Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Retail Threapy (2)


Last night instead of finishing off Incarceron, like I was planning on, I went to a Mardi Gras parade instead!  I did not go anywhere near New Orleans.  I know most people associate New Orleans with Mardi Gras often, but its not all that great.  Mandeville is the closest I plan to get at this point.  To many bad things happen there on a regular basis for me to muster up the courage to go.  I had a fantastic time with my friend Meghan!  Let me paint a picture for you.  Imagine me (five foot three hyper active thing) jumping up and down screaming for costume beads with alcohol in my hand, a pimpin' Mardi Gras sparkle hat on my head, and a white feather boa on my shoulders.  Bad ass, right?  That was a much needed break from drama, school, and boyfriend.  I ended up going to bed at one thirty in the morning and woke up at seven sharp, got dressed, said good-bye to Meghan, and hit Wal-*-Mart at eight.  I was returning something originally, but I couldn't help myself to quickly checking the book aisle.

I ended up walking away with Awakened and Burned by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and The Morganville Vampires Volume 1 with Glass Houses and The Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Canie.




I also got lucky the other night (not that kind of lucky) and won Dead Space: Martyr by B. K. Evenson from goodreads first read giveaways!

 
I wont be getting this one in the mail for a good four to five weeks according to the site, but I'm really looking forward to reading this book.  Now if only the other new books I ordered would get to my mail box already.  Its been nine days since Nightshade and The White Darkness were shipped, according to the tracking order from bookdepository, only five since Falling Under was shipped, and they're still not in my hands yet! :(

I hope everyone is enjoying themselves this weekend, and if any of you plan on getting down with the Mardi Gras Spirit have fun and be safe!


~Kelsa

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Unexpected geek moment

Have you guys noticed how often some names you hear everyday are found in books?  Like Kelsy or Chelsea, right?  Well, this was a huge surprise to me today.

Oh.  My.  God.

My name is in a book.

For the lead character, too.

*is flabbergasted*

It was an incredibly weird, exciting, awkward, and shocking moment for me seeing my name in Madigan Reads review of Trickster's Girl.

 
To fully understand why this is so shocking to me is easy to explain.  One, my mother made up my name when she was twelve years old.  Two, everyone as far back as I can remember has butchered my name horrifically growing up.

I can only hope people will start to pronounce my name correctly now and that the book is actually good when I read it.  (laughs)

I have to get myself a copy A.S.A.P.  


~Kelsa

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Burning Bright by Ron Rash

Another day and another review.  I'm so glad to be over this book now.  I hope you all are enjoying your weekend thus far.  Mine was productive with homework most of Saturday, but I did get to spend some quality time with my guy last night.  On with the review then!


Source:  Purchased
Released:  Marched 1st 2010
Published by:  Ecco
Page Count:  224
Buy it:  The Book Depository


New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Ron Rash is "a storyteller of the highest rank" (Jeffrey Lent) and has won comparisons to John Steinbeck, Cormac McCarthy, and Gabriel GarcÍa MÁrquez. It is rare that an author can capture the complexities of a place as though it were a person, and rarer still that one can reveal a land as dichotomous and fractious as Appalachia—a muse; a siren; a rugged, brutal landscape of exceptional beauty, promise, and suffering—with the honesty and precision of a photograph. "If you haven't heard of the Southern writer Ron Rash, it is time you should" (The Plain Dealer). In Burning Bright, the stories span the years from the Civil War to the present day, and Rash's historical and modern settings are sewn together in a hauntingly beautiful patchwork of suspense and myth, populated by raw and unforgettable characters mined from the landscape of Appalachia. In "Back of Beyond," a pawnshop owner who profits from the stolen goods of local meth addicts—including his own nephew—comes to the aid of his brother and sister-in-law when they are threatened by their son. The pregnant wife of a Lincoln sympathizer alone in Confederate territory takes revenge to protect her family in "Lincolnites." And in the title story, a woman from a small town marries an outsider; when an unknown arsonist starts fires in the Smoky Mountains, her husband becomes the key suspect.In these stories, Rash brings to light a previously unexplored territory, hidden in plain sight—first a landscape, and then the dark yet lyrical heart and the alluringly melancholy soul of his characters and their homeDescription from Goodreads.


