Sunday, January 18, 2015

Book Review: The Faerie War

The Faerie War, the third and final book in the Creepy Hollow series by Rachel Morgan, brings all the events in books one and two to a raging conclusion. The Faerie War picks up where the Faerie Prince leaves off with Vi trying to get her memory back. When she wakes up in The Underground, she struggles to remember the previous events, her past life and even the basics of her Guardian training.

As a fan on Vi and Ryn (and of course the entire series), I just wanted to see them together again as soon as possible, so for me the story started off too slow. However, the events in the beginning and leading up to Vi remembering who she was are vital to the story. The slow beginning was easily forgiven as soon as Ryn and Vi  met up again. And I certainly enjoyed watching them get to fall in love all over again.

However, there is so much more to the story than Vi and Ryn. We watch as Vi realizes what she must do to end this Faerie War. She realizes that she needs to fix a wrong from the past, which is why the slow beginning is so import. She must survive captures, adventures and her own struggles in order to succeed. Don't miss this exciting conclusion.

After reading this series...twice...I admit I am a lifelong fan of this series and the author. I follow the author's Creepy Hollow Pinterest board ( and if you are a fellow fan, you will love this board too.)

As with any well written series, I often hope for more. I'm curious to see what happens in the future and the direction Vi's career and life takes. Maybe some day. But for now, this series wraps up well and is worth the read. Even with a full time job, kids and household duties, I finished this entire series in less than 2 weeks. If you are unsure about starting the series, take my advice and read it. You won't be sorry.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: The Faerie Prince

I just finished reading The Faerie Prince  by Rachel Morgan. This book is book 2 of the Creepy Hollow series and it is even more intense than book 1. We follow Vi as she and Ryn work at letting go of the past and trying to be friends. Guardian Graduation is approaching and Vi is working hard to ensure her top spot at the graduating class. However, she worries she has fallen behind after her suspension in the previous book.

But there is oh-so-much-more to the book. Strange things are happening around Creepy Hollow, the Guild and around other Fae guilds. Vi is sure Zell has something to do with it and her final assignment turns into the most life threatening one yet. The more Vi learns, the more questions she has.

I love Vi more and more as the story grows on. She's strong, yet vulnerable. Her internal monologue is funny and witty. I found myself laughing out loud several times.

Rachel Morgan has done it again with this book. She kept me hooked the entire time and had me rooting for everything Vi was aiming for. Morgan's plotting and writing were pure genius yet again.Now, on to The Faerie War.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Just a Book

Is a book just a book? Ask any avid reader, and you might unexpectedly wander into Lecture Territory. Anyone who reads a good book knows that books are so much more than a few (all too fast) hours of reading, or just a way to spend time.  

When you read a good book it is so much more than watching a movie in your head. Yes, that happens: we see and hear the characters and all that is going on in the scenes. However, when you read, you not only are passively watching, but you are EXPERIENCING everything the main character is. By the time you finish reading the book, you have bonded with the characters. You have learned and grown with them. They feel like a new best friend - after all they've shared things with you that they shared with nobody else in the book. 

So after going through a good book, we are often not left untouched. Some small part of you learns and grows too. Maybe you are battling some issues that your favorite character was battling. Maybe you're taking notes in case you're ever in such a constant-life-threatening-situation.  We often gain new perspectives and learn life lessons. This is where a book is more than just a book.  It is often why we see memes like this: 

I will be going through that tonight. I'm about 50 pages before the end of the book. Yes. I am stalling. Stalling because I'm in the NO-IT-CAN'T-END-YET stage. Just a few more pages... This could be why I am currently addicted to trilogies. I just don't want to let go of the characters I grow to love.

So no. A book is definitely not just a book. It is fun.  It is entertainment. It is growing. It is learning. It is experiencing. It is living. It is loving. And yes, when it ends, it is grieving. Have no fear, though. There's more out there! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book Review: The Faerie Guardian

The Faerie Guardian is the first in the Creepy Hollow Trilogy.In this Faerie novel a Guardian is one who protects humans from evil fae creatures. When we begin the story we meet Violet, also called Vi, on one of her Guardian-in-Training assignments. Her story begins immediately when she meets Nate, who is not supposed to be able to see her. So begins a budding romance and more importantly a story that will change Vi's life forever. 

Vi's character is strong, but feminine and you can't help but love her. While the story was written in first person,present, author Rachel Morgan made it work. I got right into Vi's head and it felt like I was there with her the whole time. The descriptions placed the reader right into the book, making everything feel "real". Vi is not the only solid character in the book. We meet Nate, her boyfriend, who is more than what he seems at first. We also have her friend-turned-enemy Ryn who is always out to get the last word.The mix of characters, plot and story line brings out a fantastic story with plenty of tense, heart racing moments, along with many laughs. This is definitely worth a read, and the last time I checked, it was on sale for free at Amazon

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Starbound Book Review

Starbound: A Starstruck Novel


"Between keeping high security secrets from everyone (including Rigel) and trying to keep Rigel and Sean from killing each other (with no help from Trina, of course!) M has more than enough on her plate already. 

