Friday, August 31, 2012

A Conglomerate of Goodies

      Since I'm doing my "difficult quarter" in school, today I'm just posting a conglomerate of goodies.
     I had to share this hilarious post on what writing/publishing feels like, for the writer. Pleasepleaseplease take a look! It's a real treat by an accomplished blogger, published author, and previous Literary Agent.
     Also, free flash fiction contest, oh yeah! 250 dollars for 250 words.
     Lastly, here are a couple reviews from my Goodreads booklist, in case you haven't seen any of those. The first review is more about the reading experience. The second review includes writing tips.
     Thanks for stopping by, Scribblers!

Book Review of "Montmorency On the Rocks: Doctor, Aristocrat, Murderer?" by Eleanor Updale, the second installment in the Monmorency series:
     "If you're into high-stakes mysteries, torturous backstory, and fabulous European historical fiction, this book is right up your alley. This second installment in the adventures of Montmorency was even better than the first, in my opinion. The cool thing about it? If you read it first, it might be more interesting! You can read the first book afterwards to get to know Montmorency even better.
     Montmorency has been living as his better upper-half personality, rather than his low-life identity, "Scarper." Traveling the world with his best friend, Lord George Fox-Selwyn, as a spy for England, he's pulled off some amazing feats...but also gotten into some trouble. His friend will try to help him back to grace while they solve two equally distubing mysteries ravaging their homes.
     The mysteries, the suspense, the immediate connection we feel with old and new characters, pulls this read above the first. I loved every minute of this book.
     I've listened to both the Montmorency reads on my ipod; the library loans them out for free. The voice actors are great in this rendition.

Book Review of "Beka Cooper, Book 3: Mastiff, A Tortall Legend" by Tamora Pierce.
     "Pierce is one of my all-time faves! Aside from LOTR, her books were the REASON I read.
Beka Cooper, and her partner Matthias Tunstall, set off on their most important hunt yet, in this third and final installment of the Beka's series. No loyalties can be trusted on this high-stakes hunt. 
     I love inhabiting Pierce's fantasy worlds, reallyreally. Beka Cooper is one cool chick. Or should I say "mot" (slang for “women”)? Yes, Pierce invents flavorful worlds: language, including slang and noble speech, caste system in several kingdoms, and a wide inventory of magics. If you want to learn how to create great settings, I highly recommend Pierce.
     As usual, there was one particular character that I got attached to, and that was "Farmer." He reminded me a lot of Numair, from the Wildmage series. I LOVE his humor. Beka, like I said, is a great female protagonist. Pierce's always are. I've only complaint about her characters, at least in this book: they have very little moral shading. All the "good" ones agree on highly controversial topics. I disagreed with certain collective opinions, namely the ones on sex and language. It rarely happens, in life, that several people have the same exact opinion on morality. It’s unrealistic. For this, I withheld part of a star.
     The storyline moved along well, right from the beginning, and there were several twists. My only qualm was with one of the twists, in which I think a character acted "out of character." It certainly made for a twist I didn't see coming, but I really don't think the character would have done this... I took off half a star, here. When characters do things that aren't consistent with their character, the plot twists seem contrived by the author.
     I listened to the audiobook. I wasn’t a huge fan of the voice actor because she gave certain parts a slightly corny feel…like all the words of a certain (adorable!) four-year old prince. I couldn’t tell if it was what he said, or the way the voice-actor said it, but it had me groaning. :) I took part of a star here, too.
     The very end of the book (Was it an epilogue? can't remember) was a delightful addition: it jumps forward into the future, where we connect briefly with George Cooper--yes, THAT George Cooper--Beka's ancestor. It was a lovely tie to the series. It solidified my opinion, once again, how much I love Pierce’s work.
     I seesawed on whether to give three or four stars on this book, but for the sake of Pierce-love, I chose four."

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