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You Might Not Be A Writer (And That’s Okay)

101 Books

I’ve heard a sentiment over the last few years that goes something like this: “Everyone’s a writer. We all just need to tap into our ‘inner writer’ to become one.”

That’s probably a simplistic representation, but the sentiment is along those lines.

It sounds nice. It might make you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside.

But it’s not true.

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Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton, Uncategorized

Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K Hamilton Ponderings

Narcissus in Chains
Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, Narcissus in Chains. I’m getting to the point that I haven’t read these books so many times that I can remember what happens, which is a delight for me. However, I’m also hitting the point where the dynamics of these novels take a very drastic shift. I think from Narcissus in Chains onward is when Laurell K Hamilton really starts shifting her novel content to the erotic portion – it’s not as much as it is in later books, but here is where you can really start to notice, because it’s this novel that we really start to have to get a handle on the ardeur.

“Narcissus in Chains continues the adventures of Anita Blake. In this novel, Anita attempts to reconnect with her friends and allies after a lengthy separation, and to undo the damage caused by her absence. Even as Anita attempts to repair the damage and come to terms with her newly developing powers, she is also threatened by a series of attacks and disappearances within the shapeshifter community.” – From the Wikipedia

So, as the little blurb above states, Anita is having to deal with the emotional and metaphysical fall out of her deciding to take a year away from her world to get a handle on her ’emotional shit’, as decided at the end of Blue Moon. While Richard is having his emotional little fits, Jean-Claude, though leery and a bit scathing, welcomes her back with open arms. I won’t delve too deeply into that, lest I run into spoilers. However, let me give a highlight reel.

-Things have been happening in the werewolf pack since Anita has been gone, and Richard is obviously digging himself into quite a bit of trouble.
-Damian, without Anita as his Master, has gone insane, and she has to handle that.
-There are some new leopards in town, and Anita has to deal with the fallout of developing a new power, the ardeur, which allows her (and forces her) to feed through lust.

I love that introduction of Micha in this novel. He is a breath of fresh air in relation to Richard. That is all I will say on that matter.

I also love the idea of the main villain. I can’t go into it much, but I find his character some emotionally deep and complex that he floors me. Good job, Hamilton. Good job!

Also, I actually really like the character of Narcissus, and I’m glad he was introduced into this novel.

I think that overall, this novel does good setup for what is to come, including the ending which introduces the plotline for the next novel! It includes some of my favorite characters, and development on their personalities… and though it veers into a new direction, it really sets into motion the tone for a lot of the later novels!

Overall, 4/5. I do like this novel! Check please, and next on the list!

Until next time, Keep reading and Writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

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Photo Challenge #21 “Cardboard Angel”

I’m doing to be doing this, so a reblog in order to make sure that it stays on my page so that I won’t lose it.

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

sarolta-bc3a1n-h-01
Sarolta Ban

Use the above image as inspiration for a poem or short-story

Alternatively

If you are an artist or photographer use this as an opportunity to showcase your own work

You have 1 week to complete this challenge

Please credit the artist

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Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton, Uncategorized, Vampires, Werewolves

Circus of the Damned and The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K Hamilton Ponderings

Circus of the Damned
Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Spoilers Ahoy!

Another twist in the Anita Blake series. For me, I feel like the third book is where Laurell K Hamtilton really starts to hit her stride. We have been introduced to the characters enough so that we’re really fond of Anita, of Jean Claude – we know all of the character enough to be emotionally invested in them.

And then we’re introduced to Richard! While I’m not a huge fan of Richard as a character, I’m a fan of the writing of his character. He’s such a goody goody, a prat, annoying… and so well written that I could just eat him up. Honestly, I love the development of Anita’s character in this novel, I love the fact that we get to see that she WOULD turn on Jean-Claude if pressed into a corner… and then just as quickly we see that she’d want to save him. I love that we dive deeper into the vampire world with the introduction of Alejandro and Mr. Oliver. Seeing the vast expanse of vampiric powers is amazing… and, of course, the crime always ties in to the characters and what is going on with them. I honestly find it to be such a wonderful thing, how Hamilton manages to make the novel that we read both a paranormal romance (edging that way, finally!) and a crime novel all in one.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the book – I love that I feel like we’re really progressing, that Hamilton is setting up for some of the big points in the rest of the series… and I love that we’re diving deeper into the world of Anita Blake!

