Book Review: Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't know how to rate this book. It was actually a really good story but it was really filthy and shocking in parts. Multiple rapes are described in full detail... oh my goodness. I just wish I had been warned.
The cover makes it look like a YA book and I always thought it was. Be warned. It isn't. It definitely isn't.
It was a really intriguing story, but even though story and the characters lend more to an adult audience. The theme is very grown-up as well.
A good read, so it's worth reading if you don't mind some R-rated stuff.
The 'F' word is said over and over.
Really, if you don't mind that -- this is a well-written and interesting book. If you do mind... well. I would avoid it or at least be forewarned.

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Book Review: Heart to Heart

Heart to HeartHeart to Heart by Lurlene McDaniel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was... all right. I cried a little when the girl died so that was something. It means something when an author can evoke emotions....

And honestly, it wasn't poorly written. I just figured there would be more to the story.

It talked about 'cellular memory' (a transplant recipient takes on traits and desires from the donor, most especially in heart patients) so it was a little paranormal... a little weird.

Characters were likable though Arabelle bugged me for almost the entire story. I think if I had liked her better I would have liked the book better.

I think that since it was a quick read I don't feel like I wasted my time reading it, but almost.

If you like stories about 16 year old girls dying, then this book is probably for you.

If you like to cry and you like skeptical non-science.... nah, it wasn't that weird... just a little.

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Book Review: The Wednesday Letters

The Wednesday LettersThe Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a nice book with nice stories, nice characters, and a nice moral.

It read pretty quickly and was entertaining. It was, by no means, a waste of time.

It's a story about siblings whose parents have just died. They find out that their dad wrote every Wednesday through all of their married life. They learn things they didn't know about their parents and they learn some things about themselves, too.

Each of the 3 children are going through a toughtime (the synopsis on the book jacket promises) and are helped by their dad's words. That part was diappointing because you really only hear about and watch the problems of the younget son. The other problems are pointed out sort of but never fully examined or repaired. So I think the author could have delved deeper into all of the kids or the publisher could have focused the synopsis on the kid that is really the main character (outside of the parents).

Overall it left me feeling happy and glad I read the book.

If you enjoyed Tuesdays with Morrie and books that are similar you might just want to give this one a chance.

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Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a nice read. A girl who lives her life focused on the summers she spends in a beach house with friends close enough to call family. She loves the older brother all her life, but then one summer she grows into her self and starts to get noticed. She spends the summer wrapped up in the new attention and the new drama that ensues. Tragedy strikes though and will change everything.

It was a pleasant read, though by the end I was a little disappointed with who she ended up with. I get it, but it still makes me feel like the ending was wrong.

I would say this book was worth the time to read. Not a lot of things to watch out for language or se*-wise, but there is some of each.

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Book Review: Santa Maybe

Santa MaybeSanta Maybe by Aubrey Mace

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a cute book. I have read a lot of LDS fiction lately and this was one of the better ones. It was a quick read, short book, good plot, fun characters, interesting twist at the end. Worth he time it took to read. Seagull Book has it on sale for like $1.99 so it's a kinda fun Christmas (or pre-Christmas) gift to yourself.

The main guy is cute, but I was a little bugged that he was so mad at the girl when she seemed to me totally justified in her disbelief. A little mercy and understanding would be called for, methinks.

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Book Review: My Fair Godmother

My Fair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #1)My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very fun read. It's the story of a gilr who seems like a princess at first glance, but the shallowness of her popularity becomes glaringly obvious when her boyfriend dumps her for her smart sister. Her 'fair' godmother (fair not fairy because she is really not very good)comes to grant her wishes and make everything better. But of course nothing gets better and the ordeals Savannah goes through because of her Godmother teach her some valuable lessons and make her want to be known for somehting other than her looks.

Like I said, this is a fun read. You won't be wasting your time to read it.

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Book Review: Birth Marked

Birthmarked (Birthmarked, #1)Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read. this. book.
Gaia is an apprenticed midwife under her mother. They live outside 'the wall' and give a quota of babies to the Enclave (inside 'the wall') each month. Ripping them from the arms of mothers who don't want to give up their children at times. After her first time delivering a baby on her own she feels proud, but sick because that is the first baby she ever had to take and give away. Naturally something terrible happens and her parents disappear. Gaia is forced to start questioning everything she has always believed about the system -- it never seemed so bad before and as it is in dystopian novels: it is wrong to question the 'evil' people in charge and to even think that they are evil.
Gaia is scarred from a burn when she was young and has deeper internal scars that tell her she will never find love. Bit then we meet a handsome but troubled soldier sent to question Gaia... it gets really exciting after that
At any rate there is a lot of action, a really well-written romance, wonderful, vibrant characters and a plot line that just keeps you reading.
It's very, very good.
I'm no good at synopsis. I think I always give away too much info but just give the book a chance.
TOTAL cliff-hanger ending. Just read a little comment by the author and some other people and evidently it is to be part of a trilogy and the second book is to be released fall of 2011. BAH! I can't wait! Maybe, just maybe that will change!!! (probably not, but we can hope)