This was my first Ron Rash book and to be honest it didn't quite reach the expectations I had for it.  I guess because there wasn't a solid plot for me to get into was the reason why, which is what I'm use to with full novels, but I did enjoy this book when I made myself sit down and read it.  The imagery was well written and Ron Rash's style of writing is smooth which draws you into the world for the characters he created.  The book mainly focused on characters going though difficult times or event in their lives.  Most were the result of struggling with financial issues or poverty, others suffered from dwindling faith because of the result of struggling with poverty and loss.  My favorite stories from the collection were Hard Times, Dead Confederates, The Ascent, Burning Bright, The Corps Bird, and Linconites.  The best was The Ascent for me.  It was about a boy who's family is so poor that neither parent worked and wasted away their days getting high while slowly selling off items in the house to get by.  While his parents smoked their troubles away, the boy escapes to the woods after school where he finds a wrecked plane and pretends to fly away leaving his family and troubles behind.  All in all, it was a decent read, but I'd be lying if I said I couldn't put it down.  I really could and did often.  Others I'm sure will find it more engaging then I did, so I do encourage you to read it and decide for yourselves.



~Kelsa

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Parajunkee's Vampire Challenge



THE RULES:

  1. Post about this challenge on your blog stating that you are participating. That post is the link that you will include in the Mr. Linky below. The link should be the post link not just your blog link.
  2. Grab the button and display it in the post (use grab code underneath the button) or on your sidebar so others can join in the fun.
  3. Challenge goes from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011
  4. The challenge is to read 20 books that have a vampire as a main character, either protag or antagonist
  5. Post your reviews on the Review Post: http://www.parajunkee.com/2011/01/vampire-challenge-review-link-up.html
Going for this one, too.  Wish me luck.  (I really, really, should be in bed right now)


~Kelsa

Parajunkee's Shifter Challenge



THE RULES:

  1. Post about this challenge on your blog stating that you are participating. That post is the link that you will include in the Mr. Linky below. The link should be the post link not just your blog link.
  2. Grab the button and display it in the post (use grab code underneath the button) or on your sidebar so others can join in the fun.
  3. Challenge goes from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011
  4. The challenge is to read 20 books that have a SHIFTER as a main character, either protag or antagonist
  5. Post your reviews on the Review Post: http://www.parajunkee.com/2011/01/shifter-challenge-2011-review-link-up.html 
As of now I'm going to try my best to complete this challenge.  Wish me luck!  (I really should be in bed right now *yawns*)


~Kelsa

    Books are THE BEST form of retail threapy


    Today I got to indulge in throwing my money away at Wal-*-Mart of all places for books.  Usually I don't bother with shopping for novels there, but the convenience of finding two books I've been looking for and two that were total eye candy was just to damn tempting to pass up.

    My haul today includes Fallen by Lauren Kate, The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling, and Incarceron by Catherine Fisher.


    Later on, after getting back to town near my home, I even ended up finding a random vampire hunter related book at a local everyday store called Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton.  Apparently its one in a series about the author's character Anita Blake.  Its an adult novel though, so if your like me and you're intrigued by the cover and the intro, be warned that is does have very adult content in it.

    At first the intro made me just laugh outright, but when I looked at Hamilton's picture on the back I was suddenly inspired to snatch it up.  I don't know what it is, but her appearance just screams 'awesomeness' at me.  At first I had a feeling the book was nothing but a harlequin romance with added werewolves and vampires when I first bought it, but after looking up some back ground on the series it seems to be a popular one because it looks like its been running since 1993 when the first book was published.  Its even a freaking graphic novel comic!  I'm definitely going to get myself a copy the next time I'm doing some planned books splurging.