I’d give this book 5 stars, because I really feel like it’s progressing the story a lot!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

 

The Lunatic Cafe
The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ah, and now we’re getting into the Lunatic Cafe. I completely and utterly adore this book for a lot of reasons… one of the main things being that we really get to dive into the world of the shapeshifters in this novel. We’re pulled more into Richard’ world since discovering that he was a werewolf at the end of Circus of the Damned – because of this, we get to see the structure of his pack. The characters of Marcus and especially Raina come in to play – Hamilton has an amazing way of setting us up for future story arcs very smoothly as she writes her novels. The entire story revolves around a group of missing shapeshifters, and some shapeshifter attacks as the crime… and then for the preterunatural, there are two storylines.

One, Anita is dating Richard, and Jean-Claude can’t simply allow that to happen. He persuades (see blackmail) Anita into dating him as well. This sets up the love triangle that will be so important in future novels.

Two, we follow Anita as she searches for the missing lycanthropes. I won’t get too into it, since that would spoil the book completely!

Honestly, I adore the way that this novel went, yet again. I think that Hamilton does such a good job, especially in her early books, of incorporating the detective work and the paranormal. Also… Edward.

Edward, Edward, Edward ❤

Yet again, a 5/5 star book for me!

Until next time, Keep Reading and Writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

 

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Creative WRiting, Laurell K Hamilton, Uncategorized

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton Ponderings

The Laughing Corpse
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Heh, so I’ve gotten to where I post my reviews to Goodreads first, because it gives me a nice picture and tags >_> who, me? Too lazy to keep uploading pictures before I post these things… never! So, here’s my review for the Laughing Corpse, book two of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series.

Another great development in the Anita Blake series. Honestly, I have a distinct and utter love for the first books in this series. I find that Anita’s witty banter, the way that she interacts… and moreover the crime/solving the case element of the story make for something action packed as well as suspenseful.

I haven’t read this series in over four years, so going back and doing my re-read, review is already a real pleasure. I remember why I adored the series so much – Anita is such a brilliantly colored up character. She’s not perfect, she certainly has flaws. She’s independent as hell to an almost fault, she’s a bit on the hateful side towards the undead (for now!), and she’s an all around bad ass that you can’t help but to love.

So, let’s see… to get into this book a little bit… I love the story. I love the element of Dominiga as well as Harold Ganor. I adore it when there is more than one villain to focus on in a series. I love the fact that they’re both their own version of the big bad in different ways: Dominiga because she knows she’s extremely powerful, she knows she can do evil… she’s certainly done it and will admit it as long as there’s no one around to tell her otherwise. Ganor is a completely different kind of evil – he’s evil in the sense that he has the money to be, he has the power to be through that money. It’s two primarily different people… but they come together as the same kind of evil because both the corruption of power and the corruption of money have taken them down the same road.

Again, the crime element of this story was an intense read. A rampaging, flesh eating zombie? Shudder just a little bit – there were some pretty graphic descriptions, so I’d be careful reading this if you had a weak stomach. Still… it was amazing, and it made it even more satisfying to catch the bad guy in the end. Also, props to LKH for giving me a moment of actually feeling PITY for the monster at the end of the novel – I won’t spoil anything. Read it yourself.

A moment for me to fangirl here over Jean-Claude. I love him. He’s a great character. He’s cocky, he knows he is sexy… but especially here in these first novels you see he’s hungry for power… but that there’s a part of him that already really cares about Anita.

Just… I love it. I love this series, I think it’s great. I know it’s a bit of a stray from my usual YA reviews, but still. :3 5/5 stars, and onward to Circus of the Damned!

(this review will also be posted to my blog – https://authoramandamccormick.wordpress.com – that offers reviews, honest opinions, and writing advice!)

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

 

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton, Uncategorized, Vampires, Werewolves, Writing

Guilty Pleasure by Laurell K Hamilton: Ponderings

Guilty Pleasures Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Guilty Pleasures… oh, my Goodness… what can I say about this book. First of all, this isn’t my first read-though, and I doubt it will be my last. I started reading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series when I was in Middle School (way too young, I know, I know.) I fell in love with the characters, the writing, the entire world that Laurell K. Hamilton had to offer. Though I’ve had my ins and outs with the books, I’ve never wavered in the fact that the characters that she created, the world that she spins… it’s pure gold. So, to get things started with this review, I’ll say first and foremost that the story is done in first person. Some people don’t like that, and it’s understandable. However, I love being in Anita’s head. We get to see how clever she is, how quippy… we get to see when she’s angry, when she’s frightened, when she’s sad. Even when she hides those emotions from the outer world, we get to see them in full fledged and amazingly descriptive color. I love it. I love Anita Blake as a character, and I adore the fact that I get to take the ride of this book with her. The basic concept of the book is Anita Blake, Animator, Vampire Hunter… is hired by the vampires to solve some local murders that have been happening. In the process, she’s caught up with assassins, other animators, and the Master of the City who puts ‘scary little girl’ through its paces. It’s an amazing novel, from start til finish. There is violence, there is death, there is humor… and there is a tiny little glimpse at romance to come. It’s amazing. The plot is really well done, and there just isn’t a slow part in it for me to complain about. The character development, of course, is mostly Anita in this book. We learn about her, what makes her tick, who she cares about… why she cares. Why she does what she does. The other character (Jean-Claude, Edward, Phillip, Nikolaos) are all really well done. You get attached, you get upset… you pick your favorites and you cross your fingers that you will see them in the following novels. All and all, Laurell K Hamilton is just a word smith. The wit, the humor, the amazing way she can spin a phrase. I don’t have a bad thing to say about of this book. 5/5 Stars, you better believe that I’ll read it again. If, for some reason, you haven’t gotten into this series go ahead and pick it up. Read it. Devour it. Love it!