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Book Review: The Second Bend in the River

The Second Bend in the River (Point)The Second Bend in the River by Ann Rinaldi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hm. What did I think? Well. I thought this book was well written. It was a fun and interesting read. I always loved this one book when I was younger about a young girl captured and taken to live with indians and she comes to learn about them... anyway, it was a good book and I cannot remember the name of it to save my life. But when I read the synopsis for this book I was immediately intrigued since it is also about early Americans and their relationships with the indians.

I really enjoy historical fiction and this was well written and well researched. You get a feel for how life was for people when America was still being settled and you get a good look at how the indians and the settlers were feeling.

I'd say: if you like historical fiction and if you like a little love story... this book is a good choice.

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Book Review: Girl to the Core

Girl to the CoreGirl to the Core by Stacey Goldblatt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute book. Fun, quick read, too. It's a 'girl power' type story. Also a story about finding out who out are and being comfortable with that. Oh. And not letting people walk all over you.

Inspirational for young girls. As does almost every contemporary YA for girls fictin it address the 'should I or shouldn't I with my boyfriend' topic. Since this is a girl empowerment book it is nice that this says that falls under the category of standing up for yourself.

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Book Review: Wish I Might

Wish I MightWish I Might by Coleen Paratore

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was cute. That's all. Not a waste of time because it is a quick read but a la meme temps... it was simply and only and forever just cute.

Don't know if I want to read any of the other 'Willa Havashim' books becuase it was so so-so.

I wanted to be impressed. I tried to be impressed.

But something about the 'Skinny Punch' books the author had the character constantly talk about (skinny, quick reads that pack a punch) made me think the author considered or at least hoped this book would be such a thing as that. And it wasn't.

Plus her boyfriend is kinda lame.

And her friends suck.

So. Cute. But not really great.

Not really worth the time it takes to read, but it doesn't take too much time anyway.

The author builds up this 'mermaid' thing but it really isn't much of anything.

Lots of good quotes throughout the book but they are all from other authors and quoted in the book.

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Book review: The Juliet Club

The Juliet ClubThe Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fun and exciting book. I was pulled into modern day Verona and couldn't climb back out until the end of the book thrust me back into reality.

Well, the descriptions of the town weren't that extensive and didn't really pull me into Verona, but I was definitely pulled into the story.

Lovely, lovely leading man... Italian Hearthrob all the way!

This book was well written and was a really fun read. Worth the time it takes to read it for sure.

It's especially fun because Ms. Harper brings in plot elements from a number of Shakespeare's plays and fits them neatly into a wonderful story full of tricks, and romance, and embittered shrews, and of course... play boys (in the strictly NOT bunny kind of way: This book was wonderfully clean).

If you enjoy Shakespeare this is a book you will definitely enjoy.

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Book review: Gimme a Call

Gimme a CallGimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I mean, the book kept me reading. And was sort of entertaining... I wouldn't call it a waste of time.

But I just came away feeling... meh. That's all. I can't really describe it any other way.

If you decide to read it, fine. But in my opinion, don't be expecting anything spectacular.

Fun enough.

But that's it.

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Review for 'Princess of Glass" by Jessica Day George

Princess of GlassPrincess of Glass by Jessica Day George

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here's the thing: I LOVE Jessica Day George. And this books wasn't bad. It just was disappointing. Her love stories and the action in her books have always been so enthralling but the book ended quickly. Everything was wrapped up but in a way that was too fast to be satisfactory.

I wouldn't consider it a waste of time to read this book, but I highly suggest her other books instead.

Read it if you are interested. It's another 'coming of age'/ young girl 'coming into her own' princess story that is also a fun take on the Cinderella story. It was cute and everything worked out at the end just don't go into it expecting it to be as great as her other books!

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Last Olympian Book Review

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ACK! This is such a good series. SUCH a good series. Coming of age: check. Love story: check. Thrilling action: check. Lovable/relate-able characters: check.

This book was definitely good. The whole series was good. I didn't like how much of this book was taken up in the fight scenes (not my cup o' tea) but I get it. Everything in the books was leading up to this final battle and it made sense that it would take a while. Still. Still I got bored with the fighting.

