Archive for September, 2009

Review: According to Jane by Marilyn Brant

September 26, 2009

Marilyn Brant’s debut novel, According to Jane, is a nice addition to the romance/women’s fiction genre. The novel begins with Ellie Barnett’s teacher passing out their next reading assignment, Pride and Prejudice. To her surprise, while dealing with Sam Blaine sitting behind her, Jane Austen’s voice pops into her head, telling her that he is her Mr. Wickham. So begins her relationship with Jane Austen.

Jane’s voice stays with Ellie, giving advice and friendship, throughout Ellie’s life. She experiences ups and downs in her personal life, always seeming to fall for the wrong man. Jane’s witty advice and conversation keeps her company and even helps her forge a relationship with her sister. In the background of it all is Sam, her first love, who always seems to appear at the wrong time in her life. Ellie learns about life, love, and family in her search for her Mr. Darcy. Even Jane learns a few lessons of her own with Ellie about taking chances.

I really liked this novel, especially Ellie and Sam’s relationship. The men in Ellie’s life have distinct personalities, some likeable and some not so much. Ellie’s experiences made me laugh and cry. In particular, the scene after her prom in the closet stood out, making me cringe in sympathy and fear. Brant’s writing made the characters come to life. I really wanted Ellie to find happiness.

Marilyn Brant has forged herself a place on bookshelves for years to come. I cannot wait til her next novel is published. According to Jane is available now. It is also now available  for download on the Amazon Kindle for a huge discount.

Review: Heroes at Risk by Moira J. Moore

September 12, 2009

Heroes at Risk, the fourth in series, picks up right where Heroes Adrift left off. After completing the Empress’s mission, Shield Lee Mallorough and Source Shintaro Karish return to High Scape only to learn that it is becoming a cold spot and the many of the pairs are being sent to other hot spots. Belief in magic has sprung up among the people, leading to illegal practice of spells. And to make everything worse, grave robbers are stealing ashes from cemetaries. Add to that a mysterious group who keeps inviting Lee and Taro to their meetings makes for an engaging adventure.

Taro dashes Lee’s assumption that he would leave her once they were back in High Scape. But their relationship is threatened. Lord Doran, Lee’s former suitor, seems determined to get Lee back. Some of the other pairs show contempt that Lee and Taro are together against custom do to the fact that it could destroy the working relationship of pairs if it ends badly, making them useless in diffusing natural disasters.

I am a fan of the series and love Lee and Taro, but sometimes Lee frustrates me. Her stubbornness causes most of the problems in her relationship with Taro. While Heroes at Risk is not my favorite of the series (that honor goes to Heroes Adrift), it is a solid addition to the series. I cannot wait til the next. All of Moira J. Moore’s novels go on my must buy list.

Off Topic: More Beatles!

September 9, 2009

The Beatles are my absolute favorite band and John Lennon happens to be my favorite. So today, 9/9/09, I’m posting my drawing of John Lennon. I first encountered the Beatles after my father bought The Beatles 1 CD. He really isn’t a big fan, so I have no idea why he would have bought it, but he did. I took the disc into my room and listened to the music and liked it. But I was drawn into Beatlemania when I decided to buy A Hard Day’s Night on DVD. After that, there was no saving me.

So while I’m eagerly awaiting my copy of The Beatles: Rock Band, here’s my drawing of John Lennon.

John Lennon

Off Topic: The Beatles

September 8, 2009

In honor of tomorrow’s release of the remastered Beatles albums and Beatles Rock Band, I’m posting a drawing of George Harrison that I drew a few years ago. Tomorrow I’ll post one of John Lennon.

George Harrison Drawing

Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

September 8, 2009

In the second installment of the Alpha and Omega series, Charles and Anna are off to Chicago. Charles goes as Bran’s representative to reassure and answer questions on the upcoming revelation of werewolves to the human population to a delegation of European packs. But at the conference, the French alpha is murdered and a group of vampires, acting as a pack, seem to want Anna.

Charles and Anna are becoming closer, both overcoming their fears to trust each other. Anna meets another omega wolf at the conference.  Tom and his mate, the white witch Moira, from “Seeing Eye,” a story in the Strange Brew anthology, make an appearance.

Hunting Ground was a good read. I love all of Patricia Briggs’s novels, especially the werewolf ones. I like seeing more about the fears and concerns of Charles and how he deals with being Bran’s enforcer. The European werewolves were interesting. Arthur in particular, with his stories of being King Arthur reincarnated and finding Excalibur. I can’t wait for the next in the series along with the next Mercy Thompson novel, Silver Borne, coming out next March.

Review: Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain

September 3, 2009

Evil at Heart, the third in the Archie and Gretchen series, picks up two months after Gretchen Lowell escaped in last year’s installment, Heartsick. Archie Sheridan has taken a leave of absence from the task force and voluntarily checked himself into a psych ward to help with his vicodin addiction and suicidal tendencies. He is lingering in the mental hospital when a series of bodies are found that point to Gretchen Lowell as the murder, violating her and Archie’s agreement that she would stop killing in return for him not to commit suicide. Gretchen has reached cult status, with fan groups, crime scene tours, t-shirts, and memorabilia. Some even celebrate the number of days she has been free. Susan Ward,  journalist for the Herald, wants to write a book about society’s fascination with a serial killer. When an anonymous tip leads her to one of the bodies, she is drawn back into the hunt for Gretchen along with Henry, Archie’s partner.

Chelsea Cain’s novels are quick page turners. The latest is filled with same intensity and suspense. At times, the gory details made me flinch. The character’s relationships are intriguing and I can’t wait til the next to find out how they evolve. Susan’s death facts were morbidly funny. Archie’s problems make my heart ache in sympathy. I was glad to see that he is making improvements. I would recommend this books series. It reminds of Hannibal Lector-you know the person is a killer, but you can’t help but like them a little.