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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL by Jessica Day George

I love a good fairy-tale retelling. I love them in all forms -- when they're traditionally retold with new twists or exciting insights or fresh, modern versions. PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL is the former and so sweet. I owe it all to Amazon, who recommended this book to me for months and months, and to my library, for stocking it. :)

From Jessica Day George's website: Returning home from the war, young Galen finds work with his mother’s family in the royal gardens. There he learns that the king’s twelve daughters have a secret: every night they dance their shoes to tatters, but no one knows how or why. When prince after prince tries and fails to find the answer, and the family is haunted by accusations of witchcraft, Galen decides to help. Armed with a pair of silver knitting needles and an invisibility cloak given to him by a strange old woman, he follows the princesses and unlocks the secret of their curse.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: WITCH SONG by Amber Argyle

How many of you follow @toobusyreading on twitter? You don't?? What? Well, you should. Why? Because she's always scoping out free and cheap ebooks and posting them on twitter. That's how I discovered WITCH SONG by Amber Argyle.

From Amazon: The world is changing.

Once, Witch Song controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons. But not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by a traitor. All but Brusenna. As the echo of their songs fade, the traitor grows stronger. Now she is coming for Brusenna. Her guardian has sworn to protect her, but even he can't stop the Dark Witch. Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find the traitor. Fight her. Defeat her.

Because if Brusenna doesn’t, there won’t be anything left to save.

Length - 325 pgs.
Reading Level - YA

The Rating: *** (Liked it)

The Good:
EXCELLENT world building. Ms. Argyle does a fabulous job of showing how Brusenna's world looks and functions. I'm a sucker for a good love story, and the story between Brusenna and Joshen is paced and developed well. Brusenna isn't one of those characters I immediately fell in love with, mostly because of some of the choices she made I didn't agree with, but she's consistent, which is more important than me loving her. (What?? My opinion isn't the end-all?)

The Bad:
My biggest complaint is the structure -- or lack off. Without the a logical outline of the story, it seems to meander, climaxing early and then climaxing several times. My other issue is with plot inconsistencies. **SPOILER** For instance, Brusenna spends 75% of the novel searching for and trying to rescue her mother, yet when she does they barely interact. Biggest of all, **MAJOR SPOILER** it's difficult to believe that the Dark Witch, who had the power to capture and make submissive all the other witches, would actually bow to the will of a human who hated witches, no matter how big that human's army.

The Recommendation:
If you enjoy fantasy reads about witches, you will enjoy this book. For the most part it's well written and easy to get through. Great characters and lots of action.

Disclaimer: Kissing, Mild Action Violence

Buy WITCH SONG here.
Follow Amber Argyle on Twitter.
Read Amber Argyle's Blog

Monday, July 16, 2012

July No Strings Attached Blog Hop

This is the easiest contest you've ever entered. All you have to do to win is scroll down and use the Rafflecopter widget, and you're automatically entered to win a $10 Amazon gift certificate.
Yeah, it really is just that simple.

What's your pick for best LDS fiction?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

TBR Notice: THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

Before I ever heard about this book from twitter or all those other book sources I have (don't I sound so cool? Like some under-cover, librarian-spy ...), my friend Merilee raved to me about this book and insisted I read it. Then the buzz started (or probably, I just tuned into the buzz) and I knew I had to join in on the fun. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Random Review: A DISTANT MELODY by Sarah Sundin

I'm here to apologize, readers. With four editing projects this month, my pleasure reading has probably come to a halt. So, as a peace offering, I'm doing a random review -- plucking a title out of my fun app that does such things and reviewing the book already on my shelf, probably read months ago. Today's lucky winner? A DISTANT MELODY by Sarah Sundin.

You may not believe this about me now (especially if you've checked out the reviews tab and looked under the heading "romance") but I didn't used to be a big romance reader. However, a couple summers ago my husband packed up our family and hauled us on to a wild life refuge literally in the middle of nowhere. I popped by the inspirational section on Sam's Club -- I don't know why -- and picked up A DISTANT MELODY among a few others.

From Amazon: Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love. Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart? A Distant Melody is the first book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Truth be told, Amazon has been trying to recommend this book to me for as long as it's been out. And I have absolutely no excuse for not reading it. Then, when I joined twitter, all these people I followed kept retweeting Jessica Day George tweets. So then I followed her. And then I decided I should read her books. I added her to the top of my little post-it note on my computer of books or authors I need to read. (There's over thirty books on this list). I finally sat down and did a search on my library's catalog to find which of those thirty plus books my library had. PRINCESS AT THE MIDNIGHT BALL was there. No more excuses. And I'm sure I'll love it.

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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