Nevertheless: VERY good series. Worth the time it takes to read them. GET OUT THERE AND GET THESE BOOKS!!!

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Fablehaven Review

Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven, #5)Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since this is the final book in the series I will briefly review the whole series here.

Enjoyable? Definitely. Gripping? Frequently. Would I read it again? Surely.

Here's the thing. I am convinced that a lot of contemporary male authors can't truly write a love story. I realize that this series is sort of a children's series, but it is also a YA series in my eyes. Kendra's 15. I don't know what it would really be classified as. I was as disappointed with the love story in the Pretties and Uglies series.

At times I got very hopeful to see Kendra find love. I know, I know. Idealistic and irrelevant. But not in my eyes. I am a romantic TO THE CORE and love a good love story. Overcoming challenges, loving someone no matter the difference (expect for like more than 10 years apart in real life)... etc. I love it. I eat it up. I gobble it and want more. So after a few potential interests were added to the story starting in the 2nd book I got very hopeful. It was sad when Kendra was betrayed but really I was not attached seeing as no time was spent on the development of the relationship. Whenever Kendra was having something develop with a character it was usually seen through Seth's eyes so there was no detail, no excitement, no "will he won't he"... And in the end there was sort of a love story (lacking many details and excruciating bits) though it was left on a note of friendship that Kendra felt deep down would grow into something more and remain. I am glad he said it... at least it offers some closure... but not enough.

That being said for the romantic in me...

The action was awesome. The book well written except for a few parts where the larger words seemed forced into the book. (Which isn't necessarily a bad thing since I am all for getting kids to read books with big words so they'll understand them and incorporate them into their vocabulary.)

It just... read awkwardly at some points. But that's okay.

I stayed up too late multiple nights to finish the series. With every book I was draw in, nervous, excited, and definitely entertained.

Very glad I gave the series a chance. It was surely worth the time it took to read.

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What makes you YOU as a writer?

I have a lot of projects I cycle through. I cannot focus on one and so I think I may never finish a single book. YET. I know they are in me. These stories. Stories that could change the world. Or at least a life. I feel it. I know it . I AM SUPPOSED TO WRITE.
Here's my main problem. When I write I am so focused on the publishing aspect that I focus from the beginning on what I need to put in my story to get it published. Problem: it isn't me and my story gets lost or I get lost and exit my story.
This has happened twice and both times it has happened on stories that came to me like I stuck my finger in a socket, but instead of my hair popping all over the place my whole insides filled up with the story. The feeling that I want to come off the page when it's read, the characters. I feel inside how I want readers to feel while they read it but especially at the end.
It's like a drug.
I read endless books searching for that feeling
but I don't ever find exactly what I am looking for.
Because it isn't out there.
It isn't.
It's already inside ziping around, my fingers tingling with the will to put it out there.
On paper.
So I guess through all of that I am saying that regardless of being published I think it makes you a writer to put your words down. How you want them.
And even if my books never got published, the being finished is the important thing
because if they are my words on the page
and they mean a lot to me
and it sounds and feels and is how I want it
then THAT is what matters.
I am not talking about having a problem if publishers want changes to make it sell better. They aren't always going to be bad.
BUT if you, in your heart, know that the changes they WANT to make, or you think they might TRY to make don't hold true to your story look elsewhere (if that's the stage you are in) or just write it without regards to publishing.
Because maybe. Just maybe. They want to hear what you have to say how you have to say it.
You are the artist afterall.


Book Review: final installment in the Princess Diaries series

Forever Princess (The Princess Diaries, #10)Forever Princess by Meg Cabot

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So. I love Mg Cabot, I do. But. This is the first series of hers where I am disappointed. I get that teenagers deal with whether or not to have sex, but I also strongly believe it is wrong to encourage them to have sex and to make it seem perfectly okay. So there was that element that I didn't like to all of these books, especially this one.This one in particular frustrated me because little girls read these books, especially after they came out with the movies and she had blurbs from a romance novel Mia 'wrote' that had a lot of detail from what I could tell in skimming them. The one good thing was: she had the sections italicized and on their own so you knew which parts not to read if you don't want to read that sort of thing.Other than that, and/or in spite of that I really did enjoy this book. It was fun and it was wrapped up very nicely and not too conveniently. Mia is whiny but comes into her own and starts dealing with her own problems which is a nice way to end.All in all: disappointed in some of the content but most of that was easy to avoid and it was a fun book. I wouldn't read the series again and I wouldn't let my young girls read it either, but I don't feel like I totally wasted my time.

