Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire

I purchased Beautiful Disaster based on two things. The story’s description and the amount of positive reviews on Amazon, that’s not to say I base my reading on what others think—because I don’t.

The cover was eye catching, and reading the synopsis really pulled me in.
Before I get into my opinion (everyone has their own) I want to say obviously this story has something that kept me reading. I don’t finish a book unless it forces me to. But that doesn’t mean I enjoyed it as much as I anticipated.
I am going to challenge myself today to explain the story in one very small paragraph—which I think can be done.

So here goes…

Beautiful Disaster is a story that is just that, a beautiful Disaster. It’s a story about a dysfunctional relationship between Abby aka “pigeon” and Travis Maddox. (I don’t even need a paragraph that wraps it up for me in a nutshell)

How did I feel while reading this book? I felt astonished, shocked, happy and then sickened. It was like watching a horrible scenario play out before your eyes (a man snatches an old ladies purse and beats her with it, but you merely sit there and take it in instead of doing something) that was sort of the way I felt about this book.

I sit here wondering about the author. Did she see this book as an actual relationship that made her swoon? Was she trying to shock and awe? Because the dynamics between the characters was so twisted I couldn’t enjoy their relationship about a quarter of the way through the book. It was grimy. The kind of relationship that to me would have me filing for a restraining order.

I get dysfunction. I love it, I write it. But there was a point where the intrigue I felt for Travis flew out the window. He became everything you don’t want out of a man. He was clingy, possessive and “stalkerish”. Not to mention violent. Even knowing what he had been through in his life it didn’t resolve his ways for me. I simply read to see if one of them killed the other one, or if somehow they would see how toxic they were for each other and act like normal human beings and walk away.

A lot of the story was so much that I just couldn’t get into it. Abby goes from this mysterious college girl to a former gambler intertwined with the mob. Really? Or how about the scene where the macho Travis bust into an episode of Mobbed in the cafeteria (google it if you don’t know what show I’m talking about, it’s great.) Some parts were just too hard to believe to enjoy for me.

Aside from this it didn’t take away from the great characters. I loved America and Shepley. They were funny and helped the story along, although if America was such a good friend I wonder why she rooted her friend’s horrible choice in men along for as long as she did—actually she basically supported the horrible relationship from beginning to end. It took her to the end to finally say enough is enough. And every time, like an emotionally battered being she was pulled back in.

I would say there were three times in the story that I felt the book should have ended. And then it went on and on and on. I kept reading, sure, but really it was so long and to me I think it could have been half the amount that it was and still have the same moral—yeah I think there is a moral to this story. Don’t be so completely dependent on someone that you can’t function normally without them. And don’t get stupid tattoos. *shrugs*

I want to say I think the author is a great story teller; she made one hell of a chaotic relationship. If you’re looking for a chaotic tumultuous romance then this is for you.

I’ve even read over some reviews and giggled. It’s a story, the point of a book is to entertain and I was totally entertained. I would even read another book by the author.

Even though the relationship had me cringing a little part of me enjoyed the disaster. And if a story can keep you reading and in awe, well, to me that’s a good thing.

I give it three stars for the simple fact I like to fall head over heels for my characters and although there were aspects I liked about them all, I just felt that it was a little cheesy for me.

So with that I say enjoy Beautiful Disaster as what it is: a form of entertainment. I don’t think the author was trying to teach anyone a lesson in life. She just wanted readers to come along for the ride.

And lastly, there is a lot of foul language (which I love) and sex. *gasp* (which is fine by me) so if you’re young and living with the rents, I say stay away.

Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale (The Others #12) by Christine Warren

I saw this book and figured, why not? It's the first I have read of this series and by this author, and I am glad i gave it a chance! The author's writing style is pretty good, not the best, but likeable all the same. I say this because there was some awkward phrasing here and there that had me rereading to get a better grasp of the situation. It definitely didn't stand in the way of my liking the story!

The MC, Corrinne, is a reporter for a small newspaper and she has been given an assignment that puts her smack dab in the middle of Other territory. Now, as I said, I have not read the previous books in the series, so I gathered pretty quick that she has watched her best friends marry into the Other world and is less than thrilled about it. In fact, she is pretty thoroughly creeped out by it and has sworn off any possibility of ever getting involved with the opposite species. It's so distressing in fact that she depends heavily on her bottle of aspirin to an almost unhealthy degree--which I found quite humorous.

Luc is from Faerie and is part of the Sidhe race. He is the head of Queen Mab's warrior elite and he has been sent through the magical doorway to Manhattan to retrieve her troublesome nephew who has been calling far too much attention to himself. He seems to both love and hate his job. And he definitely holds some pent up rage against the nephew of his Queen. When he seeks help from Rafe, the head of the Other council, he runs into Corrinne, who is also seeking Rafe's assistance.