View all my reviews

Until next time, guys… keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Uncategorized, USPS

Stupid USPS

So I’m having a bit of a heartbreaking moment here. Those of you who know/talk to me know how much I love books… and you also know how much I’ve been wanting my books back from Kentucky since I moved 3 years ago. About a month ago, my sister in law boxed up the ones that meant the most to me and mailed them to me. Today the most man arrived with a ripped, torn box and a note that said, “We care. We’re sorry if this inconveniences your day.”

There was no insurance on the package because the woman at the post office refused to issue it to my sister-in-law on the basis that it was pointless.

Some of those books are literally irreplaceable, out of print… and what’s worse is the fact that a lot of them are extremely sentimental to me. Some are gifts from my mother, who you all know is extremely ill, others from friends and family… it’s just heartbreaking and devastating. Anyone who knows how it feels to lose valued and sentimental possessions understands. I just wanted to share this with you guys, because you’ve always been so supportive – I feel like I get a lot of the positive thoughts and support from this community. A lot of you are so amazing and compassionate and caring ❤ I really appreciate you all. I feel like such a ninny for crying over books… but… yeah. Anyone who writes, reads, or has a special possession would understand.

For those of you who have already asked if you can help… I do have an amazon wish list that I can send you, as well as my paypal (deathsrequiem07@yahoo.com) listed on my page. I’m gonna basically take today and mope around and cry some more and then try to get back to schedule tomorrow. My sister-in-law (who is crying as much as I am) made a go-fund-me. I’m just kind of…. at a loss and miserable over this. 

Again, with everything that’s been going on (the move, my mother, and now this)… thank you so much for how much you guys have been here for me. You have no idea what it means to me.

Honestly though, I post this as a precautionary tale. If the post office tells you not to worry about insurance? Don’t listen. If they tell you that your box will be just fine and you don’t need to buy a new one/split it into multiple boxes? Don’t listen. v.v Be careful with your precious things. 

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Writing is Hard

I was talking to my friend earlier about writing, and how it’s something that seems to be a lot harder than people give those of us who are actually and actively trying to make it as a career give us credit for.

cartoon-writerI’ve probably written a blog about this before. I’ll probably write a blog about this again. You can’t be a writer and seriously want to make a career out of it if you don’t do two very vital things: Continue reading “Writing is Hard”

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30 Day Creative Writing Challenge, Day 5

Day 5 of the 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge!

 

Day 5: A story revolving around an object in your room

I had started writing this when I was packing, and then realized how un-fun it was to write about cardboard boxes. So… I waited until my room was unpacked at the new house (though I had to come to the card shop to get internet to post this x-x)! Anyway, so… gonna try to get out as many of these as I can, since I’ve gotten behind. Lol.

She could close her eyes and imagine everything about him just from the scent of the cologne. Sensory memories invaded her mind each time that the musky scent hit her nostrils, sending shivers through her that had nothing to do with sorrow and everything to do with a longing so deep that she could hardly begin to fathom it. It wasn’t just the scent of the cologne that the bottle elicited – she could remember the way that it mixed with his skin, warm, spicy in her nostrils. She could remember the first time she’d come across him – it was the scent of that cologne that had caused her to turn her head, that glorious scent that had caused her attention to be caught by him. Her body ached, her breath coming quick in her chest… she’d never felt anything so real in her entire life; it was primal, animalistic… and she knew without a doubt in her mind that she wanted him more than she had wanted anything else in her entire life.

The first time that they had made love, the scent of that cologne had clung to his well muscled flesh, to the crook of his neck that she nibbled so lovingly. Her sheets had smelled like him for a week after… and yet…

She was down to the very last spray of that amazing scent. Her sheets had long since lost their essence… and gone were the days when she could spray that cologne on her pillow every night so that she felt like he was still near her. She stared at the bottle, with its few droplets left, and felt it as her lower lip quivered… she couldn’t believe that he was gone.