    ~Kelsa

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    One Lovely Blog Award


    I'm so excited!  This is my first award as a new blogger and I would like to thank the lovely Nina B. from Brush Up On Your Reading for this honor.  :)

    Instructions:
    What to do when receiving this award:
    1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
    2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
    3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
    1. Chapter Chicks
    2. Buried In Books 
    3. Y.A Reviewz
    4. Parajunee's View
    5. This blogger has been removed due to the fact she declared herself Award free on her blog.
    6. Book Chick City
    7. Page Masters Podcast
    8. This blogger has been removed due to the fact she also declared she can no longer accept any more awards.
    9. The Quest for Good Writing
    10. The Sassy Curmudgeon
    11. Peter Wilson Writing
    12. eric forbes's book addict's guide to good books
    13. This blogger has been removed due to the fact I have no way to contact this person through comments for some odd reason.
    14. Covesea Island
    15. Exploring questions unanswered...
    Congratulations to everyone who received this awesome award!  I'm going to follow Nina B's lead and add that when passing this award along to other awesome bloggers please send it to bloggers who are not on this list.

    :)

    ~Kelsa

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

    Been at the Hospital since two thirty today.  Nothing terrible happened, thankfully.  I was terribly bored out of my skull the entire time, but it did at least give me a chance to finish reading my book.  So here is a review for How To Train Your Dragon:  Book 1 by Cressida Cowell.


    Source:  Purchased
    Released:  February 15th 2000
    Published by:  Brown Young Readers
    Page Count:  214
    Buy it:  Amazon

    Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as "the Dragon Whisperer" ... but it wasn't always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? Join the adventure as the small boy finds a better way to train his dragon and becomes a hero!  Description from goodreads.com

     
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  Cressida Cowell’s viking character’s made me smile and laugh the entire time.  Hiccup’s story of growing up as a young viking was colorful and full of hazards.  Enduring bullying from Snotlout, being scorned by villagers, and putting up with an ungrateful dragon were just some of the challenges facing Hiccup.  It didn’t help that he was the smallest, like his dragon Toothless, and the most un-viking like of everyone on his home island of Berek.  

    What I loved most about Hiccup's character is what he lacked in brawn he made up for with brains.  His unconventional and intelligent ways more then made up for what he lacked in volume and intimidation.  I rather liked how Toothless was stubborn an not willing to follow Hiccup, because it showed his personality and his prideful nature.  

    The only thing that did not work for me with this book was the fact that there was an effective means of communication between Hiccup and Toothless.  I would have much rather read about the struggle to understand each other more than anything else.  The cute approach of Toothless being equally small to his viking master was adorable to me.  Hiccup and Toothless make a dynamic duo and prove that big things really do come in small packages.








    ~Kelsa

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    The Sight, by David Clement-Davies

    I finally got around to finish reading this book the other night, so as promised a review for anyone who might be interested in getting this book for themselves.  Today's review is on The Sight by David Clement-Davies.

    Source:  Purchased
    Released:  August 11th 2003
    Published by:  Puffin
    Page Count:  465
    Buy it:  Amazon

    In the shadow of an abandoned castle, a wolf pack seeks shelter. the she-wolf 's pups will not be able to survive the harsh Transylvanian winter. And they are being stalked by a lone wolf, Morgra, possessed of a mysterious and terrifying power known as the sight. Morgra knows that one of the pups born beneath the castle holds a key to power even stronger than her own—power that could give her control of this world and the next. but the pack she hunts will do anything to protect their own, even if it means setting in motion a battle that will involve all of nature, including the creature the wolves fear the most—Man.  Description from goodreads.com

    This book had so much potential when I first picked it up and started reading it.  The plot of betrayal and deception behind Morgra, the antagonist, was good, the magic power of The Sight was just the right amount of balanced awesomeness for Larka's humble nature, the protagonist, and the wolves themselves were charismatic and had great personalities in the beginning.  