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Book review: Comfort by Carolee Dean

ComfortComfort by Carolee Dean

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is about a young boy dealing with the struggles of an abusive mother, poverty, an alcoholic father, and the inner turmoil that creates.
Kenny Willson loves to write and dreams of a bigger life outside of the small town of Comfort, TX. He dreams of breaking free from the shackles of poverty and lack of education.
With a mama who can't see past her own dreams to realize her son has some of his own, Keny has to fight for what he wants, has to fight to be somebody, and has to fight just to stay in school.
A coming of age story that is sure to bring a tear to your eye, fill your heart with memories of all the things you've dreamed of, and raise your hackles at the injustice of a self-centered parent of a kid longing for love.
With only a few people who seem to believe in him and his mama out to tie him down: will Kenny ever fulfill his dreams and learn the power of putting his anger and disappointment on paper?
Worth the time it takes to read. A really great book: well written with flawed, believable characters and a story that, even if you can't relate, pulls you in and fills you with all the emotions of a struggling, oppressed teenager on the verge of something better.

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PUNCT uate

I am a slacker. I realize this.
Life is more important than blogging.
or at least I try to tell myself that.

Do you ever wonder, however... if you submitted work using weird verging on the wrong punctuation it would be accepted as is? Like: if you used bad punctuation to get a point across if it would have to be changed because it is wrong.
Faulkner. Verbose. Lots of punctuation in order to have a Loooo-ooong sentence. Probably wouldn't fly if a sally simpleton submitted. right?
But. A lot of periods. Short, short, short sentences. I feel like they portray lack of feeling... sarcasm even.
Is it wrong?? Is it wrong in the sense that writing IS to communicate and it is difficult sometimes to communicate through written word as clearly as when you're speaking face to face. Why? Tone of voice. Simply that. If I raise my voice and say my dog died... I am blaming someone.
If I raise the pitch... but just at the end mind... I am asking... perhpas I am in denial.
If I say it dead pan perhaps I am sad. Or just don't care.
My dog died! (yelling)
My dog died? (denial)
My dog died. (sad? Deadpan? Don't care? Sarcastic???) It is difficult.
see here:
If I say
My. Dog. Died. Puncutating (incorrectly?!) I am making each word hit home.
I can say
(in many more words)
Pausing after each word (or ennunciating after each word) she told him, "My dog died."
I am not NOT saying you should use poor language skills. I am not knocking grammar and proper punctuation. On the contrary!!! I feel it is extremely important to write and speak correctly. I am just saying: Language is fickle.
Rules are fickle.
In the world of so much written/texted communication we are getting creative. We want NO misunderstandings. We want to communicate and be sarcastic but so many don't want to peel their fingers off the keyboard to insure this. (Personal feeling: WHY EVER NOT?!?!?) So. We make language work for us. And why not? PLEASE use proper spelling and grammar!!!
Here's my cahllenge: Rather than thwarting the rules write a few sentences using PROPER grammar/ punctuation and portray your feelings, your tone. Okay? Okay.
Share if you so choose.

Write me a sentence. Use ?wrong? punctuation


Can you spot the error?????

Saw this ad. I am sure it was written by an adult... eek! So many people forget how to spell things korecktly.

"Very good condition get a head board and foot board. This is a Queen size. Does not come with side rails and is wood not medal. Will take an offer as "


Haiku to you!!!

As writers we want to stay accurate. At least as accurate as possible. To do this we have to research. I am not giving a BIG project but I do want you to attempt to write a haiku about somewhere you haven't visited. To do this:
I want you to think of a place you have never been and do some quick research on some of the weather conditions, major landmarks, etc.
Then write your haiku using some of the information you have gathered trying to capture what you think is the feel of the place.
Share it with us if you dare!



back from vacation....
week and a half long hiatus.
Isn't it funny how we always tend to need lots of rest and relaxation after a vacation??

Today I will throw out a simple writing prompt. Find a picture of yourself when you were a little, little kid on vacation and write the story of the vacation as much as you can from the picture using the background and facial expressions to add details. It doesn't need to be accurate and I think the exercise would work better if you didn't use a picture from a vacation you actually remember.

Happy writing!


Haiku YOU! Vacay.