She knew that as the newly discovered Princess of a secret Martian colony, she’d have to return there someday—but over spring break?? An emergency requires her immediate presence but not everyone is overjoyed to have their long-lost Princess back. Can she win her people over in time to save the colony from destruction? And what will she have to give up in return? "

Spoiler alert: Do not read if you haven't read book 2: Starcrossed) 

Starbound is an exciting and invigorating addition to the Starstruck Series. I read this book easily in under four days. The only problem I had with it is that the next book and concluding edition will not be out until the end of February 2015. I should have paced myself more. That being said, if you haven't read the first two books, read those first before jumping into this one. While it certainly can stand alone, nothing beats the full experience of this series. 

Although I now wish I had paced myself more, with a book this intriguing, I couldn't stop even if I tried.  The book picks up a few months after the conclusion of Starstruck ( the second book in the series.)  After discovering she is the only heir to the Royal Crown on Mars, she also discovers she is the only one who could possibly divert an alien race. These aliens, far more technologically advanced than humans, appear to be a threat not only to Mars, but Earth as well. In addition, M and her true love Rigel, are kept apart. Hiatt shows us the story brilliantly with vivid detail and plenty of tense moments. She keeps us rooting for M and Rigel, and I found myself wanting them to be together almost as much as they wanted to be together. There were a few moments I caught myself yelling out loud, "Oh noooooo," but the final twists in this book will leave you craving the final installment. Hiatt's work was pure genius so far in this series. I can't move time quickly enough so that I can get my hands on the next book. 

Where to get it: 
I got my copy at Amazon for my Kindle. You can also get it here in print. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Reading and Writing in 2015

It is a new year and I am pumped. I have been off the radar lately and I admit: I've been hiding under a pile of interesting YA novels since November. In addition to all this FUN reading, I also have been fulfilling my new teaching responsibilities,

All this reading, however, has motivated me to also tend more to my writing.  I have many great stories swimming around and they need to be told. Reading from these wonderful authors has reminded me that I have fallen victim to what I call The Writing Enemy. I am realizing now that when an author also works full time, he or she needs to better budget their time if their writing is to survive. So, for this writer, that is Resolution #1 - and a resolution I plan to stick with.

As with all resolutions we intend to keep, it is important to have a plan in order to establish a habit of writing. Since I have read several books lately (and I was too excited about them to stop and do a review), my plan is to reflect on and re-read these books with the goal of writing a review.  Small steps. In addition I have several writing snippets that I had planned to turn into a novel. I feel I am now ready to pursue those projects --or at least one of them. It is amazing what the New Year and a few great authors can inspire.

So, who do you expect to hear about? I have explored several self published authors and have been pleasantly surprised by their work. Some of my favorites over the last few months have been Chanda Hahn, Heather Sunseri, Rachel Morgan , and Brenda Hiatt. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out, especially if you like YA and fantasy fiction.

Happy Reading!

The Writing Enemy

(previously published in the fall 2008 edition of Once Upon a Time Magazine)

Your hero just overcame the latest obstacle in your story. She smiles, thinking she is safely in the clear until BAM! You throw her an unexpected twist. 

Sometimes the ups and downs of writing are just like the triumphs and pitfalls our heroes go through. Once day, we're dancing around the house with a glorious acceptance letter, Other days, we're wallowing in response to your fourth rejection in two weeks. 

"What ever possessed you to write THAT," asks an annoying voice in your head. 

That's the voice I've come to call The Writing Enemy. You don't see it, but you know it's there. Some days it jumps out at you right away. Other days it lurks around, waiting for the perfect moment. Then the thoughts come:

"That's a crazy idea!"

"No one would be interested in that,"

"This is a terrible story."

The Writing Enemy is like the villain your story's hero must overcome. All the obstacles it creates are designed for one thing: to assure you won't finish that story or article.

It hovers over your keyboard, causing your fingers to freeze up.  It takes over your concentration and distracts you with things such as e-mail and phone calls.

On a particularly bad day,  it haunts you with it's secret weapon--guilt, You stare at the accumulated pile of dishes and think, I should take care of that. My breakthrough story idea can wait. You forget that you have time for these things after work, just like the rest of the world. 

How can you defeat such a devastating beast? Determination! Despite coming down with the case of the "Frozen Fingers," you persevere. You start by typing a few words, then a few more, until you have your first rough draft. You ignore the e-mails and turn off the phone.

When you feel guilty about other things, that need to be done, you remind yourself that you have set hours for work. Home can have the rest. Before you know it, you'll be ready to revise and revise again until the time has come. It is the day you drop your manuscript in the mailbox.

Just like your story's hero, you smile to yourself. Yes, you were thrown some tough obstacles, but like your hero, you sough a creative way out. Go ahead and celebrate. The Writing Enemy is defeated once again. 

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