Follow Friday

Q:  If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?

 

A. Just one? Can we make this a dinner party? No? Then I guess I’ll have to choose Four from Divergent. He’s hot, sensitive, and totally kick ass. And honestly, who cares what we eat as long as I get to drink in his super hot hotness? Food is sure to be the last thing on my mind!

Review: Karma Girl

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Bigtime, New York, is not big enough for both Carmen Cole and the superheroes and ubervillains who stalk its streets. An intrepid reporter, Carmen’s dedicated her life to unmasking the spandexwearers, all because her fiancéŽ turned out to be a superhero, and a cheating one at that-sleeping with none other than his nubile nemesis.

Exposing the true identities of the nation’s caped crusaders and their archenemies has catapulted Carmen from her sleepy southern hometown to the front pages of the country’s biggest newspaper, The Expos. Hobnobbing with millionaires and famished fashionistas is all in a day’s work for a woman on the trail of the Fearless Five and Terrible Triad. But when Carmen gets the scoop of her career, her life comes crashing down around her. And even Bigtime’s sexiest superhero, Striker, may not be able to save her.

 REVIEW

My first thought? What a fun read! For me, superheroes went the way of Saturday morning cartoons, but when I came across Karma Girl, I had to check it out. And what’s not to love? Carmen Cole is a woman scorned who’s devoted her super sleuthing ways to get getting revenge on the mysterious masked men and women who wreak havoc not only on Bigtime, but everytown USA.

While Carmen is a born puzzler who’s always playing with her Rubik’s Cubes, the story itself is actually a little predictable. I wanted desperately to shout the answers at Carmen as she sought the identities of the Terrible Triad and the Fearless Five, but it didn’t really detract from the story for me. Frankly, the characters were larger than life, the scenes and costumes so outlandish, and the action so fast paced that I couldn’t put this one down. But it wasn’t all fun and games, Carmen is forced to evaluate her life’s mission, her motives and even the consequences of her actions, reaffirming that she’s more than just a bitter journalist hell-bent on exposing others’ secret identities. I loved seeing Carmen grow as a person and face the sad fact that her own karma was perhaps at risk as a result of her quest for revenge. As Carmen takes on the toughest expose of her life, she also embarks on a journey of self-revelation and healing.

Yeah, it was a campy read, but it was light and fun and just what the doctor ordered. If you can suspend reality for just a moment and accept that every town has its own team of superheroes and villains, well, then you’re ready to go! With sexy (and leather clad) super heroes like Striker, imaginative super powers, and silly alter egos (like Travis Teague a.k.a. Tornado) Karma Girl’s got it all.

 

Follow My Book Blog Friday

Q.If you could have characters from a particular book meet and form an epic storyline with characters from a particular TV series, which would you choose and why?

I really had to think about this one, but eventually, it came to me. For me, it’s go to be Buffy (The Vampire Slayer) meets Evie (Paranormalcy). Why? Both of these chicks are smart, sarcastic, well accessorized, and completely able to kick butt. Between Buffy’s right hook and Evie’s Tasey, the creatures of the night wouldn’t stand a chance! Just imagine the fun they could have bagging and tagging?

NaNoWriMo

A fellow blogger/writer recently introduced me to NaNoWriMo and I’ve spent the last few days deciding whether I’m going to take the plunge. What is NaNoWriMo? NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. But it’s so much more than a time to celebrate the creation of literary prose– It’s a challenge!

Write your own novel (50,000 words or more) in just one month. Starting at 12:01 am on November 1st and ending at midnight on November 30th aspiring authors all over the country will begin penning what might turn out to be the next great American novel. Or not.
Either way, it’s a big commitment and a daunting endeavor. Call me a skeptic, maybe even a coward, but the following (which was borrowed from the NaNoWriMo site), almost scared me off. Not because I think the logic is flawed, but because it’s counter to everything I know, and frankly I just don’t know if I have it in me to let go of my perfectionist nature and just write, write, write without a backward glance.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It’s all about quantity, not quality. This approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that’s a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
I’d like to take a cavalier attitude and say, “How hard can it be?” But I know how hard it’s going to be, not just to write the words, but to find the time. Still, it sounds like fun. So, call me a Wrimo, I think I’m going to go for it.  Want to learn more? Check out http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/whatisnano
Any other Wrimos out there?
 

Bad Blogger (Who me?)

A few people have commented to me recently that my blog has been, well, less than active. (I’m pretty sure they mean absent, but friends have a way of putting things so nicely, don’t they?). So what’s been keeping me from posting? What could be so all consuming and important? Well, lots of things!

First and foremost, I’m excited to announce that my husband and I are expecting our first child! While the baby won’t be here until March, it’s been a little overwhelming and tiring. Silly me. I thought I could just do it all! However, I’m constantly reminded how much work blogging really is and I again commend the pros for their planning, dedication, and consistency. I’m working to be better and if I could just get a few more hours in a day, I’m sure I’d be successful, but I’m not giving up just yet. I still love to read and I still love to talk books.

I’ve also been working full steam ahead to finish my manuscript, Crossroads, the first book in the Crossroads Academy series, and prep it for publication. I’ve partnered with a wonderful designer and we are very close to not only introducing my blog makeover, but launching my website http://www.jjbonds.com/! I am so excited and can’t wait to share her work with you all because it’s awesome!

I hope to have my book published and the new site launched by Halloween. If you want to grab a sneak peak, check out my link on GoodReads!

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12732267-crossroads

In short, I know I’ve been a bad blogger, but I’ll be working with renewed focus in the coming weeks to keep things fresh and up to date!

Review: Half-Blood

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The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals -well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

REVIEW
Jennifer L. Armentrout has done it again! Half-Blood was as action packed and juicy as its prequel, Daimon. Daimon whet my appetite and I couldn’t wait to learn more about Alex’s fate or the Hematoi world. And Half-Blood delivered. While it wasn’t a one-sit read, it might have been if I didn’t have such a hectic schedule. Armentrout’s modern day mythology is vastly different than anything else I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace. Half-Blood provided a much more thorough understanding of the Hematoi world, introduced the reader to some new mythology, and expanded on the political and social structure of the Covenant. Most importantly, we finally learn why Alex left the safety of this secret society in the first place.
What I loved:
Alex reads like a real teenage girl. She’s emotional, hot-tempered, passionate, and sassy. It’s easy to identify with Alex and understand how her personal experiences have shaped her views and ultimately the way she responds to her environment. While there were several times I wanted to scream at her to keep her mouth shut and follow the rules, that just wouldn’t have been Alex. Her defiant attitude was part of what made her so endearing and despite her propensity for trouble, she had a big heart and good intentions. We also get to see a softer, more vulnerable side of Alex in Half-Blood. Not only does she have to deal with the loss of her mother, there’s the ever tumultuous world of young love which breeds insecurity in the best of us.
Half-Blood is action packed and moves swiftly. There is literally never a dull moment and I found myself not wanting to put this book down. Not only do we get to know Alex better in Half-Blood, we get to meet an entirely new cast of well-developed (and swoon-worthy) characters which were missing from Daimon.
My only hang up? The story was a little too predictable. Maybe because it followed a common formula. Maybe because I’ve read a lot of similar plot lines. Either way, I hope for a bit more mystery in Pure, Covenant #2, which is scheduled for release in April 2012. Bottom line, a fantastic novel -definitely recommended!
(FTC Disclosure: After reading Daimon, I was anxious to get my hands on the first official book in the Covenant series and downloaded it on my Kindle at my own expense.)