Luc has never considered the human race as particularly attractive. Actually, he and his kind consider humans to be children in comparison to their longevity and life experience. So when he sees Corrinne and is instantly overwhelmed by his attraction to her, he is take aback. Likewise, Corrine can't believe she is fantasizing about the hot "fairy" in the room, considering her massive distaste for anything Other.

Their relationship took off like a bullet and the heat never went below a low simmer. The two of them pair up to hunt down this mischief making nephew while trying to unravel another layer to the mystery surrounding him that I won't give away. All this while trying, and failing, to keep their hands off each other! Along the way, Luc discovers the connection between him and Corrinne goes deeper than simple attraction that I found simply lovely.

This is definitely a series that I would like to check out. It's a refreshing departure from the traditional vampire saga, although hints at previous books in the series tell me they are no exception. I'm hoping to see more characters from the Other community, like Leprechauns and Brownies!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lothaire by Kresley Cole

LOVED this book! 

Once again Kresley Cole makes my heart melt. With each book I am swayed to another of her delectable men-good, bad, or in between, scarred or made of utter perfection, doesn't matter in the least. She manages to make each one mouthwateringly delicious.

Lothaire, the fearsome rageaholic suffering from a touch of the crazy never fooled me. Well, maybe a little what with the plotting and the killing and deceiving "Lothaire-talk". But deep down I thought I had glimpsed a seriously misunderstood immortal hottie.

I have to say, I was seriously impressed with Elizabeth's fortitude. She was ready to kill herself or die trying to keep evil from taking over the world. I really felt for her predicament. Having your body possessed by a former goddess bent on death and destruction? No thanks. But she handled it with grace and had the good sense to fight back instead of cower where others most certainly would. Of course Lothaire would want her! She's everything he's looking for, except for that disgustingly human condition of hers. No matter, he'll fix it!

That's pretty much their relationship. She lacks everything he imagined his woman, his queen, would possess: goddess qualities, strength, cunning, and a fierce warrior instinct...all of which she actually has but he is unwilling to see because he was raised to despise humans. However, he can no more resist her than he could a good torture session with one of his enemies, because Ellie is his Bride.

It takes him a long time to come to this conclusion, but once he does, he is faced with myriad problems to solve so they can be together. Including the pesky fact that he took an oath to the Lore-an unbreakable vow-to kill her! Plus, it seems that Lothaire is stuck in his own times mentally. He's brash and unwitting when it comes to handling females. He's completely without thought to Elli's feelings unless it's sexually based, he's overbearing and possessive and basically everything the women's movement sought to obliterate. It's no wonder Ellie had reservations about becoming his Bride.

Through it all, there is no doubt the two have forged a bond, and maybe even love each other, but both are too stubborn to cop to it. The struggle was almost unbearable at times, but I kept turning pages because I simply had to make sure these two made it to their fairytale ending. I won't say that's what I got, but it's probably as close as you're going to get when you're dealing with a millennium old vampire who's known nothing more than death and destruction and revenge his whole life. I can say that I am completely satisfied with the ending and am eager for the next in the series to hit the shelves.

Type faster, Cole! For the love of the gods, type faster!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Flat out love Review: Incredible Story!!

Flat out love by Jessica Park

I finished Flat out love in two sittings. And that means it was incredible. I never do that unless a book is so good I can’t put it down.
So much to say about this book…

This is a story with so many sides, so many feelings and emotions. It seriously took my breath away around 82% into the story. I am not going to go into detail because this book deserves to be read without any spoilers.

Flat out love is the story about Julie a girl just starting out in life. She has come from Ohio to Boston to begin college. She’s excited and ready for the new adventures in her life. But as soon as she arrives bad news abounds. The apartment her mother got her is bogus and she has nowhere to go. Thankfully her mother has an old college friend she can call. And Erin (the college friend) welcomes Julie into her home with open arms. It was really nice to see she wasn’t going to remain miserable so soon in the story.

Right away the characters sucked me right in. Matt picks Julie up and brings her to their house. Julie meets the odd Watkins family, but she isn’t the kind of person who judges people right off the bat so she gives them a chance.
The family alone made this story so enthralling. You have Matt, the nerdy college boy who sits on his computer nearly all day. His sense of humor for me was so funny. But he had a very serious side about him. He and Julie’s back and forth was great. Poor Matt had so much on his plate I think it took a toll on his social life and skills, but I still very much liked his role in the story.