About this time every year I get that itch... I wanna travel, explore... GETTHEHECKOUTTAHERE!!!
While you are sitting at school, sitting in your cubicle, sitting on the couch I want you to take those imaginings of faraway places and all that you would do and write... you guessed it... a HAIKU!
If you are miserable and hot and sweating you maybe imagine a place where there are cool pools everywhere and you can just dip and dive as you please, or perhaps you imagine sitting solitarily on a fishing boat in the middle of the ocean surrounded by glaciers off the coast of Alaska... maybe you live in a place where summer has not gotten the memo that its time has come and you are imagining yourself in far off lands surrounded by the dusty dry heat of an African summer or are imagining yourself in your backyard two months from now.
Whatever your daydreams of vacation are, write them down, brainstorm, pick the one you feel most strongly about, the one you could describe the best and start composing.
Listen. I don't care if you've never written a poem in your life. TODAY IS THE DAY! Get out your journal, log onto your online journal, open a fresh word document and get writing.
Share with us what you wrote if you so choose. We always love to hear it.
remember a haiku is composed like so:
5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables

Happy Writing!

Blue birds sing softly,
Still gray fog rests heavily
Quiet ocean morn.


Writing Prompt #5: Goodnight, sweet prince...

My fear of bugs, spiders, and other creepy crawlies has been present since I was a child. I remember calling for my dad, my heart pounding whenever I saw a spider. My dad would come with the toilet paper raised like a war-flag and squish that bug. When he did this he always said, "goodnight, sweet prince".

So. the writing prompt for today is this.... think of a time a bug has been hanging around needing a good squishing (unless you are the type to vacuum them up or capture and then release back out into the wide world) and in detail describe the events including your feelings.
THEN to further the excercise I want you to put yourself in the shoes of said insect during the final moments of its little buggy life and describe the events and emotions from its perspective.

Get out your writing notebooks, your journals, your computer and get writing.

As always, feel free to share some or all of what you wrote and request critique if you so desire.

Happy writing!


Writing Prompt #4: This land is my land

A lot of sci-fi/fantasy (okay almost all) books have their own world created for the book. Even if this is not how you typically do things, I want you to write a few paragraphs describing you r world or a list of things (i.e. types of people, language*, plant life, sky color, land masses, bodies of water, etc.). This does not mean, necessarily, that you have to make up and alien planet with skies that look like tie-dye at sunset and no one speaks anything but Pig Latin. I particularly am working on two stories that are set in made up towns that seem to be in America. So you can do this.
I personally like to make up where the characters live to avoid in-authenticity with any real place. I have not travelled a lot and would rather remain authentic to my own imagination. Plus it is fun to create a whole new place and have it be 'just so'.

So. Get out your writing notebooks, open a new word document, or log in to your online journal and get writing. This doesn't have to be in story form (although it would be a good opportunity for you to try working on setting the scene in a story); you can write a list, draw a map, etc. I just want you to try to work your imagination and try to create a believable world that never existed before you dreamed it up. Try not to do anything cliche like an underwater city hidden for thousands of years wherein the inhabitants speak perfect English and are a thriving community. okay? Atlantis is out!

As always we'd love to hear what you have to write if you want to share some or all of what you create from the writing prompt. Your works is safe from cruel unnecessary critique and any  critique at all if you so choose. Leave a note if you would like feedback (but remember any feedback given is subjective. Personal taste accounts for so much when one is critiquing another's work).

And last but not least, happy writing!

*Quick word of advice: I was at a writing conference where I heard a sci-fi author say to not make up words lacking syllables. Apparently this is frowned upon and I would not want to be held accountable for encouraging it!


The Death Collector book review

Gold Star to 'The Death Collector'

** spoiler alert ** It's Jurassic Park, it's Neverwhere, it's The Librarian, it's Frankenstein... it's The Death Collector!
This book reminded me of the above mentioned books (and T.V. movies in the case of The Librarian).

A pick pocket, a museum worker, a pastor's daughter, and a man who works in a special section of a museum where things go that contradict or defy science all work together to try to uncover a mystery left by a famous paleontologist about dinosaurs.
On the trail of this mystery is also a creepy man and his band of thugs and machine men plus his crazy pet dinochine.
Our four heroes have to figure out the mystery and protect it from crazy man before he creates an army of living dead men and dino machines.
To be honest, I wasn't sure I'd like this book but in the end I really enjoyed it. I could put it down, but I did want to see how it ended and enjoyed myself on the journey.

Worth the time to read? Definitely.
A little bit too creepy for little kids, but I think tween boys especially would really enjoy the book

Rowan Hood book/ series review

Silver star.

Last night I finished the final book in the Rowan Hood series. It's a series of books about Robin Hood's daughter who forms her own band of outlaws but also spends time with Robin Hood and his men. It 's a series about a young girl trying to find her place in a man's world and the friends she meets along the way as well as about their adventures. The first and the last book are all about Rowan but the middle books are about her friends in her band.
I am just posting my review of the final book because even though the stories are different, the books are very similar and I enjoyed them all about the same.

Well. This was the final book in the Rowan Hood series and to be honest... I am not sure I liked how it ended. As most people do, I think the end is the most important thing. A book can be well written and end poorly and you are left feeling usatisfied no matter how much you liked the book while you read it.

I play a musical instrument and let me tell you... if the beginning ofyour performance rocks and then end does too, you can get away with a few mistakes in the middle. Maybe I am alone in this (and don't get me wrong, I want a book to have a great middle) but I feel the same way with books. The middle can have a few plot holes, it can be just okay, it can just move a story along, but if the beginning draws me in and if the end leaves me content, I will, generally speaking, love the book.

So. This book wascute, as were the others. Still don't enjoy this series as much as the Enola Holmes series.

I thought there definitely could have been more character development and that even though this book focused on Rowan in particular it would have been nice to feel the other characters' stories wrap up as well.

Also, call me a hopeless romantic, but I wish there had been a love story. I know Nancy Springer seems to be all about women's empowerment, but I think a really strong woman still deserves love AND that if you are really a strong woman you can still be that WHILE being in love. So. a little disappointed there.

This series is cute and fun and worth the time it takes to read it.


Haiku You

All right. So getting down to WRITING.
A haiku is a poem with a very specific recipe. You all remember syllables from grade school? Clapping as you say a word to determine how many syllables your name has?
Sa-Rah = two
Em-I-Ly= three
Bart= one
You get the general idea?

So the recipe for Haiku is:
5 syllable line
7 syllable line
5 syllable line

Typically Haikus are used for imagery. The challenge is to create something beautiful, lyrical, and moving all within the constraints of  the form. A lot like ballet. An illustration of this is a haiku I wrote:

Writhing winter wind (5 syllables)
Whipping branches back and forth (7 syllables)
Nature's tug-of-war (5 syllables)

I typically enjoy free verse because it is just that, free. But I think that it takes real talent (one I wish I had) to create something poetic even though you have guidlines. Afterall what would life be without guidelines? Not every road can be the Autobahn and yet you can still get where you are going on time if you leave early enough on a road with a 25 mph speed limit. It isn't as much fun, but think of the things you might see along the way when it isn't all a blur. I will compare Hiaku to this. The scenery you get to notice, the butterfly lighting upon a flower, the bees dancing around a meadow, the light sparkling off the refuse on the side of the road.... You have to take it slow, you have to do it 'the man's' way, but you can still create beauty.

Today's writing prompt is to write a Haiku about grapes. It can be an imagery poem or it can have a particular meaning. It can be funny or serious. Stretch yourself, your imagination, and your abilities to create a poem you would love to share within the restraints of a Hiaku. You are more than welcome to also write another Hiaku and share that if you wish, but please put up a Haiku about grapes too.

Here's mine (a little silly, a little gross, but I am inspired by my life and that includes a lot of weird diapers from my baby and his current preferences):
Juicy purple grapes
for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Juicy purple poo.

I would really love for you to share your poems in the comments. I think we'd all like to hear them. And I would appreciate no comments belittling anyone else's Haiku. This is a safe environment where we are all learning and growing as writers. If you want critique ask for it in your comment. If anyone wants to critique (CONSTRUCTIVE CRITIQUE ONLY) they can do so. We reserve the right to remove any comment/ critique we feel is hurtful, cruel, or just plain mean. okay?

I want everyone, EVERYONE to try to write a Haiku today and would love for you to share even if you haven't written a poem in your life. We are learning here and your poems are safe!


Word of the Day

Word of the Day

There is no winner today! No one posted a sentence using egregious, so there can be no winner.
Today's Word: Vociferous (Vo - siff- er- us)

The Challenge: Use five times today. Oh. and post a sentence using it as a comment on this blog.
The Reward: Your friends will think you more intelligent and (more importantly) you will feel more intelligent. After all what greater reward is there than internal reward?! And. the best sentence will be posted and commemorated tomorrow morning with the next word of the day.
Definition from thefreedictionary.com


Making, given to, or marked by noisy and vehement outcry.

Vociferously adv.

Vociferousness n.

Synonyms: vociferous, blatant, boisterous, strident, clamorous

These adjectives mean conspicuously and usually offensively loud. Vociferous suggests a noisy outcry, as of vehement protest: vociferous complaints.
Blatant connotes coarse or vulgar noisiness: "Up rose a blatant Radical" (Walter Bagehot).
Boisterous implies unrestrained noise, tumult, and often rowdiness: boisterous youths.

Strident stresses offensive harshness, shrillness, or discordance: a legislator with a strident voice.
Something clamorous is both vociferous and sustained: a clamorous uproar.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

And now... my sentence! The baby gave a vociferous complaint as his parents laid him down for a nap.

Remember: Post a sentence using the word vociferous as a comment. We will pick the best sentence and commemorate on this blog forever the person with the best. The winner will be posted tomorrow morning along with the new word of the day. There haven't been winners for the past two words. Make sure you post a sentence for a chance to win a gold star.



Okay. I have a new writing prompt for you. Ready? Ready?! Get out your journal or open your word document or sign in to your online journal and get ready to write.

I want you to put yourself in the shoes of either the husband or the wife of a couple who found out they are expecting a baby, but were definitely NOT planning on it. How would you feel, what are you worried about, what are the circumstances that make it so unexpected...? Etc.

Post a blurb, a sentence, a paragraph, the whole thing if you feel like sharing!

Happy writing!

Word of the Day

Word of the Day

There is no winner today! No one posted a sentence using foible, so there can be no winner.


Today's Word: e·gre·gious (Eee Gree Jus)
The Challenge: Use five times today. Oh. and post a sentence using it as a comment on this blog.

The Reward: Your friends will think you more intelligent and (more importantly) you will feel more intelligent. After all what greater reward is there than internal reward?! And. the best sentence will be posted and commemorated tomorrow morning with the next word of the day.

Definition from thefreedictionary.com

Egregious: adj.
Conspicuously bad or offensive. See Synonyms at flagrant.

e·gregious·ly adv.

e·gregious·ness n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

And now... my sentence! His cheating on her with her best friend was SO egregious.
Remember: Post a sentence using the word egregious as a comment. We will pick the best sentence and commemorate on this blog forever the person with the best. The winner will be posted tomorrow morning along with the new word of the day. There haven't been winners for the past two words. Make sure you post a sentence for a chance to win a gold star.


First Book Review

This book is set in modern-day New Orleans where a curse from 155 years ago threatens to destroy the life of a teenage girl from New York.

I really enjoyed this book up until the end. I was enthralled, I was sucked in, I was totally captivated and excited to see how things would turn out. The book is well written, the characters believable and relatable, and overall it is an interesting and fresh ghost-story.

Sadly, the ending was rather anti-climactic. The curse and all the events leading up to its fulfillment are intriguing and cause you to turn page after page. But the night when the curse will be fulfilled and will finally end is a quick blurb. The antagonists are all there when the curse is carried out, but the second something happens (in the blink of an eye) they are done with and the characters are never revisited and barely mentioned again. The main character never seems to have any closure, either. There was a brief epilogue in which we learn a few things about where the main character and her love interest went from there, but it was vague and unsatisfying. I don't read books FOR the love story, but often times I stay BECAUSE OF the love story and when they end dully or not at all it is a disappointment.

A good read, fun and exciting, but brace yourself for a semi-lame and terribly rushed ending.

As much as I wish I could give this book a gold star we're gonna give it a silver star. If you have read this book or end up reading this book, let me know what you thought!


Word of the Day

There is no winner today! No one posted a sentence using deify, so there can be no winner.
Thumbs up to 'Asian Sensation' for his blurb using yesterday's writing prompt 'yo  yo yo':

'Really? Is she back for more? Sigh, I can't believe she told her friends about her New Year's goal. She said that the count down would start today, and it hasn't even been an hour... Poor girl's going to suffer.'
Word of the Day

The word: Foible (foy-bull)

The Challenge: Use five times today. Oh. and post a sentence using it as a comment on this blog.

The reward: Your friends will think you more intelligent and (more importantly) you will feel more intelligent. After all what greater reward is there than internal reward?! And. the best sentence will be posted and commemorated tomorrow morning with the next word of the day.

Foible: (definition from thefreedictionary.com)
1. A minor weakness or failing of character.
2. The weaker section of a sword blade, from the middle to the tip.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights

And now... my sentence! The man had too many foibles for me to take him seriously.

Remember: Post a sentence using the word foible as a comment. We will pick the best sentence and commemorate on this blog forever the person with the best. The winner will be posted tomorrow morning along with the new word of the day.

Happy writing!


Writing Prompt #2: Yo yo yo!

All right. I just thought of this writing prompt and wanted to post it for you. Get out your journal, open a new Word document, or log into your online journal and get writing.

Writing prompt #2: Yo yo yo! Tell the tale of a yo-yo dieter from their fridge's perspective (or pantry depending on whether you go for the chocolate chips and Oreos or the Phish Food).

Share your first line, paragraph, or an excerpt with us if you want!
Happy writing!

Word of the Day

Word of the Day

Yesterday's winner for their use of writhe in a sentence:

Listening to my boys fight at the kitchen table makes me writhe in irritation! (really- it does!)

Congratulations, Shelli! (And thanks for posting a sentence!) I think we can all understand!

The word: Deify (D-if-eye)

The challenge: Use five times today. Oh. and post a sentence using it as a comment on this blog.

The reward: Your friends will think you more intelligent and (more importantly) you will feel more intelligent. After all what greater reward is there than internal reward?! And. the best sentence will be posted and commemorated tomorrow morning with the next word of the day.

Deify: (definition from thefreedictionary.com)
tr.v. dei·fied, dei·fy·ing, dei·fies

1. To make a god of; raise to the condition of a god.
2. To worship or revere as a god: deify a leader.
3. To idealize; exalt: deifying success.

dei·fier n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights

And now... my sentence! I practically deify any man that does not see spending time with his children as 'babysitting'.

Remember: Post a sentence using the word deify as a comment. We will pick the best sentence and commemorate on this blog forever the person with the best. The winner will be posted tomorrow morning along with the new word of the day.


Writing Prompt #1 Becoming the Irritant

Okay. So. Sometimes we need a little something to get our creative juices flowing and sometimes we just need to write anything before we can work on whatever something we are stuck on.
So. We will provide writing prompts every week to start and I want you to start a journal and do the writing prompt in it. It can be an online journal, it can be an actual journal, or it can be a computer journal. Sometimes you will write a sentence or come across a bit of human nature that ends up being just the thing for your book/ poem/ etc. and if you keep your journal you can go back and find those little jewels. You needn't worry about your writing being fantastic (although that is nice too), just get you mind working and get out of your slump!

This week's writing prompt (which doubles as therapy):

Think about a pet peeve you have, or something your spouse-kids-sister-brother-neighbor did that really bugged you and then write what happened from THE IRRITANT'S perspective. Now you and I know they did it just to make you mad, but not really. I want you to write down the story from their perspective. You might end up with something really funny and you just might end up being a little more understanding. Okay? okay.
So. Post an excerpt  if you want to share what you wrote with everyone!

Word of the Day

Word of the Day
The word: Writhe (rye - th)
The challenge: Use five times today. Oh. and post as a comment on this blog.
The reward: Your friends will think you more intelligent and (more importantly) you will feel more intelligent. After all what greater reward is there than internal reward?! And. the best sentence will be posted and commemorated tomorrow morning with the next word of the day.

Writhe: (definition from thefreedictionary.com)

1. To twist, as in pain, struggle, or embarrassment.
2. To move with a twisting or contorted motion.
3. To suffer acutely.

To cause to twist or squirm; contort.
The act or an instance of writhing; a contortion.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

And now... my sentence! After the teacher watched me launch a spitball at him, I could do nothing but writhe under his awful, bitter gaze as it hit him square in the forehead.

Remember: Post a sentence using the word writhe as a comment. We will pick the best sentence and commemorate on this blog forever the person with the best. The winner will be posted tomorrow morning along with the new word of the day.

Welcome one and all

So. Here we are. Writers and readers all. Welcome to our world: a world of word lovers.
There's something about the written word, isn't there? Such a thing as you can change which word has the emphasis and completely change the meaning. You must be careful, though, for the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable can accuse you of something nasty indeed.
"I shot my mom?", "I shot my mom?" "I shot my mom?" "I shot my mom?". This is not a confession, merely an illustration. Go on. Try it.
Or perhaps punctuating something differently changes everything and the distance between a period and a question mark is light years away.
I shot my mom! I shot my mom? I shot my mom. Same words different, nay very different, meanings/ feelings. Imagine being a police officer on the scene and what emotions each would portray.
I shot my mom! Um, hello. Someone's excited AND insane?
I shot my mom? Maybe this person's innocent. Or maybe they have bad aim?
I shot my mom. Completely unfeeling, uncaring, and probably a cold-blooded, calculating murderer.
OOr commonly confused words that either are just completely wrong, or if they are messed up lend the wrong message.
Their dogs (posession).
They're dogs (rude!).
There! Dogs! (ooh. look. I am five and excited to see a quadriped. Maybe I will get down on my hands and knees and pretend to be a dog! Don't put holes in your pants! Look what you did, your hands are all dirty!)
So. The point of this exercise is to show how important little things like punctuation can be.
Play with it. See what accusatory or comepletely innocent things you can come up with just by changing punctuation or emphasis.

And come back soon. We'd love to have you!