    This would have been a fantastic read if it wasn't for the character's retelling every minuscule detail regarding the power of The Sight and the evil workings of Morgra.  Once I started on the third chapter the entire plot was pretty much revealed at the same time the wolves put together everything that was going on.  After that, whenever a main character would find something else revealing more regarding Morgra's evil scheme, the characters would retell everything leading up to this new small bit of information through dialog.  Every single time they did this I wanted to drop reading the book altogether.  

    Towards the ending the twist for Larka's character was great, but the ending itself was drawn out.  The descriptions used by the writer at times were confusing and over done, especially when describing the shifting scene into the ManVarg.  I really did enjoy this book and the creative idea behind it, but the information dump really killed my enthusiasm for finishing it sooner.

    EDIT:  Since I read this book this year (2011) I'm counting it towards Parajunkies Shifter Challenge

    ~Kelsa

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Truth Or Dare Monday - Happy Valentine's Day!


    Sing your praises of your favorite Paranormal Romance. Or at least compose a short poem...use any poetic interpretation, hell perform an interpretive dance, via vlog, just make it entertaining.


    Being a loup-garou is not all its cracked up to be.
    Loneliness is a frequent occurrence for me.
    Only our kind can truly accept us they say.
    Only I’m to damn stubborn to be swayed that way.
    Damn them all for bothering me.


    Aden is kind, gentle, and sweet.
    Nothing like Gabriel
    Damn that dog.


    Chasing my tale this way and that.
    Hoping for comfort in my meat-boy’s arms.
    Opps, that was the wrong incentive.
    Catching his eye was easy as pie.
    Only now things have changed
    Last week I saw him
    At the Park on
    The grass with that god awful slut.
    Everything right now just freaking sucks.


     ______________________________________________________________________

    I'm not that great of a poet, but this just seemed like to much fun to pass up.  Acrostic Poetry for your viewing pleasure. :) 


    ~Kelsa

    New books on the way!


    Thanks to the lovely Buried In Books I took full advantage of trying out bookdepository for the first time today and ordered three new books.

    I've been following Chapter Chicks lately and I liked the sound of two books Jessica had recently reviewed, so I went ahead and ordered Falling Under by Gwen Hayes and Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.  They're both fantasy based, which is my favorite genre, so I'm very excited about getting them.  The third book I ordered is The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean, as you probably already have guessed I have read this one before and loved it, but unfortunately I never owned a copy.  Now that I have it I'll be sure to share how awesome they all are with you later on.

    I hope everyone is enjoying their Valentines Day with someone special.  My guy doesn't like to celebrate it, which I can understand since I never got it to the holiday for so many years, but its annoying when the one year I actually want to is the same year I won't be able to.


    ~Kelsa


    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    The Start of a Beautiful Friendship

    While sitting in the campus library today I made a new friend of whom shared my old love of TCG Card Games and thorough dislike of air conditioned buildings in winter time.  Now, while wasting time until my ever approaching math test, my new friend Matt and I talk about strange and entertaining topics, but none were quite so strange as this.  Just warning you now.  Its not for the fainthearted.

    "Did you know the creator of Superman drew bondage porn?" asked Mat.

    "Seriously?" I asked, intrigued - and more than a bit surprised.

    "Seriously," he replied.

    ...


    Wow.  Thank God I wasn't raised on DC Comics religiously like some friends of mine.  I'd probably cry outright. 

    This makes me wonder if writers have resorted to this kind of thing to make a dollar.


    ~Kelsa

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

    Today's review is focused on The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks.

    Source:  Borrowed
    Released:  September 1st 2009
    Published by:  Grand Central Publishing
    Page Count:  405
    Buy it:  Amazon

    "Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.  Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.   The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels--first love, love between parents and children -- that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them." Description from Amazon.com.

    This book did not satisfy my craving for an epic read, but it was able to pass time in my barracks for two days when I was in training during the summer.  It wasn’t as great as I was expecting in all of the reviews and recommendations from friends, but it wasn’t bad compared other books I've read.  It just wasn't that interesting.