She couldn’t believe that all that was left of him was a few drops of cologne and a memory that she feared would fade over time without such a constant reminder.

She didn’t even have a picture of him. He’d come into her life like wildfire – burning everything in its wake. Her thoughts, her mind, her libido…

And at last, it seemed like he’d burned away her heart.

Death is never a beautiful thing, regardless as to what the poetic romantics would like for you to think. It was death that took him away from her, and she knew that there was only one way to get him back.

And so she had nothing left but his cologne… only a spray of it now. A whimper escaped her throat and she turned the cologne to her breasts, allowing the final spritz to spray across her skin. Instantly, his scent infiltrated her senses… and she knew that she could do it.

She had to do it.

Her gaze traveled over the edge of the building, and giving one final inhalation to his scent, she jumped.

The wind whipped and whistled in her hair and her eyes closed tight – she was going to see him again. Soon, so very soon.

The ground came rushing up, faster and faster now… until at last she felt herself collide – collide against warm, strong arms and a well muscled chest… collide against that sweet scent that had held her over while he’d been gone.

He looked down at her, silvery eyes full of worried concern, backed by anger at her silly actions.

“You came…” her voice was so soft, and she wrapped her arms tight around him – her sweet lover. The Angel of Death who had turned her head when she had been standing on the edge of this very building. Half mortal, half seraph… and fond of human cologne…

 

>_> Random. Very random. But I don’t care. Whoooo story!

 

 

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City of Bones (Book One of the Mortal Instruments) Ponderings!

City_of_Bones

So, this is actually gonna be a bit of a mix-up of my thoughts of the movie/novel. I’m going to try to do this without any real spoilers, because I think that anyone who hasn’t read this novel should. It was honestly wonderful; I can tell (I’ve heard from other people doing reviews) that this is one of Cassandra’s earlier novels. But still, the language, the descriptions, the emotion that she coveys is all done rather well. I think that she did a wonderful job developing the characters in a way that made us, as the readers, care deeply for them.

The storyline does seem to go a bit slow, I’ll give it that, but it’s still something worth reading. I just sat down and devoured the last hundred and fifty pages that I had left in about an hour… so it’s certainly worth the read, as far as I’m concerned. In a world with demons and werewolves and vampires and Shadowhunters, how can you get bored?

Of course, there’s the entire romantic aspect of it – I don’t want to touch too much on that, again… but let me just say that it was wonderful, and that I was cheering in my head for it to go on, to develop. The author is a tease, and I’ll leave it at that.

I think, as far as the characters go, it was extremely well done.

Clary seems to grow throughout the book – from living in the mortal world to learning about the world of the shadow hunters, and the developments that happen through the progression of the storyline. And Jace.. oh… I am a fangirl, I’ll admit it. I loved seeing his character, watching him open up, watching him fall in love… and then the developments at the end of the book. I think his character was extremely well done. For both of these characters, I honestly can’t wait to get into the next novel so I can see how their development furthers.

Simon though… I didn’t think I was going to like him, but I couldn’t seem to help myself. He’s so quippy and clever and he always has these one-liners that make me laugh outloud.

Alec and Isabelle, of course, were great as well. I’m hoping to see much more of them in the next novels.

Valentine – I liked him soooooo much more in the novel than I did in the movie. I think he was much more well done – clever, smooth, intelligent, charming… perfect. Again, I don’t want to get into it too much, because I’m trying to make this a spoiler free review.

Overall, I’d say that the novel did an amazing job; great character development, a rich world that has so much more to explore in the following novels, and a great setup for a series that I’m anxious to continue delving into!

 

Now then, my thoughts on the movie in relation to the novel: there were some changes that I didn’t agree with. There was a tiny part of me screaming whyyyyyyyyy!!! But at the same time, the movie is pretty good, in my opinion. I watched it before I read the novel on purpose, so that I could enjoy the plot without having previous expectations for what was going to happen. The biggest difference is the endings… that’s where the movie and book kind of took two different paths. However, if they come out with the second film, I think they’ll do a good job of fixing it up. I can’t wait to see.

So… overall rating?

Novel 7.5/10 with room to grow as the series progresses!

Movie 7/10 – worth seeing, even if you haven’t read the books, or have no intention to!

 

Sorry for the shorter review, I’m typing it up with still no internet and just trying to get it out and about so that I can feel like I’m being active on my blog again xD More thoughts later, maybe I’ll do a more spoiler-filled review/thoughts on the series as I progress!

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick