Monday, April 22, 2013

The Host

I scheduled this to post yesterday, and have no idea what I did wrong. I was driving from Dallas yesterday, so I knew I wouldn't have time to post.  Sorry about the delay...

A couple weekends ago I went to see The Host with my bookie bestie, Jessa, while she was in town from Dallas.  We both had read the book years ago and neither of us bothered to refresh our memories before going to see the movie. 

In some ways I think not having the book fresh in your mind is a wonderful way to enjoy an adaptation like this.  It can be a rediscovery of sorts, and even better, changes made to the book hurt less when you can't really remember if what you just saw was a change or not.

Going in, each of us remembered different aspects of the book and neither of us really remembered more than the general outlines of the story. There was frequent whispering throughout as different scenes jogged different memories for each of us. It was fun to share the experience that way, although if the theater had been a bit less sparse, we'd probably have been shushed a lot.

It's interesting because Jessa tends more towards Romance type novels than I do (although i love me a good romance) and I tend more towards U/F and SciFi than she does (although she loves her some good fantasy). Before the movie when we were sharing our recollections of the book, based on what we had seen in the trailer, she thought it looked like they had played up the romance more than she remembered and i thought it was pretty much on track.

Her recollection was that the book centered more on Melanie's internal fight to throw off the "Soul" and the external "war" to liberate the human race.  My recollection was that it was essentially a story about Melanie's strong desire to reconnect with her lost love.  I've heard a lot of people say that they felt the romance angle was played up, but to me it didn't feel that way.

On the whole, I liked the book, but it wasn't the second coming or anything. It was a solid three stars for me, fairly mediocre SciFi, but it was written far better than the Twilight Series was (which although not really comparable to the Host, I did actually enjoy more despite the problematic writing). I'm pretty sure Jessa gave the book three stars as well.  Good, but nothing to write home about.

As far as the movie itself goes. I really enjoyed it.  Some of the acting was below par, but that's true of all of the Twilight movies as well. I'm not going to say I liked the movie better than the book, but I do think the movie got a boost from my foggy memory of the written work and low expectations.  Jessa didn't like it as much as I did, but she didn't hate the movie.  All in all, I think it was a fairly successful and faithful adaptation.

So, have you seen it? What did you think?

Trailer available at:


Thursday, April 18, 2013

So lately I've been looking into volunteering again because I could use experience in certain places and more importantly I miss doing it. Helping out others or donating to charities is an amazing thing to do. This thought came up because from April 20-27 is the huge book sale here in Winnipeg and all proceeds go to the Children's Hospital. I've been going to this sale my entire life! I just donated two bags of books and throughout the week I will likely buy just as many to replace them. I have a serious book addiction as I own more books than I will probably ever read! One of these days I will hopefully get onto a reading spree again and get that tbr pile down at least a little bit. But anyways, back to the concept of charities, do any of you have these sales for books for charity or is it only a Winnipeg thing? Also what do you do to help your fellow  people out or what would you do if you could?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Madness

Yet another rambling of an ADD author.

Incase you don't know what ADD is, it means I can not concentrate on something for more than.... oh look something shiny.

You know that dog on the Disney movie Up, where every couple minutes he would yell "SQUIRREL"? 

Well that is pretty much me, except with things that flash (The TV) anything shiny (my ring catching the sunlight), noises, things moving, and just anything that happens to catch my eye when I am trying to do something else. 

Cleaning is ridiculously hard.  

I will put something away in one of my kids rooms, then realize something else needs to be picked up, then somehow I will be dusting the bathroom. Then the phone rings so I pace as I talk on it, finding other things to do then the mailman rings the bell and I go to get the package. Then on my way back to my kids room I realize my dishes need to be put in the dishwasher and I have to change laundry loads, so on my way to the basement I sit down and have tea with my two year old and before I know it my hubs is walking through the door wondering what I did all day and why water is boiling on the stove... water I didn't even realize I started for noodles for my kids.

Writing is one of the few things that is pretty easy for me to concentrate on. Until something shiny passes by or my kids run into the room...

Did you know that clown fish are all male until you separate them into pairs... then one will decide to be a female and one will be a male. 

We have a clownfish, we had two actually, but one got sick and had to go back to the pet store to see the "Fish Doctor"  my kids have been naming all our fish after Disney characters. So our clown fish are Jessie and Buzz Lightyear (Buzz is the one who keeps getting sick, so he is away at the "Fish hospital" right now)

We have some weird blue fish named Lightning McQueen. 

I am waiting for Walle, Doug and Kevin.  We have four snails and two hermit crabs that need names.


The hermit kind that live in the fish tank... not the umm.. other kind.

Mother nature is a bitch... yes I said it. So what? Someone has to be honest with her. I woke up yesterday and there was snow on the ground.   ON APRIL 14th!!!  Mother Nature is either going through mentalpause or she is having one wicked case of PMS. 

I want it to be Spring! So that way Summer can come and I can go outside!

I am almost done reading Iron Queen, although because I know the titles to all the books I am pretty sure I know what happens and that bums me out. I hate titles that give the book away by the halfway point.

I will always name my books something elusive. Maybe I will name my next book Bob. Because I can and you can't stop me. And it will be about Fairies in the imaginary world of Bob. But you wont know what happens because Bob means nothing to anyone except that it is a place, that you don't even know about, because it is imaginary and in my head and you cant see it , because technology isn't like the Matrix or any other Sci Fi movie like that.

Who likes Sci Fi? Anyone excited for the new Star Wars movie?  

Did you see the Catching Fire Trailer last night on the MTV awards. I hate that it is just a teaser though, I want the movie NOW!  

The TMI movie looks good too. 

I have a fine at the library that I have to pay, so I can borrow more movies and audio books. 

I should go finish washing the crayon off the walls so we can paint.

Did you know that you can not paint over crayon? The wax in it will just bleed through to the new layer of paint. 

Watching the Little Fockers movie right now. I love these movies. 

We are painting the blue room a move neutral blue color... it is currently electric blue and white and sky blue striped on one wall and then sponge painted in the three colors on the rest of the walls.

I like bright colors but my green room glows at night, so we need to change it. 

Alright, I have rambled long enough.

Back into the realm of chaos.

I have to sew today too.. three baby blankets.

Okay really going, thanks for reading along.

If you have read this far, you should comment with the following things....

1. What book are you reading? (Because this is a book blog afterall)
2. What the weather is like by your house.
3. One goal you have for the week.
4. A random tidbit about yourself.

Until next time!

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Monday! What are You Reading

Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

As part of this weekly meme, Shiela at Book Journey encourages others to visit participating memes, by offering a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling her how many you visited.  **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments.  Just make sure to post on her blog and tell her how many in the comment area.
She offers a $5 Amazon gift card to the weeks winner.

This week I'm reading Kushiel's Dart (Ph├Ędre's Trilogy #1) by Jacqueline Carey. I'm not very far into it yet, but it seems pretty interesting so far. It's nice to step away from PnR/UF from time to time. And this book feels very grown up which I don't always feel when reading PnR/UF or more traditional Fantasy, even when the book I'm reading is not Young Adult. Just prior to starting it, I finished Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder. It's a perfect example of what i'm talking about.  Overall it was a very enjoyable book, but despite violence, death, and sexual inuendo, the book just didn't seem very grown up.

I'm listening to KD as an audible title and i'm not really sure how I feel about the narrator yet. Anne Flosnik has a British accent which isn't a horrible thing but I'm not sure it's right for the setting.  More, she sounds a little too old and gentile for the PoV that is the focus, but as I said, I'm still early in the book.

I'm not making much progress, but i'm still working my way thru Destroy Me (Shatter Me 1.5) by Tahereh Mafi. Sadly, I'm not sure I've read ANY of it since my last blog post. I really need to get on it. I have Unravel Me (Shatter Me 2) waiting in the wings and I am very much looking forward to starting it, but prioritzing ACTUAL reading is really very difficult.  The book is a novella tho, so I could probably read what's left of it in an evening if I would just set aside a night to do it.

Finally, Jessa and I are still skype reading Outlander (Outlander 1) by Diana Gabaldon.  Unlike Destroy Me, we are making pretty good progress with it. It's a huge book tho so it's just going to take time.  We skype pretty regularly, but of course things often come up in either her schedule or mine, and distractions are rampant when we do get to skype. So far it's been a really good book made even more enjoyable by sharing it with my bestie in this manner. We're getting close to half way done and I'm pretty sure we're going to read another one after.  This is just too much fun ;)


Friday, April 5, 2013 read or not to read

Today I wanted to talk a little about serials. Not serial killers but book serials. It seems like serials are slowly becoming the next big thing. Authors will release short bursts of a story every week or so. The serials I’ve been seeing everywhere lately are the Debt Collector serials.

Summary of Delirium (Debt Collector 1)

What’s your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He’s just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the peoplw who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one Madam Anastazja’s sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane… until he collects again. But when his recover ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn’t what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal it for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle along – a dark pit he’s not sure he’ll be able to climb out of again.

Contains mature content and themes.

Delirium is approximately 12,000 words or 48 pages, and is one of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating.

Susan Kaye Quinn's website
Debt Collector series on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

Even the book description explains that these serials are divided up into seasons. The first season will have 9 episodes. So that's essentially 9 novellas in just the first season alone. I have a very hard time convincing myself to start reading these. It's not like reading a book then moving on until the next book comes out, you're pretty much in limbo constantly. Imagine reading a normal length book but only reading one chapter every two weeks. I'm sure a lot people have no problems doing this, or even prefer it, but it's not for me.

Rhiannon Frater is also doing something similar with her In Darkness We Must Abide episodes. As some of you may know I'm a huge fan of Rhiannon Frater BUT (there's always a but) I haven't been able to talk myself into reading the first two serials she has released. Luckily she also plans to release the serials in an omnibus later this year.

Summary of Death Comes Home (In Darkness We Must Abide #1)

In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night.

Already living in the shadows due to her albinism, Vanora is just a little girl when her older brother inadvertently unleashes a terrible evil from the family crypt that changes their lives forever.

As she grows up in a world where beautiful deadly beings hunt by night, one captures her eye and her heart. Yet, can she trust this mysterious Armando? For there is a powerful entity plotting to claim her shen she reaches adulthood in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy, and her enemy has enveloped her in a web of deceit, casting doubt on all she believes to be true. Soon, she will have to fight not only to save those she loves, but also for her very soul.

Rhiannon Frater delivers a chilling adventure once again with this multi-part epic serial with a dynamic cast, old school vampires, bloody action, a smoldering forbidden love, and a terrifying villain set against the backdrop of a modern day vampire war.

Each episode will be between 10,000 and 20,000 words with new installments being published every 2 to 3 weeks.

Rhiannon Frater's website
In Darkness We Must Abide on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

What you think about serials? Do you love them? Are you hesitant to jump right in like I am?

Thanks for reading!
Greep Jen

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday Madness

Ramblings of a not really starving, but not really making any money either, author. 

The second installment of Monday Madness.

What if I am not as good of a writer as I want to be?

I know my grammar skills are rusty, Honors English has failed me. I have forgotten everything I learned back in high school. 

But seriously, what if my writing is only good enough to be okay. Never going to be good enough to get a contract, have a company fall in love with it, get an agent, get published, get anything other than sent to a few of my closest online friends?

I guess this all comes from watching my favorite up and coming authors making it big, while I am still just sitting here, on my couch, watching my minimal sales of my self-published e-book get to fewer and fewer and finally stop completely.

What if everyone was right? That I would never make it as an author? That I would fail miserably and have to go get a real job… you know sitting at a blank gray desk in a cubicle, failing at yet another office job that I don’t care about and have no passion for?

I love the characters in my head to much to let them go. But am I ever going to get to that point where I will be awesome? Or will I always just be mediocre?  I have gone through my first book so many times that I could probably recite the entire thing.

I know this is a down in the dumps blog post, but that is just how I feel. Down.

I want to prove all those people wrong, the people who said I was just going to fail at this just like everything else I think is a great idea to try and do.

I just want to give up, but I owe my characters more than that. I need to keep at it.

Rejection letters suck. They really do eat away at you.

Tomorrow I will pick it all back up and start to edit and rework my books, but today, I am going to be upset.

So what's under your hat today?