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Now Reading: So Many Books, So Little Time

Lately I have become addicted to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore, again.  My inner book-worm begged me to walk into the store, pick up a couple of books, and smell the crisp clean pages (which I did without reluctance as onlookers stared).  I have used my NOOK for the past two years and  had almost forgotten what it felt like to hold a new book in my hands and feel the pages between my fingers.  I missed the vibrant colors and creative covers, walking down the aisle and seeing the various new releases, and sitting on the floor as I search for my next favorite masterpiece.  It was invigorating to relive my favorite memories all over again!  The experience reminded me why I love to read, write, and create new worlds for myself and others.

In this blog post I wanted to share with everyone what books I have picked up over the last few weeks, why I made my purchases, and how I feel about these books after reading a few pages.  It’s always been difficult for me to leave the store with just one book, and often times if I do put a book back on the shelf, I will just return the next day and still make the purchase.  Call it crazy, an addiction, or habit, but whatever the case; I am just glad that I started going back to the bookstore.  And I promise to never go another two years without setting foot in that magical place.

 

Now on to the books!

 

 

Big Bad Beast by: Shelly Laurenston


Overview:

When it comes to following her instincts, former Marine Dee-Ann Smith never holds back. And this deadly member of a shifter protection group will do anything to prove one of her own kind is having hybrids captured for dogfights. Trouble is, her too-cute rich-boy boss Ric Van Holtz insists on helping out. And his crazy-like-a-fox smarts and charming persistence are making it real hard for Dee to keep her heart safe…

Ric can’t believe his luck. He’s wanted this fiercely independent she-wolf from day one, but he never expected teamwork as explosive as this. And now is his last chance to show Dee what she needs isn’t some in-your-face Alpha male – but a wily, resourceful wolf who’ll always have her back in a fight…and between the sheets.

Why I’m interested in this book:

Last year I read The Mane Event only because I finished the Lords of the Underworld series and was desperately looking for another steamy paranormal romance set of books to tie me over until The Darkest Secret was released.  While the book didn’t compel me to read the rest of the series, it did make for a great steamy, quick read, with its quirky characters and hot love scenes.  And even though I haven’t read the previous four books leading up to Big Bad Beast, I am interested to see if this book will be the one to convince me that this series is a MUST read.

 

 

 

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse #11) by: Charlaine Harris


Overview:

With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit – and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can’t ‘read’ vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his ‘child’ Pam well – and she realises that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human – and that there is a new Queen on the board…

 

My Take on the 1st 100 Pages:

Okay maybe I am missing something, or maybe this is just a product of my overly analytical mind, but so far this book is choppy and not what I expected.  I can’t tell where one of Charlaine’s thoughts end and another one begins.  And sometimes I’ve had to reread the same page three or four times to figure out how Sookie got from one place/thought to the other.  It’s very disconcerting.  I have been a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series for a very long time, and reading this book makes me wonder why.

I don’t remember Sookie being this overly dramatic about everything.  Heck I don’t even remember her using so many southern terms and phrases, phrases I haven’t even heard of and I’m from the south.  All the ‘I said’ tags are also getting on my nerves.  I know Sookie said it, so why am I being told every other sentence?  This book feels rushed and I’m tempted to put it down, but after I spent 14 bucks on it I have no choice but to finish the darn thing.  I’m only 100 pages in so I’m willing to let this entire nonsense slide if the rest of it picks up the slack.  But who knows, I have been disappointed before.

 

 

 

Seduce the Darkness by: Gena Showalter

Overview:

The war between otherworlders and humans changed Earth beyond recognition. It also saved Bride McKells’s life. Before, the gorgeous vampire was a target for every fanatic with a stake and a crucifix. Now, she’s free to roam the streets — and desperate to find others of her kind. One man claims to have the answers she seeks. Devyn, King of the Targons, is a warrior and a womanizer, and he makes no secret of how much he wants Bride — and how dangerous he could be to her in every way.

An avid collector of women, Devyn easily seduces human and otherworlder alike. Until now. Not only does Bride resist him, but she leaves Devyn feeling something entirely new…a bone-deep need bordering on obsession. Her blood is the key to curing a vicious alien disease, but helping Bride uncover her origins will compel her to choose between electrifying passion and a destiny that could tear her from Devyn’s side forever.

 

The First 160 Pages:

I love, love, love, love this book so far!  It’s rare that I can just pick up a book at Barnes and Noble, turn to a random page, and be hooked on the contents.  It’s no secret that Gena is my favorite writer; her world building is simply amazing.  After reading the Lords of the Underworld, I was skeptical about reading one of her other series for fear that it would not be up to par with LOTU.  I basically just picked this book up because I loved the cover, hunky guy looking fierce, who wouldn’t want to see what that was about.  Although this is an Alien Huntress Book (number 4 to be exact), I am amazed at the quality of this book and its characters.  Seduce the Darkness could be a standalone, I don’t know any of the previous characters and I am already excited to go back and read their stories.  Speaking of which I am going to download the other three books now!

 

 

 

White Witch, Black Curse (Rachel Morgan/The Hollows #7)

by: Kim Harrison

 

 

Overview:

Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won’t rest until his death is solved . . . and avenged. Whatever the cost.

Yet the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and when a new predator moves to the apex of the Inderlander food chain, Rachel’s past comes back to haunt her.

Literally.

 

Why was I drawn to this book?

Well I love witches first of all, and the catchy title along with the snazzy cover tempted me to go ahead and make this purchase.  The book promised dark and ominous and so far that’s exactly what I am getting, doom, gloom, and creepy.  The first chapter threw me for a loop introducing me to the MC and a murder mystery.  I know this is #7 in the Rachel Morgan series and once again I am starting a series out-of-order.  But the first couple of chapters have really sucked me into the Interlander world, heck I even love the pixie!  I am really looking forward to finishing this novel.  I have high expectations for this book just based off the first few chapters and I’m hopeful that the rest of White Witch, Black Curse will not disappoint.

 

 

 

 

(This next book is something I picked up because it had, hands down, the best title I’ve seen in a long time.)

 

Bullies, Bastards And Bitches: How To Write The Bad Guys Of Fiction

by: Jessica Morrell

 

 

 

Overview:

Through detailed instruction and examples from contemporary bestsellers and classic page-turners, this book delineates the moral continuum of protagonists and antagonists; explores the connections between opposition, adversity, and evil; and illuminates a bad guy’s many purposes in a successful story. Morrell also explores the rise in popularity of anti-heroes, how anti-heroes possess some of the same qualities of villains but with the soul of a hero, and how these complicated characters reflect contemporary society.

 

How Do I like it So Far?

To my surprise I am enjoying the book more than I expected.  This book really helps you define your villains, and your anti-hero protagonists, or whoever is working against your main characters.  It’s also a great guide for crafting the perfect messed-up bad-ass hero or heroine.  I found myself jotting down notes and saving a couple of sections that work like checklists, for future villainography. It has everything from chapters on primal fears, making your character unforgettable, anit-heroes, dark heroes, bad boys to antagonists in the form of bullies, psychopaths, sociopaths, monsters, and lost souls.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with their antagonist or who needs to create the ultimate bad guy/gal.

 

 

 

 

If you have read any of the novels listed above, please leave a comment and share your thoughts!