    The plot had real potential throughout, but the style and the way that the story was told made me not enjoy it as much as I could have.  There was too much focus on Marcus’s view point in the beginning.  Once he gets his ass kicked by Will - in an uneventful fight scene - he's not in any more scenes, remains on the outskirts of the story, even though there was a whole plot surrounding his character.  It made the story slow down and drag out considerably.

    I expected Will and Ronnie to fall in love slowly and have a lot more detailed interaction while trying to get to know one another, but there wasn’t much romance or heartfelt moments between them like I was hoping for or expecting.  This surprised me a great deal.  Her trust issues with her father in the beginning to me would have affected her more when she became closer to Will.  It wasn't a bad read, but it definitely wasn't a good one either.



    ~Kelsa

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    I realized something today

    As defined by Dictionary.com an epiphany "is a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience."

    I had the fortunate pleasure of having one of these rare occurrences today.  My realization hit me while brushing my teeth this morning.  After receiving tremendously helpful advise from the people at writingforums.org about the foreword I submitted to the site, I mulled over some of the things that were said in the reviewers critiques.

    As it was pointed out to me the repetition was abundant and the passage was way to wordy.  These things I agreed with completely.  I changed the foreword around so much, that I just made it way to complicated.  I also had some very positive comments regarding the tension, imagery, and my first person present tense of the narrative, which I admit made me very proud.

    Now, while brushing the plaque off of my teeth I took all of these things into consideration.  I know the rest of what I have so far in my novel is just as wordy and repetitious in some parts, but how was I to go about and fix it, too?  The way I was writing the foreword reminded me of introductions in papers I've done in the past for school, which was more analytical then creative in style.  I stopped brushing my teeth and thought about that for a moment.  Wow.  It really was that simple.

    When that piece of the puzzle fit in my head it all just made so much more sense!  I've been going about approaching this novel as a paper, which is where my writing is its strongest.  I haven't tried to move away from that style of writing for this project.  Two years in the making and only now I'm realizing this.  Better late then never I suppose.

    ~Kelsa

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Max

    Today I was lucky enough to come across a very useful writing forum appropriately called http://www.writingforums.org/.  They have very useful information regarding writing and helpful ways to improve your own writing.  Usually I'm shy to mingle with strangers on the internet, but its a very relaxing place to be.  I found some helpful information regarding self publishing so I will definitely be makes frequent visits to the site.

    Another day and another review.

    An Epic read for age appropriate readers
    Source:  Purchased
    Released:  January 1st 2006
    Published by:  Citadel Press
    Page Count:  288

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange

    Source:  Borrowed
    Released:  August 1st 2009
    Published by:  Sourcebooks Landmarks
    Page Count is 308 pages.  
    Buy It:  Amazon


    "Amanda Grange, bestselling author of Mr. Darcy's Diary, gives us something completely new—a delightfully thrilling, paranormal Pride and Prejudice sequel, full of danger, darkness and deep romantic love…

    Amanda Grange's style and wit bring readers back to Jane Austen's timeless storytelling, but always from a very unique and unusual perspective, and now Grange is back with an exciting and completely new take on Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

    Mr. Darcy, Vampyre starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen's beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love.
    "   Description from goodreads.com.

    I was extremely apathetic and uninterested in this book when I began reading it right off the bat.  The whole time I was not that excited about the plot, which was terrible; the events, which were uneventful; or, the characters, which had about the emotional depth of rocks.  I remember thinking "Wait, isn't Elizabeth suppose to be a strong female character?  That's what everyone keeps telling me about Austin's writing with her female characters."

    The ending was weak and not remotely satisfying, and the book was not memorable.  The only way I can see how this was such a successful series is because of the vampire craze going around.  I have not read the first book, Mr. Darcy's Dairy, and I do not plan it.  Don't go purchase this adaption.  Its a crappy book.  You can chose to ignore me if you like, but my decision remains firm to not let my friends read this mess.


    ~Kelsa

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