Then you have Celeste. The way she was described made me envision this cherubesque girl frolicking around the home talking all proper and not acting like a normal teenager. Celeste really glued the story together. She had many quirks—including carrying a cardboard cutout of her brother Finn around. It was weird at first, but Flatt Finn soon becomes just as big a part of the story as it progressed. But that wasn’t all, Celeste has a lot of other issues that clearly tells you there is something wrong, you just don’t know what. Julie tries to ask the family, but nobody wants to give an exact answer. This kept me guessing and guessing—and I love that about a book.
The Watkins are indeed different, but they have their reasons and when you read this story you soon find out. There is a secret amongst them, something that almost takes a back seat and doesn’t seem to matter much to the reader until it slams into your face at full force. But I will get back to that later.

Julie stays with the family for some time. She grows very fond of each of them. Celeste becomes her friend and a person she really cares about and wants to help. And I really enjoyed Julie. She was a great person with a lot of spunk. She knew what she wanted, she said how she felt and she cared about people genuinely.
While at the home there is a lot of email and facebook status updates taking place between Julie, Matt and Finn. I looked forward to them.

A really great part of the story is when Julie starts messaging the brother Finn. He is away, and she is residing in his bedroom. What develops between them really was moving. It was hard not to fall for the mysterious brother off doing incredible things in the world. I too had a crush on Finn.

This story was full of dysfunction and sweet moments. Some parts I laughed out loud, other parts I nearly cried. The story touched me for sure. And I highly recommend this book to anyone. I have no complaints about anything because it was written incredibly well. No…it was perfect. The story for me couldn’t have improved any because I was completely satisfied with it from beginning to end.
What an amazing author! I look forward to reading more.

Flat out love on Amazon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Are you pinterested?

So I jumped on the bandwagon and joined this highly addicted site called, Pinterest. It might be the coolest thing I have seen in a long time. I tried diligently to get Brandi on board, but sadly she is unable to navigate the site to join me.
Pinterest is basically a mixture of facebook and twitter minus the annoying whiners and people always talking about something ridiculous nonstop.
On Pinterest you can find recipes for just about anything. (cookie dough dip even!) You can find cool crafts for your home, or clothes for yourself amongst a bazillion other things.
The cool thing about the site is the bulletin boards you get to create and save all your finds on. I have mine in cute little categories such as: Food, music, TV, music, quotes, favorite people etc. I love it and usually add a dozen new finds to it every day.
I have discovered new recipes, which I love because I get tired of cooking the same ol' same ol' all the time.
I really think its the next big thing. Anyone interested in joining click the pinterest links dotted all over this blog. Or better yet shoot me your email and I will send you an invite!

Happy pinteresting!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's 2012!!

Happy New Year! 

For all of our readers who might have been wondering where we've run off to: 

Like most of you, we have taken the last couple of weeks off to spend time with our friends and family, celebrating the holidays and reigning in the new year like it's 1899. We've decorated cookies, trimmed the tree, wrapped presents and enjoyed the smiling faces of our children on the big day. Some of us have even given our sanity when opening our doors to out of town family members. Secretly, we have enjoyed every minute of it. Well, maybe that's a bit of a stretch. 

Now we look forward to starting fresh. Some of us do that by making resolutions. We at Fictitious Chronicles choose to toss aside that old tradition and continue striving to be the best person we can be. 

Some things we consider news worthy:

The two of us have been writing up a storm. Mrs. Holly is well on her way toward finishing yet another novel, and she is keeping this one completely under wraps. The only thing she is willing to say is, "Like The Notebook, this one is guaranteed to make you cry your eyes out." As for me, I have also been keeping my newest creation close to the vest. What I will say is that it's a mystery/thriller and I hope it knocks your socks off. 

If you are reading this, we assume that you are an avid reader in general. Well, so are we! In fact, last year we challenged ourselves to a reading contest. I don't know about my partner, but my challenge was 40 books to be read by the end of the year. I am proud to say that I came in at 49! My new challenge for 2012 is now 100.I hope all of you are challenging yourself and your mind this year, too. 

With all the writing going on, we have decided to step out of our comfort zone and begin outlining in a major way. Because of this, we wanted to share with all of the authors out there a couple of sites we found particularly helpful with our own writing.

--The Snowflake Method shows you how to start small, get organized, and build your novel into something great. 
--8 Easy Steps for constructing and outline in less than an hour! 
--And my personal favorite: The Writer's Digest Novel Idea Summary Sheet, which has boosted my writing platform and kept me organized and on point. 

For those of you who need a little help brushing up your novel idea, whether it's for an agent or a self-publishing venture, we felt this program was a must have (Plus, you can get a free 14 day free trial. How cool is that!): Stylewriter

Finally, a note to our authors on our TBR list: 

We haven't forgotten about you! In all the chaos that comes with the holidays, a small break was called for. Now that the kids are returning to school and the schedules are getting back on track, so will our reading and reviewing of your wonderful works of art. 

Now that we have all that covered, I'll let all you party animals get back to your black coffee and hours of rest. We hope you enjoy your new year every bit as much as we plan to enjoy ours.