers are all brute force. They can drain a body in seconds and have no desire (or will) to slow it down. But metrosexual, brooding, hot Lance loves drama. He loves to put on a show for his victims. He's the only one in his family who wishes all the myths about their kind were true. Invite him into your home and win a breathtaking smile.


"You should see how long it takes Lance to get ready. First he has to lay out his clothes. Then he has do whatever he has to do in the mirror for twenty minutes, then there is the shower. After that I'm ready to drain the vamp. Meanwhile, it takes him another forty-five minutes to complete the job."
"I do not just splash water on myself and call it a shower, nor do I blindly grab clothes out of the nearest closet and throw them on. I have certain routines, my loafing friend." (Jared and Lance, Soul Walker)

"I believe you will be grounded, whipped with a belt, and certainly your grandmother will wash your mouth out with soap. You might have to start attending mass every Sunday." Jared laughed until he cried. "What?" (Lance, Soul Walker)

Shannon brilliantly chose Dimitri from Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter Series. I turned her on to the series, but she hasn't reached the domineering vampire's book yet, Archangel's Blade (book 4). Oh, it's good. If you haven't tried this series, but love hot and bothered urban fantasy with a splash of gore, this is for you. I love it! And Dimitri is such a shit. He's terrible to Elena and he's the most loyal soldier ever. With light still glimmering in Shannon's eyes she jumped to Charles from Patricia Briggs' Alpha Omega series. Come on. Those are both awesome top of the line picks. She wins the day for sure! I love Charles, not as much as Adam, but pretty damn close.

How about you? Who would you cast for Soldier?






Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Think Out Loud [14] Freckles and Scars

Someone recently asked me if I was bothered by my scars. "How could I be? I'm marked head to toe?" was my quick smiling answer. I am not an old soul with grace flowing with every breath. I walk into poles, walls, glass doors.

I was only eight years old when one day after school I sneaked into the TV room of our one story house. I should have been sitting on my bed sulking that I was on punishment (for grades as always). The moment the phone rang, I flew into motion to answer it. I knew it had to be my mom doing her daily check in from work. I ran with such determination I crashed through our sliding glass door. An inch thick of untempered glass shattered. With the phone still ringing, I crawled on my hands and knees through the shards. My sister came charging out of her room. "Robyn! What did you break now!" Poor girl. She screamed all the way to the neighbors. I yelled after her that I could handle the mess. She completely ignored me! I made it to the phone, but no one was on the other line. 

That one moment makes up the bulk of my scars and I guess my character too. I wasn't cut up in a pretty Hollywood way with clean forehead lines that would fade in time. My face was cut completely open along with my feet. My mouth, chin, and hands were sliced open. I lost every friend I had and it was years before anyone said I was pretty again. 

Since then I've accrued more scars (along with a few concussions and broken bones). I try real hard not to live as if my head were a battering ram, but just this past Christmas there I was in Toys R Us and a pole that had no business being the middle of the store! 

The person who turned my thoughts back to that day, smiled and said, "How about your freckles?"  

Think Out Loud is as cool as it sounds. Share whatever is on your mind because we'd love to hear from you whether it's a song, dream, gripe, trip down memory lane. This is a sky's the limit kind of meme!


Monday, July 1, 2013

No Place Like Home! robgirlbooks' Review of Fall of Night (Morganville 14) by Rachel Caine

Fall of Night (Morganville 14)
by Rachel Caine
352 pages
Published by NAL Hardcover (5/7/13)
Borrowed from the library (Thank you, Tacoma Public Library)
5 STARS!!!

Life's been kicking Claire's butt in the last few installments of Rachel Caine's Morganville series. I thought Last Breath was rough, but Black Dawn was one massive adrenaline rush and I missed the snark and taco dinners. Then Bitter Blood gave the fans what we wanted only to slap us around the last third of the book. In Fall of Night, a nearly broken, but determined Claire decides she needs to feel human again in a human world surrounded by...you guessed it, humans! She leaves Morganville, venturing out on her own. Or so we think. As the rose colored glasses fall to the ground and get smashed into little bits, our favorite heroine realizes humans suck, sometimes worse than mean old vamps.

This is my favorite installment yet. Remember those early books when Bishop first came to town? This addition to the series had that same feel to it. Desperation, isolation, terrible life and death decisions, regret, pure bliss. Oh and menacing villains you want to see taken down by whatever means available. Because Claire left Morganville, we miss out on the descriptions of our favorite scary town and those even scarier residents. We don't get Myrnin's lab sessions or the whole gang hanging out together exchanging playful barbs. Caine does an excellent job of making us feel like we're starting a new school right along with Claire. I wanted to be there in person so bad, and then I really didn't. I hope this isn't a spoiler, but I just have to say that anyone pissed at Shane after Bitter Blood will fall in love with him all over again. I mean it. And like those Bishop installments, this book leaves you in a state of What the hell, Caine? Ten more pages. Five? Anything? A freaking teaser?

As a final note, there's this big push to turn the series into a high quality web show. I'm so excited at the prospect I get fangirl dizzy when I think about it. I just hope they don't make everyone pretty. Sure, I have no idea what Oliver looks like anymore because Caine's cleaned him up like a fifty year old woman on day time TV. And Myrnin has this strange chemistry with Claire, but I've never thought of him as attractive in a traditional way. Claire is girl next door pretty. Eve is beautiful, but hides most of it under gobs of white paint. Michael and Amelie are the true standouts with Shane hot in a rough way. What are your thoughts on the whole thing? Do you want a hot Myrnin?

p.s. Happy to be back! I missed this part of my life!!